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Weather Suddenly Doesn't Matter in the Climate Change Debate?
The other day, one of my liberal friends posted one of those sharable, meme images featuring a quote from comedian Stephen Colbert on her Facebook page. It has become a fairly popular quote - one that I've seen posted a number of times over the past couple of months:
"Global warming isn't real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate."
The clever quip came from Colbert's Twitter account last November. It was obviously designed to poke fun at skeptics of man-made global warming, who have taken notice of the record cold temperatures and snowfall throughout the country in recent years, and have used that data to chastise the true believers.
I may not share many of Colbert's world views, including those he has on climate change, but I can still appreciate his humor. After all, there is indeed a distinction between the climate and the weather. Cold fronts alone are far from the most effective argument when challenging the conventional wisdom of man-made global warming.
Some on Colbert's side of the debate have been downright hostile towards those who conflate climate with weather. Last summer, CNN's Richard Weir had a visceral response to a Fox Nation headline used for a Washington Times article that found some irony in Al Gore attending an event in Denver on a chilly, rainy day, to discuss "the rising temperatures driven by climate disruption."
The headline was "Climate Doesn't Cooperate With Al Gore's Group's Visit to Denver EPA Hearings."
Weir was not amused. "Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant f*cksticks," he angrily tweeted, referencing Fox Nation's account.
He later apologized, but Weir's sensitivity on the topic is clearly shared by many; his outburst was re-tweeted over 5,000 times. Colbert's remark (which has been re-tweeted over 35,000 times) has absolutely gone viral; it seems to turn up everywhere and in many different forms.
Again, I get it. Climate and weather aren't the same thing. What I don't get is why so many vocal global warming believers don't realize that this is the exact same argument they themselves have been using for many years (even decades) to try and prove themselves correct on the topic.
In March of 2010, former president Bill Clinton spoke at the Gridiron Club's annual dinner, noting that it was the night before the start of spring, "otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming." The joke garnished a good laugh from the audience, as well it should have. Clinton likely recognizes that it has become second nature in this country (in large part due to environmental activism) to attribute practically anything to climate change.
I had this in mind when I took about 5 minutes to photoshop my own meme image and use it as the reply to my friend's Facebook post: "I'll stop pointing out how cold it is outside when you stop blaming everything else in the world on global warming. - John A. Daly"
As you can imagine, it hasn't yet received a response or even a "like"... and it probably won't.
Let's face it: For decades, students have been taught in school that record high temperatures are proof of global warming. We hear how excessive rain and floods are caused by global warming. Drought is blamed on global warming. Hurricanes are blamed on global warming. Earthquakes are starting to be blamed on global warming. Even snow and cold are now blamed on global warming, as long as there's enough of it to be considered "extreme."
Somehow, these wild assertions don't come across as absurd to the global warming proponents. They're entertained, considered, and often accepted by the very people who cite "science" as their witness, even when those assertions are discredited by climate scientists who believe 100% that man is warming the planet.
As with many things in life - whether it be the media, politics, or the culture in general, I just want a single societal standard. If simply saying the word "science" can be used to defend a school of thought marred by wide-eyed hyperbole, desperately wrong scientific predictions, and falsified historical temperature data, it seems to me that saying "it's cold" is a pretty fair and appropriate response.
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