Did “No. 1” Climate Change Denier Fake His Résumé?

Minnesota State Senator Michael Jungbauer. Andy Revkin

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Sometimes it seems hard to believe how much skepticism still exists about climate change, with the scientific community in near-unanimous agreement that yes, it’s happening and yes, it’s our fault. But as Minnesota State Senator Michael Jungbauer reminded us yesterday, most of that dissent comes from people who are more or less clueless about the science.

Jungbauer, who sits on the state’s Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, proudly calls himself the “No. 1 global warming denier in Minnesota.” He also claims to have a bachelor’s degree from the Moody Bible Institute with a “background in biochemistry.” The first claim is easy enough to believe, but as for the second, MinnPost reported yesterday that Jungbauer never graduated, and that the closest thing he has to a bachelor’s of science is a ministerial ordainment from Christian Motorsports International, which provides “chapel services” at “races, car shows, cruise-ins, and tractor pulls.”

That’s not all: Jungbauer says he’s working on a master’s degree in environmental policy at Metropolitan State University. Thing is, no such program exists at that school. When presented with this unsettling fact by MinnPost, Jungbauer’s defense was: “Well, that’s what they told me.” Perhaps he has not yet taken the class where they teach you how to objectively evaluate facts—or to admit it when you’re caught in a lie.

Jungbauer’s lack of scientific education has not stopped him from playing the role of professor and sharing his insight with the good people of Minnesota, who have been duped by evil, conniving scientists. “Global warming and climate change in Minnesota, this is pure unadulterated BS,” Jungbauer said while running for Minnesota governor in 2009. 

To help clarify his position, Jungbauer has posted a series of videos (such as the one below) on his Senate website, in which he stands in front of a whiteboard and explains how, “if you are given the wrong information, you will come to the wrong conclusion.” I couldn’t agree more, Mike. Good thing we have hordes of scientists, with perfectly honest résumés, who have spent their careers making sure we get the right information about what is perhaps the world’s most pressing topic.

(Just for the record, most scientists do, in fact, agree that carbon dioxide contributes to global warming, not to mention do nasty things like damage coral reefs and acidify the ocean.)

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate