Coldening strikes home!

Just thought I'd write a quickie post to point out that I have no power. There's four inches of snow here on top of a huge two day rainstorm, and it's knocked out local rail lines and of course my power.

Right now I am blogging using my laptop, only because my modem and router are powered by the dying battery of the computer battery backup unit (which is beeping loudly and is only designed to run for ten minutes).

Here's what it looks like outside:


Even though it's mid April, schools are closed. New Jersey is under a state of emergency.

I guess I won't be able to make any of the Global Warming demonstrations.

Why is it that Tim Blair's "coldening" rule always seem to be true?

UPDATE: It appears that my power could be off for days, so here I am at a Starbucks. I saw all these comments, and now I see Glenn Reynolds' link.

I had absolutely no idea that I was blogging the apocalypse. Honest, folks!

If my power comes back on I might just go rent the film.

Bear in mind that I was taught about the coming global cooling (return of the Ice Age) at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s, when no one imagined that man could influence the climate.

By making fun of the freak weather, I do not dispute the data that show a warming of a degree or two over the past century. While I am not convinced that man is responsible, either way, none of it has anything to do with local weather on a particular date.

I'd like to note that I did not say that today's freak weather was evidence actually rebutting global warming, for that would be absurd. But why wasn't it just as absurd to suggest that the warm January weather was evidence proving global warming? Yes, people were saying that, everywhere I went.

When will they admit they were joking?

posted by Eric on 04.16.07 at 09:03 AM


Colin   ·  April 16, 2007 10:12 AM

Don't confuse weather with climate.

Hal Bore   ·  April 16, 2007 10:33 AM

Don't confuse Religion with Environmentalism.

Chris   ·  April 16, 2007 10:37 AM

Weather is a day to day snapshot of the climate.

gordon Morrison   ·  April 16, 2007 10:48 AM

Don't confuse politics with science.

brad edwards   ·  April 16, 2007 10:50 AM

Outside conditions have nothing to do with global warming. Determining global warming relies on mud cores from BlahBlahstan and is much to complicated for you to understand. Just trust the hockey shtick.

Crash   ·  April 16, 2007 10:57 AM

I was sure it was global warming when I had to run the AC unit in my office a few days ago, but today since I had the heat cranked up I'm not so sure...

Jim Katz   ·  April 16, 2007 11:08 AM

I had that global warming once - It can be tough to get rid of, just kind of hangs on and on.

Blah Boy   ·  April 16, 2007 11:18 AM

Doncha just luvvit when the Global Warming zealots tell us skeptics not to confuse weather with climate --- when every summer they point to someplace really hot and yell "Global Warming! Global Warming!"

Last year, they tell us, was "the hottest on record". Well, this year is so far unusually cold. If 2007 turns out NOT to be "the hottest on record", you can expect sullen silence from the Gorons.

Jack   ·  April 16, 2007 11:40 AM

Eric, hope the power gets back on soon. "Climate Change" isn't a problem if there is sufficient power to give us overdeveloped apes warm shelter (and computer and modem power). We just need power delivery that isn't so fragile. You and Coco stay warm and dry.

Stewart   ·  April 16, 2007 11:56 AM
Determining global warming relies on mud cores from BlahBlahstan and is much to complicated for you to understand.

No, Global warming is determined from the growth patterns of trees. Assuming, of course, that everything else is kept constant, and that trees make decent thermometers.

Silly human.

Slartibartfast   ·  April 16, 2007 11:58 AM

Have Michael Moore brought to your area.

Since the fat tub of lard is making a movie extolling the virtues of Castro's socialized medicine, the hot air from that will keep you good and toasty (you just have to put up with the smell of a large man digesting burritos)

GW Crawford   ·  April 16, 2007 12:15 PM

For those who wish to put the politics aside and are honestly serious about understanding the science, here is a good article:

Phaeton’s Reins
The human hand in climate change

brad edwards   ·  April 16, 2007 12:46 PM

Gordon is right you guys.

