I thought it was bad enough that the Senate environmental committee’s next leader wrote a book about climate change called The Greatest Hoax (and once likened the EPA to the Gestapo). But now, here comes another crusty conservative “expert” to spit on the mounds of scientific evidence that surrounds him.

John Coleman, a retired weather forecaster who cofounded the Weather Channel 32 years ago (but left after just a year), went on CNN to tell the world that all this blather about climate change is “baloney.” You can watch the debacle here:

Confronted with the statement that 97 percent of climate scientists believe global warming is quite real, he dismisses the whole thing as a Democratic plot.

Then he mentions a petition signed by “31,000 scientists” who reject the evidence of climate change. So of course I had to check it out.

He may be correct that the Global Warming Petition Project garnered those signers, each of who agrees that the “proposed limits on greenhouse gases [from the 1997 Kyoto agreement] would harm the environment, hinder the advancement of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”

Then I learned what it takes to be considered a “scientist” and sign the petition: a bachelor’s degree. In any “suitable” field, including computers and math. Yep, these are the real climate experts of our time.

To balance Coleman’s belligerent shenanigans, current Weather Channel CEO David Kenny came on to make it very, very clear that the ex-forecaster did not speak for the present company.

“I don’t like our brand being associated with something that’s not scientifically based,” said Kenny.

Then the real kick in the crotch: “I would prefer people use the credentials they have today, not the credentials they had three decades ago.”