Something interesting happened in Santa Cruz the past two or even three weeks. (I write on January 25 2014.) Or rather, something did not happened that should have. (I am alert to the dog that did not bark, as in Sherlock Holmes.)
For a long time now in the winter of 2013-014, comments on the weather have been in the national news much more frequently than is usual.
It’s been rather warmer here in Santa Cruz this January than it usually is in the middle of August. The Japanese cherry tree across the street has even been fooled into blooming! Although it’s a small city, I think Santa Cruz is a world center for warmism and for climatism (also for organic foodism, for vegetarianism, for nutism – it means eating only nuts – for deadly bicyclism,* for primitive feminism, for obligatory lesbianism, for residual Trotskysm, for holistic medicine, and perhaps also for holistic plumbing, I am not completely sure.)
Yet, yet, I never heard a peep through the local grapevine in the past few weeks about how the unseasonably warm weather was another proof of global warming. I only refer to the informal grapevine; I wouldn’t know if the local press had said anything. I don’t read it much; I have many unimportant things to do.
I have two explanations for this apparent surprising silence, one pretty sure, one tentative.
First, warm weather in January puts people in a good mood, even in California, even if they don’t want to be in a good mood. For one thing, the young women were walking around for days with the smug little look of nearly all women, everywhere, who get to show a bit of skin at a completely unexpected time. Their ebullient mood is catchy. The young men appreciate though they have been taught to avert their eyes lest they be accused of visual rape. The old guys frankly stare and smile, trying to remember why they do. (I know wherewith I speak!) The older women don’t seem to mind; it brings back warm memories, I would guess.
How about this: The strength of a national feminist movement is inversely correlated with mean winter temperatures?
My second, and tentative hypothesis about the lack of sententious comments about the warm weather in California is that ordinary people have finally caught on: You cannot argue that unexpectedly high temperatures in one fifth of the country are proof of global warming while maintaining that unprecedented low temperatures, at the same time, in three fifth of the countries do not contradict this view. You can’t have it both ways.
Of course, there is that other, newer beast, “climate change.” It goes like this:
If it’s warmer than usual, it’s because of man-made greenhouse gases. If it’s colder, it’s because of man-made greenhouse gases.
I laugh, I laugh stupidly but I could actually see this kind of argument made in a legitimate manner. You could try to show oscillations around a baseline. The baseline would have to be fixed. You couldn’t chose another baseline every time you did not like the weather facts. You would have to show that the oscillations have greater amplitude than was/is the case in some other test period or place (planet?). The greater amplitude oscillations would have to last for some reasonable period (not six years, for example). Finally, you would have to make a credible effort to show that high-magnitude oscillations are causally linked to greenhouse gas emissions. You couldn’t simply show two graphs looking a little bit alike and beginning and ending at times of your convenience, for example.
You would also have to publish prominently all the results of well designed research that indicated no greater oscillations than usual or no link between greater oscillations and the magnitude of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Honestly, you would also have to explain which man-made emissions do what: car exhausts, air pollution from nuclear plants, cattle belches. (The seconds don’t exist, I am just toying with your minds; the third is not a joke at all; look it up.)
Note that I did not use at all the word “proof.” A reasonably objective demonstration satisfying all the above would give this denier pause. Also, climate scientists who, I am told, overwhelmingly “believe” in climate change would have to make an creditable effort to stop the irresponsible media bullshit spread every day in their names. (More on the last point another day soon.)
Not much to ask and a tall order!
* See my piece “Global Warming and Child Sacrifice” at Facts Matter