Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Particular Weather

Mona Charen belongs to the intellectual breed of climate denialists, which means that she avoids wild accusations about UN-administered death camps, and concentrates on feelings and appearances and language and tone and the microscopic niceties of debate. It's not that climatologists are completely wrong, necessarily. It's just that she'd be much less mistrustful if they granted her ignorant assumptions the same provisional validity she grants theirs. Or would grant theirs, if it didn't keep snowing in winter.

Speaking of winter, and snow, it's now snowing vigorously on a geographically tiny but emotionally enormous portion of the world's surface. Some people say this debunks global warming. Charen's not saying it does -- she's no fanatic! -- but what if it did? And besides, if cold weather doesn't disprove the theory of AGW, then how could hot weather support it? Once we admit that a cold winter doesn't necessarily signify a new ice age, aren't we conceding that climatology is little more than a glorified form of nephomancy?

Turnabout's fair play, in science as in everything else. If someone, somewhere, blamed Hurricane Katrina on global warming -- or even suggested that such events might be more common in a warming world -- then why shouldn't a week of low temperatures in Europe disprove all evidence of warming, now and forever?

Could it be global cooling? A Tory MP was jeered for suggesting as much in parliament. If the members had been hooting the unscientific use of particular weather to draw vast conclusions about climate, the derision would have been justified. But the avatars of climate change have been over-interpreting changeable weather for years. So the members were probably just towing [sic] the climate change party line with their catcalls.
So they were right to jeer, sort of, 'cause the MP was being unscientific. But it's equally unscientific to treat hot weather as evidence for AGW, or even as consistent with it. Which leaves everything up in the air, since the case for or against AGW rests entirely on the kneejerk interpretation of snowstorms and heatwaves. Australia's balmy but Germany's frozen solid, so everything evens out and we can await further evidence, which will arrive next winter, like clockwork.

It's fine for Charen to complain about "the unscientific use of particular weather to draw vast conclusions about climate." But if climatologists make the same point, it's "spin control."
The cold snap has spurred the "warmists" to spin control. Here's a typical AP headline: "Cold Weather Doesn't Disprove Global Warming: Experts." And this from the Voice of America: "Meteorologists: Global Warming and Cold Weather Go Hand-In-Hand." The World Meteorological Organization is at pains to distinguish between weather and climate.
Fuckers. I mean, sure, they're right, granted. But isn't there something a bit seedy and disreputable about how eager they are to correct people? Aren't they a bit too excitable? Aren't scientists supposed to be more objective?

As noted above, some scientists thought Hurricane Katrina had something to do with global warming. That's unscientific, because you can't draw conclusions about climate from "particular weather." And it's also demonstrably false, because "the 2009 hurricane season was unusually mild." Isn't it possible that despite the Chicken Little antics of these "hurricanists," hurricane activity may actually be diminishing, or dying out entirely? Is that any more absurd than the claim that they'll increase, given what we've seen, with our own two eyes, of "particular weather"? Does anyone know anything, when you come right down to it?

Either way, we can stop worrying about global warming, which isn't happening, probably, or is natural and therefore harmless, probably. We needn't worry about global cooling either, because views differ on that scenario, just as they do on warming, which we've already ascertained is imaginary or harmless or both.

We also needn't worry that our experts have not merely gotten climate science wrong, but gotten it so ludicrously wrong that the average high-school dropout can dismiss their findings and their data as easily as he'd toss aside a cigarette butt. For what is book-learnin' in the life of a nation, compared to the humble convictions of an honest heart? And when you think about it, who's more likely to solve the vexing problem of perpetual motion: an optimistic amateur, or some "expert" who's had the Second Theory of Thermodynamics drummed into his or her head by one of our cookie-cutter universities?

If anything, we should see this stark failure of the scientific establishment as analogous to the fall of the Soviet Union, and rejoice at the creative, entrepreneurial forces it will unleash.

It's all good, in other words. The only cloud I see on our horizon is the elitist power grab that's currently being planned by vegan activists, UN one-worlders, and disgraced climatologists from the University of East Anglia. But as long as it keeps snowing in winter, I can't help but believe that common sense will prevail.

(Illustration: "Snow Storm – Steam Boat off a Harbor's Mouth Making Signals in Shallow Water" by J.M.W. Turner, circa 1842.)


charley said...

Where do black people get off thinking they know more about racism than Republican talking heads and strategists?

--Josh Marshall

well, i didn't read the post. instinctively i just came here to do my stream of consciousness thing.

and i was inspired by the turner painting.

sturm und drang.

word verification: jokyart

Jazzbumpa said...

Phila -

I get your point, and always appreciate the vocabulary enrichment, but charley has me baffled.


Phila said...

charley has me baffled.

Basically, he thinks I talk too much. And he oughta know, 'cause we go way back.

He's a good photographer, too.

Anonymous said...

Um, I believe that it's nephelomancy.

Not that I've ever, you know, done it or anything.

Cheers - Lars

Phila said...

Um, I believe that it's nephelomancy.

Either/or, I think.

At least, that's what these goat entrails are telling me.

charley said...

everybody talks too much.

'specially on the internets.