Surprised that spring has not yet sprung? Still bundling up for baseball opening days, when the icicles hand from the upper deck while curveballs hang over home plate? Time’s senior editor Bryan Walsh wants us to know that the cold spring and the long winter don’t actually dispute global warming, they confirm it. This is just the “global weirding” phase:
Six months ago, the UK’s Met Office — which has fueled much of the global-warming hysteria — produced data that shows no warming at all over the last sixteen years. That’s certainly weird to alarmists who insisted that their models showed a rapidly-approaching catastrophe that continued releases of carbon from energy consumption would continuously escalate. That led to this exchange between climate scientists at the time:
“The new data confirms the existence of a pause in global warming,” Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Georgia Tech university, tells the Daily Mail. Maybe, says Phil Jones, a University of East Anglia professor whose leaked emails were part of the “Climategate” scandal, but “I still think that the current decade which began in 2010 will be warmer by about 0.17 degrees than the previous one.”
And … so? The next decade after that might be cooler. The models that previously showed increasing rates of upward change in temperatures have been proven at best to be unreliable, and those are the basis for Jones’ guess. The extended cold winter that followed Jones’ prediction is as reliable for guessing the weather in 2020 as his models, but it’s still worth pointing out that we’re two weeks or more into spring with icicles still hanging off of roofs here in Minnesota. Fourteen years ago, Minneosta had a 95-degree heat wave in the same week (which prompted me to install air conditioning in the house, after which temperatures dropped back into the 50s). Based on that model, by 2020 we’ll be knee-deep in another ice age.
Bottom line: one hot summer does not a global crisis make, nor one late spring a new ice age. It’s called weather, and its only constant is change. When we’re farming on Greenland as Europeans did for two medieval centuries, then I’ll start worrying that warmer weather — and its ability to produce more agriculture — might be a problem.
Yesterday, Forbes’ Harry Binswanger had some fun with the collapse of the latest climate hysteria by recalling the collapse of the previous one:
Remember 1979? That was the year of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, of “The Dukes of Hazard” on TV, and of “ Kramer vs. Kramer” on the silver screen. It was the year the Shah was forced out of Iran. It was before the web, before the personal computer, before the cell phone, before voicemail and answering machines. But not before the global warming campaign.
In January of 1979, a New York Times article was headlined: “Experts Tell How Antarctic Ice Could Cause Widespread Floods.” The abstract in theTimes archives says: “If the West Antarctic ice sheet slips into the sea, as some glaciologists believe is possible, boats could be launched from the bottom steps of the Capitol in Washington and a third of Florida would be under water, a climate specialist said today.”
By 1981 (think “Chariots of Fire“), the drum beat had taken effect. Quoting from the American Institute of Physics website: “A 1981 survey found that more than a third of American adults claimed they had heard or read about the greenhouse effect.”
So where’s the warming? Where are the gondolas pulling up to the Capitol? Where are the encroaching seas in Florida? Or anywhere? Where is the climate change which, for 33 years, has been just around the corner?
A generation and a half into climate change, née global warming, you can’t point to a single place on earth where the weather is noticeably different from what it was in 1979. Or 1879, for that matter. I don’t know what subliminal changes would be detected by precise instruments, but in terms of the human experience of climate, Boston is still Boston, Cairo is still Cairo, and Sydney is still Sydney.
And hysterics are still hysterics, and they’re just as weird as they were in 1979, 1879, or any other time period.