The 4 Craziest Scientific Theories Posed by U.S. Politicians

#2. Joe Barton: Wind Is God's Air-Conditioning

Chair Emeritus of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Subcommittee on Environment and Economy

In proof that he was awarded every position he ever held on Opposite Day, Joe Barton was on the above committees when he apologized to BP for the whole Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

"Next, I'd like to apologize to any terrorists who felt upstaged by what BP managed."

When people pointed out that this was the exact opposite of his job, he replied, "If anything I said this morning has been misconstrued to the opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." He's just a dictionary jammed in a dialysis machine, taking the piss out of the idea of communication. It's a tactic he continued at a hearing on renewable power:

"Wind is God's way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?"

We're just going to use this image to buy our brains a second to recover from that.

Even by its own non-logic, that is dementedly wrong. His claim that wind energy is finite forgets about the sun, and when your arguments miss something that even cavemen included in their daily plans, maybe you shouldn't be in charge of decision making. Wind doesn't operate on a bus schedule, carrying heat from one place to another. Even if you could constantly suck energy out of the system, the temperature would drop. Finally, if eco-power can defeat your god's plans, maybe a deity who can be defeated by Captain Planet isn't one you should be worshiping. Maybe try a pity prayer some Friday night if Zeus isn't answering the phone.

"Sorry, baby, I was off being a swan for Leda, she loves that kinky stuff."

It's not an argument; it's a logical denial of service attack, flooding any functioning brain with so many objections that their time is wasted and they can't do anything. Which is, of course, Barton's entire function at hearings. His very next words were:

"Now, I'm not saying that's going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can't transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It's just something to think about."

Translation: "I know I'm bullshitting, exploiting the flaws in both democratic process and scientific discussion, which lets me keep talking until this hearing ends and nothing gets done." At this point, I'd explain how he was a consultant for a major oil company before ever becoming a politician, and has received over a million dollars in oil money since, if I thought it would remotely surprise anyone.

#1. John Shimkus: The Environment Is Indestructible (Until God Kills Everyone)

Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Subcommittee on Environment and Economy

If your speech to the government describes the death of almost every living thing on the planet, twice, you're meant to have entered through the hole you just lasered in the roof with your flying Doom Tank. You shouldn't be on the House Subcommittee on Environment and Economy. John Shimkus talked about a genocide he believes has already happened, another that absolutely will happen and how we should obey the will of the madman responsible for both. Every other government faced with this situation has deployed James Bond. Shimkus instead described how the final death of the world meant that we shouldn't worry about the environment.

If you didn't watch that, and are therefore still reading instead of running directly at Washington to scream "What the hell?" at the House, during his talk on global warming, he starts reading from the Bible, part of Genesis 8:21:

"Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."

Then he goes on to:

"The Earth will only end when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth, this Earth will not be destroyed by a flood."

That's his way of dismissing climate change.

In a government hearing, there is no legal or technical difference between reading from the Bible and reading your G.I. Joe fan fiction, except that the latter is actually in favor of spending money on cool new technologies. If we've got Bible readings in House committees, we should also have the "Havamal" (Odin can kick the ass of any other god), The Golden Verses of Pythagoras (who at least knew something about science) and the Amduat (because, honestly, Washington could use more pyramids).

And given the average age of our lawmakers, it would be more fitting.

Shimkus left out the start of Genesis 8:21, which reads "The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart, Never again will I MURDER EVERYTHING etc. etc." That "aroma" was the burnt offering on an altar Noah had constructed immediately after landing the Ark. Which means that he had to sacrifice and immolate one of the animals he was carrying just to get his god's attention, and since there were only two of each, that means an entire species was wiped out. Shimkus can't even get through his own Bible without extinctifying something.

Maybe a guy responsible for the environment shouldn't believe that nature is indestructible. That's like hiring Superman as a crash test dummy. Except then we'd have someone who'd be able to stop a giant invisible being in the sky who's decided to kill everyone on the planet.

Luke also watches Resident Evil: Damnation, a movie fans of the game will actually like, and Buzz Aldrin punching out an idiot. (It's the second best landing his fist has been involved in.)

For more madmen of science, check out The 6 Most Badass Stunts Ever Pulled in the Name of Science and 7 Ridiculous Things People Believe About the "God Particle."

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Luke McKinney

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