RFKJR

“Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don’t own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.”

He did not, as so many sources are claiming on the right, say that we will never see snow in Washington DC again. As the city is buried under 2 feet this week, that rumor has spread like wild fire. I’m well aware of the argument that goes, a single isolated day or season of unexpectedly cool weather cannot refute the much larger sample of data that demonstrates the earth is indeed warming. This is why those “in the know” scoff (usually audibly) when some global warming doubter announces “Take that Al Gore!” in the middle of a snow storm. I still make those jokes, mostly because they’re funny.

Obviously, Mother Nature is unfamiliar with the fickle nature of public opinion. One or two snowstorms and everyone forgets about what our president calls “the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.” Clearly Mother Nature – just like every other aspect of universal existence in the minds of left wing idealogues – does not know what’s best for her.

It’s not that I’m disagreeing with the argument above. Obviously, one cold winter cannot refute the overall trend. Although, trends are funny things when selected out of a 4 and a half billion year history. There’s a lot of room to pick and choose where to start and end things in order to make the argument you have already decided is most correct. The beauty of numbers is that any statistician can manipulate them to look however he or she wants. And how do we know a new trend is not starting right now? But let’s go with the logical assertion: isolated climatological events cannot disprove overall trends.

RFKJR starts off his mis-quoted article with an anecdote that leads to this statement:

“Those odd climatological phenomena led me to reflect on the rapidly changing weather patterns that are altering the way we live. Lightning storms and strikes have tripled just since the beginning of the decade on Cape Cod.”

See, what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. If it’s not valid to use these individual events to disprove “overwhelming scientific evidence,” why is it acceptable to use other isolated events to scare the bejesus out of everyone? Hurricanes, tornadoes, lighting storms, heat waves… every single time one of these events happens, you are guaranteed to find some prophet of doom or other wetting his pants in hysteria over the coming calamity. You can almost hear the panic after the last three years of relatively quiet hurricane activity (despite the dire warnings). What are they going to scare us with now?

You will even notice that growing talk of a cooling trend since 1998 has led the panicky left to change their mantra from “global warming” to the supremely arrogant “climate change” so as to account for their inability to accurately predict what Mother Nature will do next. Now, virtually any climate event at all can prove the need for drastic government action. The opposite of “climate change” is the one condition we can say with absolute certainty will never happen: climate stasis.

While we’re on the subject of double standards:

Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil and its carbon cronies continue to pour money into think tanks whose purpose is to deceive the American public into believing that global warming is a fantasy … as Upton Sinclair pointed out, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.’”

Upton Sinclaire makes a very good point. The problem is, RFKJR and the left can only see one side of the coin. When governments and international communities pour money into studies, grants and stipends we call it “research.” When private industries do the same thing, we call it deception. On the left it’s science, on the right it’s lobbying. RFKJR either denies or ignores the possibility that money contributed to various scientific endeavors does not have a similar corrupting influence. Only the evil oil companies are corrupted by the need to prolong their relevance. Climate scientists are not interested in self service, they are driven only by a noble concern for generations of the distant future.

The major problem with global warming or climate change or whatever else the alarmists want to call it now is the massive leap of assumptions they expect us to make. First, we must accept that global warming is actual and not going to reverse any time soon. Next, we must assume that major changes are occurring largely because of human behavior. We then must assume that a complete elimination of that behavior (say, zero carbon output) will suddenly reverse the earth back to “normal” behavior. We assume that any alternative energy source we discover will not have some other negative impact on the surrounding environment (like Ethanol for example). And finally, we assume that massive government investment in various unprofitable technologies will magically make those solutions profitable and palatable.

This goes without mentioning the radical left who believe global governments should institute severe restrictions on corporate and individual behavior. Suppressed economic activity is simply a reality that we must all come to accept in order to divert disaster. This camp does not seem to understand that environmentalism is a luxury of wealthy societies. Americans are environmentally minded mostly because we can afford to be. If you doubt that, take a look at the abysmal record of environmental consciousness in the developing world. When you have no idea where your next meal is coming from, you’re much less interested in the consequences of obtaining it. It’s not that some level-headed “solutions” like reasonable investment in alternative energy are such terrbile ideas. But if the choice is between radical government intervention or tidal waves: I’ll take the tidal waves.