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Author Topic: "Energy Secretary puzzled by simple question"
Lalo
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Actual title of the video. Republican science.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgKepHebKRc

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Dogbreath
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Am I the only one who doesn't even understand why they were asking this question?

(I assume there's some political motivation behind asking why fossil fuels exist in Alaska - otherwise the representative could have just looked it up on Wikipedia)

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scifibum
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OK, what was wrong with Chu's answer?
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
OK, what was wrong with Chu's answer?

Not a single mention of Jesus.
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Mucus
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I think the context is that the representative wanted to propose the idea that Alaska was once much warmer and assumed that it was always in the same "place."

Thus, global warming even to the extent that Alaska would be that warm again would be "ok" because it would be a natural phenomenon.

Continental drift theory isn't intuitive and doesn't fit into the relatively young Earth that the representative probably leans towards, hence, his finding it silly and posting in on youtube.

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scifibum
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Thanks for explaining it. The Energy Secretary didn't seem at all puzzled, so even if Barton thought the answer was nonsensical, I think someone had trouble coming up with the appropriate adjective.
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Mucus
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The profile that the clip is posted from appears to be the representative himself (although it could be an underling).

He's describing Chu as being puzzled because he literally thinks he confused Chu into giving a "silly" answer.

Its like those Creationist videos where they think they "puzzled" Dawkins with a question on evolution.

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Strider
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Barton is the highest ranking republican on the energy and commerce committee. That's scary.
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scifibum
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According to wikipedia Barton is strongly against doing anything to slow or avoid global warming. So yeah, he's attached to the idea that Alaska, warm, would be OK. It doesn't say whether he's a young earth creationist, though. (Says he's a Methodist but I don't know their stance on the age of the earth.)
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Continental drift theory isn't intuitive and doesn't fit into the relatively young Earth that the representative probably leans towards, hence, his finding it silly and posting in on youtube.

It's not intuitive? How does someone pass the age of four and not know it? This is elementary-school science.

If anything crystallizes the essence of the Republican party, it's this guy. Fat, stupid, and fundamentalist.

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MattP
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I watched the video soon after it was posted. There were multiple comments contesting the "puzzled" assertion which kept getting deleted and eventually they disabled comments.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
According to wikipedia Barton is strongly against doing anything to slow or avoid global warming. So yeah, he's attached to the idea that Alaska, warm, would be OK. It doesn't say whether he's a young earth creationist, though. (Says he's a Methodist but I don't know their stance on the age of the earth.)

I doubt the position of the denomination would matter, since he's clearly not in line with the United Methodist stance regarding stewardship of the earth in regard to global climate change. which, btw, is as follows:
quote:
¶ 160 D) Global Climate Stewardship —We acknowledge the global impact of humanity’s disregard for God’s creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere.

These “greenhouse gas” emissions threaten to alter dramatically the earth’s climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect individuals and nations least responsible for the emissions.

We therefore support efforts of all governments to require mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and call on individuals, congregations, businesses, industries, and communities to reduce their emissions.


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kmbboots
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Almost wish that Secretary Chu had just given him a "duh" look and said, "God put it there."
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The Rabbit
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Wooo, I think that may just be the stupidest question I've ever heard posed by a person elected to the federal government.

It's really scary to think we have people like that in high ranking positions on the energy committee.

Alaska used to be in the tropics. The north pole was be definition never in the tropics but I'd be willing to bet that the land mass at the bottom of the Arctic sea was at some point in a tropical local.


Evidently Barton has posted on Twitter that he stumped a Nobel prize winning scientist. It appears that he truly is both so stupid and so arrogant that he really believes Chu was stumped by this idiotic question. It's embarrassing to have people like this in positions of power.

