Rich posts doubts on global warming/climate change, betraying some confusion between weather, climate, and overall warming. Speaking of the end-of-winter storm to hit Rochester, this is supposed to be convincing evidence that “global warming” is some kind of swindle:
It’s the sort of storm that forces global warming scaremongers to change their tune to the more malleable term “climate change.”
First, the snowstorm experienced is “weather.” Weather is a local experience of atmospheric conditions. Things like precipitation, clear or cloudy skies, temperature, wind, barometric pressure, etc.. A single weather experience is no more an indicator of climate than one crime committed by any one person is somehow an indicator of their race, religion, or political party.
The attorney general fires a bunch of attorneys, one of whom happens to be investigating corruption in the CIA and in a defense contractor. Does that mean all Republicans are corrupt? Hardly.
Second, you have the factor of climate. Climate is defined in Webster’s as “the prevailing or average weather conditions of a place, as determined by the temperature and meteorological changes over a period of years: distinguished from weather.” Lest you think I have some PC version of a dictionary, this quote comes from the 1953 edition.
Climate determines the types of animal and plant life that will thrive in a particular region. A late winter blizzard does little damage to the long-range prospects for the orchards, vineyards, and agribusiness of Upstate New York. By itself, it is no evidence of either climate stability or climate change. Like the Republicans, one would need a consistent pattern (climate, if you will) of corruption to make a determination that only many “Republicans are corrupt.”
The truth of Earth’s climate is this: it is getting warmer. Greens are quick to blame industrialization. Corporations blame natural cycles of warming–at this point they have to blame something; they have no leg to stand on by saying, “The Earth is fine.” Big business sometimes chafes at having to invest in climate stability. But if they don’t pay, someone else will.
Melting permafrost will cost Alaska hundreds of millions in infrastructure repair. Hundreds of billions around the world will be lost as beachfront property goes under the waves. Drought patterns will kill farms on the edge, shifting agriculture north and up mountainsides just as animals are migrating. Factor in tens of millions of hungry people outside the world’s gated communities, and not only do you have a squeeze on ideal climate, but also political upheaval.
Rich YouTubes a BBC video on “The Global Warming Swindle,” but I find it little better than propaganda–a comfy bedtime story for our corporate masters. The far more interesting discussions are taking place not with straw men, but between two people or two groups who can say what they need to say and stick to their side of the story.
How much do carbon dioxide and other emissions alter climate on our planet? Depending on whom you ask, a little or a lot. It would be a good thing to find out before we’re powerless to remedy the situation.