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Go Deeper

© Clay Bennett

Every time it snows, I hear some politician make fun of global warming. But for some reason they are being awfully quiet now.

The point is that specific events of unusually warm or cold weather are not necessarily a symptom of climate change (weather is not the same as climate). But the scientific records that show that our average temperature is increasing, that glaciers are melting, and droughts are increasing should be enough evidence to convince anyone willing to pull their head out of the ground.



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    Even unusually big or frequent snow storms (or any other precipitation) are a sign of climate change. Climate change deniers always manage to forget that for all that water to get into the air, it has to evaporate from somewhere, and that of course requires heat.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink
  2. Robert Frailey wrote:

    In a perfect world with no recession, plenty of fuel options. Climate change and ecological activism is and would be great but, if you legistlate the people to supposidly solve the future climate change now in this recession say for instance make everyone buy expesive electric cars and make coal power plants shutdown, the people would see huge costs and expenditures against their own dwindling savings they currently have, this will make the recession worse. Sure we have a problem, oil is not a infinite supply, we dont recycle enough trash, we could build more nuclear plants( we are the unites states, we are the original innovators of everything, we should be able to get it right) When times are tough, dont use scare tactics and arm twisting to make it tougher. Hold fast and cleanup the messes that are easily accomplished. When times are better, make bigger improvements.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  3. David Freeman wrote:

    Sorry but, “The point is that unusually warm or cold weather is not a symptom of climate change” is simply an incorrect statement. Unusually warm or cold weather IS a symptom of climate change predicted by climate science. I think you meant that any given specific weather event cannot be ascribed to global warming much like any given instance of lung cancer cannot be ascribed to smoking.

    In response to Robert Frailey, I sympathize with your point. It is sort of like the correct idea that when times are bad we need deficit spending but when times are good we should pay down the debt. However, when the science says we’re headed for disaster, it’s not scare tactics to say, “we’re headed for disaster!” It’s fine to say, “when times are better, make bigger improvements” if we have time to wait. We don’t.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    I think this is a great time for beginning the transition to cleaner energy. I haven’t seen anything suggesting coal plants or conventional cars will be banned and forcibly replaced. But honestly I couldn’t think of a better time than a recession to get green industry started. People need jobs.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ok David, I updated the language to make it clearer what I was trying to say. Which was “an isolated snow storm is not evidence that climate change is bogus”. But it is also true that an isolated heat spell is also not evidence of climate change. As the climate scientists I’ve read like to say, “weather” is not the same thing as “climate”.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
  6. Don in Waco wrote:

    Unfortunately, economics will determine energy consumption and therefore the total carbon content and its concentration trend. Short a new source of renewable energy or vastly improved efficiencies, fossil fuels will continue to be used for the world’s primary energy source. If coal isn’t used in the USA it will be exported somewhere else and likely where there are few emission regulations. While I agree with the climate science aspect and even understand it to a certain extent (I’ve been dealing with air and other environmental measurements most of my entire professional career of 35 years), I think it impossible for much to be done about it anytime soon. Economic forces ($4 gasoline, low natural gas prices) have reduced carbon emissions for several years now. Even with the ridiculous politicizing of the science and the opinion of the comical denial camp, the bottom line is there won’t be significant reductions until something comes along that’s cheaper to burn than fossil fuel.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  7. Robert Frailey wrote:

    There are a lot of chicken littles running around crying the sky is falling. 200 years of scientific specutaion that the climate is warming due to CO2 and emmissions is not enough science.
    One major volcanic eruption creates more pollution than mankind has created in a lifetime.
    There is not enough facts to state the sky is falling.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  8. Robert Frailey wrote:

    That same science originally thought the world was flat too.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  9. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Do you reject medical treatment as well? Or is that science OK?

    Science comes up with faulty hypotheses sometimes. It also finds the faults with them. It is this self-correcting nature that is the beauty.

    Your rants sound similar to the anti-evolution rants I would hear when talking about religion. When they start listing all of the faults and problems over the years, I ask, who found those problems? Which churches have massive labs and research firms, constantly validating and testing?

    None do. They just declare it must be absurd. And the debate is over. They start with the conclusion and reject the contrary.

    Simple thinking that is attractive to simple people.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  10. Iron Knee wrote:

    Actually, I don’t know of any science that said the world was flat. The Greeks knew the earth was round. The alternative theory (that it was flat) came later – from religious dogma.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    The whole global warming thing scares me and I don’t understand why people seem to be reacting so mildly, myself included I suppose. I feel like people are intentionally or through ignorance destroying the world for their own profits and we are doing nothing.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  12. ThatGuy wrote:

    Why do climate change deniers always bring up volcanoes? Why do natural forms of air pollution make it okay to add to it?

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink
  13. Iron Knee wrote:

    Don in Waco, you said “Short a new source of renewable energy or vastly improved efficiencies …”. How about both? Watch this video about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors:

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink
  14. Don wrote:

    The length of the video is pretty daunting. It provides a summary in the first 5 minutes.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink
  15. Don in Waco wrote:

    @Robert Frailey, thanks for the myths. I’ll let you do the debunk research instead of parroting denier BS. Right off hand I seem to recall a typical volcano eruption is equal to about 3 days worth of man-made pollution. Yearly world man-made carbon emissions are on the order of 30 billion metric tons. Feel free to wrap yourself around all those zeros and commas. What’s next, sun spots? I recommend you also do a search using the term,”manufactured doubt.”

    Thanks for the linkage, IK, I’ll check it out. I’m thinking some sort of water split to release hydrogen would be feasible, perhaps. The technology needs to be compatible with current transportation infrastructue.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  16. Beauzeaux wrote:

    It’s already too late. All these solar panels and “green” products should have been the norm fifty years ago. They’re bandaids.
    And no country in the world is doing ANYTHING substantial enough to even slow down the coming disaster.
    The best thing to do is not reproduce then you don’t have to be concerned about whether your genes will survive the transition back to the Iron Age.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink