Our opinion: More proof the world is changing due to greenhouse gases
Names are for hurricanes, not for snow storms and blizzards, which most of us have endured year in and year out. And we are even going to resist the urge to scream out like Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire."
With that said, yesterday's storm was only a small taste of what winter used to be like in New England. Last year was pathetic, we mean, if you like winter time. For those of us who have had enough, last year was almost perfect. But last year was a disaster for the water table, leading to drought warnings across the region. Now, two years ago, that was a heck of winter, with pickups with snowplows attached to the front circling neighborhoods like vultures over a dying animal. Two years ago was the kind of winter we who grew up in New England in the 60s, 70s and 80s remember well.
While storms like these and those two years ago, the anthropomorphic global climate changed deniers come out of the woodwork (remember Sen. James Inhofe and his snowball?). It might be hard for some to admit that global climate change is happening, but yesterday's storm, this winter in general and the past two winters illustrate what scientists call global weirding, which they describe as "all sorts of crazy things" to include hotter heat spells, colder cold spells, more drought and intense flooding, as well as slow-onset changes such as ocean acidification and sea level rise, according to globalweirding.is.
According to National Centers for Environmental Information, this past February was the second warmest in the 123-year period of record, Between December 2016 and February 2017, the average temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 35.9 degrees, or 3.7 degrees above average, the sixth warmest winter on record.
And while you are waiting for the last of the snowflakes to accumulate on your sidewalk and driveway, you might want to spend a few minutes reading "The `Alice in Wonderland' mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism," a study of the arguments wielded by the deniers and the ultimate tool to shoot down their ersatz conclusions.
"People who oppose this scientific body of knowledge because the implications of cutting (greenhouse gas emissions) — such as regulation or increased taxation — threaten their worldview or livelihood cannot provide an alternative view that is coherent by the standards of conventional scientific thinking," write the authors of the study. "Instead, we suggest that people who reject the fact that the Earth's climate is changing due to greenhouse gas emissions (or any other body of well-established scientific knowledge) oppose whatever inconvenient finding they are confronting in piece-meal fashion, rather than systematically, and without considering the implications of this rejection to the rest of the relevant scientific theory and findings."
Despite the voluminous body of scientific literature affirming anthropomorphic global climate change and studies such as that noted above, the denialists continue to spout their half-baked interpretations of the scientific research that includes "present, past, and projections into the future with the use of climate models, mainly general circulation models," according to skepticalscience.com. "As some have said, we are living the experiment and there is no second chance; Planet Earth is the experiment."
Humanity might find a solution that purges the atmosphere of excess carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, but our window of opportunity is rapidly shrinking as ocean levels rise and weird weather takes its toll (Tropical Storm Irene, anyone?). While kids and outdoor recreationists really dig storms like the one that hit yesterday, all of us should consider it more food for thought about how unprepared we are for global climate change.
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