˜Smokey Joe Barton: Global Warming ˜Is A Net Benefit To Mankind

This is a repost from Think Progress.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), nicknamed “Smokey Joe” for his persistent advocacy on behalf of polluters, sat for an interview with C-Span this weekend to discuss a variety of environmental issues.

Barton expressed concern that regulation of carbon dioxide pollution would restrict his “convenient” and “modern lifestyle.” “I don’t want to go back to the 1870s where my great-grandparents lived on a dry land cotton farm in Texas with no running water and no electricity and their power source was their own muscles or animal power,” Barton feared.

He then argued that the warming of the planet is actually a “net benefit” for humans:

CO2 is odorless, colorless, tasteless – it’s not a threat to human health in terms of being exposed to it. We create it as we talk back and forth. So, and if you go beyond that, on a net basis, there’s ample evidence that warming generically “” however it is caused “” is a net benefit to mankind.

Watch it:

Ironically, just as Barton is pushing his claim that warming is beneficial for humans, the Pentagon is concluding that “global warming is now officially considered a threat to U.S. national security.” In its upcoming 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon planners will report that climate change could result in food and water scarcity, pandemics, population displacement, and other destabilizing events that could create conflict.

“The American people expect the military to plan for the worst,” says retired Vice Adm. Lee Gunn, a 35-year Navy veteran now serving as president of the American Security Project. “It’s that sort of mindset, I think, that has convinced, in my view, the vast majority of military leaders that climate change is a real threat and that the military plays an important role in confronting it.”

Barton took issue with Sarah Palin’s call for Obama to boycott Copenhagen. “I like Sarah Palin as a person”¦I would disagree with her though. I think the President’s got every right to go to Copenhagen,” he said.

JR:  Barton also loves TVMOB aka Lord “Hitler Youth” Monckton (see Rep. Barton: Climate change is ‘natural,’ humans should just ‘get shade’ “” invites ‘expert’ TVMOB (!) to testify).

8 Responses to ˜Smokey Joe Barton: Global Warming ˜Is A Net Benefit To Mankind

  1. Leonardo Alcantara says:

    I don´t know if you are aware that Federal Government in Brazil was about to do a bid for thermal energy plants. It was canceled on December 9, 2009.

    Yesterday, another bid for eolic energy was succesfully concluded. There will be 71 plants that will produce 1.8 GW of energy by the middle of 2012.

    Here is the press release(in portuguese, unfortunately) of the bid.

  2. Dano says:

    I like that term – eolic energy. Aeolian energy. Rolls well off the tongue.



  3. Alan says:

    “warming generically — however it is caused — is a net benefit to mankind”

    It kind of makes you wonder what Smokey Joe has been smoking.

  4. Chris Winter says:

    Like many Republicans, when it comes to climate change Rep. Barton is out of step with science, with national security, and with the long-term needs of his constituents.

    Our political system provides, at regular intervals, a chance to correct that situation.

  5. Steve L says:

    I’m not on Barton’s side, but I don’t think the Pentagon (or any military organization) should be considered credible just because it contradicts Barton. In fact, Lee Gunn says in the second last paragraph:

    “The American people expect the military to plan for the worst … It’s that sort of mindset, I think, that has convinced, in my view, the vast majority of military leaders that climate change is a real threat and that the military plays an important role in confronting it.”

    Remember Iraq’s WMD. There’s a rich library of support for the notion that AGW is bad. I don’t think the military’s say-so adds very much.

  6. Lawrence Baker says:

    Global Warming-IS- Human / Industrial Pollution
    The best indisputable SCIENCE example that should be the #1 item on the Copenhagen Agenda would be the toxic waste dump, the size of Texas, 900 miles off of the United States and Canadian West Coast.
    That is a Big SCIENCE problem with no dedicated U.S SCIENCE and INNOVATION DEPARTMENT to address the issue. The U.S (or Canada) has not even sent out a SCIENCE research vessel to evaluate this ecological disaster; neither country wants to take the responsibility for the industrial/human pollution or even acknowledge its existence.
    No Profit-No Action!-No SCIENCE! Will the World Trade Organization and the New Industrial World Order address the issue? Where is their World SCIENCE Department? Advancement in SCIENCE would outmode the use of fossil fuels.
    Can the problem be solved with SCIENCE? Probably so, Americans are very ingenious primarily because we were raised with the compliments of Freedom and Democracy and are free thinking individuals. We could probably figure a way to clean up the mess and possibly make a profit doing so.
    We can do nothing until we have a DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE that is free to address SCIENCE and to develop the advancement of SCIENCE. (Yes, for the sake of humanity; SCIENCE FIRST-PANDERING SECOND.)

  7. Stuart says:

    I am glad the military is taking climate change seriously for the simple reason that they may get a few of the more reasonable conservatives to realize that climate change affects more than just the tree-hugging hippies.

    Climate refugees are going to be a huge issue in the coming decades, and I think the more clear-eyed generals realize this.

  8. Cynthia says:

    If “Smokey” doesn’t want to go back to the old days when there was no running water, no electricity, etc., then I think someone needs to tell him– that’s exactly what will happen if we do nothing about global warming… only it will be much,much worse than “the old days.

    As far as the Pentagon reports.. there is a good website that tells about this, “Peak Oil, Matt Savinar, Life After the Oil Crash”. According to this site:

    Halliburton was awarded a $400 million contract to build vast new domestic detention camps within the US. The camps are obstensibly for the purpose of housing influx of immigrants… In June 2007, the Pentagon was running war games on the grandest scale to simulate how billions of people will react to food and fuel shortages, including… on US homeland.

    Funny thing: About a year ago, I was told there were these empty “concentration camps” being built throughout the U.S. I looked on the Internet, and sure enough! Huge, empty prisons being worked on throughout the country. Military people involved. Barbed wired turned inward, one-way revolving doors, etc. I didn’t think much about it; Bush and Cheney were always up to something sneaky. Recently, as I lay awake with insomnia, the idea occurred: the Pentagon has known about GW for quite some time; I bet those empty prisons are for us… and that is exactly what that story said. “Obstensibly they are for illegal immigrants; in reality they’re for us, when climate chaos takes place, when there’s large bands of lawless, hungry people… when things start really getting bad!

    Reinsurance magazine, (2005, June): The Pentagon report states, “There is substantial evidence to suggest that significant global warming will occur during the 21st. century… It is quite plausible that within a decade the evidence of an imminent abrupt shift may become clear and reliable.” Yep, they’ve known. Even in the Bush administration!