A curious thing happened at Tuesday’s morning meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee when the panel’s infamous climate-change skeptic, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), cited NASA climatologist Jim Hansen in his screed against the House climate bill.

Yes, this is the same James Inhofe who once called climate change the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” And this is the same James Hansen who has been called the “the father of global warming,” the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies who has repeatedly called for dramatic action to fight global warming.

Hansen, like Inhofe, is no fan of the Waxman-Markey bill. But for Inhofe — a global warming denier — to cite Hansen is irony bordering on satire. Hansen, after all, doesn’t think the climate bill that passed in the House last month is strong enough to adequately address the problem of climate change.

Inhofe said at Tuesday’s hearing that he agreed with Hansen that the Waxman-Markey bill is “not going to make any change” in the climate. “And he’s Mr. Greenhouse Gas,” added Inhofe.

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In reality, Hansen acknowledges that climate change is caused by man-made, heat-trapping emissions, whereas Inhofe does not. And Hansen has said that he believes steps can be taken by the international community to combat global warming. Inhofe, meanwhile, thinks nothing humans do affect the Earth’s climate.

It appears that Inhofe isn’t alone. Skeptic Steve Milloy posted a piece on the Green Hell blog on Tuesday titled “Why we should love James Hansen.” He argues:

Yes, NASA’s James Hansen is the ultra-global warming alarmist. Yes, he has called for war crimes trials for global warming “deniers.” But right now, Hansen should be a our best friend.

Like us, Hansen opposes the Waxman-Markey bill. He calls it the “counterfeit climate bill” and likens its cap-and-trade provisions to a Ponzi scheme.

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It now seems that if Hansen had his way, he’d put Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey on trial along with the other “deniers.”

Sure, our reasoning differs from Hansen’s — we think Waxman-Markey is a junk science-fueled Marxist-socialist political power grab sugar-coated with a corporate welfare honey pot, while Hansen believes that Waxman-Markey is too little, too late in terms of stopping the dreaded global warming — but we do have the same goal for now.

Former Inhofe staffer Marc Morano, who now runs the skeptic site ClimateDepot.com, tweeted the story shortly thereafter: “Go Jim, go! Why we should love James Hansen.”

Yes, it appears in denier land, the enemy of your enemy – in this case, the Waxman-Markey bill – is your friend. At least for now.