The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

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

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 03/26/2009 09:42
news
Elisa Mueller

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.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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