Looks peaceful and placid, right?  Not when you have to shovel the driveway and the wind is gusting up to 20 MPH.  In order to get the barrels out this morning for the trash pickup, I had to clear the driveway first — and even bundled up and wearing my heaviest winter gloves, my fingers went numb about five minutes into the effort.  I did manage to finish in about 20 minutes, getting back into the house at just the moment one of the First Mate’s friends informed us that they knew of a service that would have done the job for about twelve dollars.  I probably would have spent that much to stay warm.

For the record, our below-zero days usually come in January and February, not December.  It looks as though we will have a second long, cold winter in a row.  That’s what makes this report from the AP so ludicrous:

When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can’t avoid. …

Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government’s machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it’s thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.

The average global temperature in 2008 is likely to wind up slightly under 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, about a tenth of a degree cooler than last year. When Clinton was inaugurated, 57.9 easily would have been the warmest year on record. Now, that temperature would qualify as the ninth warmest year.

Did the AP forget how to do research?  The warmest years on record mostly occurred before Clinton became President — and before Clinton was born.  John at Power Line, suffering under the same weather conditions as me at the moment, noted this last night:

This displays a remarkable level of ignorance on the part of the Associated Press. Global temperature records are nowhere near accurate enough to rank years, over a period of centuries, with any confidence. For the recent past, though, we have the world’s best data set here in the U.S. And it’s true that at one time, it was widely believed that the 1990s were the warmest recent decade. But that was before it was discovered that NASA’s James Hansen, Al Gore’s chief scientific ally, had been fudging the data, either accidentally or on purpose. NASA was forced to correct its data, with the result that the ten warmest years on record here in the US are as follows: 1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, 1939.

The AP apparently hasn’t gotten the word, perhaps because it is relying on the report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the IPCC report was a political document, not a scientific one, which deliberately ignored the most current research in the field.

They haven’t gotten the word?  More likely, they have ignored it in order to engage in global-warming hysteria.  Meanwhile, Hot Air readers in Minnesota should try to keep bundled up to avoid frostbite from all that global warming that just got delivered overnight.

Update: I forgot to mention that it was -8 when I woke up, and -6 when I cleared the driveway … with a -26 wind chill. Yee-haw.

Update II: Actually, I have both a longish driveway and a snowthrower — but the latter is in the shop at the moment.  Believe me, I missed it this morning.