Winter’s the favorite time of year for climate denialists. Self-proclaimed experts and distinguished climate scientists insist that neither natural seasons nor the movement of the sun accounts for patterns that cause the mercury to fall.
It may have been that way millenniums ago, when the Earth was young, but in the climate-denialist view, man has been in charge of the thermostat in the 20th century. If it’s too cold, the cause is man-made global warming. Not cold enough? That’s the fault of man-made global warming.
The weather forecast is used as proof of these conclusions — but only when convenient. In February 2012, NBC prefaced its nightly news with observations on the unseasonable temperatures.
“It was so warm today across much of the country,” said a concerned anchor Brian Williams, “as you know, they’re calling it June-uary. It’s got a lot of people wondering whatever happened to winter?”
The piece ended with the pronouncement that the deck is stacked against the return of a traditional winter owing to “a world warming because of climate change.”
Despite adoption of “climate change” to replace “global warming,” the public takes notice when Midwestern wind chills hit 70 degrees below zero and the average nationwide temperature falls to a mere 15 degrees. The deep freeze puts denialists on the defensive.
The liberal website Slate insists “Winter Does Not Disprove Global Warming” and scolds snarky tweets from conservatives that have poked fun at the distinct lack of global warming over the past few weeks.
Slate’s conclusion rests on a supposed scientific consensus and cites a draft of the U.S. National Climate Assessment that predicts “heavy precipitation in winter storms” as proof that the cold snap is caused by global warming.
When the winter is warm, the denialists cite the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment of more than a decade ago, which predicted “Milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms.”
Even “mild” was a cause for alarm, as the same report predicted killer ice storms would cause even more damage than blizzards.
While the sun is on vacation on our side of the planet, it’s working hard on the other. Yet global-warming fans insist this isn’t supposed to happen.
Australians dutifully heard the urgent warnings of the experts and the climate scientists, and enacted a dramatic global-warming carbon-dioxide tax, as they were told by the weather denialists to do. It has been in place for more than a year and a half. Instead of cooling down, a summertime heat is scorching the nation with the hottest temperatures on record (by one-half of a degree).
Australians have elected a conservative, the Liberal Party’s Tony Abbott, as prime minister, who set as his top priority abolishing the job-killing levy. Mr. Abbott’s top business adviser, Maurice L. Newman, put liberals to steaming over recent comments on the subject.
“Regrettably for the global-warming religion,” wrote Mr. Newman in an op-ed, “its predictions have started to appear shaky, and the converts, many of whom have lost their jobs and much of their wealth, are losing faith.” The new prime minister hopes to collect the votes to kill the global-warming tax after elections later this year.
Hot and cold, extreme and mild aren’t proof of global warming. They’re proof that nature is stronger than man and man’s feeble attempts to make the weather behave the way he thinks it should.