Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Remember all the recent press about the mild winter, how the bears were waking up early, flowers blooming in December, all a sign of the coming global warming apocalypse?
Now that winter has turned cold and snowy, this is also being seen in some quarters, as irrefutable proof of our unnatural tampering with the balance of nature.
Sorry! Winter Storm Jonas doesn’t make climate change a liberal hoax
Good news, folks! It turns out that climate change is a big ol’ liberal hoax after all. Need proof? Just look out your window: If you’re anywhere east of Tupelo, you’re probably seeing a bunch of white stuff falling from the sky, compliments of Winter Storm Jonas. We call that “snow,” and it proves once and for all that “global warming” is a conspiracy dreamed up by known communist Al Gore to bring down the world economy. Guess we can just pack up our desks and go home.
But what is the connection between climate change and snow storms? First, it’s important to remember that weather and climate are two different things: Weather is the rain falling on your head as you walk to work; climate is the very long-term forecast. NASA puts it this way: “An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer, and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.”
And, according to actual scientists and not conspiracy-addled politicians, climate change could actually make snow storms worse. ThinkProgress spoke to Michael Mann, the nation’s preeminent climatologist, about Winter Storm Jonas, which is currently blanketing the eastern seaboard in feet of snow. He said this is not a fluke. “There is peer-reviewed science that now suggests that climate change will lead to more of these intense, blizzard-producing nor’easter,” according to Mann. This is because a warming climate means increased moisture in the atmosphere, and when cold air meets moisture — surprise! — it snows. Sometimes a lot, like we’re seeing right now.
When you have a theory which covers anything from 1.5c to 4.5c (or more!) temperature rise per doubling of CO2, and when you can claim with a straight face, that the utter failure of your theory, on terms which you yourself defined, doesn’t invalidate it, when you have to massively adjust the data to get the result you want, your faith in the climate religion is not going to be troubled by the odd flurry of snow.