Can We Squawk About the Weather?

By Chris Mooney | March 3, 2009 11:11 am

We can if we’re Fox News. Or Matt Drudge.

These people use any snowstorm as reason to cast doubt on global warming. It’s as predictable as…well, no, it’s a lot more predictable than the weather.

I really regret that important global warming protests and actions always seem to be timed so that they coincide with winter weather. Mostly, the activists can’t help it; it’s just rotten luck. But I’ll say it again: Having the U.N. Copenhagen meeting in Denmark in December is just asking for this kind of stuff.

That doesn’t, of course, excuse the dishonesty from right-wingers who continually try to suggest that individual weather events undermine the global warming consensus.

Comments (7)

  1. As The Terminator once said, environmentalists need more sexy and convincing PR

  2. EricJuve

    So in the summer, out of fairness, shouldn’t they claim global warming is likely? I can’t watch FOX due to my blood pressure but I would guess that they don’t.

  3. Unfortunately, it’s not just Drudge and Fox News.

    Check out my column and video on this point:

    Snow Job: Media Figures Point to Weather Events to Cast Doubt on Reality of Climate Change

    http://mediamattersaction.org/columns/delicath-20090210

  4. Randy Hurt

    What is tonight’s low or tomorrow’s high temperature?

    The theory that man can affect global climate change is based on computer models predicting 8 degree (F) increase in the earth’s average temperature in the next 100 years. Show me.

    Let’s do a simple test of the models. They obviously take the sun’s radiance, and the earth’s radiance, reflectance, absorptivity, cloud cover, heat coefficient, enthalpy, dew point and atmospheric composition into account, and many of those variables are constant over a short time period, so how about using all that high powered science and math to tell me what the high temperature is going to be tomorrow? Easier yet, what about tonight’s low?

    Since the models can predict 8 degrees over 100 years, the accuracy for the low or high should be easy to predict within 8F/100yx365d/y or 0.0002 degrees F, but considering the limits of science, I think 0.1 degree F would be fair. The prediction could be made for the any International Airport, where the human activity can be easily modeled and temperature recording instruments are in place.

    The guys who wrote the models should appreciate this challenge too, because if they can accurately predict the highs and lows, all the weather forecasting services in the world would buy their product.

  5. SLC

    Re Randy Hurt

    It really gets tiresome when people like Mr. Hurt fail to understand the difference between climate and weather. Mr. Mooney has explained the difference on numerous occasions on this blog and in various other venues, as have people like Tim Lambert on his blog but the Randy Hurts of the world never seem to get the message.

  6. Joe

    Is that an REM song reference? Because if so, I approve.

    And if I don’t, that’s okay. And I swear, I’m trying to finally get around to going back to finish your book. Then finish Al Gore’s. They were birthday presents, I think. Not recently. :)

  7. Erasmussimo

    Randy Hurt, if you cannot predict whether Mr. Arnold Perkins will purchase 12.63 gallons of gasoline on March 8, 2009, at Kimball’s Chevron Station on the corner of Mandingo Avenue and Aspen Road in Cleveland Ohio at 10:21 PM, then clearly we could not possibly estimate how much gasoline the US will use in 2009 — right? ;-)

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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