Weather Is Not Climate

February 14th, 2010

By Tom Carter

One doesn’t have to be a global warmist or a denier to understand that the hard winter being experienced, with record snowfalls in much of the U.S., means very little in terms of global warming.  In fact, the argument can be made that warming results in more moisture in the air, causing greater amounts of precipitation — which, during the winter, quite naturally falls in the form of snow.

Weather is short-term meteorological phenomena observed during the present day or predicted for several days or a week into the future.  Climate is generally prevailing weather conditions for a region or for the entire Earth averaged over a very long period, such as 30 years.  Daily weather conditions observed anywhere at any specific time don’t indicate much of anything in terms of climate.

Anyone who doesn’t understand this distinction has no business blathering about global warming or climate change and certainly shouldn’t be taken seriously.  At the top of this list are people like Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), who said recently, “It’s going to keep snowing until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.'”  While statements like that may be cute and funny to those who don’t know any better, they should be beneath the dignity of presumably serious people like U.S. senators.

Global warming has become almost like a religion, with lots of people believing with blind faith and no evidence and lots of others denying everything with equally blind faith and lack of evidence.  For true believers on both sides, the only facts that matter are the ones they can cherry-pick to support their beliefs.  However, there’s lots of room for skepticism among serious people who investigate both sides of the global warming or climate change issue.

It bothers me that despite plenty of conflicting evidence that tends to refute the absolutism of their beliefs, people like Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, continue preaching hellfire and brimstone to the faithful.  At the same time, like some other evangelists, they line their own pockets with money freely offered up by the true believers. 

There’s a growing body of scientific and political fact that makes the true believers look even less believable.  There’s a good summary of those facts in an article published today.

There’s undoubtedly a middle ground of reasonable truth somewhere between the two extremes.  I don’t know exactly what that truth is, and I doubt that anyone else does, either.  I would like to see the U.S. have a rational energy policy that would reduce reliance on foreign oil, protect the environment, and maintain reasonable energy prices.  The Administration’s extreme cap-and-trade energy bill isn’t it, and neither is the idea of doing nothing.  Until we know more we should proceed cautiously on energy policy, but we should proceed nonetheless.


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6 Responses to “Weather Is Not Climate”



  1. new illuminati |

    Glad to see some people realise this is not a simplistic issue. You may be interested in http://newilluminati.blog-city.com/averting_climate_catastrophe.htm
    Keep up the Great Work!


  2. larry |

    Tom
    I agree with your sentiments on this issue. Its credibility has suffered as a result of being over politicized. The likes of Al Gore has been especially damaging as has this Presidents desire to institute severe Cap and Trade laws. The answer out of necessity has to lay somewhere in the middle.


  3. Tom |

    Professor Phil Jones, one of the victims or villains (depending on your point of view) of the ClimateGate scandal, has just told the BBC that there’s been no statistically significant global warming from 1995 to the present.

    When one of the leading scientists among promoters of global warming is apparently caught with his drawers down and begins admitting to a different reality, how is anyone supposed to believe that, as Al Gore famously said, “the scientific debate is over?”


  4. jsm |

    Just want to be clear here, “very long period, such as 30 years” is NOT a worthwhile, trusted comment in the sense that 30 years, or even a 100 years, of weather measurement is an insanely brief moment in time when discussing weather phenomenon.

    anyway, that said – I cringe when I hear nimrods talk about climate change cheering for this snowfall as if it’s the deal breaker. DUDDDESSS, it’s RECORD SETTING snowfall! It’s too bad they are not open to the concept that melting ice due to a rise in temp. will cause extreme weather patterns.

    Climate change 101, and these people just don’t get it.

    Good site!!


  5. Tom |

    JSM, just to be clear, if you want to take issue with the reference to “30 years” in terms of defining the difference between weather and climate, you might want to drop a note to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is the source. You can tell them about that “worthwhile, trusted” business.


  6. Anonymous |

    Tom,

    I could not agree more with you. A “rational energy policy that would reduce reliance on foreign oil, protect the environment, and maintain reasonable energy prices” would be good for the country in many ways. And, if we are experiencing global warming, it would impact that also. If we are not experiencing global warming, it would still be good for the public and personal pocket book, it would disengage us from some of the foreign challenges we face and it would allow our people to breath cleaner air.

    jt


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