We all like talking about the weather, and one reason “global warming” theory caught on was not because of the science, but because it gives us a “just-so”-type scenario to spice up any conversation.
Here on the East Coast, we’ve endured one of the snowiest winters in years. Elsewhere, the winter’s been moderate.
Must be global warming!
The tendency to make every kind of weather a paradigm-case instance of global warming has become something of a joke. We all know that “weather is not climate,” but we’ve also heard a lot of silliness about how this or that weather proves a coming global warming catastrophe.
Al Gore almost invented the technique.
Last week a quip — a “tweet” — from Senator Jim DeMint made the rounds. He wrote that “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’”
Droll. But the truth remains that one cold snap does not a climate make. What counts for global climate depends on averages, highs, lows, medians, means, and all that.
Knowing this — and knowing that world climate has been much cooler than now as well as much warmer — still leaves me something of a skeptic about the notion that human civilization is the major factor.
Or that warming is altogether bad. An Ice Age, which scientists have been saying we’re overdue for, would be worse.
Brrr. Do I know!
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.