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Weather or Not You Have Selective Memory

© Tom Tomorrow

Has anyone else noticed that when there was lots of snow last winter, there were lots of grumblings about global warming being a myth, but now with all the crazy weather-related disasters, there is eerie silence? The silence doesn’t bother me — weather is not the same thing as climate, after all — but every time it snows and some dumb pundit makes a crack about global warming, their viewers should get steamed and have their own personal global warming under the collar.



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    The irony of this is too much. Record snowfall is actually and indicator that it is getting warmer. People seem to forget that for it to snow, there first needs to be evaporation taking place somewhere relatively nearby. Logic would follow that record snowfall indicates record evaporation. Hell, the precipitation is even carried by warm fronts, if my memory from a basic weather science class serves me correctly.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Last winter a local weekly paper printed just the kind of thing we’re talking about, since I print a weekly myself I was considering printing “sure is hot outside, guess this proves global warming” and then explain it again, suggesting that their article was satire, even though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. The real argument isn’t if it’s happening, but how big a contribution we make. We should be ‘going green’ simply because it makes sense economically and for national security.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    I grew up in Delaware. We had ticks. I finally lost the ticks after moving to California and on to Colorado. Western New York has fleas but not ticks-or for the first 38 years that I lived here it did not have ticks. We now have ticks with lyme tick disease moving in. Our frost date has moved up two weeks since I moved here. We had blizzards, no longer. I watch the changing weather and realize what man has done “No this is just part of a cycle,” my son says. Two degrees is the tipping point says the scientists in the book “Hot”. Five degrees and the east and west coasts of the US go under. Just gone.

    And how many people on this site (a social conscious site) use a dryer for clothes when the sun will do it in the summer, the heat of a house will do it in the winter? No dryer here with four children (one not my own) since 1970. I’ve found more and more people not using them. Funny in 1960 my sister and I used to talk about ways to save energy. Train, etc.

    Have to say I love my small Harbor Frieght solar panels that I use in the evening for my living room energy. Got about 1/2 back on income tax (federal and state)and am making up the rest having lights for free, energy at the source instead of losing a lot in transit.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  4. Don wrote:

    Picked this up from a local source.

    Fall Comes Early to Siskiyou County

    The weather seems to be one of the main threads of any conversation these days. At least it seems to be to me. Old-timers are either saying it’s never been this wet this late in the spring or it’s always this wet this late in the spring. Other old-timers are saying that it’s never this cold in the spring while others are saying, “Nah, I remember ’05 when it was 12 below on June 14th. Froze all my persimmons!”

    Well, the old-timers do have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to local lore, but I thought I’d check with some of the experts to find out what they had to say.

    Where to turn? Of course, the College of the Siskiyous renowned Department of Meteorology and Climatological Philosophy for a chat with Itza Rainey, the head of the department. I asked Mr. Rainey about the current weather patterns and he laughed, “I’ve been getting that question a lot. Seems the old-timers can’t agree and folks have turned to science to shed some light on current conditions. A very positive trend, turning to science, that is – not the weather. It’s been kind of depressing, hasn’t it?”

    I asked if he’d noticed any perturbation in the atmosphere that might be causing the late, cold, rainy, cloudy, dismal weather we’ve been having. “Can’t say that I have,” he responded. “Around here, we either get late rains or we don’t and the temperatures by this time of the year are either warmer or cooler than people think they should be.”

    About this time, Dr. Rainey’s colleague, the department’s resident climatologist Whenzit Gonnastop, happened by. I posed the same questions to him. “Ah, the rain and clouds and wind and colder than we expect temperatures? People have been asking me about them. Even old-timers.” I asked him if he’d noticed any perturbations in the atmosphere that might account for the current weather. Scratching his head he answered, “Ah, can’t say that I have. Well, on second thought, there has been an obfuscated high pressure system transfixed over the occluded depression within the heliotropic anticlone, but, on third thought, I doubt that’s the cause.”

    He obviously noted my upraised eyebrows and the quizzical twitching of my beard. “Ah, maybe I lost you there.” I nodded, expectantly awaiting an explanation that I could understand. “Ah, perhaps I should have just said that the weather is the way it is and, oh, by the way, you have heard that the weather was skipping summer this year and jumping straight to the early fall rains that we usually get in September. Perhaps a little time with a psychiatrist would help.” I came to the only conclusion that I could – I was losing it.