I can prove it. If you do a news search on Google of Katrina and Global Warming, you would have gotten 670 "news stories". This is in spite of the fact that there is only conjecture as to a connection between the two. Even the IPCC has dropped it. So, Gordon's point is that if it reenforces the propaganda, it is climate.

For instance, Heidi Culling(sp?) of the weather channel just said on my satelite radio "remember that warm weather in December and January? Global Warming is real!"

So remember, if it is cold, it is weather, and if it is warm, it is climate, and don't confuse the two anymore.

moptop   ·  April 16, 2007 1:44 PM

That was a good piece... would that all discussions of GW/AGW were so presented.

But... I notice that this was written before the release of 4AR and it's demonstrably politicized (and unashamedly so) Summary for Policy Makers. That single document has done as much to undermine the IPCC as the Oil-for-Food silliness has undermined the United Nations as a whole, in my mind. It may very well be that those brave men and women at the IPCC are doing some bang-up science, obvlivious to what the politicians are pushing around... but when people listed as authors of the 4AR are saying "I disavow myself from the process and don't want my name associated with it because the process of compiling is so flawed" and yet still are listed as contributors, when it asks people to review un-published papers that are included in the report, and yet refuses to support those reviewers getting the original data, when the primary models that develop the nice hockey-stick are judged by the NAS, not by a bunch of "deniers," as fundamentally flawed and that bristlecone pines should be avoided as temperature proxies... all these things tend to undermine any calm voices of true science.

It may very well be that all is as they say, but the presentation is so shoddy, the approach so flawed, the signal-to-noise ratio so bad, that I have absolutely no faith in the IPCC. I'm not saying that there's no GW, that there's no AGW, or even that AGW might not be significant... just that no case has been made to the public yet. Inconvenient Truths, Days After, Gore and his monsterous house, the IPCC 4AR SPM... all these things make debate difficult. Throw in that there ARE dissenting, credible voices in the wilderness that ask questions like "what about the sun? Is that modeled? No? Why not?" and "Hmmm... these Pacific heat exchanges that seem to temper the heat swings by moderating cloud formation... is that in the models? Why not?" and I am left wondering why is it we're getting our panties in a bunch at this stage.

Personally, I suspect that 1) sine waves have up and down portions, 2) we're pretty darn adaptable and the market will drive ACTUAL SIGNIFICANT changes, and 3) if you follow the money, it does not paint a good picture that avoids even the appearance impropriety for 'science.' All in all a bad thing for the advancement of mankind, this AGW scare stuff. In the same moment that we are working on nanotechnology, and genetic work that makes our reliance on 'science' more and more critical, the validity of 'science' is being undermined by alarmist flaks with an eye towards grant money (IMHO). So nice article, good information, not the complete picture.

MDC   ·  April 16, 2007 1:46 PM

If you were really serious about the science, you would also weigh the arguments of the skeptics.

If you are only in it for the politics, you will either accept or reject the UN's political document on climate without making any effort to understand it.

If you were really serious about the science, you would wonder how Hansen et al can build models that hold all non anthropogenic forcings constant, and toss any temperature rises that are detected into the antropomorphic bucket, without experimental evidence or even a plausible hypothosis.

Here is an article by high priests of the church of AGW, you tell me if I am wrong.

You tell me how Hansen determined the level of ocean forcing to be attributed to GHG vs other forcings, such as natural variations in cloud cover, which, BTW, swamp GHG forcings without breaking a sweat.

What I see is that he took the observed temp changes, and threw them into the AGW bucket without justification

moptop   ·  April 16, 2007 1:54 PM

"This is in spite of the fact that there is only conjecture as to a connection between the two."

But NO scientist or climatologist ever claimed that Katrina was the result of Global Warming. This is why I STRESS the need to stick to the science, NOT what non-scientists - including Gore - and the media say.

brad edwards   ·  April 16, 2007 2:12 PM

See here for a quote from Chris Landsea about why he was withdrawing from the 4AR--because the IPCC was using hurricanes as proof of AGW, politicizing the science.

