Congressman Again Cites Bible on Climate Change

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, a wholly owned subsidiary of the oil and gas industry because he represents the area of Texas where all the refineries are, has once again cited the Bible and the entirely non-existent Noah’s flood as a reason not to take global warming seriously:

“I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that climate is changing,” he added. “I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural. I think there’s a divergence of evidence.”

Barton then cited the biblical Great Flood as an example of climate change not caused by man.

“I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”

No, the great flood is an example of a myth. It never actually happened. Every educated person should know this, which is why Barton doesn’t. When you only read one book your entire life, there are bound to be huge gaps in your knowledge.

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  • lofgren

    You would think that one of the lessons of Noah would be to take people seriously when they tell you that your behaviors are having an effect on the weather.

  • Randomfactor

    Even myths can tell us things. This one says: if you behave badly on this planet, it may come back to kill you and people you care deeply about because collectively you’ve set in motion forces impossible for individuals to stand against.

    Barton skipped over the “moral.” Even HE would be forced to admit human behavior caused the mythical flood. I’m a little surprised nobody asked him. It shows a level of dishonesty that’s…actually quite in character for him.

  • lamaria

    Even is the flood HAD happened it would have been a freak occurence, not climate change. Climate is a longterm thing.

  • criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton

    Not sure if the Bible is the only book he’s ever read. Like most people he’s probably read more than one book, but when you treat whatever that one book says as if its true, regardless of the evidence, you’re bound to make really stupid statements like this, not to mention support really bad policies. Which is way, I don’t want people like this in public office.

  • raven

    “I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that climate is changing,” he added.

    Actually the vast majority of them do deny climate change.


    For reality deniers, no amount of evidence, no matter how obvious is enough.

    A case in point is the Big Boat genocide. The earth isn’t 6,000 years old and that never happened. Joe Barton makes his living pandering to the oil indrustry. Oil is a fossil fuel and much of it was formed during the Cretaceous, over 65 million years ago and some much older still.

  • dschultz

    While Smoky Joe is a waste of space, his district does not include all of the refineries in Texas. That would be a trick since his district runs from Arlington (where I live) to the southeast but never gets close to Houston. As a near as I can tell, there isn’t a single refinery in the Texas Sixth Congressional District.

    On the other hand he is very fond of the cement plants around Midlothian.

  • raven

    Harsanyi: Americans still want cheap oil (and they’re not too nervous …

    www. humanevents. com/2013/…/americans-still-want-cheap-energy-a…

    4/2/2013 05:05 PM … That means around 50 percent of Americans don’t believe in man-made climate change. … Though 33 percent of Americans believe that global warming is either a “very serious” problem, that number has declined six …

    Al Roker Appalled by Poll Showing 37 Percent Believe Global …

    m .newsbusters. org › Blogs › Geoffrey Dickens’s blog

    By Geoffrey Dickens | April 03, 2013 | 14:03. Geoffrey … and then later scolded global warming skeptics: “Okay, two words: Superstorm Sandy!” (video after the jump) … GEIST: Fourteen-percent of Americans believe in Bigfoot. … ROKER: But 37 percent said, 37 percent of these people don’t believe in global warming!

    I just looked up the latest polls.

    Somewhere between 37% and 50% of Americans still don’t believe in global warming.

    Well, it doesn’t matter. We will still have to deal with it. Estimates to deal with climate change run around 1/2 trillion to 1 trillion USD for the USA in the 21st century. But no one really knows. We will have to take it one disaster at a time.

  • Poggio

    The origin of the flood myth was mesopotamia where their ‘world’ flooded all the time. In one version, the Babylonian gods were apparently annoyed at all the snoring and released a big flood to clear out the mortals.

    Imagine if the snoring bit of the myth was handed down to semitic tribesman and made it into the bible. Fundies would be sticking crosses up their noses so as not to offend Anu/Yahweh.

  • slc1

    Re raven @ #7

    It is my information that 20% of Americans believe that the Sun goes around the Earth. Of course, maybe like Sherlock Holmes, they don’t consider the truth of the matter to be consequential.

  • Christoph Burschka

    The many levels of wrongness. Even if the flood had ever actually happened, an example of non-anthropogenic climate change has nothing to do with the existence of anthropogenic climate change.

  • khms

    What irritates me most about this is that, even if the flood story were true, it would not be an example of climate change. Nowhere in the flood sory does it mention several decades going by. That’s weather, not climate.

  • uzza

    I would point out that if you’re a believer in Marvel Comics, one would have to say Storm is an example of climate change.

    So what? Shall we call on the X-men?

  • nickmatzke

    What the hell? You’d think with a district full of oilmen there would be SOME appreciation of geology. And those oil companies have *very* serious geologists.

  • Who Knows?

    You know you’re about to be buried in bullshit when someone, right after talking about a divergence of evidence, quotes the Bible.

    Oh fuck man, I thought you we were talking about reality.

  • zekehoskin

    Climate change -> melting glaciers -> Glacial Lake Agassiz suddenly drains into the Atlantic when the dam melts -> sea level rises -> Mediterranean overflows -> Black Sea where yesterday was dry land -> flood myths. Extra points if you catch the place where I shuffled the dates: I’m running a simplified model, not citing the actual more complex sequence of events.

  • matty1

    I’m not persuaded by the Black Sea hypothesis. Yes the area flooded but lots of places have flooded, most relevant being the Euphrates valley where the oldest surviving flood myths were written down. Postulating that the Sumerians did not mythologise their own floods but instead did so for one hundreds of miles away seems to fall under Ockham’s razor.

  • iangould

    Even leaving aside the mythical nature of The Flood.

    So what?

    Do fires started by lightning strikes prove that smoking in bed can’t cause house fires?

  • sytec

    @ dschultze

    I believe you are correct. His office is in Ennis where I worked for a time and drove down the “Congressman Joe Barton Parkway” past his office often. Being a science teacher, I thought often of stopping to offer some remediation to his science knowledge…

  • Don’t be ridiculous! He’s never actually read the Bible.

  • sailor1031

    “When you only read one book your entire life, there are bound to be huge gaps in your knowledge.”

    Not necessarily; if you have only read the bible there are no gaps in your knowledge – because you have no knowledge.

  • jamessweet

    Wait, doesn’t it say in the Bible that humans were responsible for the flood?

  • birgerjohansson

    So original mesopotamian flood myth: Mortals snore too loud: Gods kill them with flood.

    Jewish/Christian/ Islamic flood myth: Angels have sex with mortals, create hybrids. God is a Klan member, does not approve of race-mixing, so he kills people with flood.

    I prefer the Mesopotamian version, I really , really hate people who keep me awake.

    By contrast YHWH has no excuse.

  • thumper1990

    40 days and 40 nights of rain is a freak weather event, not bloody climate change. Why must these people insist on opening their mouths when they don’t understand the most basic terminology?

  • Saith Rep. Barton:

    I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural

    Presuming for the time being that Barton’s opinion is honestly different from others’, while it is certainly true that one can have a difference of opinion on what is behind contemporary climate change, that does not change the facts of the situation, which quite clearly show that the present episode of very rapid global warming – and the resulting climate change- is dominated by the human emission of fossil-fuel carbon & methane – particularly since the sum total of natural climate forcings would lead to a very slow global cooling, consistent with the Earth climate behaviour since peaking in the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

  • “Holocene Climatic Optimum”

    Another great name for a band.

    A.) Barton is a fucking maroon.

    2.) Barton “believes”that which he thinks will best him to feather his own nest.

    d.) “B” in no wise precludes “A” also being true.