Cooler heads needed

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 22, 2018

By Ira Nirenberg

You often hear the following  on exceptionally cold winter days. “Hey, where’s all that global warming?”

The question is usually rhetorical, if not glib. Of course, it may be genuine, and the confusion sincere. If so, it’s probably due to the word “warming.” Many people quickly assume global warming means perpetual balmy breezes in the dead of winter. This clearly isn’t the case.

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The simplest answer is it is the gradual warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s also a major catalyst for Climate Change. As the Earth’s climate changes, winters on average can become colder, and summers on average can become hotter. But the weather on any specific day has little to do with Climate Change. Just as global warming is incorrectly assumed to mean 365 days of warm temperatures, Climate Change is incorrectly assumed to be a synonym for weather. During a 2016 Republican primary debate, Senator Marco Rubio was asked about Climate Change. His response was: “Who can predict the weather?”

The answer is: Meteorologists. And they can do it rather well for short time periods. This is because weather is short term and local, while climate is long term and global.

Global warming has been transformed from a scientific study into a political football. Why? My guess is because there’s big money at stake. When one side emphatically denies that human activity is evidence of retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, exponentially increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and record setting hottest summer years, you have to wonder if all those studies conducted by dozens of countries a farce. Have thousands of climatologists been duped; are they all pawns of the great liberal conspiracy to shut down coal mines? Or just maybe, the fossil fuel industry and their political shills, like making money.   

Republicans have swallowed the Climate Change Hoax Kool-Aid. They believe politicians, lobbyists, theologians, fringe scientists, and the President—have a better understanding of Climate Change than trained climatologists—which makes about as much sense as having President Trump perform brain surgery on your child.