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Sometimes a snowflake isn't just a snowflake
February 11, 2010 8:09 AM   Subscribe

An igloo has been built near Capitol Hill. Someone having a bit of fun in the snow? No, it's a symbol of climate change skepticism, built by the family of a Republican Senator. Sen. Jim DeMint also recently twittered that "It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'uncle'". These are all examples of the politicization of Washington's lousy weather.
posted by hiteleven (168 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
IgnoramusFilter!
posted by aught at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Snow is not the opposite of climate change.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2010 [71 favorites]


They should also build one in Vancouver.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:14 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


For the ten thousandth time: global warming leads to extremes in seasonal temperatures, both hot and cold.

I don't know if the blizzards in D.C. are specific proof of it, but only someone that's completely ignorant of the theory of global warming, or willfully obtuse as a means to make it a political issue, points to an extreme winter and sniggers that it's proof that "Al Gore is wrong".
posted by darkstar at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Pah, some "global warming" this turned out to be! Winter still came, just as it always has! Alright, climate scientists, go back home to your families.
posted by battlebison at 8:15 AM on February 11, 2010


The strange thing is that last month when it got pretty warm, nobody was sending out e-mails all, "OH MY GOD, IT'S UNSEASONABLY WARM. IT MUST BE GLOBAL WARMING, YOU WERE RIGHT, I TAKE BACK ALL THOSE THINGS I SAID ABOUT YOU."
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2010 [22 favorites]


Who knew that calling it "global warming" instead of "climate change" originally would cause this much trouble. At least if it was climate change DeMint would have to do some heavy statistical analysis - "you see, according to this model there has been no significant change!" instead "it's snowing. global warming my ass"
posted by Think_Long at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


People have been all "Hey Al Gore, why's it so cold hurf durf?" for years. Hence "global climate change"
posted by ghharr at 8:17 AM on February 11, 2010


Congratulations, America, on preserving your National Igloo!
posted by Behemoth at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2010 [23 favorites]


The past tense is "tweeted." #pedantichashtag
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, someone in Congress doesn't know the difference between weather and climate? STOP THE PRESSES.
posted by rtha at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Among the obstacles to effective action on climate change, US right-wing know-nothing-ism seems one of the smaller ones.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2010


Ah, the whole "getting weather and climate confused" thing.

I'd thought people had finally figured that one out, but it looks like some are still ignorant and proud of it.

Could it really be that these politicians actually don't know the difference? Or is it just intellectual dishonesty?

And why doesn't the "liberal media" call these guys out on this? Seriously, both of the linked articles seem to take a really hands-off approach, like somehow this is an issue of political opinion rather than one party being just plain wrong.

Have we really gotten to the point where even our media isn't willing to challenge the idiot masses on such an obvious error anymore?
posted by autobahn at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Al Gore does have some 'splaining to do (previously). (And how come we still have monkeys???)
posted by kurumi at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


To quote Stephen Colbert, "Eyes plus Snow equals Science!"

Seriously we have elected officials that don't know the difference between weather and climate. How f*cking scary is that!

Reminds me of how the giant of intellect Representative Joe Barton stumped Steven Chu Nobel prize winning scientist.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:21 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do have to say though that the climate change crowd is at least partially responsible for the confusion between weather and climate.

During the brutal 2004 and 2005 Atlantic hurricane seasons, we heard repeatedly that climate change was to blame for the storms, and that these seasons were a dire harbinger of things to come. While, in the long term, this may turn out to be the case, the doom-and-gloom predictions made it sounds as if such change was going to happen immediately. The mild hurricane seasons since then have been fuel for the fire for the skeptics.

The point is that both sides point to weather events as "proof" of their positions, and the climate change crowd lost the narrative when they starting playing this game instead of explaining that climate change is a long process which cannot be proved or disproved by single events.
posted by hiteleven at 8:22 AM on February 11, 2010 [15 favorites]


Can we close this up just so I don't have a coronary?
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


The past tense is "tweeted." #pedantichashtag

I'm such a neophyte with this stuff. You're lucky I didn't say "tweeterfied".
posted by hiteleven at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm going to send an e-mail to every republican senator next july going "SURE IS HOT HUH JEEZ THAT AL GORE GUY WAS RIGHT WELP"
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 8:25 AM on February 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


Have we really gotten to the point where even our media isn't willing to challenge the idiot masses on such an obvious error anymore?

Yes.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


These people are seriously DeMinted.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hey, so does that mean if it breaks 100 degrees in DC this summer, I get to punch each of these people in the face?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:31 AM on February 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Don't you people watch The Daily Show?

More to the point, the real question here is whether climate change effects El Nino. Obviously, since we had about this much snow in 1899, we're not yet at some outrageously out of character weather event. This is the 100-year storm, is all. If we have another one next year, then we'll talk.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:32 AM on February 11, 2010


See also: Daily Show coverage of global darkening (US only Hulu, sorry).

Not to be bitter or anything, but as a mid westerner, it strikes me as funny that the world seems to have discovered snow just because the global literati is currently buried in it.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Must....calm....down........
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:33 AM on February 11, 2010


Early Warning Signs of Global Warming: Downpours, Heavy Snowfalls, and Flooding

An increase in global temperatures will lead to an intensification of the hydrological cycle. This is because an increase in surface air temperature causes an increase in evaporation and generally higher levels of water vapor in the atmosphere. In addition, a warmer atmosphere is capable of holding more water vapor. The excess water vapor will in turn lead to more frequent heavy precipitation when atmospheric instability is sufficient to trigger precipitation events. Intense precipitation can result in flooding, soil erosion, landslides, and damage to structures and crops.

Parallel to the likely increase in heavy precipitation events in winter, increased temperatures will also amplify the drying out of soils and vegetation due to increased evaporation in the summer. This is likely to result in more severe and widespread droughts where and when atmospheric conditions do not favor precipitation (see Droughts and Wildfires).

posted by netbros at 8:34 AM on February 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


fave comment on this so far:
@StephenAtHome: hey, so much for global warming -- look at all this snow! and so much for global globalness, look how flat it is out there!
posted by jtron at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2010 [22 favorites]


The thing is getting a lot of snow in winter has little to do with temperature. It's a precipitation thing. It isn't like freezing temperatures are so unusual for DC in the winter and all you need for snow is that the temperature be freezing at all. Normally DC has a high of like 47 for a high in February and an average high of like 43 and average lows of like 24 and 26 respectively. That gives plenty of room for a few days of colder than usual weather which is all that is necessary for a storm given plenty of precipitation during those days.

