INHOFE UNIMPRESSED BY STARS AND SCIENCE…. A growing number of officials recognize the national security implications of global climate change. The NYT recently ran a report noting the ways in which a warming planet “will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics…. Such climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions.”

The Central Intelligence Agency even intends to develop a new division that would focus on intelligence gathering related to national security, unstable governments, and climate change.

And given the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s efforts to pass a climate bill in this Congress, the panel recently heard from a variety of retired U.S. military leaders, all of whom agreed that it’s time to change America’s energy policy.

The NYT asked Sen. James Inhofe, a right-wing Oklahoma Republican and the Senate’s most ardent global warming denier, about the “threat to national security by destabilizing developing countries.” He replied by questioning the integrity of the military leaders who accept the evidence and are concerned about the consequences of climate change.

“That’s the most ludicrous thing. They looked around and they found, I think, five generals to testify before the committee. Well, that’s 5 generals out of 4,000 retired generals that say that. There are a lot of generals who don’t like to be out of the limelight. They’d like to get back in.”

Generally, in congressional circles, a certain respect for decorated generals and admirals is expected. Except in Inhofe’s case, if they accept science he chooses to ignore, they deserve to be trashed publicly.

Inhofe’s developed a reputation for being America’s Worst Senator. It’s well deserved.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.