JOE BARTON, ENVIRONMENTAL VISIONARY…. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who apparently considers himself a Senate-caliber lawmaker, is generally recognized as the House’s most pro-pollution member. Barton not only rejects practically all scientific evidence related to the environment, he also leads the way in creative rationalizing of ridiculous ideas.

Kate Sheppard reported today on some recent Barton comments about climate change and wind 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? 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.”

Something to think about, indeed.

Barton is, of course, the same lawmaker who recently suggested that humans will “adapt” to climate change because we can “get shade.”

And as Matthew DeLong reminds us, Barton was, up until a couple of years ago, the lawmaker House Republicans made the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Update: A sharp reader emails, “I had doubts Barton could possibly be as stupid as that quote made him look, so I checked the hearing transcript and sure enough, he is that stupid.”

If you have any doubts, here’s the hearing transcript.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.