Rep. Joe Barton – Wind is a finite resource

Graphic via Teabonics

This “quote” has been widely attributed to Congressman Joe Barton of Texas: “Wind is a finite resource and harnessing it would slow down the winds which would cause the temperature to go up.”

This appears, however, be an amalgamation cobbled together from a Time Magazine report:

At a 2009 hearing, Barton implied that wind is a “finite resource” and that harnessing it would “slow the winds down” which would “cause the temperature to go up.”

According to Washington Monthly, this was the full quote:

“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.”

Depending on how you parse the language, you may (or may not) read into Barton’s statement that he was implying that building an army of wind turbines might slow down wind enough to actually affect the planet’s temperature.

Barton is the House author of the Energy Policy Act of 2006 and Chairman of the House-Senate energy conference committee.