Monday, January 11, 2010
Global Warming? Not where I live.
One aspect of living in Nebraska that I've had to learn to live with is the abundance of people who lack critical thinking skills. You may argue that stupid people exist in every place, and it is absolutely true that I haven't found a place on earth yet without them. Places like Nebraska seem to exist simply to give stupid people a place where they can be "out" and free to express their stupidity. It's like San Francisco for morons.
The current best example that I can give you is the prevalence of comments related to lack of global warming during our incredibly cold weather that we've been having since the beginning of December. Without a doubt, this has been a winter for the ages. Omaha received over 2 feet of snow in December, which I believe is a record. The temperature here has not been above freezing since December 30th, when the high temp was a balmy 33 degrees. Last Friday, our high temperature was around 0 degrees. The HIGH temperature.
This cold hellish existence has sparked the usual stream of comments that because it is cold on the one place that I happen to be on Earth during the winter, global warming must be another one of Al Gore's inventions. Much more intelligent responses to this kind of thinking have been published other places, but the point that I would like to make is that if you think that cold weather in the winter disproves global warming, you invalidated your ability to join in this discussion.
Why is this evidence that you are an idiot? First of all, there is very little scientific controversy about whether or not global warming is actually occurring. The controversy is whether or not human actions have caused warming and if anything can be done at this point to reverse the trend. Most importantly, the Earth is a big fucking place. Past experience tells us that January is the coldest time of the year in this part of the country. A snow storm in January in Omaha is hardly even remarkable. And despite what you might think, the weather in Omaha is not representative of what's going on across the entire planet.
One of the biggest travesties about global warming is that it's a scientific issue that has become political, primarily because of Al Gore's involvement since serving as Clinton's Vice President. People who can read will tell you that Gore's interest in global warming did not pop up over night because he was bored after he "lost" the 2000 Presidential Election. Gore wrote Earth in the Balance, long before anyone uttered the words "An inconvenient truth". Gore has been the greatest advocate for increasing public awareness of global warming, but his political background has created resistance from conservatives who criticize him for thinking he invented the Internet.
The discussion of what causes global warming and how it can be changed is ongoing and controversial. Intelligent people do not agree on these issues. One thing they can all agree on is that if you believe that cold weather in Omaha negates global warming, you should probably keep digging those ditches for a living.