I get that snow symbolizes cold but his argument falls apart if you have the scientific literacy of a fourth grader.
posted by I Foody at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Boy, are these guys gonna feel stupid when they've been dead and buried for years and their grandkids are squandering the fortunes they left them to stay cool and afloat as Mother Nature fully flips her shit.
posted by Eideteker at 8:37 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


SCYUNCE!
posted by Babblesort at 8:38 AM on February 11, 2010


Recently the National on CBC ran a story on the "controversy" of climate change. On one side, SCIENCE! On the other side? One oil guy with an axe to grind. If even the venerable CBC can't yank their heads out of their asses long enough to cobble together a rational story on the issue, how can anyone in North America who gets all their info from TV really have a clue about any of this?

These republican pricks know the difference between weather and climate change. For the most part, they're not stupid, but they know that the electorate is and they thank their personal Jesuses that the news media keeps them that way.
posted by klanawa at 8:38 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


If looking out your window is scientific proof, I would like the skeptics to come to New England, where I presently do not have enough snow in my yard to build a snowman, much less an igloo, despite it being February.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:38 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was just blowing an internal gasket over that fucking Times piece. The lede's just awesome:
As millions of people along the East Coast hole up in their snowbound homes, the two sides in the climate-change debate are seizing on the mounting drifts to bolster their arguments.

Skeptics of global warming are using the record-setting snows to mock those who warn of dangerous human-driven climate change — this looks more like global cooling, they taunt.

Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.

As an illustration of their point of view, the family of Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, a leading climate skeptic in Congress, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and put a cardboard sign on top that read “Al Gore’s New Home.”

But some independent climate experts say the blizzards in the Northeast no more prove that the planet is cooling than the lack of snow in Vancouver or the downpours in Southern California prove that it is warming.

The extreme weather, Mr. Inhofe said by e-mail, reinforced doubts about scientists’ conclusion that global warming was “unequivocal” and most likely caused by human activity.
Got that, folks? It's a 50/50, anybody's-ballgame debate about a great uncertainty of no real consequence. On one side we have the near total consensus of the world's climate scientists - which scientists John M. Broder, crack reporter for America's paper of record, couldn't apparently track down the phone number of a single one of. On the other side - worth a couple of quotes even if all Scoopy Broder has to run with is a sign handlettered by preteens and an emailed press release - is creationist Sen James Inhofe and his igloo-making family.

Fucking appalling.
posted by gompa at 8:39 AM on February 11, 2010 [68 favorites]


Dying means never have to say you're sorry!
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


These republican pricks know the difference between weather and climate change. For the most part, they're not stupid, but they know that the electorate is and they thank their personal Jesuses that the news media keeps them that way.

I agree with you that the leadership is cynically aware of the danger but playing to their mouth-breathing constituents in order to continue to receive money from polluters.

However, all the irrefutable evidence in the world will not convince said constituents. The prevailing attitude among the electorate is "if I don't want it to be real, it isn't," and this applies to EVERYTHING, not just global warming. It doesn't matter what the reality is or how it's presented.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:42 AM on February 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Funny, they get one massive storm out in D.C. and they begin going, "Hurf Durf Global Warming FAIL!" I'm out here in Ohio thinking, "We're just getting this snow now? God this has been a unseasonably warm Fall and Winter!"

Funny how it works like that, huh?
posted by cimbrog at 8:43 AM on February 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


When large swaths of this country don't even believe in evolution, what can you expect?

Sometime during the last 30 years or so our commercial culture of "freedom of choice" has blown up into freedom to believe whatever makes you sleep soundly at night.

My favorite meme is the "how arrogant we are to assume our actions can have an effect on god's green earth." Only 35 years or so after Lake Erie used to catch fire with stunning regularity.

keep in mind that the same people denying global warming also believed that Sadam had WMDs AND a delivery system that could reach the US.

All while our oligarchical masters are laughing and awarding themselves billions of dollars for HANDLING YOUR MONEY.

We get what we deserve.
posted by Max Power at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Rachel Maddow talks about how "Global Warming isn't the opposite of snow", using examples of how politicians and pundits can only believe what they're seeing RIGHT NOW as examples of all reality, and even brings in Bill Nye (science guy) to help clarify a few points.
posted by hippybear at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I get that snow symbolizes cold but his argument falls apart if you have the scientific literacy of a fourth grader.

"I get that ___ symbolizes ___ but his argument falls apart if you have the scientific literacy of a fourth grader."

Right-wing stunt messages that aren't covered by this are simply not the norm.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:44 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Al Gore does have some 'splaining to do (previously). (And how come we still have monkeys???)

If I ever just flip the fuck out and kill a bunch of people, it will be because a climate change denier linked to that blog thinking he's making a point one too many times. I will only be murdering political cartoonists.

No one will notice.
posted by Caduceus at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


A few weeks ago there was a snowman protest in Berlin, but it was against global warming, not for it.
posted by creasy boy at 8:46 AM on February 11, 2010


The past tense is "tweeted." #pedantichashtag

Actually I think it's "twat"
posted by jckll at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


These republican pricks know the difference between weather and climate change. For the most part, they're not stupid, but they know that the electorate is and they thank their personal Jesuses that the news media keeps them that way.

Not to belabour the point, but this happens on the other side as well. I don't think we can blame only the Republicans for the juvenile state of this debate.

Consider again the 2006 hurricane season. Most climate change activists seized on the dire NOAA predictions for that year, which seemed to suggest a repeat of 2005. Contrast that with the highly-respected Philip Klotzbach-led team at Colorado State University, which offered a more reasonable forecast -- which still overshot the reality, but not by much (full story here).

The point is that I didn't hear anyone saying, "Now, remember, a lot of hurricanes in one year isn't in and of itself proof of climate change." Or at least those voices were drowned out.
posted by hiteleven at 8:48 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]




Whenever I imagine political cartoonists I imagine the raving, always-loaded anicent partially blind right-wing asshole at my local gay bar who just rambles on incoherently about everything despite the fact that no one is talking to him or listening.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, that'll teach me to forget to refresh before posting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2010


Peyton Manning just lost the Super Bowl, making it pretty clear that all those who say he's a great quaterback have no idea what they're talking about.
posted by bendybendy at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


The Whelk An out of the closet right wing homosexual? That's like a unicorn, you gotta put him in a museum!
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:50 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Only if his mouth is sown shut and stuffed with sawdust first.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2010


I just came in here to encourage more people to laugh at Sen. DeMint. Only in my beloved home state would he not even be in the running for the dumbest politician of the year. *sigh*
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2010


Instead of "global warming" they should have called it "gradual global warming on the scale of half a degree per decade such that you still get periods of warm and cold but overall the average temperature is increasing subtly but potentially catastrophically."

