Friday, June 3, 2011
Weather Or Not
(click image to enlarge)
Best I can tell, even climate scientists aren't willing to claim unequivocally that the current wave of horrific weather in the US is due to global climate change. But since volatility is part and parcel of the predictions of the effect of global warming, it's gotta make you wonder.
I'm well aware that a given snowstorm or flood or the wiping out of Joplin are just points on a graph; but I find it noteworthy that the areas of the greatest and generally unprecedented weather-related recent destruction in the US are in the hotbeds of climate skepticism: the middle and southern parts.
Which makes me wonder: how much of this sort of thing will it take for them (and by "them" I mean virtually the entire Republican party, the strength of which lies in those currently devastated areas) at least to consider the possibility that human activity has something to do with it; and at least to discuss rationally the wisdom of taking whatever measures that might mitigate it in our favor? One might think, for example, that a climate-denier politician might have a harder time holding a rally in what's left of Joplin than he would have had a year ago.
It's one thing, after all, to deny facts that are sort of abstract, in the sense that ignoring them doesn't affect a person's day -- like the age of the earth, or evolution, or Reagnomics (which affected decades, but which, being more than twenty-four hours old, is ancient history). When it blows your house down, you'd think it gets a little real.
So it's a dilemma in both directions: here I am acknowledging that single events can't be construed as proof, while suggesting that maybe the recent weather, happening as it is in the most recalcitrant parts of our country, might serve to wake their citizens to the possibility that the conventional unwisdom of their leaders ought to be questioned?
What irony it would be! Acts of god suggesting to the party of god that in ignoring the actions of man they're missing the party.