by Anthony Lane
Almost any time there's an unseasonable cold snap or major blizzard somewhere in the United States, I wait for the inevitable outcry from climate change skeptics. Hah! How could the earth be getting warmer when three feet of snow just fell in _____.
Well, with two blizzards dumping well over 3 feet in Washington D.C., Baltimore and other Eastern cities, and Dallas getting several inches of snow, the script has followed a familiar pattern. Cue Fox News:
This is a Fox News alert. The snow keeps falling. You aren't looking at Washington or Chicago or Minnesota. Want to take a guess? That's Dallas, Texas — DFW Airport canceling hundreds of flights today, Dallas getting more than three inches of snow.
It's been a rough week for Al Gore and global warming alarmists everywhere, Washington dealing with the snowiest winter ever.
That's part of the segue into an interview with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who got some press for building an igloo in D.C. with his family and calling it "Al Gore's House." Inhofe is a noted climate change skeptic, and you get the feeling that he took equal joy from the recent storms as any sixth-grader.
Even Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who's running as a Democrat to be governor of Colorado, has cited the recent weather as he soft-pedals on climate change. As the Denver Daily News reports:
Speaking via telephone from snowy Washington, D.C., where the Democratic gubernatorial candidate had missed his flight back to Denver because of blizzard-like conditions, Hickenlooper responded to questions from conservative mining industry executives at the National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition, which wrapped up Friday in Denver...
“So, my thinking with climate change is I can’t tell you, I don’t think anyone can tell you for sure if the climate is changing that fast, and certainly, in a snow storm like this, you have to look at it with a little bit of skepticism.”
Whoa. The problem, shared by some who clamor for action on climate change, is that you can't take individual weather events as evidence of climate change, one way or another. And big storms like we've just seen might actually be a symptom of a warming world where there's more energy available to get weather systems cranking. (The L.A. Times has little Q-and-A on the dispute.)
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could keep this in perspective, and keep the politics out of the climate change issue?