Sunday, January 12, 2014

Record Cold Weather

This is the spot where climate change skeptics have been having a field day, laughing at the record cold temperature in such warms spots as Atlanta and Houston. Obviously, the planet is not warming.

Perhaps it is just my contrarian nature, cautioning everyone not to draw conclusions from a small sample size, nor believe the simple explanations, but I think the past few weeks have actually been the type of evidence that climate-change believers should be bringing forward.  Only the bravest of them are, because thy know how bad it looks in the news.

The switch from warning about Global Warming to Climate Change was certainly a dodge for many of the scientificly-untrained nancies who always need to A) have a crisis and B) deplore how other ignorant Americans are living.  Yet there was some sense to it in theory, and we should not ignore that simply because it is buried under piles of manure. The recent record cold in many areas is certainly not proof that the alarmists have been right all along, but it is evidence that extreme weather is increasing.  A dozen similar items would need to be brought forward before I would get behind even moderately expensive or intrusive solutions, but it is potentially a mark in their favor.  It still could be a mark in the skeptics' favor, but I do not reject the argument simply because it doesn't make intuitive sense at first.  Weather is complicated.

On a happy note for those of us who are tree-lovers, the intense cold seems to have set the emerald ash borer back significantly.  That's good. For those in the area, those purple triangular hanging doohickeys you have been seeing in the forests are there to measure ash borer progress.

1 comment:

james said...

The complexity of weather muddies things tremendously. It isn't that easy to define what a "global temperature" consists of.

The infamous hockey stick graph to the contrary, it isn't terribly obvious that this is anthropogenic. I'd be surprised if there wasn't some human effect, but it isn't obvious that the effects would be either large or bad.

Back when I was in high school I worried about runaway greenhouse effects, but after learning a bit more about what the Earth's been through I'm a little less concerned.

I am concerned that historical climate patterns can recur--patterns that left a fair chunk of the continent's bread basket too dry for our staples. Since I have no faith that we can change the weather to our liking (and given the complexity of weather, would almost certainly foul up some other area's climate if we succeeded), the only way left to deal with such a change is to find ways to endure it--new strains of grain, whatever.
Given the proper tools we can probably find ways to muddle along--not so rich, but OK.