Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 26, 2009

GOT SHADE?.... Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) record on environmental issues has bordered on comical for quite a while. In 2005, for example, Barton, then the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, used not-so-subtle pressure to intimidate the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Science Foundation, and independent scientists who dared to publish accurate data showing a sharp spike in global temperatures in the 20th century.

More recently, Barton took a leadership role in support of pollution, and in opposition to the Clean Air Act.

The good news is, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is now willing to concede that the climate is, in fact, changing. The bad news is, his proposal on what to do about it is ridiculous. Consider his comments yesterday during a congressional hearing on climate change:

"I believe that Earth's climate is changing, but I think it's changing for natural variation reasons. And I think man-kind has been adopting, or adapting, to climate as long as man has walked the Earth. When it rains we find shelter. When it's hot, we get shade. When it's cold, we find a warm place to stay. Adaptation is the practical, affordable, utterly natural reflex response to nature when the planet is heating or cooling, as it always is."

In recent months, Republican lawmakers, especially in the House, have made it practically impossible to have a serious bipartisan dialog on economic issues. If Barton's comments are in any way reflective of his caucus' approach to global warming, discussions with Republicans on environmental policy will be just as fruitful.

Steve Benen 9:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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When it floods we drown
When it droughts we starve
When it blizzards we freeze

Sounds cheap and effective to me;>

Posted by: martin on March 26, 2009 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

No one knows whether climate change is natural or man-made, or even whether the climate is really changing. But there's good news. We do know that sewage can become clean drinking water when run through a simple process powered by the clapping of millions of hands:



Posted by: MatthewRQuarreler on March 26, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Is he shilling for big umbrella?

Posted by: dontcallmefrancis on March 26, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Rep. Barton will soon introduce a bill to spend $9 Billion on beach umbrellas to protect America's croplands from shrivelling in the sunshine, and a $408 Billion nuclear-powered heat exchanger to refrigerate the oceans.

Posted by: Grumpy on March 26, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Costner showed us that when the world floods, we will naturally evolve gills on the backs of his ears. So what's the problem here?

Posted by: epar on March 26, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

*our* ears, of course.

Posted by: epar on March 26, 2009 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

And when the air turns to vacuum, what will we be doing then? I'm pretty sure adaptation doesn't cover that one.

Seriously, my family used to live in El Paso, Texas, which is an incredibly polluted city. We had to move because my little sister had asthma, and was having severe (trip to the ER in an ambulance severe) asthma attacks 2-3 times a WEEK.

Pollution is real. Global warming you don't have to believe in I suppose (stupidheads), but pollution is bad for you.


Posted by: Personal Failure on March 26, 2009 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

When the permafrost melts we'll buy bigger boots. When Florida submerges beneath the Atlantic we'll grow gills. Why do you Obama idolizers have to make everything so complicated?

Posted by: dennisS on March 26, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

"I believe that Earth's climate is changing, but I think it's changing for natural variation reasons."

How many Exxon Mobil and Christian pseudo-scientists did it take to convince him of that?

BTW cigarettes really aren't bad for you. Some scientists are now discovering the health benefits of smoking and 'the lung cancer' stigma is just junk science run amuck.

Posted by: palinoscopy on March 26, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

We are oh so privileged guests, and yet, too often we act like trailer trash in a rental with an absentee landlord. Without this Earth, we are homeless in an unfathomable sea of emptiness.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on March 26, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Now gosh darn it all, people, if you want to avoid global warming, all you have to do is cower in the shadow of the great and glorious RushGod. There was that other option---something about finding a way to get all the Republicans and other global-warming deniers to just stop breathing as a means to reducing CO2 emissions (which would make a lot of other nasty things stop, too)---but they just don't seem to get the message....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 26, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

...and when both coasts are underwater, we'll have a lot more red states!

Posted by: gradysu on March 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Never underestimate short-term human ingenuity. We invented air conditioning for where its hot. Never mind if that exacerbates the heat, just build a bigger air conditioned house and drive in your air conditioned SUV to the air conditioned mall! Right there you've already stimulated the manufacturing sector needed to make all of those air conditioners, the car industry, and the commercial sector! Brilliant!

Posted by: kp on March 26, 2009 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, day in and day out I read your posts about the bass ackward righties and their moronic statements. There are so many of them that I think their mere existence throws cold water on the whole theory of evolution. Their brains simply haven't developed over the centuries.
So when they harp on creationism maybe they're not wrong. On the other hand, whoever created these insentient beings seem to have used a lot of defective parts.

Posted by: PS on March 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Let us pray: Lord, almighty, please deliver scientific facts into the hands of people who understand them and know what to do with them.


Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 26, 2009 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

An Eco-slogan, I may have just concocted: 'Stop Beating Your Mother!'

Posted by: Michael7843853 on March 26, 2009 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

One major problem with scientific progress is that it allows the continued survival of those whose stupidity would previously have made them lunch for a wild animal.

Posted by: qwerty on March 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Adaptation is the practical, affordable, utterly natural reflex response to nature

Does he mean evolution?

How long before Rush hears about this?

Posted by: alan on March 26, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Follow Barton's advice, and the human race will go extinct.

In the overall scheme of things and so far as the Earth is concerned, that would likely be seen as a good thing, humans being the greatest evolutionary failure of all - unlike all other animals, we do everything upside-down and ass-backwards.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 26, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Natural variations" sounds like he was trying to avoid saying "natural selection." Adaptation is also suspiciously Darwinian.

He'd better watch out or he lose he wingnut conservative Christian credentials.

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 26, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

The most adverse effects of global warming will be between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Can everybody living there move to the shadier USA?

Posted by: J from Wpg on March 26, 2009 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

When we screw up the Earth for humans,
we'll just move to the next planet available.


Posted by: Glen on March 26, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK



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