Tom Coburn Labels Himself a "Global Warming Denier"

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. (National Journal)

Tom Coburn doesn't deny that he's in denial. The Oklahoma Republican senator -- who has previously called global warming science "crap" -- described himself Monday in terms an environmentalist might use. "I am a global warming denier," Coburn said, according to the Tulsa World. "I don't deny that."

Even with that self-labeled moniker, Coburn is unlikely to become green activists' most hated Oklahoman in the upper chamber. Sen. Jim Inhofe -- who has repeatedly said human activity does not cause climate change -- has long been the go-to example of GOP "science denial." In 2012, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., used Inhofe to attack then-Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., noting that a GOP-controlled Senate could put Inhofe in charge of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. More recently, environmentalists lashed out as Google -- which has built an environmentally conscious reputation -- for hosting a fundraiser to benefit Inhofe.

So how does Coburn explain climate change? It's a natural phenomenon, he said, and it's currently leading to a "mini-ice age."