The climate crisis is wreaking unprecedented havoc as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods take a devastating toll worldwide.
But all of that is lost on Christian pseudo-historian David Barton, who once blamed climate change on abortion.
Appearing on Glenn Beck‘s podcast last weekend, Barton went in a very different direction when discussing the crisis. This time, he misinterpreted NASA.
“According to NASA, one hurricane is the equivalent of 10,000 nuclear weapons,” Barton said. “One volcano is 10,000 atomic weapons. So every year, we have got like two million atomic and nuclear weapons going off and the planet still seems to be in pretty good shape, so what is it we think we are going to do to damage the planet?”
“If nature itself has that much destructive [power] and we can’t even tell the difference, what are you kids worried about?” he asked. “I’m not quite sure I understand this.”
Well, at least that last comment is true…
Even beyond his ignorance and unwarranted criticism of young climate activists, Barton treated NASA like he does the Founding Fathers: He took their words out of context and completely misunderstood their intentions.
Here’s what NASA actually says about hurricanes on a page dedicated to explaining environmental phenomena:
Few things in nature can compare to the destructive force of a hurricane. Called the greatest storm on Earth, a hurricane is capable of annihilating coastal areas with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour or higher, intense areas of rainfall, and a storm surge. In fact, during its life cycle a hurricane can expend as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs!
“During its life cycle.” Its relatively long life cycle…
Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch notes:
Energy is obviously very different from the devastating effects of a nuclear bomb, which include blast damage and radiation. Additionally, while hurricanes release their energy over days and weeks through wind and rain, a nuke releases its devastation at once.
Barton’s attempt at discrediting climate activists and climate change in general falls flatter than a pancake. It turns out he understands science as well as he understands history — which is to say, not at all. But while revisionist history is troubling, climate denial is literally an existential threat.
What Barton is doing here is dangerous.