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Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX06)
Because Noah, that's why.
 
Congressman Joe Barton's most significant contribution to the public discourse will probably always be the bit where he apologized to BP on behalf of the government for the hardships BP was forced to undergo after the various shorelines of the Gulf Coast made off with a few hundred million gallons of the good company's hard-earned crude oil. He's a proponent of eff you politics, the kind of politics that says we should be getting down on our grubby American hands and knees and thanking the oil companies for all the days that they do not crap all over the wilderness, because hey—it's a free country, sport. Well, it's free if you can pay for it.

Anyway, Joe Barton considers himself a learned man, and part of being learned, nowadays, means recognizing that climate change is happening. But it's not caused by man, because that would make the oil companies sad. He explained it again during the subcommittee debate on whether to allow the Keystone pipeline expansion (Barton is a big supporter, again because oil companies. Sorry—diluted bitumen companies. Where are my manners).

"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."
A divergence in evidence means, in this case, that Joe Barton's pockets do not get lined with shorebirds or unbleached corals or the deeds to a million sea-level properties, they get filled with oil money, and that is all the evidence Joe Barton needs. Well, that and a little bullshit for the rubes:
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 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."

You know what? He's got us there. There are a great many examples of climate change, both fictional and nonfictional, even, that are not the result of humans. Why that provides evidence that no climate change could possibly be the result of hydrocarbon-based chemical reactions may seem elusive, but I am sure Joe Barton would tell you that the answer can be found in his pockets.

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