Yes, another brilliant move by one of the nations wealthier Americans. Donald Trump joined the ever-growing pack of idiots that proudly flaunt their complete and utter misunderstanding of climate change, also known as "Global Warming." It seems the word "warming' has confused some of our more "successful" entrepreneurs. You see, they saw some big snowstorms so, clearly, global warming isn't happening. Cause snow is cold. Not warm. Get it? It's cold. Brrrrr...
Not doing his little boy homework, Trump never discovered that climate change can be both warm AND cold. Yes... The effects of Global Warming result in volatile weather patterns.
But Trump saw snow.
"With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back from Al Gore... Gore wants us to clean up our factories... when China and other countries couldn't care less... China, Japan and India are laughing at America's stupidity."
Now I don't know if he's just really stupid or whether he's just using this opportunity to appeal to the "lesser-educated" Americans out there ready to throw some stones (or snow balls). Trump laid his claims before a country club crowd of 500.
Luckily, Trump was trumped by another even wealthier, successful American. Bill Gates. According to CNN:
Gates said the deadline for the world to cut all of its carbon emissions is 2050. He suggested that researchers spend the next 20 years inventing and perfecting clean-energy technologies, and then the next 20 years implementing them.
The world's energy portfolio should not include coal or natural gas, he said, and must include carbon capture and storage technology as well as nuclear, wind and both solar photovoltaics and solar thermal power...
Gates told the audience that climate change will cause poverty and famine that will disproportionately affect the world's poorest people.
So what IS Global Warming really? According to Wikipedia:
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation... The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was very likely caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation...
An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional variations are uncertain...
These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.
You know, if anyone's actually interested.
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post put it all quite humorously into perspective:
“As a scientific proposition, claiming that heavy snow in the mid-Atlantic debunks global warming theory is about as valid as claiming that the existence of John Edwards debunks the theory of evolution.”
Ouch. But point made. Milbank goes on to suggest why so many people are misinformed or confused about Global Warming:
For years, climate-change activists have argued by anecdote to make their case. Gore, in his famous slide shows, ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought and the spread of mosquitoes, pine beetles and disease. It’s not that Gore is wrong about these things. The problem is that his storm stories have conditioned people to expect an endless worldwide heat wave, when in fact the changes so far are subtle.
Other environmentalists have undermined the cause with claims bordering on the outlandish; they’ve blamed global warming for shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, genetic changes in squirrels, an increase in kidney stones and even the crash of Air France Flight 447. [There's a website that lists over 600 things that have allegedly been caused by global warming, from "acne" to "yellow fever."] When climate activists make the dubious claim, as a Canadian environmental group did, that global warming is to blame for the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, then they invite similarly specious conclusions about Washington’s snow — such as the Virginia GOP ad urging people to call two Democratic congressmen “and tell them how much global warming you get this weekend.”
Alas, misinformation mixed with a basic misunderstanding can be a dangerous tonic. Especially if it is in the hands of people who make some of the bigger decisions regarding Climate Change. Like Ed Rogers, once White House staffer to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and chairman of BGR Group, a self-proclaimed "premier bipartisan government relations, strategic communications, and investment banking firm":
There is global climate science and then there is the Global Warming Movement. The movement hijacked the science a long time ago, and it has had its share of setbacks lately. Its leaders have tried to stiff-arm their way past errors, lies, fraud, pointless tax increase proposals and some really peculiar posing in Copenhagen.
Now they have suffered a coup de grace: public ridicule brought on by a record-breaking blizzard blasting their East Coast home base. The movement was already dead in Congress for 2010 (its climate-change bill has been sidelined), but Snowmageddon buried it. How could it be that heat waves evidenced global warming, but so did a cold wave? The public isn’t buying it anymore.
In November, the public will give a cold shoulder to a bunch of intellectually frozen hypocrites who demand economic sacrifice to solve a problem that voters don’t see or feel. At least for a while, the left will have to think up a new way to dictate a lifestyle for the rest of us. Maybe now the science can continue without the clumsy overreaching of the movement’s priestly class.
Hmmm... I prefer Federal global warming program director of Environment America Emily Figdor's simple but accurate response:
The snowstorms that ground the nation’s capital to a halt only underscored the need for bold action to fight global warming. Heavier, more frequent snowstorms are just what scientists predict in a warming world, as extreme weather events - whether blizzards or heat waves - become more common.
So, will ignorance, stupidity and misinformation win out over truth and reality? Only time will tell...
In the meantime, dress warm.