That would have nipped this right in the bud.
posted by ekroh at 8:54 AM on February 11, 2010


"Oh my God, I was wrong,
It's been snowing all along!
Yes, you've finally made a skeptic!
(Yes, we've finally made a skeptic!)
Yes, you've finally made a skeptic out of me!"

I LOVE YOU, SENATOR DE MINT!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:57 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


We're asking a lot of a group of people who cannot effectively plan for events a measly year in the future. They are just not equipped to comprehend any concept of long-term change, even when it comes to something as mundane and obvious as climate.

They should stick to handing out buttons.
posted by swift at 8:58 AM on February 11, 2010


"Eyes plus Snow equals Science!"

You can't spell sceyence without eye!
posted by Eideteker at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2010


holy fuck, in what fucking world does someone look at one god damn piece of evidence and say "clearly, I have discovered the workings of the universe!" if a family member has cancer and feels a little bit better one morning, do they immediately assume that person is going into remission and tell the doctor to go fuck himself? or do they, maybe, ask the fucking expert to tell them what's going on so they know for sure? when they see snow, why don't they just fucking go to a scientist - ANY SCIENTIST IN THE WORLD - and say "i don't get this. can you explain it to me?" noooooo, they just go "FUCK SCIENTISTS! HA! THEY DON'T KNOW SHIT!" and then they have the motherfucking god damn balls to come to us and say-

*gasket blows.*
posted by shmegegge at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2010 [9 favorites]




Perhaps, in the name of denying those folks an easy out, they should stop calling it "global warming", and focus more on "climate change".
posted by horsemuth at 9:02 AM on February 11, 2010


FOX News' Continued Coverage of IglooGate .

Oh, I could watch that forever. that's amazing.
posted by shmegegge at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2010


"East Coast Blizzard Tied to Climate Change" (Time magazine).
posted by stbalbach at 9:04 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, if you live in a world where the past never existed, the future is in God's hands, and ideology trumps science and reason, this all makes perfect sense.

THE GOP: WE DON'T KNOW, WE DON'T HAVE TO.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2010


Senator DeMint's lack of originality is insulting. My tax dollars are paying the salary of this hack? Please!

Now, should Senator DeMint, say, hire out a penguin; and, having hired this penguin, dress him in a straw boater and sandwich board reading, "Climate Change? By My Flippers, 'Tis A Lie!"; and, having dispatched said penguin on the steps of the Capitol, also hired out a modest string band to play "(Give Me That) Old-Time Religion" ad nauseum; then, and only then, would I feel that my tax dollars were being put to creative use. Come on, reactionaries: react more originally!
posted by ford and the prefects at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Eyes plus Snow equals Science!"

You can't spell sceyence without eye!

"Well, that'll teach me to forget to refresh before posting."

Do you ever get that... not-so-refresh feeling?
posted by Eideteker at 9:07 AM on February 11, 2010


Global Warming? Not in my backyard!
posted by Elmore at 9:07 AM on February 11, 2010


Let's say you wanted to convince a lot of people, who don't believe in science the same way you do, that seeing snow where they are, feeling it chill their hands and seeing it cover their gardens and cars, doesn't mean that the whole world is getting colder.

How would you do that?

Let's assume that inviting them to watch the Daily Show won't work, and that few of them are even wondering about the questions you'd have them answer differently.

What now?
posted by amtho at 9:11 AM on February 11, 2010


"East Coast Blizzard Tied to Climate Change" (Time magazine).

I'm not saying that it doesn't happen at all, I'm just saying that "global warming" gets used a lot more, and it's an uphill battle to convince people who aren't prone to scientific thinking that "global warming" could (somewhat counterintuitively) cause massive unusual snowfall, while "climate change" can't really be brushed off in such a simple way.
posted by horsemuth at 9:13 AM on February 11, 2010


Some old white guy that went to an elite school but pretends to be just "one of the folks" and who has a financial interest in obfuscating the scientific consensus said that it was a myth so I believe him.
posted by ob at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2010


Dear climate change sceptics,

Please look up the definition of the word "weather" in a reputable dictionary. (Sen. DeMint, the "Big Book Of Republican Talking Points" does not count as reputable or as a dictionary.)

Now please look up the definition of the word "climate". Compare and contrast.

Remember, single extreme weather events can neither be taken as evidence for or against climate change. Clear evidence that such events are or are not changing in frequency and/or extremity on the other hand can and should.

Yours,
Electric Dragon.

PS. This advice applies equally during hurricanes and heatwaves and to environmentalists.
posted by Electric Dragon at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps, in the name of denying those folks an easy out, they should stop calling it "global warming", and focus more on "climate change".

But.. climate change means something. Global warming means something. Look, when talking about warming in the short term (ie. the past 100 years and future 100 years) use "global warming". When talking about natural cycles of change over the long term (thousands or millions of years) use "climate change". It's all about time scale. Global warming = human caused. Climate change = natural cycles. Of course, global warming is a form of climate change, but most people mis-use "climate change" to refer to global warming.

