Minnesota State Rep Calls Climate Change ‘Complete United Nations Fraud And Lie’

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

On Wednesday night, Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) took to the House floor to talk about climate change and renewable energy.

Using sources such as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Gruenhagen told his colleagues that climate change is a “complete United Nations fraud and lie…. The latest facts from CPAC show that in the last sixteen years there’s been no global warming.”

While it is common practice among climate skeptics to claim that the Earth is no longer warming, the fact is global temperatures are rising. 2010 was the hottest year on record and every year of the 2000s was warmer than 1990s average. Over 30 million people were displaced by climate-related extreme weather events in 2012, and it is increasingly likely millions more will be displaced in the near future.

Watch the speech here, courtesy of

Gruenhagen made his speech the same day a new survey of over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers found a 97 percent consensus that global warming is happening and humans are the cause and just a few days after it was reported that atmospheric C02 levels reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human existence

Indeed, Minnesota residents are feeling the very real impacts of climate change. The MinnPost reports that three 1,000 year floods have occurred in the state in the last eight years as a result of shifts in rainfall patterns. Extreme drought is occurring not just in Minnesota but almost every state, and climate change is having cumulative stress on the Great Lakes. Rising levels of water vapor in the warming atmosphere are spiking heat indexes and associated health warnings.

Gruenhagen aside, the majority of lawmakers in Minnesota have recognized the importance of enacting policies to address climate change and in 2007, implemented one of the highest renewable energy standards in the nation – laws which require electric utilities companies to produce a portion of their electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Indeed, Minnesota ranks seventh in the nation in overall wind energy capacity and lawmakers in the state recently agreed to a solar energy standard.

At the federal level, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) recently attacked climate deniers on the Senate floor saying, “If 98 out of 100 doctors tell me I’ve got a problem, I should take their advice. And if those two other doctors get paid by Big Snack Food, like certain climate deniers get paid by Big Coal, I shouldn’t take their advice.”

55 Responses to Minnesota State Rep Calls Climate Change ‘Complete United Nations Fraud And Lie’

  1. BillD says:

    I was going to send this idiot a link to this post. Nearly all of the items on Google were about his anti-gay positions, not his anti-physics or UN conspiracy themes. Minnesota certainly shows a range of politicians, including Al Franken and Michelle Bachmann, not to mention this guy. Does his name mean “green habor?”

  2. I am always amazed that the state that sent Paul Wellstone to the US Senate can also provide us with the likes of Michele Bachmann and this goon.

  3. Camburn says:

    He does have at least one point right, temps have been flat for over 15 years, using RSS over 22 years.

    Where is the drought in Minnesota by the way?

  4. Leif says:

    As the fossil industry, GOP enablers, big money and Wall Street profiteers continue to attempt to cloud the reality of science, they make a serious mistake. Their money and gold will have no value in the ecocide world their actions bequeath the rest of humanity. Their refusal to participate in serious mitigation efforts that can be beneficial, (thou admittedly disruptive at this late date), will mark them the pariah of our times and they will receive no help from the possible survivors of their enabled inevitable collapse.
    Socially enabled capitalism not only eats its young but has a serious start on the future of all humanity. Go Green, resistance is fatal to Earth’s life support systems.

  5. BBHY says:

    This is the drought map in Minnesota:,MW

    It took about 5 seconds to find that with the google. Probably less time than it took for you to write the question in your comment.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Heatwave deaths in New York city could rise by up to 22%, study shows
    New temperature norms under climate change will increase weather-related deaths in metropolitan areas in coming decades

  7. HarryWiggs says:

    The Tea Baggies are getting panicked, as Sen. Whitehouse actually speaks SCIENCE, and not crap, like this bloviating butthead. Feed’em more rope….it’s fun to watch the deniers hang themselves.

  8. katy says:

    CPAC is a source??? yikes.

  9. Marie says:

    The arrogance of the politicians who think they know more than the rest of the world’s scientists is astonishing.

  10. Chris says:

    What are they teaching people in Minnesota? He’s a complete doof. Green energy to blame for Spain’s economy? His scientific source is CPAC? Scientists just give each other jobs? This guy’s lost.

  11. kca says:

    Another tea-party nitwit establishing his bona fides by denying science. Bet he’s a Creationist to boot. Anti-intellectualism alive and well in America.

  12. noen says:

    It’s outstate Minnesota. The rural counties are rabidly Tea Party.

  13. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Wait–I thought all the temperature data sets were being manipulated by corrupt scientists and/or were from badly sited stations, yet deniers are now referring to them?

  14. Camburn says:

    I live right next to Minnesota. There are currently no droughts in play.

  15. Brianna Amore says:

    So this state rep cites ONE report to back up his claim? One report by a conservative action group against the how many thousands of peer-reviewed journals and scientific studies?


  16. cybexg says:

    Lol… says otherwise. Similarly, so does the NOAA. Seems like you’ve been caught trying to spread misinformation

  17. Matt says:

    Dear Rep. Gruenhagen: I’m not interested in what you have to say unless you’re willing to ante up to back up your claims.

    Since following YOUR batshit insane policies will likely doom the entire human species, howsabout you sign a contract agreeing that you and your descendants will all commit suicide IF YOU’RE WRONG. Seems only fair…

  18. Jim OReilly says:

    CPAC also believes:
    – Romney lost because of Hurricane Sandy
    – that you “promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens”
    (like Hurricane Sandy relief)
    – Sarah Palin is a credible speaker

  19. Pencils says:

    And Sarah Palin is an expert on Russia because she can see it from her house. The data is readily available online, as the previous commenter showed. Why do you think you know better? Because you saw some rain last week?

  20. Charles Zeller says:

    The “latest facts” from CPAC must mean that they stopped talking about Al Gore’s house.

  21. Bil Wood says:

    Oh it’s all Gods will and God will save them all I am sure. He said he would.

  22. Bette says:

    I agree if that is his source, he has got a lot of problems with that.

  23. Vern Quever says:

    All I have to say is that I am so sad that some people look only for arguments to support their position and they have no interest in examining the facts. I think it would be very scary to live with a mind like that.

  24. Peter Capen says:

    As long as voters continue electing stupid people to positions of political power, we will continue to see such politicians trumpet their ignorance with a steady stream of idiotic comments. Until the voters in that district wise up and no longer elect the likes of Rep. Gruenhagen to office, they will continue to be represented by individuals who apparently have no grasp whatsoever of the enormity of the threat posed by global warming and the human fingerprint all over it. It seems clear that many Americans of all stripes will have to suffer much more pain before coming to their senses on such issues as climate change and its dire implications. Until then, public policy initiatives will be anemic at best in confronting the challenges we face.

  25. Niall says:

    You are factually incorrect in your statement on there being no warming over the past 16 years. The planet has continued to warm over this period. The hottest 12-month period on record was June 2009 to May 2010.

    See, for example:

  26. Cow-Guy says:

    Do any of these people believe in any type of science?

  27. Don’t you love it when some politician who couldn’t write down the equation of radiative transfer to save his life lectures us on how all the scientists are wrong, or lying, about science?

  28. Mugsy says:

    The obvious first question for these morons should ALWAYS be:

    “What research and investigation have you personally conducted to come to arrive at such a scientific conclusion?”

  29. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Where he lives, under a bridge, he don’t see no ‘Goddam global warming’.

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s those awful voices, the voices inside his head. They tell him many, little, things. One day they’ll tell him something really big, and he’ll be raised up, to his proper place. And we will all be amazed and in awe.

  31. Paul Browne says:

    So stupid it makes your teeth itch!

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The smaller the brain, the bigger the ego. It’s a sort of cosmic joke on humanity, one of many.

  33. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It sounds like he reads (or has read to him) ‘The Australian’.