    So, not wanting to drop off the edge of the mental table into deep troughs of depression (I’d been there before and it’s not a place I want to visit again, especially with the cuts to social services in the county, off I went to find a National Weathers Service certified psychiatrist: Cloudsley Mostadatime. Knocking on his door, I was greeted by an august fellow with cumulus cloud hair almost reaching the door frame. He asked if he could be of some assistance and I explained my concerns about the weather as well as the worry about dropping off the mental table. He scratched his chin, looked wisely at a spider’s web in the corner of the hall ceiling, made little circles on the floor with the toe of his left shoe and finally said, “ Just quit your complaining and get on with your life. Weather is what weather does. Maybe you should just move to the Virgin Islands.” I thought, “Isn’t that where Bin Ladin ended up?” but didn’t say it out loud so as not to demonstrate my clear lack of knowledge when it came to world events.

    Well, to make this long story no longer, I decided to listen to the scientists, accept that summer has been canceled and get used to rain, cold, clouds, and wind, and get on with my life.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  5. Peter wrote:

    Personally, I get annoyed with both sides.

    When we talk about global warming/climate change, we’re talking about an average rise in temperature of 2.5 degrees over the next hundred years. While this is a bad thing, blaming everything on global warming is just as bad as saying that if it’s colder than normal, there is no global warming.

    Guess what? Sometimes you get lots of snow and rain. Sometimes you get very little snow and rain. The area in between is called the “average.” That’s why they call it the “average temperature”–not because it’s usually that temperature. If you add up the amount of rainfall for the past 50 years and you divide by 50, that’s the average. So to say that, “Oh my god! This year we got more rainfall than normal! CLIMATE CHANGE!” is as ridiculous as the guy who says, “Look at all the snow outside! There’s no such thing as climate change!”

    Climate change will happen over the next hundred years. One year where it’s wetter than normal does not mean climate change is happening anymore than one year of record cold mean that it isn’t.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Peter, did you miss the whole point of this comic?

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Well, if climate change occurs, then CO2 levels rise. Plant growth explodes and ushers in the next age of the dinosaurs or maybe this time it will be dinopeople; 35 feet tall, with rows of razor sharp flesh ripping teeth (conservatives) and behemoth 60 foot round plant eating machines (liberals). If we let the oil wells leak up to the ground we can recreate the old tar pits and and some new form of intelligent being will study our fossilized remains in a few hundred million years. Some day mother nature will put us all on the endangered species list anyway. All we are doing is wondering if we can get an extra 1000 or so years before we eat/crowd/kill ourselves out of existence. Yep, just the natural cycle of earth. I mean really, who thought our species would be the last to dominate the earth. Evolution for the non believers, cleaning the slate and starting new for the believers.

    Don – loved your piece.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 5:20 am | Permalink
  8. westomoon wrote:

    There’s one more deafening silence you may have noticed. When bad weather happens to areas that vote Democratic, there’s always some televangelist or other informing us that the [NAME YOUR NATURAL DISASTER HERE] is God’s punishment for too much tolerance/freedom/fun/scientific thinking. Now that the Bible Belt is being simultaneously burned alive by wildfires, drowned by floods, and atomized by tornadoes, where are the people to tell us what God is punishing them for?

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Westomoon: I certainly noticed it was the Bible belt and wondered if there was a message. I happen to live in an area that has small earthquakes, used to have Blizzards, some flooding (but I’m 1800 feet above the valley) and small tornados. Yes, it is a blue state. Our weather is here to enjoy, not fear.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  10. ThatGuy wrote:

    Peter, when you consistently get record setting rainfall/snowfall, heat, and destructive storms, the writing is sort of on the wall. Hotter/colder than normal years are one thing, setting trending records with any regularity is another.

    In any case, my original point about record snowfall was that instead of being any sort of indication that global warming isn’t happening, it is in fact an indicator that it is. So these people seeing snow and thinking “snow is cold, it’s snowing a lot, there can’t be global warming” simply don’t understand how the water cycle works.

    I do agree that alarmists exists in both camps though.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink
  11. starluna wrote:

    Dinopeople? I think I saw that movie once.

    Western and Central MA just had a series of tornadoes go through. I’m waiting to hear that it is another sign of impending apocalypse or some such thing.

    To Peter’s point, I just tried to see if anyone had looked up the history of tornado activity in MA. On the Mass Climate Action Network website/blog, there is a posting that includes a graph that shows a clear increasing pattern in tornado activity post 1950 (compared to pre-1950). But the author does not bother to cite where she obtained the graph. She tells the readers to replicate her Google search, which is completely unacceptable. I actually tried to replicate her Google search in several ways and have yet to come up with the graph she presented.

    If there was a pattern of increasing numbers of tornadoes, that might be an indication of climate change. However, I can’t take seriously a claim that can’t cite its own sources, not even when I am inclined to agree with the conclusion.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink