(CNN) -- It was just a joke, said Pat Sajak -- but a lot of Twitter followers weren't laughing.
On Monday night, the "Wheel of Fortune" host -- a conservative who's occasionally used his Twitter account to tweak liberals -- tweeted, "I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night."
The reaction from the Twitterverse was swift and blunt.
Some tried reason. Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State, tweeted that climate change could have huge repercussions.
"Hey @PatSajak, this aint the Wheel of Fortune. If we lose this game, it isn't just one person's misfortune. All humanity pays the price," he posted.
Hey @PatSajak, this aint the Wheel of Fortune. If we lose this game, it isn't just one person's misfortune. All humanity pays the price— Michael E. Mann (@michaelemann) May 20, 2014
Others fought back with ridicule.
"On one hand 97% of scientists on the other hand a guy that got his job because chuck woolery came across as too intellectual," posted mrjolly, referencing Sajak's "Wheel" predecessor.
On one hand 97% of scientists on the other hand a guy that got his job because chuck woolery came across as too intellectual— mrjolly (@mrjolly) May 20, 2014
"Say what you will about Pat Sajak but that guy works 35 days a year," tweeted Pat Thornton.
Say what you will about Pat Sajak but that guy works 35 days a year— Pat Thornton (@patthornton) May 20, 2014
Sajak continued poking. "Taking next few weeks off. Computer models have already determined winners," Sajak posted Tuesday morning.
He soon acknowledged he was just trying to get a rise out of people.
"Sometimes it's fun to poke a stick in a hornets' nest just to hear the buzzing," he tweeted Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement, Sajak said he was just being snarky.
"Of course I was joking. Just mocking the name-calling that is directed at global warming skeptics within and without the scientific community," he said in a statement from his representative.
As Vice magazine noted, Sajak has a habit of mocking climate change. He's tweeted about Al Gore, fund-raising and his nephew being a "Tooth Fairy denier."
On Wednesday, Sajak puckishly observed that he'd hit a hot button.
"Later today I'll be tweeting my views on the subjects of nuclear proliferation and free-range chicken," he tweeted.