This week I read a breathless article in the newspaper recounting a survey that shows more and more Americans are having doubts about global warming.  The writer was clearly upset about the survey and suggested two possible causes for this disastrous swing in public opinion: 1) Republicans have gotten very good at spreading denialist propaganda, and 2) people are too worried about the economy to pay attention to the global-warming activists.

I think there’s another possible explanation.  I’d even call it the likely explanation:  people have actually stepped outside and noticed it’s friggin’ cold out there. Buried waaaaay deep in last week’s Washington Post was this little gem:

Something happened in Washington on Friday that had not occurred in 138 years of weather history: For the first time since the National Weather Service began compiling daily data here, the high temperature for Oct. 16 was below 50 degrees.

Coldest October 16th in at least 138 years.  Boy, that global warming is getting serious, all right.  (We also had a record cold day last week here in Tennessee, by the way.)

Naturally, the editors at the Washington Post couldn’t bring themselves to put this story anywhere near the front page — not when the Senate is about to debate a cap-and-tax bill that’s supposed to help us forestall the horrors of global warming.  No matter.  People tend to notice when they’re freezing their butts off — as they did in the Western states a couple of weeks ago:

An early-season snowstorm blanketed the U.S. West, dumping as much as 20 inches of snow on Wyoming and forcing the postponement of a Major League Baseball playoff game. Record low temperatures were set in at least three states.

Higher elevations in Wyoming had snow accumulations of 20 inches (50 centimeters), while areas around Casper had 10 inches from a storm that swept through yesterday and this morning, said Mike Pigott, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com in State College, Pennsylvania. Casper normally has an inch and a half of snowfall by this point in October, he said.

“The story here isn’t so much the snow, but the record-smashing cold,” Pigott said in a telephone interview.

Denver posted a record low of 17 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 8 degrees Celsius) this morning, breaking the old mark of 25 degrees, Pigott said. Casper, Wyoming, touched a low of 12 degrees this morning, shattering the old record of 21 degrees, he said.

The downturn in temperatures didn’t begin this year, either.  A year ago, London was blanketed with snow in October for the first time since 1922 — just as the House of Commons was set to debate global-warming legislation.  What a pickle:  the alarmists want to ram fat new taxes disguised as global-warming prevention down our throats, but the freakin’ weather just won’t cooperate.

The drop in temperatures has been so dramatic over the past few years, even the global-warming alarmists at the BBC finally had to admit it’s happening:

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated. The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down. These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years. So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles. Professor Easterbrook says: “The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling.”

This is stunning news.  Not the stuff about the oceans — I already knew about that — but the willingness of a BBC reporter to note that there was global cooling from 1945 to 1977.  In case your history is a little rusty, that would be the era in which the automobile became hugely popular and industrialization grew at a monstrous rate after World War Two. 

The same reporter even cited an inconvenient but well-established and verifiable fact:  there’s been no global warming whatsoever since 1998.  This puts the alarmists in the embarrassing position of trying to convince us that a 21-year warming span that ended a decade ago proves that humans are heating up the planet, but a previous 32-year cooling span and the current 11-year cooling span are both meaningless — even though they occurred while CO2 was rising. I guess at some point, media reporters finally conclude that maintaining a shred of credibility with the public outweighs the need to push an agenda.

Of course, those are just small, recent cycles.  Lately I’ve been reading Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth, which is so full of citations, they take up nearly a third of each page.  I don’t recommend tackling the book unless you really like jumping into heavy-duty science, but here are some highlights: 

  • The earth has been warming and cooling in cycles pretty much forever. 
  • Nobody knows all the factors that influence the warming and cooling trends, but the computer models based on CO2 concentrations are utter failures.  Sunspots and naturally-occurring changes in the oceans seem to be the biggest factors.
  • During our last warming trend, Mars was also getting warmer.  (Gee, that sounds like the sun might have something to do with it.)
  • The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has been many times higher than it is today.  During some of those high-concentration periods, it was cold, not warm.
  • A thousand years ago, it was warmer than it is now.  (The polar bears survived, in case you’re wondering.)  The Vikings formed colonies in Greenland and grew crops that don’t grow there today — it’s too cold.  This is just one of several long periods in human history that were warmer than the 20th century.
  • The cold periods have been the worst for humans.  It was long cooling periods, not hot ones, that turned fertile lands into deserts and led to crop failures, famines, rampant diseases, forced migrations, and wars over fertile lands.  The warm periods have been relative nirvanas.

