The Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has angered green campaigners by describing their view on climate change as a "hysterical pseudo-religion".
In an article in the News Letter, Mr Wilson said he believed it occurred naturally and was not man-made.
"Resources should be used to adapt to the consequences of climate change, rather than King Canute-style vainly trying to stop it," said the minister.
Peter Doran of the Green Party said it was a "deeply irresponsible message".
Mr Wilson said he refused to "blindly accept" the need to make significant changes to the economy to stop climate change.
"The tactic used by the 'green gang' is to label anyone who dares disagree with their view of climate change as some kind of nutcase who denies scientific fact," he said.
The minister said he accepted climate change can occur, but did not believe the cause had been identified.
"Reasoned debate must replace the scaremongering of the green climate alarmists."
John Woods of Friends of the Earth said Mr Wilson was "like a cigarette salesman denying that smoking causes cancer".
"Ironically, if we listen to him Northern Ireland will suffer economically as we are left behind by smarter regions who are embracing the low carbon economy of the future."
It is the latest clash between Mr Wilson and green groups since his appointment as environment minister in June.