[ April 23, 2009, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Lalo
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quote:
Participating n climate change hearing. I asked energy secretary where oil in alaska came from. answer puzzles-from continental plate shift

10:28 AM Apr 22nd from TwitterBerry

I seemed to have baffled the Energy Sec with basic question - Where does oil come from? Check out the video: http://bit.ly/O4m0p #tcot

12:25 PM Apr 22nd from TwitterBerry

http://twitter.com/RepJoeBarton

So clever it deserved two updates.
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Lalo
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quote:
About to go to white house with my wife Terri to have dinner with President & Mrs Obama

3:36 PM Mar 4th from TwitterBerry

Not that I'm a fan of everything Obama's been doing, but the fact that he needs to waste his time courting this idiot and his idiot party is just depressing.
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Strider
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i was just coming in to post that.

ridiculous. How can i get this guy removed from his position?

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kmbboots
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Can we at least send him a bunch of emails explaining how he was wrong?

ETA: That felt good.

quote:
Representative Barton, I understand your confusion while questioning Secretary Chu. Geology and plate tectonics are, indeed, a complicated subject. This might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANeH9W-HMPc although, of course, it is too complicated a topic to fit into a short video. Or a short answer by Secretary Chu.
Okay the clip is more about volcanoes, but it isn't like he is going to watch it.

[ April 23, 2009, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Barton is the highest ranking republican on the energy and commerce committee. That's scary.

Barton on wind:

"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? 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."

.

.

.

.

.

This is the highest ranking republican on the energy and commerce committee.

fghjghhg

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Representative Barton, I understand your confusion while questioning Secretary Chu. Geology and plate tectonics are, indeed, a complicated subject. This might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANeH9W-HMPc although, of course, it is too complicated a topic to fit into a short video. Or a short answer by Secretary Chu.

This might help more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZIEi8QJExk
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El JT de Spang
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What a ****ing moron.
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kmbboots
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That's about volcanoes, too. And Rep. Barton might end up thinking we get veggies from volcanoes.
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The Rabbit
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Here is the e-mail I just sent to Rep. Barton.

quote:
Mr. Barton, Your confusion during today's session is quite understandable since petrology and plate tectonics are a complex subject that anyone would find difficult to explain in only 6 seconds. I recommend you read the following article http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF5/564.html by Larry Gedney a seismologist at the Alaskan Geophysical Institute.

I wish you the best as you attempt to educate your self in the basics of geology.



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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Can we at least send him a bunch of emails explaining how he was wrong?

ETA: That felt good.

quote:
Representative Barton, I understand your confusion while questioning Secretary Chu. Geology and plate tectonics are, indeed, a complicated subject. This might help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANeH9W-HMPc although, of course, it is too complicated a topic to fit into a short video. Or a short answer by Secretary Chu.
Okay the clip is more about volcanoes, but it isn't like he is going to watch it.
I tried not to insult his intelligence, but I think I might have slipped at the end:

quote:
Dear Congressman Barton,

I became aware of the question you asked Secretary of Energy Chu about how the oil and gas got to Alaska. I've seen a replay on Youtube. It was an amusing exchange.

I think I know the problem. Secretary Chu was answering the question of how the oil and gas were created, and how they arrived at their current location relative to the earth's axis of rotation. However, you clearly thought he was trying to claim that oil and gas come from tectonic movement.

I thought it would relieve you to know that Secretary Chu is not as ignorant as you might have supposed. He simply assumed you were asking a relatively hard question, instead of a childish one.

Regards,


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The Rabbit
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In case you would like to send a message to Mr Barton.

Here is the link

http://joebarton.house.gov/ContactJoe.aspx?Type=Contact

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Strider
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thanks Rabbit!
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Alcon
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Interesting. So I just called his office - I actually got a human being, weird o_O

His offices line: "Congressman Barton wanted to clarify that the Earth changes over time and that it's not necessarily man made action and CO2 that causes climate change."

Hmmm... guess I'd need to see the question asked in the greater context of the hearings.

But that doesn't really hold up for that short clip they posted on YouTube.

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Darth_Mauve
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I'm not sure sending him a note will do any good. I bet that tomorrow he'll note the following on Twitter:

"I've received a tremendous response to the video of me confusing Secretary Yu. Most of the responses agreed that Secretary Yu just doesn't understand the science of Energy and Oil."

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BlackBlade
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Senator Barton got at least my thoughts.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Continental drift theory isn't intuitive and doesn't fit into the relatively young Earth that the representative probably leans towards, hence, his finding it silly and posting in on youtube.

It's not intuitive? How does someone pass the age of four and not know it? This is elementary-school science.

When I hear about something like this, I make that :sigh: immortalized by family guy's Buzz Killington- that deep, exhausted, guttural :ugghhhh:

It's not far off from Rush Limbaugh (or other conservative jocks) pointing out that a particular day is cold, or that a certain event (say Obama's inauguration) took place in cold weather, as an example of why global warming is not happening. I had a conversation yesterday with someone who firmly believes that 9/11 was "engineered," and like all the people who argue that asinine garbage, she went straight for the fact that the buildings fell straight down (as they might have in an implosion) as proof that it *was* an implosion. The refutation to this logic doesn't bear repeating here. I tried hard to restrain my naturally arrogant tone for these kinds of people, and wanted very much to suggest that she enroll herself in a course on basic argumentation and reasoning. Fact is, both supposed conservatives and supposed liberals run away with the stupidest of ideas that might support the things they very much want to believe.

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steven
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"Continental drift theory isn't intuitive"

Yeah it is, to anyone who has access to a globe. I knew South America once joined West Africa the first time I ever looked closely at a globe, when I was 9 or 10. [Smile]

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Strider
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Barton was just as frustrating today while asking Al Gore questions about climate change.
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scifibum
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There's something especially irritating about self satisfied middle aged white men.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
There's something especially irritating about self satisfied middle aged white men.

Neither their age, race, or gender irritate me -- what really gets on my nerves are self-satisfied morons.

And the people who vote for these idiots are even worse. It's incomprehensible.

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aspectre
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Invoking an era in which what-is-now-Alaska was located in the tropics (or even in the temperate zone) is totally unnecessary. Due to high carbon dioxide levels* producing a GreenhouseEarth, the Arctic surrounding the North*Pole of 50million-years ago was quite warm enough to support even tropical biota.

* Rounded to the nearest whole numbers:
12times that of the prehistorical ice core record high,
13times that of the historical pre-Industrial average,
and 9times that of the present.

[ April 26, 2009, 05:03 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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aspectre
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"For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming...But its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted."
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Invoking an era in which what-is-now-Alaska was located in the tropics (or even in the temperate zone) is totally unnecessary. Due to high carbon dioxide levels* producing a GreenhouseEarth, the Arctic surrounding the North*Pole of 50million-years ago was quite warm enough to support even tropical biota.

Possibly true but basically irrelevant since Alaska wasn't anywhere near the arctic in that era. It's also believed that at some points in history, the entire planet may have been covered in ice. That is also irrelevant to the question of whether human activity is causing global changes in the climate and whether or not that will be a bad thing.

I'm past the point of patience with people who think that by pointing out that the earth's climate has changed in the past they have hit on something that climate change scientists have overlooked. If these people had bothered to educate themselves by reading even one objective scientific treatise on the subject, they'd know that this has been fully considered.

Rep. Barton is just an extreme case of the arrogant idiots who think they've stumped the thousands of scientists working on climate change with a simple question. I have no more patience for these kinds of fools.

We have at best a very narrow window in which to take action. These fools by continuing to delay action with their inexcusable ignorance and arrogance are ensuring a global catastrophe the scale of which has not been observed in 300,000 years that humans have lived on this planet.

Yes the planet will survive, humanity may even survive but not without billions dying and suffering because of the arrogant idiocy of people like Rep. Barton.

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Starsnuffer
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"Your ignorance about global warming and plate tectonics and arrogance in the face of being soundly embarrassed by Dr. Chu is a disgrace to this country and to every educated American."
Not the best thing I've ever written, but my disgust comes across well enough.

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