Clayton E. Cramer   ·  April 16, 2007 2:42 PM

I was under the impression that Political Science was a subject taught in numerous universities.

Did some one mention Clouds?

M. Simon   ·  April 16, 2007 3:00 PM

It is sad to think that there are still educated people around who think that an unseasonal cold snap is proof, or at least evidence, that global warming is a crock.

I used to work at Sloan Kettering, a cancer hospital in New York. There were patients there who were slowly dying of cancer, but nevertheless, had an occasional 'good day' when they felt better. There is an old saying that "One warm day does not a summer make."

Chocolatier   ·  April 16, 2007 3:01 PM

Chocolatier, it's sad to think that there are people that will just accept what Al Gore says without asking "but since, historically, CO2 lags temperature rises by several centuries... why do we make a causal link now?" It's sad to think that people here a sound bite concerning the SPM, and don't ask "can you explain why you are now 90% confident now when you were only 60% confident four years ago? And yet no significant new studies were done, just tweaking of models [note that not only do they still reference MBH98, despite the grudging acknowledgement by the NAS that it's crap, but that most of the people who are clamoring for MORE ACTION wouldn't know what MBH98 is if it high-checked them]. It's sad to think that there are still educated people around that are willing to toss the Scientific Method out with the bathwater based on hype at least partially and demonstrably due to our inability to wrap our heads around a 24-hour news cycle that must be filled with drama all the time. Yes, sad indeed.

But to talk about the saddness you spoke of, it's sad that there are educated people that there are educated people around who think that a predicted, anticipated, poorly-planned for hurricane is proof, or at least evidence, that global warming is so true that to think otherwise is akin to denying there was a holocaust.

MDC   ·  April 16, 2007 3:42 PM

I don't think the "debate" is about Global Warming, per se but rather about what may be causing it. To say, for example, that it is caused by human activity (The Gore Promotion) without regard to other possibilities (natural cycles, solar activity, sheep flatulence, etc.) is disengenious. In fact, like most popular issues embraced by left and right they are creating more of a spiritual (faith-based) argument than a scientific one. And don't give me the IPCC list of scientists as proof. There are hundreds of astro-physists and climatologist that have other theories but are muzzled by the political correctness movement. Someone is making big money out of this and so far it points to university researchers and others of their ilk. Sort of like legislators, as lawyers, writing more laws that benefit lawyers financially - create and propragate a market.

Jack Lillywhite   ·  April 16, 2007 3:45 PM

"To say, for example, that it is caused by human activity (The Gore Promotion) without regard to other possibilities (natural cycles, solar activity, sheep flatulence, etc.) is disengenious."

I don't know what climate scientist does not consider ALL of the influences. Indeed, the entire subject is an effort to discern trends, influences, and phenomena from all of the background influences and differing cyclical trends.

brad edwards   ·  April 16, 2007 4:10 PM

so i replaced my light bulbs with compact fluroescents, I bought a hybrid. The govenor says so many people bought hybrids that the revenues from the gas tax are down, so they cant fix the roads.

I recycle, I don't fly, I set my thermostat lower.

A lot of people I know have done the same. What else are we supposed to do? And after we have all gone green (nothing wrong with that in all seriousness) the planet still warms, or worse, chills?

I say, follow the money - and the power trips. Not one senator or congressman gives a rats ass about a polar bear, don't kid yourself.

I am looking now for a lawn mowing exemption. I figure my lawn mower pollutes. The local township won't let me have sheep - and i could be fined for not mowing.

blah boy   ·  April 16, 2007 4:57 PM

"But... I notice that this was written before the release of 4AR and it's demonstrably politicized (and unashamedly so) Summary for Policy Makers."

But focus on Emanuel's reasoning as a scientist and the position he and other scientists find themselves put into the middle of the political battle over Global Warming. You can check out his scientific papers on his homepage going back twenty years and follow the course of scientific thinking over that time period:


"Anthropogenic Effects on Tropical Cyclone Activity"

Here is my personal, simplified take after following the subject of the politicization of Global Warming for the last two decades.

