In follow up to last week’s column, nature decided to punctuate the global warming/climate change discussion with a lovely St. Patrick’s Day snow storm in the Baltimore/DC metro area. Last time that happened was 1967. Yes, 47 years ago. Call me crazy, but I’d hardly call that “warming.”
So let’s tally up some recent “global warming/manmade climate change” issues, shall we? Just this winter alone: Niagara Falls froze solid twice this winter. 91 percent of the Great Lakes were frozen over at one point, the second biggest Great Lakes freeze since 1973. A snow and ice storm that closed down Atlanta for 2 days. Records for Antarctic ice that broke decades of record keeping levels (remember, that ice was supposed to be MELTING at an astonishing rate). Several sub-zero bouts with the polar vortex.
And then there’s my own experience here in the usually temperate state of Maryland. I live about 35 minutes northwest of Baltimore and the Baltimore metro area (us included) average winter temps are in the mid to low 30’s: December average being 36.2, January average being 31.5, February average being 34.5 and March average being 43. It gets unusually cold a day or two here or there, we get snow, but not usually more than a few inches and not more than a few times a winter.
This winter, however, was quite different. Notably, our snowfall amounts and average temps. Snowfall was higher than average and weren’t from the usual slam of one winter storm, but continuous amounts of snow that came on a regular basis. This snow also didn’t melt completely away between events, as it usually happens, but melted only slightly, causing a lot of problems with icy roads. Snowfall amounts in the Baltimore area were 147% higher this winter than last (26.9” of snow vs. 7”). Keep in mind that the measurements are done at BWI Airport, which usually has lower amounts of snow than Baltimore and areas north and west of the city. Most storms were reported at 2-6 inches where we got 12-18 at my home. Here is a chart of the Eastern Seaboard (DC to Boston) and their snowfalls. These amounts don’t include March, which has already seen much more than average (which is 1.9” – we got 6”). The local school district where my children attend had 12 total days off due to snow, 7 past the 5 that are built into the school year calendar. They are now slated to be in school until mid-June.
Maryland had 16 days in 2013-2014 winter (December through February) below 20°, and 8 of them below 10°. December had 17 days below average temps, January had 23 (14 of which were below 20° and 8 of which were below 10°) and February had 25 (3 of which were in the teens). March had 10 days out of 17 below average, and the lowest temp was 16°… in MARCH! Overall this winter, 10 days were single digit temps and one was a negative (-.4°). None of these took wind chills into account.
So, about that global warming thing…
Just to let you know that I’m not some stupid weather rube, 31,487 American scientists (9,029 have PhD’s) agree with me. They have signed a petition that is explained in this 12-page review article about the human-caused global warming hypothesis. Long story short, they don’t buy into it anymore either.
So what does the braintrust known as the US Senate do? They burn the midnight oil (and raise their carbon footprint doing so) talking about the boogey man under the bed: the “settled science” of global warming! I think my eyeballs rolled out of my head when I saw that, I rolled them so hard and so much! Never mind there is other valid science that says otherwise, we must ACT NOW to enter into really bad laws that will only make any environmental problems worse. It’s not like THAT’S ever happened before.
While the administration wants to jump onto the bandwagon to provide exceptionally expensive “clean” energy through regulation and Congressional action, these laws will do much more harm than good. From utility costs skyrocketing to putting millions in the coal and oil industry out of work, what we will find is that it was an incredibly stupid move. More about the incredibly stupid statements made that night, and what other countries have found when they made the same mistake can be found here.
Make no mistake, politicizing non-existent man made climate change has done nothing more than silence opposition to the viewpoint. However, if you are 45 or older, you may just remember the cries of “Oh no, an ICE AGE is coming” in the 70’s and early 80’s. Wasn’t true then, not true now. Our climate is naturally cyclical – seasonally and otherwise. Oh, and there is this little matter of the lack of average global surface warming for the past 17 years that is changing the minds of global warning believers worldwide.
One great benefit of this really cold, obnoxious winter for those of us who have been dealing with the scourge of non-native bug species that have harmed agriculture and creeped out most of us for years called stink bugs? The cold has most likely exterminated 95% of the population! Now THAT’S science I can get behind!
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.thepiratescove.us/2009/12/31/irony-agw-protest-cancelled-on-account-of-snow/