Heat Wave Has Environmentalists Crowing

Has anyone seen The Arrival? It’s a ridiculously horrible movie starring Charlie Sheen as a scientist trying to expose a conspiracy to raise the Earth’s temperature to make it more hospitable for a race of invading space aliens.

Given all the warm weather the Eastern United States has had recently, I can’t help but think of the movie a lot these days–especially the last scene, in which a stunned weatherman points to an all-red weather map of the country, showing record highs everywhere and exclaims maybe finally people will listen!

That’s how a lot of climatologists may have been feeling the last couple weeks. The hot weather in the last week of March and first week of April even prompted allusions to global warming from meteorologists, who have recently been exposed as a climate-skeptical group.

Climateprogress.org, which recently won Best Political climate blog from Treehugger, couldn’t resist using the heat wave to take a swipe at deniers, a tactic that showed up on other blogs as well. But climate change defenders using the warmer temps as a rhetorical weapon–even with caveats–both a) breaks their own rules against conflating weather with climate, and b) risks a tit-for-tat “today was hot”/”but yesterday was cold” battle with the other side, one that could damage the cause of doing something about global warming.

July or April?

The Weather Channel led with a neutral discussion that suggested temperatures in the 80s and even 90s in the Eastern half of the country suggested July weather, not early April. In the week from March 29th through April 4 over 1100 daily record highs were reported in the United States and only 77(!) record lows, the Weather Channel reported.

This was the report Climate Progress pointed to in its post, which then went on to discuss a clear long-term trend: reported highs are outnumbering reported lows, year over year.

Last winter, climate change deniers were using heavy snowfall in some parts of the country to make smug comments about a lack of global warming even when it would actually suggest the opposite. It’s infuriating, but stooping to their level–whether in winter, spring, summer or fall–is probably not helpful to the cause of doing something about global warming.

After all, one abnormally cold year and the coal industry will be laughing all the way to the bank.

BC (Ben) Upham is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He has written for the New York Times, and was a writer and editor for News Communications, Inc., a local paper consortium serving Manhattan. When he's not blogging on green issues -- and especially renewable energy -- he's hiking in the Angeles Mountains or hanging out at El Matador.

7 responses

  1. The difference, of course, is that one side is claiming that there is a global conspiracy by the world's scientists and governments, and the other side is saying we live in a internally consistent reality.

  2. Brad

    That is true, and for many people the earth’s climate is supposed to be entirely steady for millennia. There is evidence for a global scientific and government conspiracy of course; the UN IPCC made their ridiculous claims of glacial melting over 3 years ago, and yet science was silent about the claims. It was not until the failure of Copenhagen did suddenly scientists’ began speaking up. Remaining silent for 3 years is a form of science with which I am unfamiliar. These guys don’t wait 3 months to shoot down some published, peer reviewed scientific claims let alone 3 years. Why was it safe only after Copenhagen? This is the conspiracy, a conspiracy of silence.

    Here’s what James Lovelock said about the CRU recently; “I was utterly disgusted. My second thought was that it was inevitable. It was bound to happen. Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science. I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

    He’s knows real science, and he knows they fudged the data.

  3. Klem – you quote Lovelock as if he was supporting that global warming science is all conspiracy. In fact he is probably the most outspoken about the terrible situation he thinks we are already in – basically his position is that it's too late now to stop drastic changes that will kill billions

    1. I don't think there's any question that “climategate” has done tremendous harm to the credibility of global warming — and it was entirely self-inflicted. That's the point of this post: in the long run you have to stick to your principles — stick to the science. Trying to take short-cuts by fooling people, even if you know you're right — the risks of it blowing up in your face are too great.

      1. I disagree that the various “gates” were entirely self inflicted. Any damage or harm to the science was caused, and magnified out of all proportion, by the tidal wave of misreporting, speculation, deliberate misinterpretation and misleading attribution of motives and actions by the usual suspects in the denialosphere.

        The global reporting/propaganda was the rough equivalent of somebody spotting the mole on Cindy Crawford's face and screaming out to a prejudiced and eager crowd “look at that horrible spot on this woman's face – she's completely ugly! And so is her mother too!

        None of the hysterical, over-suspicious lies and B.S. of those who are trying to fool as many of the gullible public as they can about global warming science changes the basic physics. Cindy Crawford is still an exceptionally beautiful woman.

    1. Thank you Rosella, I guess there is one thing we can all agree on….not. Charlie Sheen is at his most wastoid in The Arrival. In my humble opinion. He was right in the middle of messing up his life with drugs and women and all the rest of it. Seriously — see it again. Heck, look at the pictures on imdb. He's got a freakin pot belly.

      Thanks for the post!

Leave a Reply