"Global warming" has always been the term of choice when referring to the impending threat to society, it was the deniers who mis-appropriated the term climate change, and once it caught on, they said it was waffling and being politically correct and changing the term for political reasons. "Global warming" really is the term that most people should be using, otherwise your just playing into the denier camp. They would love nothing more than to get rid of the term "global warming" from public discourse.
posted by stbalbach at 9:18 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


jckll: "The past tense is "tweeted." #pedantichashtag

Actually I think it's "twat"
"

You're both wrong. It's "tweefed."
posted by brundlefly at 9:20 AM on February 11, 2010


So is the East Coast considered to be the entire world? Because if it snows there - in wintertime, no less - then that means all of Earth is not suffering from global warming?
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:22 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


All Republicans are either idiots or liars.
posted by DU at 9:23 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


http://ifglobalwarmingisrealthenwhyisitcold.blogspot.com/
posted by valrus at 9:24 AM on February 11, 2010


Jon Stewart and crew had so much fun with this idiocy last night. ("Unusually Large Snowstorm" clip.)
posted by bearwife at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Slope headed mouth breathers meet-up. Big building in D.C. by statue of injuneer.
posted by pianomover at 9:26 AM on February 11, 2010


Good god. I already wanted to shoot myself in the head after seeing The Daily Show and Colbert Report-- don't get me wrong, they did good with jabbing at the weather vs. climate issue, but everyone is far too subtle on the fact that 'global warming' is better described as 'global climate destabilization' for a reason-- because of how the newscasters were throwing out idiotic comments on a subject they clearly know nothing about. So I didn't need to read this. But it's probably good it's been brought to my attention in the long run.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:28 AM on February 11, 2010


horsemuth: ""East Coast Blizzard Tied to Climate Change" (Time magazine).

I'm not saying that it doesn't happen at all, I'm just saying that "global warming" gets used a lot more, and it's an uphill battle to convince people who aren't prone to scientific thinking that "global warming" could (somewhat counterintuitively) cause massive unusual snowfall, while "climate change" can't really be brushed off in such a simple way.
"

Just because the deniers are clueless doesn't mean you should be. Use the terms appropriately. While global warming is a form of climate change, climate change is not the correct term for global warming.
posted by stbalbach at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2010


The trouble climate change "skeptics" have differentiating between weather and climate reminds me of this column by the SF Chronicle's resident right winger, Debra J. Saunders.

There's a lot of bullshit in that column, but in the first paragraph she accuses "global warming alarmists" of pointing "to every drought and heat wave as proof that global warming was a real environmental threat. They had few qualms about blurring the line between weather and climate to make a PR point."

[animated gif of head explosion from Scanners]
posted by brundlefly at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2010


'when they see snow, why don't they just fucking go to a scientist - ANY SCIENTIST IN THE WORLD - and say "i don't get this. can you explain it to me?" noooooo, they just go "FUCK SCIENTISTS! HA! THEY DON'T KNOW SHIT!"'

The popular kids of the world, the ones who win congressional elections these days (and gubernatorial elections in the frozen north), spend the entirety of their lives in fear. They know they got off lucky. They pushed around, ignored, belittled, and tricked the more intellectual kids for over a decade, usually with no reprisals. But that secret fear is always there, the fear that the "smart kids" will get back at them some day. They don't necessarily peek around every scientific corner, but they're ever wary of some kind of trick being played on them. They know they've got some bad karma coming, compounded with interest. We're talking a career- or even life-destroying event. Imagine spending your whole life anticipating some revenge, never knowing when it will come or what form it will take. Then combine that with the cognitive dissonance of someone pointing out that your lifestyle is unsustainable, that you've been living a lie funded by corporate subsidies, advertising propaganda, and the blood of American soldiers. Surely this, you think, this must be it. This must be the trick! But you won't fall for it, no. Because it's snowing outside, and that's real, and true, and something you can cling to. As you kneel there naked and moonlit in the snow outside your mansion, tears freezing to your windblown cheeks, you clutch fistfuls of snow in each hand, struggling to hold on to the truth. To evade reaping the revenge you fear you'd sown oh those many years ago. And the possibility that you might never face your comeuppance, that you might have outwitted fate, becomes to much on your freezing skin. In that moment, you embrace what seems the only option.
posted by Eideteker at 9:30 AM on February 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


All Republicans are either idiots or liars.

NB: that is not an exclusive "or".

We must help our troubled brethren who do not understand variability. Truly, their ingorance is a disability.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:30 AM on February 11, 2010


Yeah, I live in DeMint's home state, and I'd say about 60% of people I know don't think global warming is real at all, and 80%+ don't think it's caused by humans. They 1. dismiss scientists as being liberals pushing an agenda, and 2. can't see beyond their own personal experiences. If it's cold here, now, it's cold everywhere. By the time global warming impacts them, personally, it will be far too late to do anything about it.

I'm pretty convinced we're doomed on this one and need to start planning for what to do WHEN global warming becomes an issue. Good thing I don't have kids or I'd be worried.
posted by LordSludge at 9:31 AM on February 11, 2010


so i guess what im sayin is that scientists is just fuckkin wit you ppl.....hahaha cmon its funney lets just laff about it an move on
posted by Eideteker at 9:33 AM on February 11, 2010


Boy will there be egg on their face when it gets warm in the spring!*

*Assuming they are consistent in their logic and not just trying to confirm their assumptions.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:34 AM on February 11, 2010


In the meantime, warmer air could be supercharged with moisture and, as long as the temperature remains below 32°F, it will result in blizzards rather than drenching winter rainstorms. (from the Time link)

Now, see... this was completely buried in that Time article, and that is the salient point.

I'm certain nobody currently buried in snow remembers what happened to the Pacific Northwest last winter. Seattle, Portland, most of the PNW was paralyzed for over a week, and the weather was overall unrelenting for months. The Spokane area got nearly 100" of snow, and broke the 50-year-old record, which had nearly been tied the previous winter.

The climate models for that snowstorm were quite clear -- warmer than normal air over the Pacific Ocean was holding more moisture than usual as it headed onto land, and it then dropped that extra moisture in the form of increased snow levels. Once it is explained in that way, it's clear that extreme snowfalls ARE a product of climate change, and not a refutation of it.

This winter, we're seeing our climate change in another way entirely -- harshly reduced snowfall levels (the mountain snowpack is at 30% of normal) and mid-40s temps here in Spokane in mid-February, 5-10 degrees above normal.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 AM on February 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Eideteker, I really like your nuanced and poignant portrait of the delicate psychology of fear and denial, but honestly I think the equation's usually much simpler:

GLOBAL WARMING = ENVIRONMENTALISM = LIBERALISM = SOCIALISM = WRONG
posted by gompa at 9:37 AM on February 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


(Which is why I think the bigger outrage is that for example reporters for the New York Times don't like stand up at press conferences and say, "Sen. Inhofe, your argument about climate change is about as scientifically valid as phrenology, so I'm trying to figure out if you're a moron or a liar. Care to comment?")
posted by gompa at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


If even the venerable CBC can't yank their heads out of their asses long enough to cobble together a rational story on the issue

The CBC's *changed*, man. Last week I saw a news program -- possibly The National -- where they had a leather jacket wearing badass journo lady investigating whether or not Harper is the most pro-Israel Canadian Prime Minister EVAR.

I'm beginning to wonder if they're through with journalistic integrity and moving on to a full-time head-in-the-ass format.
posted by Kirk Grim at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2010


It doesn't matter what the reality is or how it's presented.

I disagree. Their present reality was presented, wasn't it? Are you arguing that there are certain people who can absorb information and certain others who can't? That the abominable state of science reporting isn't at least partially responsible for that great sucking noise you hear every time a republican addresses a scientific issue?

Not that I haven't argued that from time to time...

Also, Metafilter: It doesn't matter what the reality is or how it's presented.
posted by klanawa at 9:43 AM on February 11, 2010


Oh, I don't know... I thought the Harper/Israel thing was a good idea, even if it was badly executed.
posted by klanawa at 9:44 AM on February 11, 2010


Here's a NASA article handily explaining the origins and usage of the "Global Warming" moniker vs. "Global Climate Change" or some other variation.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:47 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


GLOBAL WARMING = ENVIRONMENTALISM = LIBERALISM = SOCIALISM = WRONG

Well, that's the equation for some. For others it's

GLOBAL WARMING = REGULATION = MESSING WITH MY BIDNESS = WRONG

or for others it's

GLOBAL WARMING = REGULATION = LOWER CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS = WRONG.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The trouble climate change "skeptics" have differentiating between weather and climate reminds me of this column by the SF Chronicle's resident right winger, Debra J. Saunders.

There's a lot of bullshit in that column, but in the first paragraph she accuses "global warming alarmists" of pointing "to every drought and heat wave as proof that global warming was a real environmental threat. They had few qualms about blurring the line between weather and climate to make a PR point."


That column is a snarkfest for sure, but I do think that Al Gore has done more harm than good in the climate change debate.

Part of this isn't his fault...I'm sure he means well, but he is a political figure - a reminder of the years that Republicans weren't in charge - and as such his very presence politicizes the debate.

But Gore's catastrophizing doesn't help the cause much either. It is true that his dire warnings of imminent sea level rise and the like don't ring true. His overly cheery attitude about individual efforts to "curb" climate change are a problem as well -- it is true, as the columnist points out, that changing a few light bulbs isn't going to solve this problem.

I'm playing devil's advocate here. Clearly many people understand the nuances of this problem, and the Republicans are making every effort to drown out the saner voices. But it's also true that climate change activists are losing the fight right now, and it's a good idea to sit down and try to figure out why that is.
posted by hiteleven at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just finished Forty Signs of Snow last week and the idea of climate change doing wacky shit like stalling the Gulf Stream and turning El Niño into Hyperniño really making it abundantly clear that global warming (or anthropogenic climate change) is real. The last line of the novel has a lead character in a disaster in DC yelling to his Senator boss "are you going to do something about global warming now?" Melting ice shelves and rising sea levels don't matter to most Americans until it actually impacts them. Sadly, that is when it will be too late to do anything about it.

I'm going to go pick up Fifty Degrees Below, the second of Kim Stanley Robinson's Capital Trilogy, which features the US Capitol in a giant snow drift on the cover. No sign of Al Gore's igloo.

(Thanks to the mefite that posted the cover of Forty Signs in the California storms thread a few weeks ago)
posted by birdherder at 9:50 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm beginning to wonder if they're through with journalistic integrity and moving on to a full-time head-in-the-ass format.

You're only just now beginning to wonder this? They changed their format to this nonsense months ago.

Come back, CBC, come back!
posted by hiteleven at 9:51 AM on February 11, 2010


Is it warmer inside of the igloo?
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:56 AM on February 11, 2010


I am so sick of conversations that go:

It's cold outside --> Al Gore, yuck yuck yuck

that I swear I'm going to take a swing at the next guy who mentions Al Gore to me in the context of the day's weather.

Not really, but I kind of feel that way.
posted by lordrunningclam at 9:57 AM on February 11, 2010


...

GLOBAL WARMING = OHSOIT'SMYFAULTYOU'REJUSTLIKEMYPARENTS THREAT TO ETERNAL ADOLESCENCE = WRONG

GLOBAL WARMING = BUT I'M ALREADY DOING A DOZEN UNSUSTAINABLE THINGS A DAY... = BLANKET DENIAL = WRONG

GLOBAL WARMING = WE'RE FUCKED = WHAT ELSE IS ON TV?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:59 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Al Gore and I were talking about going skiing this weekend, lordrunningclam. You in?

*OW* Motherfucker just punched me! What a dick!
posted by Eideteker at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2010


Anyway, it ain't really all that cold this winter, it's mostly wet is why we have all this accursed snow.
posted by Mister_A at 10:05 AM on February 11, 2010


*shakes fist* ACCURSED SNOW!
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have we really gotten to the point where even our media isn't willing to challenge the idiot masses on such an obvious error anymore?

This "point" gets reached all the time. The invasion of Iraq, for instance ... or Vietnam (the media was for it, long before they turned against it). Stupidity is hardly a new thing for the media (or for humanity in general), rather a recurring affliction.

The point is that both sides point to weather events as "proof" of their positions, and the climate change crowd lost the narrative when they starting playing this game instead of explaining that climate change is a long process which cannot be proved or disproved by single events.

This is too true. Politics is bad science, regardless of your orientation, all the more so when it's actually using a rational, scientific angle to score its points ... because eventually, it won't be; it's agenda will demand otherwise ... and all those "good points" will be sullied, the proverbial baby thrown out with turgid bathwater.
posted by philip-random at 10:07 AM on February 11, 2010


I do think that Al Gore has done more harm than good in the climate change debate.

Part of this isn't his fault...I'm sure he means well, but he is a political figure - a reminder of the years that Republicans weren't in charge - and as such his very presence politicizes the debate.


Sorry, hiteleven, you seem to mean well enough and I let your first two false equivalencies slide, but I'm calling all-caps BULLSHIT on this one.

Never mind that Al Gore clearly did more to awaken the reality-based community to the urgency of climate change than any other American public figure. The debate was politicized years ago. It was politicized by astroturf organizations like the Exxon-funded Global Climate Coalition, which funded and publicized the dubious-to-utter-shite science and its practitioners (including Hall of Fame asshole Fred Singer, who learned the obfuscation ropes as a tobacco industry shill).

It was politicized by right-wing politicians the world over who've filled their campaign coffers with mounds of cash from the conventional energy industry in exchange for unwavering hostility to renewable energy. It was politicized by know-nothing douchbags like James Inhofe, who was so rabid in his hostility to the emerging scientific consensus and so desperate to obscure the facts that he brought novelist Michael Crichton to Washington as an expert witness on the subject. It's being further politicized every day by the armies of Beltway lobbyists employed by the coal industry to push the fantasy of "clean coal."

Both sides have politicized this equally? There's no categorical difference between publicizing the findings of Global Climate Coalition scientists (as Inhofe & Co. do) and those of the IPCC (as Gore does)? Bull-fucking-shit.
posted by gompa at 10:08 AM on February 11, 2010 [20 favorites]


"Skeptics" and members of Congress know the difference between weather and climate. To think they don't is misunderstanding what they are up to. They don't want any climate change legislation passed. They can't win that argument on the scientific merits that global warming caused by humans isn't occurring, so they resort to sewing doubt among the electorate. Thus, "snow in winter" gets equated with "no global warming" which serves the purpose of sowing confusion. By getting the public to think "those nutty scientists don't know what they're talking about" the skeptics win because they have cut out any public support for the legislation. The problem is it is much easier to run a disinformation campaign like this than it is to run one based on evidence and reason.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:09 AM on February 11, 2010


Both sides have politicized this equally? There's no categorical difference between publicizing the findings of Global Climate Coalition scientists (as Inhofe & Co. do) and those of the IPCC (as Gore does)? Bull-fucking-shit.

Of course, there's a difference. But the bigger question is more along the lines of, "Is This Particular Argument Disingenuous?" If so, and sometimes the Climate Change/Global Warming arguments most definitely are disingenuous, then we're playing to Chaos. That is, in trying to score political points, we're contributing to the ongoing meltdown of any hopeful, rational discourse at all ... which is when I start to feel real apocalyptic about things.
posted by philip-random at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2010


Let's say you wanted to convince a lot of people, who don't believe in science the same way you do, that seeing snow where they are, feeling it chill their hands and seeing it cover their gardens and cars, doesn't mean that the whole world is getting colder.

I'd say: "Climate change means more extreme weather - in both directions. The planet is a huge, complex heat engine, and greenhouse gasses are changing how that engine operates by pumping more energy into the system. So in the long term this means more droughts, more floods, more huge snow storms, more heat waves and more hurricanes."

If they paid attention, I might then say, "Anyway, climate change happens over decades and over the entire world, arguing about one storm is like trying to predict where the stock market will be in ten years by watching one stock for ten minutes."
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:16 AM on February 11, 2010


If so, and sometimes the Climate Change/Global Warming arguments most definitely are disingenuous, then we're playing to Chaos.

when? I'm sincerely asking when arguments in favor of the existence of Climate Change have been disingenuous.
posted by shmegegge at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2010


battlebison: "Pah, some "global warming" this turned out to be! Winter still came, just as it always has! Alright, climate scientists, go back home to your families conspiratorial computer programming ivory towers."

FTFY
posted by symbioid at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2010


From the first link: Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn found himself stranded inside the Capitol, an odd position for a small-government curmudgeon who called the government shutdown a dream.... "The best thing is we're not passing any legislation, which ultimately will save the government a lot of money," he said.

What the FUCK does that jackass think he gets paid for?
posted by mudpuppie at 10:19 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


They can't win that argument on the scientific merits that global warming caused by humans isn't occurring, so they resort to sewing doubt among the electorate.

Smoking causes cancer? My grandpa lived to 101 and he smoked every day of his adult life!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:22 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Smoking causes old age!!!!
posted by Mister_A at 10:23 AM on February 11, 2010


It's true! He was 101, but he was born in 1973! EXPLAIN THAT, SCIENCE!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:28 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Durn, Dr. Who was being a dick again
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


WTF is turgid bathwater?
posted by Babblesort at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2010


What you use to water dahlias.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the turgidifying essence is imparted unto the dahlias thus.
posted by Mister_A at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2010


Every political cartoonist wakes up, checks the news, and smiles to themselves. As they reach for the comic they wrote last year during winter, they carefully scrub off the date and send it in to the newspaper.
posted by graventy at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2010


When the worse comes to pass and even the tea-baggers and creationists finally realize that their political heroes have been lying to them, I hope they storm DC with torches and pitch-forks. I will be cheering them on from my house boat somewhere near where Jamaica used to be.
posted by ambulocetus at 10:37 AM on February 11, 2010


Whatever this freakish weather says about global climate warming change, or whatever, simply pales in comparison to the undeniable fact that this proves, once and for good and goddamn all, that Punxsutawney Phil is one badass weather-predicting groundhog.
posted by MrVisible at 10:59 AM on February 11, 2010


*sigh* Does water freeze at 0F? Yes. Then it makes snow. Does water freeze at 32F? Yes. Then it makes snow.

The average low temperature for Washington DC is 27F. So, even if the temperature has gone up by 5F, on average, snow is still possible. And, given predictions of increased storm activity, if anything, as long as it's possible to still get temperatures below freezing, storms like this are entirely likely well into the future.
posted by redbeard at 11:02 AM on February 11, 2010


If sex actually exists, why am I not having it right now?

I'ma build a goddamn igloo of my own.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2010


Everydown down to the sex igloo!
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Peyton Manning just lost the Super Bowl, making it pretty clear that all those who say he's a great quaterback have no idea what they're talking about.

this is similar to what i like to say.

by the rationale of dicks like Inhofe, it's like this; if we go the basketball court, i take 100 shots, miss 99 but hit the last one, shit!, there is no reason why i shouldn't be on the Blazers starting five right now!
posted by rainperimeter at 11:17 AM on February 11, 2010


Everydown[sic] down to the sex igloo!

get down to get up, james brown

hoo ha, gotta sex igloo
i'm supa bad
posted by nomisxid at 11:21 AM on February 11, 2010


To be fair, you probably could play for the Nets.
posted by Mister_A at 11:22 AM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Everydown down to the sex igloo!

So much more comfortable than a sex tent.
posted by Floydd at 11:23 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm certain nobody currently buried in snow remembers what happened to the Pacific Northwest last winter. Seattle, Portland, most of the PNW was paralyzed for over a week, and the weather was overall unrelenting for months.

And this year, seattle didn't get below freezing ONCE during the entire month of january.
posted by nomisxid at 11:23 AM on February 11, 2010


It's a brilliant piece of political theater. It's uncomplicated, visually compelling, and completely misses every salient point.
posted by malocchio at 11:30 AM on February 11, 2010




Sometime during the last 30 years or so our commercial culture of 'freedom of choice' has blown up into freedom to believe whatever makes you sleep soundly at night.

Fuckin' Gino's.
HAMBURGER.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:32 AM on February 11, 2010


THAT'S IT I'VE HAD IT. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO GET IT THROUGH THEIR HEADS THAT "GLOBAL WARMING" LENDS ITSELF TO THE INCREASE IN ERRATIC WEATHER PATTERNS AND NOT EARNING 70 DEGREE WINTERS??

I'm sorry. I lost it for a second. This is the worst possible obstacle for climate change. No wonder we're trying to call it "climate change" and not "global warming." But unfortunately that word choice could be the undoing in the popular consciousness.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Both sides have politicized this equally? There's no categorical difference between publicizing the findings of Global Climate Coalition scientists (as Inhofe & Co. do) and those of the IPCC (as Gore does)? Bull-fucking-shit.

Maybe not equal, but isn't a debate over who is politicizing an issue more equivalent to debating who among two racists is more racist? If right-wingers offered the first bait, Al Gore and others bit down hard.

Yes, Gore popularized the problem of climate change. But is that a good thing? Making an issue a cause celeb does not necessarily improve its chances of resolution. There's a difference between public debate and celebrities driving Priuses -- the former is useful, the latter is hypocritical and offensive.

And Gore does not so much highlight the findings of the IPCC as he does draw out its most alarming predictions, often inaccurately. We could also have a lengthy debate about the "political" science that the IPCC practices.
posted by hiteleven at 11:37 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'd play for the nets. and i have a better shooting % than my comment would indicate. this could work out.
posted by rainperimeter at 11:39 AM on February 11, 2010


Conservatives sure do enjoy being ignorant, don't they?
posted by Legomancer at 11:42 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go pick up Fifty Degrees Below, the second of Kim Stanley Robinson's Capital Trilogy, which features the US Capitol in a giant snow drift on the cover. No sign of Al Gore's igloo.

Oh, man, save yourself now before you get in any deeper...or at least read the Amazon reviews first. I'm not a climate change skeptic, but Lord, what an awful book.
posted by malocchio at 11:52 AM on February 11, 2010


GLOBAL WARMING = REGULATION = MESSING WITH MY GREED = WRONG.

ftfy
posted by grubi at 12:07 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Truly this is the Igloo of Ignorance.
posted by drezdn at 12:11 PM on February 11, 2010




Oh, man, save yourself now before you get in any deeper...or at least read the Amazon reviews first. I'm not a climate change skeptic, but Lord, what an awful book.

Thanks, but it is too late since I just picked it up at the library. I did read the reviews and after the first one, I have an idea what I'm in for. In the reviews where I saw that Charlie and his goddamn kids weren't a big part of this installment I thought it would be bearable if there's going to be some serious disaster porn. I know KSR's thing is trilogies but it seems this trilogy with a good editor could just be a single novel with faster pacing and less minutia.
posted by birdherder at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2010


You see, Global Warming is true on the West coast, where everyone is a commie and believes in it... that's why it's unusually warm. On the East coast, less people believe in it, so it's not true and it's cold.

That's how it works.
posted by qvantamon at 12:22 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck: ‘There aren’t enough knives’ for ‘dishonored’ climate scientists to kill themselves.

Dear God. I should emphasize that my concerns about the IPCC stem from the trifling philosophical problem of "consensus conclusion" science, which is a pretty minor quibble.

You know, you can't make a subtle complaint anymore, because the nuts exaggerate everything to nonsensical proportions.
posted by hiteleven at 12:35 PM on February 11, 2010




Yes, Gore popularized the problem of climate change. But is that a good thing? Making an issue a cause celeb does not necessarily improve its chances of resolution. There's a difference between public debate and celebrities driving Priuses -- the former is useful, the latter is hypocritical and offensive.

there's a lot in this comment that sounds... weird to me. saying "yes, X Person did Y thing, but is that a good thing?" is weird because I can't tell if you're specifically saying that Y is a bad thing. Are you? To be clear, are you saying that "populariz[ing] the problem of climate change" is a bad thing? why? you're not being clear about what's bad about Inconvenient Truth, so I'm not sure what your ultimate point is. also, what's wrong with celebrities driving Priuses? it's hypocritical and offensive how?

this sounds like the kind of ostensible even handedness that isn't really all that even, because it's giving equal weight to unequal premises. acting like raising awareness about global warming is as bad as denying it seems, to me, to be giving more credit to skepticism than it deserves, and less to raising awareness than it deserves.
posted by shmegegge at 12:53 PM on February 11, 2010


there's a lot in this comment that sounds... weird to me. saying "yes, X Person did Y thing, but is that a good thing?" is weird because I can't tell if you're specifically saying that Y is a bad thing. Are you? To be clear, are you saying that "populariz[ing] the problem of climate change" is a bad thing? why? you're not being clear about what's bad about Inconvenient Truth, so I'm not sure what your ultimate point is. also, what's wrong with celebrities driving Priuses? it's hypocritical and offensive how?

this sounds like the kind of ostensible even handedness that isn't really all that even, because it's giving equal weight to unequal premises. acting like raising awareness about global warming is as bad as denying it seems, to me, to be giving more credit to skepticism than it deserves, and less to raising awareness than it deserves.


Giving equal weight to unequal premises, perhaps. Climate skeptics can get pretty nutty, so I understand your point here.

However, I do take issue with the whole issue of "raising awareness" as an end in and of itself, and the idea that popularizing a cause is a wholly good thing. Is it good that people are aware of climate change? Yes, if I answer that question literally. But the problem is that once something is popular, it can quickly become "fashionable". As as well all know, anything that's fashionable surely won't be fashionable in the near future.

So celebrities drive Priuses. A few years ago they were into Kaballah. Are any of these serious commitments? (mind you I'm painting celebrities with a very wide brush here...you'll have to forgive me for that). People change their light bulbs because Home Depot commercials make them feel good about it. A year or two ago Home Depot commercials were making people feel good about "flipping" houses. Corporate marketers are necessarily straws in the wind, bending to whatever is in fashion.

I guess what I'm saying is that the popularization of a cause can lead to a growing superficiality in dealing with it. I don't think I'm being overly judgmental be saying that, on balance, people prefer doing something that is easy and fun and fashionable as opposed to something that is difficult. And to combat climate change will require some genuinely difficult work. If and when that becomes increasingly apparent, those that have bought into it because it was the cool thing to do will go elsewhere.
posted by hiteleven at 1:19 PM on February 11, 2010


I should add the I don't think it's only An Inconvenient Truth, or even only Al Gore to blame. There are a number of factors at work here and I'm not trying to assign blame to just one event or one person. Sometimes things just happen and there's no easy explanation.
posted by hiteleven at 1:24 PM on February 11, 2010


I think some earlier commenters here made a good point, in that a blizzard is defined much more by level of precipitation than by temperature. In that vein, I grabbed some data (available only back to '95, unfortunately) and made a quick chart to see how the daily temperature (I picked Feb 8 in DC, which seemed from a largely ignorant West coast perspective to be a likely representative data point) this year compares with previous years:
http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv190/bjrubble/chart.png

Short version: lower than average, but not an outlier in any sense.
posted by bjrubble at 1:47 PM on February 11, 2010


Some seemingly intelligent people are doubting the vast evidence for climate change because if this Climategate disinfo campaign. It's infuriating and disheartening.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:50 PM on February 11, 2010


I'm annoyed by Gore as frontman for climate change primarily because the Clinton administration frustrated negotiations in the 90s by creating bizarre consensus-blocking coalitions around issues of how to beancount credits. The administration's attempt to play both sides by moving treaties forward that demanded huge loopholes for American industry ultimately gave ammunition to the people who argued addressing the issue would harm American jobs.

But this whole thing sounds like something from Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes, with less wit. "Yes, we'll show Al Gore by building a snow fort! How dare he assail us here!"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:07 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]




Scientific American: What Does Winter Weather Reveal about Global Warming? -- "No single weather event proves or disproves the fundamental science of climate change, but extreme weather is what scientists expect from global warming."
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on February 11, 2010


BBC News: Climate change scientists losing 'PR war'.
posted by ericb at 3:19 PM on February 11, 2010


You know the kooky crew ruining this ship has hit rock-bottom when not even their own propulsion systems are safe from the so-called "sinking"of the Titanic. These collectivist bozos are so hell-bent on redistributing the wealth to the steerage class and forcing us all into their hippy lifeboats that they're flat-out contradicting reality to scare us into it. I mean really, folks, even the most hardcore Iceburger must admit things are looking bad for their cause when the "sinking" Titanic is causing unprecedented lifting of a major propeller to the point where it is completely above the water!
posted by Rhaomi at 3:45 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Only if his mouth is sown shut and stuffed with sawdust first.

Wouldn't it be a lot easier if it was stuffed before sown ?
Just sayin'...
posted by y2karl at 4:12 PM on February 11, 2010


I really hate South Carolina politicians.
posted by hanncoll at 4:20 PM on February 11, 2010


Meanwhile in my part of the world, we have spring at least a month earlier than usual. And boy-howdy, are we in for a grim summer as far as water restrictions go. Our snowpack is half what it needs to be to keep us going.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:28 PM on February 11, 2010


Every piece of 'evidence" that I've seen which allegedly supports Climate Change being a hoax has been an article from a right wing website. Yet they're trying to convince the public that the environmentalists are launching a conspiracy. How interesting.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:13 PM on February 11, 2010




I really hate South Carolina politicians


Most wretched types of people in descending order:
1-Nazis
2-South Carolina politicians
3-People who post comments on Youtube.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:15 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


If climate scientists weren't such fraudulent lying assholes maybe they'd earn more respect for their opinions.
posted by HTuttle at 6:08 PM on February 11, 2010



If climate scientists weren't such fraudulent lying assholes maybe they'd earn more respect for their opinions.


Uh... did you drop your hamburger?
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:00 PM on February 11, 2010


I think what HTuttle's trying to say is that he knows more about hamburger than you could possibly imagine.
posted by gompa at 7:10 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]




If climate scientists weren't such fraudulent lying assholes maybe they'd earn more respect for their opinions.

You got it Columbo, they're all being paid to lie.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:41 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


If climate scientists weren't such fraudulent lying assholes ... it would be necessary to accuse them of being as such.
posted by philip-random at 7:56 PM on February 11, 2010


Climate scientists are all liars! I know, because some guy on the Internet said so!
posted by dirigibleman at 8:26 PM on February 11, 2010


With the 4G network, it matters not whether one lives in a van down by the river.
posted by y2karl at 11:07 PM on February 11, 2010


horsemuth wrote: "I'm not saying that it doesn't happen at all, I'm just saying that "global warming" gets used a lot more, and it's an uphill battle to convince people who aren't prone to scientific thinking that "global warming" could (somewhat counterintuitively) cause massive unusual snowfall, while "climate change" can't really be brushed off in such a simple way."

Sadly, it only takes the barest of meteorological knowledge for it not to be counterintuitive at all. I learned enough about how the water cycle works in elementary school to grasp how an global-scale increase in temperatures could lead to worse and more frequent winter storms. (Among other weather extremes)

We're talking really basic shit here, and people can't figure it out. I guess that's what we get for letting kids slack off in class too much.
posted by wierdo at 12:21 AM on February 12, 2010


So that's what backyard politics means.
posted by ersatz at 8:12 AM on February 12, 2010


I learned enough about how the water cycle works in elementary school to grasp how an global-scale increase in temperatures could lead to worse and more frequent winter storms.

You see, that's your problem right there, with your elitist elementary school education. Real Americans were working for slave wages in a sweat shop at that age.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone know of a decent source for possible effects of global warming on various places around the globe? I'm in Los Angeles and I've encountered predictions ranging from "turns into a desert" (no, L.A. is not a desert already) to "moderately increasing annual precipitation as we head into a permanent quasi-el nino situation".

Personally, I'm hoping for el nino because I couldn't take it even dryer and browner.
posted by Justinian at 1:11 PM on February 12, 2010


Or it could be a fervently held personal belief which flies in the face of the majority consensus, uttered in lonely frustration. Nutball or not, it is not necessarily a troll and piling on a benighted soul is not necessarily something to be encouraged or admired. Heck is other people or something like that.
posted by y2karl at 2:35 PM on February 12, 2010




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