  34. Jim says:

    Representative Glenn Gruenhagen seems to be more than a little ‘Economical with the truth’. At 2:35 in the video, he reports on an audit of the IPCC performed by the InterAcademy Council. I have read the audit (Actually, it is a review, not an audit) and nothing that the representative says about its content is even remotely true. The review is measured and professional, unlike the colorful rhetoric given in the video.

    No judgement of Global Warming.
    No mention of ‘Malfeasance’
    No mention of ‘Fat grants’ etc
    No ‘Giving each other jobs’

    I can only conclude that he is plain lying!

    BTW, he says this was published in 2010 – the Academy published only one document in that year, and that was the

    “Climate Change Assessments, Review of the Processes & Procedures of the IPCC”

    Which can be found here:-

  35. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Answer: I looked carefully into the money and it all turned out to be green, ME

  36. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Do not feed the troll!

  37. LMacKenzie says:

    That is an inaccurate statement. Minnesota is the third most impacted state by climate change. We are seeing a significant rise in night-time temperatures – which is impacting crops, like tomatoes, that like warm daytime and cooler night temps. We are seeing significant seasonal shift, which resulted in serious loss of fruit and berry crops last year. I live in Minnesota. We are most definitely seeing the effects.

  38. langostino says:

    Based on decades of research and diligent analysis, Gruenhagen is able to state unequivocally that climate change is a hoax.

    Wait, what? He didn’t do any of that? Then why are we listening to this asshole?

  39. Lynne says:

    Is that crazy eyed look something inherent in Minnesota Republican politicians?

  40. Jackie says:

    Glen is earning is money but as he delivers the lies his State is in the worse Tornadoes in his State and he will be asking for FEMA funding on things he says never happen.

  41. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Inside his head, it is raining.

  42. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I think that you have to work at it.

  43. Zimzone says:

    As a Minnesotan, I’m embarrassed this idiot represents any portion of MN.

    He must be getting his stupid pills from Bachmann.

  44. Here’s his contact info. Everyone at CP should contact his office and ask him what he’s smoking. There should be consequences to making statements like this.

    Representative Glenn Gruenhagen

    241 State Office Building
    100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
    651-296-4229 or 800-341-0510


  45. Chris Reeve says:

    I am a Democrat who closely follows the AGW debate. Democrats would be wise to switch course and start running articles on the role of computer simulations in the scientific process, as it has become clear from the popularity of polls of scientists that the public does not actually understand the purpose of modeling for the creation of scientific theory. For every model that’s out there, there is a scientist who decides to build it, based upon a worldview. A closer inspection of the process by which we train our scientists would readily demonstrate that we are training our scientists to have just one worldview in science. If people want to have more confidence in the models, we have to concern ourselves with the unconceived alternatives by generating NUMEROUS models, based upon numerous worldviews, and checking to see which work the best.

  46. Here is the Rep’s response to my email: “Pls locate on the Internet “petition against global warming” signed by over 31,000 US scientist over 9,000 PHD’s. Pls read both sides of the issue and try not to be a fanatical disciple of Al(massage parlor)Gore. Remember global warming theory believes that exhaling causes global warming. So I will quit speaking out against the UN fraud and lies of Global warming if your side will consider not exhaling.
    Thanks for your email.”

    Sent from my iPad

  47. Joan Savage says:

    The state senator’s electoral district is Glencoe.

    Per Drought Map linked by BBHY (above) his district ranges from D0 Abnormally Dry to D2 Drought- Severe.

    The Glencoe Chamber of Commerce lists four Implement/Agriculture & Recreation dealers (all look more like agriculture than recreation).

    The state senator is an insurance business owner. He grew up on a dairy farm.

    He was first elected to state office in 2010 and re-elected in 2012.

    Adding these factors up, I’d guess that sooner or later his constituents will be talking about their insurance policies or more broadly economic relief, even if nobody in his district wants to talk about climate change.

  48. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:


    Would you care to elaborate on what you mean by “one worldview”?

