THE ‘BENEFITS’ OF A CLIMATE CRISIS…. About two years ago, former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters that “there are public health benefits to climate change.” It wasn’t a slip of the tongue — Perino used the phrase three times in one briefing in October 2007.

It was an odd thing to say. As a rule, reasonable people realize that global warming is real, and that threats posed by the phenomenon represent a serious threat. On the other hand, we have unreasonable deniers, who pretend the evidence doesn’t exist. But there’s also a strange third category — the earth is warming, but let’s look on the bright side.

Perino endorsed this, and over the weekend, so did Congress’ most pro-pollution lawmaker, Rep. Joe Barton (R) of Texas:

“CO2 is odorless, colorless, tasteless — it’s not a threat to human health in terms of being exposed to it. We create it as we talk back and forth. So, and if you go beyond that, on a net basis, there’s ample evidence that warming generically — however it is caused — is a net benefit to mankind.”

Faiz Shakir explained very well how foolish this is, but I can’t help but wonder how these conservatives believe global warming will be “benefit” humanity.

Less hypothermia? Fewer instances of frostbite? A steep decline in the number of snowball-fight-related injuries?

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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.