Texas Rep. Cites Biblical Flood as Example of Climate Change

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In his five-minute remarks today on the Keystone Pipeline, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, pointed out a "divergence of evidence" on global warming, citing the biblical Great Flood as an example of climate change.

Barton delivered remarks today at the Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing in support of the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation that would grant Congress the authority to approve the controversial Keystone petroleum pipeline.

"I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don't deny that climate is changing," Barton, 63, said. "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."

But it was his reference to the biblical flood that left people scratching their heads.

READ MORE: Expert Cites Evidence of Great Flood

Although Barton acknowledged the changing climate, he compared the changing environment to the biblical story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood in an attempt to defend his claim that natural tendencies can perpetuate climate change.

"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," he said.

The Bible teaches that God created the flood to destroy the world because of mankind's evilness.

Barton, who has been fairly outspoken about the issue of climate change, said mankind has been adapting to the climate since the beginning of existence.

He delivered remarks in 2009 at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing saying that climate adaptation is the "practical, affordable, utterly natural response to nature when the planet is heating or cooling," suggesting that humans find shelter when it rains, shade when they are hot, and a warm place to stay when it's cold.

A group of extreme athletes, however, disagree.

Seventy-five Olympic medalists sent a letter to President Obama urging him to take action on climate change. X Games champions and World Champion snowboarders who have signed the letter say "winter is in trouble" for the very reason that Barton is disputing.

"We know this warming is human-caused," the athletes wrote. "We can do something about it and it can be done, now, from limiting carbon pollution from our nation's dirty power plants to rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline."