Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
The Washington Post Sunday edition devotes a page to the discussion of what impact the current cold snap and immense amount of snow (a record in the nation's capital) has and should have on the global warming debate generally and legislation specifically. Most of the space goes to the liberal but often thoughtful Dana Milbank, with snippets to others.This could have been Washington, D.C. last week
Score one for both science and humor when Milbank asserts "As a scientific proposition, claiming that heavy snow in the mid-Atlantic debunks global warming theory is about as valid as claiming that the existence of John Edwards debunks the theory of evolution."
He's right of course. For the zillionth time, weather and climate are two entirely different things. A hot year with a drought doesn't prove the globe is heating up, much less than the alleged heating up is man-made. But the greens make such claims time and again. It's no more valid for other to say a cold, snowy winter shows the opposite. That's just the point Milbank goes on to make:
For years, climate-change activists have argued by anecdote to make their case. Gore, in his famous slide shows, ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought and the spread of mosquitoes, pine beetles and disease. It's not that Gore is wrong about these things. The problem is that his storm stories have conditioned people to expect an endless worldwide heat wave, when in fact the changes so far are subtle.
Other environmentalists have undermined the cause with claims bordering on the outlandish; they've blamed global warming for shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, genetic changes in squirrels, an increase in kidney stones and even the crash of Air France Flight 447. [There's a website that lists over 600 things that have allegedly been caused by global warming, from "acne" to "yellow fever."] When climate activists make the dubious claim, as a Canadian environmental group did, that global warming is to blame for the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, then they invite similarly specious conclusions about Washington's snow -- such as the Virginia GOP ad urging people to call two Democratic congressmen "and tell them how much global warming you get this weekend."