Naturally, everyone who still depends on global-warming hysteria for grants or fund-raising is busy cranking out press releases to explain away the recent cooling trend or trooping up onto Capitol Hill to predict disaster — from all that non-existent warming. 

I suppose if they’re smart, they’ll check the forecast and try to schedule an appearance on a day when there’s no risk of another record-cold temperature being set.

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6 Responses to “The Weather Report”
  1. TonyNZ says:

    As I have said to everyone I can lay words on…

    a) Earth doesn’t change linearly and ubiquitously. It is the global redistribution of temperatures, not the total global temperature that is key.

    b) The number one driver of temperature redistribution is the ocean currents, over which we have no control.

    c) Planting trees to become “carbon neutral” is the biggest load of $%#& you will ever hear. It is the same logic as “This cake needs to cook at 120 celsius for an hour. If I cook it at 240 celsius it will be ready in half an hour”. And even that is assuming the CO2 hypothesis is correct.

    In saying that, I was a bit put off by the start of the article. It sounded like you were going to start into the “It’s cold here today, so much for global warming” argument given by many skeptics that are ignorant of the science. Keep in mind ‘global-warming’ was tossed aside by the scientific community many years ago by the much more ambiguous ‘climate-change’ when it became clear that that cake ain’t going to cook right at 240 celsius.

    Yes, they did opt for the more convenient “climate change” term when the data refused to cooperate. But the newspaper article that set me off listed all these future horrors and attributed them to a warming planet. And of course, Al Gore warned our congress that the planet has a fever, not a case of the chills.

  2. Riley says:

    Global warming? Don’t you mean climate change? If the weather won’t cooperate change the language.

    You’re right; I forgot they’re allowed to change the definitions at will.

  3. Angel says:

    We don’t know enough about real climate change to predict anything!!! All we can do is collect data for the next several hundred years, hope the data is reasonably accurate and actually relevant, then maybe we can start hypothesizing.

    I am tired of fearmongers. Just yesterday my local paper carried an AP article about the skeptics of global warming – and why they are wrong, because of course all the really respectable scientists believe in global warming. Let’s everyone parse our data to fit our prejudices, then let’s vote and call it a scientific conclusion.

    And here’s a link to the article, in case anyone feels like killing a few brain cells.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/ap-impact-statisticians-reject-174088.html

    This is just like the theory that saturated fat causes heart disease. It’s got so many people invested in it, they’ll fight tooth and nail to keep the theory alive, no matter how much evidence piles up against it.

    And they still can’t explain why we had a 32-year cooling trend from 1945 to 1977, when CO2 was rising dramatically.

  4. TonyNZ says:

    You wait for the headlines:

    Global-Warming Stopped! Gore: “Our initiatives have worked perfectly”

    Oh, it’ll happen. After the country finally climbed out of The Great Depression ten years after FDR’s New Deal policies were instituted (thus making it the longest recession in history), he took credit.

  5. KD says:

    The cold periods have been the worst for humans. It was long cooling periods, not hot ones, that turned fertile lands into deserts and led to crop failures, famines, rampant diseases, forced migrations, and wars over fertile lands. The warm periods have been relative nirvanas.

    I always wondered what was so bad about the earth being warmer? People usually say the polar ice caps will melt and the ocean level will rise, but in that case, it’s our fault for not being adaptable enough and building permanent cityscapes on beaches. That being said, there ain’t enough evidence for me to start investing in houseboats anytime soon.

    That’s what is so laughable about the doom-and-gloom predictions. Warm periods mean more plants and animals. Cold kills.

  6. TonyNZ says:

    Good article by the president of what is essentially New Zealand’s farmers union. Relevant to this discussion.

    Well reasoned, with a bit of humor. I like it.

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