    Climate models were based on physics the last time I checked.

  49. kca says:

    And how many computer-generated climate models have the so-called “skeptics” produced for general inspection, Mr. I-Am-A-Democrat? Perhaps those in the climate science community would be a bit more respectful of the opinions of the contrarians if those folks would direct a bit of their money toward scientific research, instead of directing all of it to PR firms to produce pure spin.

  50. kermit says:

    Yes, if they like the conclusions. The emphasis is on “belief”. They do not understand science. Their internal worldview is a social construct that maps poorly to reality, but since their tribal identity depends on having the correct beliefs, they shy away from noticing that, and get angry if you point out inconsistencies.

    For the religious especially, there are multiple ways of knowing about the world: the bible, astrology, science, black magic, possibly others like pagan magic, homeopathy, etc. These are perceived as rival ways of knowing (or magic), all of which work to some degree. Most are evil, while some, like science, are suspect.

    But they do not understand what science actually is, even though they may know some facts about medicine or other fields. They think they have other, more reliable sources of knowledge, which are either the Bible (actually their preachers) if they are religious, or Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and talk radio. That is, their epistemology depends not on verifiable observations and testable models, but rather moral authorities, acknowledged spokesmen for the tribe.

  51. kermit says:

    He likely thinks that a statement released by a think tank [sic] is peer reviewed. The authors get some friends to read it and nod their heads. “Yes, that sounds right.”

    His constituents know more about what goes on in high finance board rooms than they do in the scientific community. The idea of changing one’s mind because new data has come to light is alien to them.

  52. Dave Kahn says:

    “Hagen” is “garden” rather than “harbour” in Norwegian but that is probably not the origin of his name. It more likely comes from one of a number of towns named Grünhagen in Germany.

  53. Dave Kahn says:

    It’s clear that he hasn’t even read the Executive Summary which, at nearly 5 pages, is clearly beyond his capacity.

  54. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    He got a bit confuserated. He was ‘on the sauce’ at CPAC.

  55. Chris Reeve says:

    Re: “Would you care to elaborate on what you mean by “one worldview”? Climate models were based on physics the last time I checked.”

    When asked to diagram the components of scientific papers into what’s called a “Vee diagram”, studies have suggested that students are simply incapable of identifying the assumptions, concepts, propositions and worldview which are included. The widespread misconception that physics IS the worldview in science is a blatant refusal to acknowledge that there are assumptions embedded into many of the models which you define simply as “physics”.

    The fact is that the process of selecting what questions to ask in science is unavoidably a human process, subject to psychology, sociology and the scientists’ worldview. A worldview is a philosophy which does not ask questions. It’s a simplifying statement about a belief about how the universe works.

    For instance, if I want to suggest that there exists some “dark matter”, this is ultimately based upon the worldview that the universe is dominated by gravity. But, if somebody refuses to consider that the universe’s weakest force largely defines it, then they might adopt a different assumption — for instance, that since 99.999% of what we observe with our telescopes is by now known to be matter in the PLASMA state, and plasma can also conduct electrical currents — which can exert extraordinarily more powerful forces upon matter than gravity — then an alternative worldview might be used to solve the dark matter problem.

    By proposing that consensus physics IS the worldview, you fail to acknowledge the philosophical problem of “unconceived alternatives” in the scientific process. The models tell us whether or not the system can be made to work, in theory, and they help us to see to what extent they match reality. What they specifically do not do, however, is solve the philosophical problem of unconceived alternatives. Just because you can build a model does not mean that it is the only solution to the problem. If researchers want to try to “prove” their models, their only recourse is to identify as many alternative models as possible, and build ALL of them — then check to see which is performing better than the others.

    It saddens me to observe that Democrats have completely failed to grasp this vital point. We can, without a doubt, choose to build alternative models. The fact that the researchers don’t even think it’s necessary should ring alarm bells for anybody who cares about the authenticity of scientific claims.

Matt Kasper is the Special Assistant for Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress.