Sure, there's overwhelming consensus among climate scientists (and scientists in a host of other fields) that climate change is for realsies. These are people with doctoral degrees, decades of experience, high-end instrumentation, and mountains of data — but are any of them amateur paleontologists? Newt Gingrich is, and that means he knows they're wrong, and so there.

At a town hall meeting here Saturday afternoon, Gingrich delivered his neatly segmented remarks on taxes, regulations and an overarching economy, but when asked to explain his position on global warming, he delivered a new line.

“I’m an amateur paleontologist,” Gingrich said. “I spend a lot of time looking at the Earth’s temperature for a very long time. I’m a lot harder to convince than just looking at a computer model.”

It's not totally clear what Gingrich means by "amateur paleontologist" — he has dinosaur sheets on his bed? He collects fossilized trilobites? But all you have to know is that he is some kind of prehistoric-life enthusiast, and therefore he knows more about how the climate is likely to change over the next few decades than people who have devoted their entire academic and professional lives to studying this stuff. 

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You know who else was an amateur paleontologist? Oh, just a little fellow called Charles Darwin. And he came up with paradigm-changing scientific discoveries! Once Republican candidates get around to acknowledging that evolution is a thing, I'm sure they'll employ that argument. Hell, it only took a few centuries for them to get wise to heliocentrism and start laying claim to Galileo.

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