It really started with Al Gore who as a Senator in the mid-eighties decided to follow a personal passion developed in college (make a name for himself) by holding House and then Senate hearings on anthropogenic global warming, calling on climate scientists to testify. Many did.

Gore's stated position at the time and ever since was "Of course, ALL scientists agree that there is anthropogenic global warming, right?"

Many scientists did not agree. In fact, those that did not agree specifically stated climate science was neither advanced enough, nor had sufficient data, nor conclusive enough, for such a claim to be scientifically valid or tenable. Remember, this was around 1986.

Gore's political strategy became a perfect opening for Republicans and Conservatives to attack him politically, particularly as Gore's political star rose over the ensuing years - based on the legitimate skepticism by numerous climate scientists held in the mid-eighties.

Both the Left and the Right staked out there political positions then and have not moved from them since. The Right hired people like Professor of Climatology, Patrick Michaels, to represent the global warming "skeptics" position and the political battle has gone on unabated. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992 served to further politicize the subject matter.

Fast forward to 2006 and lo and behold there is Al Gore again, failed politician, climate hack, hosting and narrating a film on Global Warming, "Inconvenient Truths." What was the natural reaction? The Left seized on it. Right attacked it, in no small measure because of the film's overt focus on Gore's "personal battle in the fight for change." Many of us immediately saw Gore's transparent political self-aggrandizement by "using" the "cause." Politics as usual.

But there is just one big problem with this whole subject: two decades of advances in climate science, including better data gathering and analysis, better computer modeling, and greater scientific focus on the subject. The advances in the science have been monumental. Many, if not most, of the scientists who were global warming skeptics when Gore was hootin' and hollerin' in 1986 are no longer skeptics since they are convinced by the science that has evolved since then.

As much as Gore wants to say, "I told you so", Gore was wrong in 1986 and for the wrong reasons. But the science supports him in 2007 even though he still does it for the wrong reasons.

This presents a problem for the Right and a trap I fear the Right is falling into. The Right has been fighting the same political battle since 1986, then for the right reasons, now, IMHOwrong reasons. The Right is ignoring climate science and to its political peril. It is perpetuating a political battle it did not start - and which Gore should NEVER have started to begin with - and for political reasons.

The net result is the Right is unwittingly marginalizing itself right into a corner, cherry picking those climatologists like Michaels, William Gray, and Richard Lindzen, to justify a political position which is no longer scientifically valid. The Right is allowing itself to be used and manuevered by Gore and the Left.

I recommend an excellent series of podcasts on Geek Counterpoint which addresses the logic (and lack thereof) and the players in this whole subject. See:

Episode 45 -- Climate Change 101
Episode 47 -- Climate Change and Logical Fallacies
Episode 54 -- Climate Change: the Skeptics (part 1)
Episode 56 -- Climate Change: the Skeptics (part 2)
Episode 57 -- Climate Change: the Skeptics (part 3, naming names)
Episode 58 -- Swindled!

brad edwards   ·  April 16, 2007 5:05 PM

"I don't know what climate scientist does not consider ALL of the influences. "

Here is a quote for you from climatologist J A Smith on the observed ocean warming:

"Once trapped in the mixed layer, any excess heat makes its way down into the interior via much larger scale processes, including lateral advection and mixed-layer deepening due to wind and wave induced motions. This large-scale vertical redistribution takes a while- decades to hundreds of years- before equilibrium is re-established. **The fact that we can already see this is quite remarkable.**"

A Real scientist might question why the data does not square with their theories. Not a climatologist, they just assume that they must have been even more right than they thought.

There are theories from astrophysicists having to do with cosmic rays and cloud forcings that would explain the rapid ocean temp rise quite nicely. Climatologists display remarkably little interest.

moptop   ·  April 16, 2007 8:26 PM

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