Meet Roscoe Bartlett, retired 10-term Republican congressman living 4,000 feet above sea level, in Appalachia.
Bartlett owns no guns. Nor does he hoard gasoline and canned goods in a bunker awaiting the collapse of society. He drives a Prius, and has kind words for Al Gore’s thoughts on climate change. He doesn’t drink or smoke. He’s a vegetarian who raises his own organic vegetables, including potatoes, zucchini, squash and spinach. He even wears hipster glasses from a brand called Geek Eyewear.
Bartlett often elicited eye rolls from colleagues for speaking about issues like peak oil, solar storms and the threat of an electromagnetic pulse that could paralyze our technology-dependent society — all issues on which Congress spends far too little time, he says.
But Bartlett is also someone who has a doctorate in physiology, who taught at Howard University College of Medicine and who worked for the Navy Applied Physics Lab and then IBM. He holds 19 military patents, some of which contributed to the invention of closed-circuit rebreathers used by Navy special operations forces and firefighters.