Rep. Joe Barton: Global Warming? No Problem — We’ll Adapt!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Remember Joe Barton (R-Texas)? The ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who admitted recently that he’s “probably below average in [his] ability to understand” the nuts and bolts of climate change legislation? Well, he just had some more invaluable insights into global warming. His basic message: No biggie — humans can adapt.

He opened his statement at a congressional hearing yesterday as follows: “Today’s hearing is about adaptation. Adapting is a common natural way for people to adapt to their environment.”

Can’t argue with that. More questionable is his assessment of global warming in the same hearing:

“I think that it’s inevitable that humanity will adapt to global warming. I also believe the longer we postpone finding ways to do it successfully, the more expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become. Adaptation to shifts in temperature is not that difficult. What will be difficult is the adaptation to rampant unemployment — enormous, spontaneous and avoidable changes to our economy — if we adopt such a reckless policy as cap-and-tax or cap-and-trade.”

If that seems dubious to you, here’s his solid evidence that adaptation has worked in the past: “During the Little Ice Age, both the Vikings and the British adapted to the cold by changing. I suppose that one possible adaptation response of Viking retrenchment and British expansion is that we’re conducting the hearing today in English instead of Norwegian.”

Irrefutable logic. Remember, this guy used to be chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The future of our planet was basically in his hands.

But I can’t do him justice. Watch the full clip below:

We’re speechless. Please follow TWI on Twitter here.

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Comments

29 Comments

jimmyjames
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

Like a bad sixth grade report. Fucktard.


Rep. Joe Barton: Global Warming? No Problem — We’ll Adapt! - The Washington Independent.com | Climate Warming Blog
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Pingback posted March 26, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

[...] Rep. Joe Barton: Global Warming? No Problem — We’ll Adapt! (Washington Independant) [...]


Charlie Hall
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

Ok, we'll abandon by abandoning Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Miami, New Orleans, and Houston to rising sea levels. Does Mr. Barton suggest to where we should all move?


Danim
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

“Adapting is a common natural way for people to adapt to their environment”…

Beautiful! This is prime example of a logical tautology, an “added bonus” if you will.


Hararld the Unmerciful
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

Nice work Aaron. Barton is a little ridiculous, but I think there are certain parts of his theory that humanity will adapt (mostly the part about adaptation being harder the longer we wait) that are pretty solid. Economic strife caused by cap-and-trade policies is a valid concern, though one would usually think that his point about “the longer we postpone finding ways to do it successfully, the more expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become” is more indicative of why we should do cap-and-trade or carbon-tax now, because humans can probably adapt to climate change, we'll just lose agricultural productivity, geographic and biodiversity, and have to create expensive new infrastructures to make that adaptation happen rather than just limiting the global warming we create now.

When we vikings “retrenched” in the face of the little ice-age, it was because the increasingly cold climate undermined our agricultural system and our unwillingness to change our agricultural practices left our islands unable to sustain our quality of life (see Jared Diamond's “Collapse” for an in-depth investigation). But we adapted. Instead of resigning ourselves to a lower standard of living, we forged ahead by forging weapons and armor, climbing aboard our long-boats, and raping and pillaging our way across the north Atlantic, into the wealth of our hard-working and innocent neighbors who never provoked us at all. Frankly, I think it's a great model for the US to follow, and one that you should really give more weight in your one-sided blog posts.

All hail Barton the Adapter!!


TD
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

There's always plenty of parking in the midwest…


jimmyjames
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

Like a bad sixth grade report. Fucktard.


Charlie Hall
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 10:05 pm

Ok, we'll abandon by abandoning Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Miami, New Orleans, and Houston to rising sea levels. Does Mr. Barton suggest to where we should all move?


Danim
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 10:15 pm

“Adapting is a common natural way for people to adapt to their environment”…

Beautiful! This is prime example of a logical tautology, an “added bonus” if you will.


Hararld the Unmerciful
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

Nice work Aaron. Barton is a little ridiculous, but I think there are certain parts of his theory that humanity will adapt (mostly the part about adaptation being harder the longer we wait) that are pretty solid. Economic strife caused by cap-and-trade policies is a valid concern, though one would usually think that his point about “the longer we postpone finding ways to do it successfully, the more expensive and unpalatable the adjustment will become” is more indicative of why we should do cap-and-trade or carbon-tax now, because humans can probably adapt to climate change, we'll just lose agricultural productivity, geographic and biodiversity, and have to create expensive new infrastructures to make that adaptation happen rather than just limiting the global warming we create now.

When we vikings “retrenched” in the face of the little ice-age, it was because the increasingly cold climate undermined our agricultural system and our unwillingness to change our agricultural practices left our islands unable to sustain our quality of life (see Jared Diamond's “Collapse” for an in-depth investigation). But we adapted. Instead of resigning ourselves to a lower standard of living, we forged ahead by forging weapons and armor, climbing aboard our long-boats, and raping and pillaging our way across the north Atlantic, into the wealth of our hard-working and innocent neighbors who never provoked us at all. Frankly, I think it's a great model for the US to follow, and one that you should really give more weight in your one-sided blog posts.

All hail Barton the Adapter!!


TD
Comment posted March 26, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

There's always plenty of parking in the midwest…


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Pingback posted March 29, 2009 @ 3:26 pm

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Pingback posted July 21, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

[...] that last week, another GOP congressman on Shimkus’ subcommittee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), pointed to the Vikings as evidence that we can adapt just fine to global warming. … Shimkus tried another tack, claiming [...]


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[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply "adapt" to massive climate [...]


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Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 2:06 am

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


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Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 3:20 am

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


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Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 4:46 am

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


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Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 6:00 am

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


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Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 9:07 am

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


Bill Maher Slams GOP Climate Change Skeptics: They’re "So Stupid They Make Me Question Evolution" (VIDEO) - ViralStash.com The Daily Buzz
Pingback posted October 3, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

[...] late anyhow and so need to change our ways. Maher cited the example of GOP Rep. Joe Barton, who has claimed that we will simply “adapt” to massive climate [...]


Topanga
Comment posted October 3, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

Let them eat cake?

More like, “Let them all wear sweaters!”

What a ridiculous man he is.


PlanetMars
Comment posted June 18, 2010 @ 1:22 am

Rep. Joe Barton keeps saying God this and God that so he's a sure believer of a creationist. He believing in God's making the climate changes and definitively you wouldn't want to do anything against God's will. For a creationist stand point of view he's right though.


Atheistcamelchronicles
Comment posted June 18, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

if there were a god, it would give joe a raging case of clamydia; and have him fall into an oil slick and burst into flame.
Joe and his god are obviously both below average on intellect and action.


Rtofcentre
Comment posted June 18, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

Be proud Texas… another reason for you to claim the highest rate of idiocy in the nation.


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Pingback posted June 24, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

[...] to adapt to it, like the Brits and Vikings did when the Ice Age came along.  Here, thanks to Aaron Wiener, writing for the Washington Independent, is more pure [...]


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shredding paper fort
Comment posted September 11, 2010 @ 8:47 am

i know for a fact that when a volcano erupts – such the one from Island, the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere is equal with the amount of CO2 produced worldwide in 20 years. So, there are problems, but let''s not exaggerate.


Dog bark collar
Comment posted February 21, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

Thanks for the post. This keeps me informed about the topic.


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