Thursday, April 23, 2009

How Did All the Oil and Gas Get to Alaska?

I swear, if ever there was a poster child for scientific ignorance as a result of a good Texas education, Congressman Joe Barton of the 6th congressional district of Texas is the obvious choice.

Not only is Barton hopelessly ignorant of the science of geology he is so totally clueless of this ignorance that he has posted the video of his exchange with Nobel laureate and Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu.

An exchange where Barton characterizes Dr. Chu’s reply to the question posted in the title to this posting as “a puzzling answer.”

He thinks he stumped the man with his shrewd question.

I do have to say this, though. At least Barton knows that hydrocarbons are formed in areas that are generally warmer than it is in the Arctic Ocean.

Which was his point. Since we have oil and gas in Alaska, it must have once been warm way up north.

Negating, supposedly, arguments for global warming.

Chu patiently tried to explain to this ignoramus of a congressman how continents move about, and that, yes, the oil and gas “just drifted” to Alaska from a much lower latitude.

One of the target reservoirs in Alaska is called the Lisburne Group. It is a thick massive limestone formation with abundant fossils. Fossils that were big reef formers during the Mississippian.

That is, a shallow marine warm water environment that was deposited before there was a single dinosaur.

Over 300 million years ago.

That was a time when Earth had just one continent. And it was really, really warm.

At that time, Barton’s hometown of Arlington, Texas was under a vast shallow sea.

See, that’s what happens when the Earth warms up. The ice melts, reefs form and sea level rises.

Now will someone please explain how this guy is the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce? What’s the term? Dumber than a bag of hammers.


Bob said...

...than a can of worms.

Fenway Fran said...

Save Gondwanaland! OOPS, too late. It moved...

Anonymous said...

seriously dude?

go read a book.

a texas ignoramus pwnd the freaking nobel prize winner. end of story. please think about what you write.

Hal said...

I think I just got the answer to my question.

Anonymous said...

You have heard it first from a Geologist: some of the North Slope Cretaceous source rocks were deposited at a Palaeolatitude of 80N, pretty close to the pole, don't cha think? Google "Scotese".
BTW did you know that Alpine Glaciers were much smaller than today only 2000 years ago? Google "schlüchter & jörin"

I don't prefer finding myself siding with the right wing either , but you have to admit when they have the right facts. This issue is too important to be swayed by "belief" or "denial". Think science or shut up.

Hal said...

Obviously nothing has changed in economic geology although I had hoped that 10 years after my leaving the industry the level of expertise would have risen.