Leaving the Polar Vortex and the Climate Change ‘Skepticism’ Cult Behind.
Somewhere between 11 AM to 2 PM today, I can expect to leave the dreaded polar vortex. We expect a balmy high temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit today. This would still seem frigid on any other day, but given the previous few days, it’s a heat wave. What follows will be a more actual heat wave — a January thaw, with above freezing temperatures through the weekend. Believe it or not, this is also dangerous weather, as melting ice and snow freeze at night and into the morning, creating hazardous driving conditions. A lot of salt is going to be sold to keep people’s sidewalks clear of ice.
Meanwhile, the vortex drifts east. Meaning that Washington will still be very cold while Wisconsin is very warm. And the people up here in the normally frozen wastes will be treated to DC loudmouths saying that cold weather in the nation’s capital means global warming is a hoax — meanwhile, we’ll be watching the snow melt off our roofs in the dead of January. The contrast will be stunning and the climate change deniers will once again look like morons. DC is not the entire world. The “global” in global warming means something; it’s not a synonym for “local.”
And of course, once the vortex moves on from DC, we won’t hear a peep about how the current weather proves global warming wrong, since the east coast gets our weather systems eventually. The weather will seem very much like what you’d expect from global warming, at which point the moron chorus of deniers will fall silent — just as they do during summer droughts and heat waves. For them, a cold few days proves global warming is a hoax, but a decades-long warming trend is just natural variation in global temperature that real scientists (i.e., Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly) are smart enough to ignore and “fake” scientists (AKA actual scientists) attach way too much significance to.
The White House video above explains the polar vortex and its connection to climate change. But we can’t expect it to change deniers’ minds. At this point, climate “skepticism” is religion, entirely divorced from any scientific method. If it wasn’t, then they’d apply the same logic to summer heat waves that they do to winter cold snaps — hot weather proves global warming and cold weather disproves it. It’s still bad science and it would have them rushing back and forth from totally convinced in the summer to totally unconvinced in the winter. But at least it would represent a consistent approach to the evidence.
The fact that they don’t approach all evidence the same way pretty much proves how insincere and unserious the deniers are. The trolling-based reasoning of conservative politics has bled over into science — that is, if liberals believe it, it must be wrong. That’s the basis of their denial and all this weather-based idiocy is merely rationalization and window dressing. If it had been George HW Bush with the An Inconvenient Truth presentation, rather than Al Gore, global warming might be a cornerstone of conservative thought. Teabaggers would be driving around using their Sacred Second Amendment Freedoms to shoot out inefficient lightbulbs and save America.
But that is not the case. It was Al Gore who made climate change an important issue, so it must be some sort of communist plot.
So we midwesterners need to make sure that while Republicans in Washington use their cold snap to “disprove” global warming, we’re talking about how unseasonably warm it is, while pointing and laughing at the jerks spouting nonsense.
Global means global, not “only what I can see in front of me.” When idiots say cold weather disproves global warming, those of us living where it’s not cold need to speak up.
Climate ‘skeptics’ fail to understand that ‘global’ and ‘local’ have very different meanings.
The cold snap, which comes after snow blanketed much of the northeastern United States last week, has also led to confusion surrounding how weather relates to global warming.
That skepticism could be seen in full force recently as snow covered the New York City headquarters of Fox News, from where the station broadcast several reports suggesting that recent cold weather conflicted with scientists’ assessments of climate change, or even suggested the globe may be cooling.
Fox News hosts weren’t the only ones taken aback by the cool weather. Donald Trump tweeted that the ship of scientists that was until recently trapped in antarctic ice was proof that climate change is a lie. And U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., wrapped up the confusion between weather and climate succinctly when he tweeted, “‘Global warming’ isn’t so warm these days.”
Here’s the thing: the US isn’t the world. Global warming means global warming — not just warming in your neck of the woods. And when did any climate scientist ever argue that climate change meant it there would never be ice, cold, or snow again? If they didn’t, then the appearance of ice, cold, or snow proves jack.
Right now, Australia and New Zealand are experiencing a heat wave and drought, driving wildfires. And it’s not even the entire US that’s freezing right now; the west coast is experiencing an abnormally warm winter. Further, snow and cold was late to Scandinavia.
But if you really want to fully grasp how little sense these statements make, consider them in the context of another common climate flatearther argument. For years, they’ve argued that a long term warming trend is just natural variation in global temperature. But then they turn around and insist that every heavy snow or exceptionally cold few days is supposed to be proof positive that global warming is a hoax. So big changes over time are just fluctuations — while fluctuations are PROOF THAT THIS ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ HOAX IS A COMMUNIST PLOT TO DESTROY AMERICA!! GAH!! PANIC!!!
In order to be a climate denier, you either have to have no idea what you’re talking about or pretending to be that ignorant. So the question, as it so often is when dealing with wingnut extremists, is whether they’re lying or stupid.
Either way, there’s no reason to give them the time of day.
Because global warming is a great big hoax and all…
- The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for August 2013 tied with 2005 as the fourth highest in the 1880–2013 record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F).
- The global land surface temperature was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F), the 11th warmest August on record. For the global oceans, the August average sea surface temperature was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.4°F), tying with 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2009 as the record highest for August.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the June–August period was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F), tying with 2009 as the fifth warmest such period on record.
- The June–August worldwide land surface temperature was 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average, the seventh warmest such period on record. The global ocean surface temperature for the same period was 0.53°C (0.95°F) above the 20th century average, the fifth warmest June–August on record.
- The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the year-to-date (January–August) was 0.59°C (1.06°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.3°F), tying with 2003 as the sixth warmest such period on record.