Herald Journal Columns
March 13, 2006, Herald Journal

Global warming at 13 below

On Feb. 17, the temperature on the way to Cokato was -13 degrees, and it made me think about global warming. Actually, I was thinking about how activists explain away subzero temperatures whenever they talk about global warming.

One method, “slicing off inconvenient data,” was described by Michael Fumento in the Feb. 28 New York Post.

“Last September, after Hurricane Katrina, activists in lab coats saw a grand opportunity to tie the exceptionally violent hurricane season to global warming. A study in Science declared, ‘A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5.’

“But the researchers simply cut off their data at 1970, though public statistics go back to 1850. Using the full data set would have reversed the conclusion,” Fumento said.

I’ve noticed statistics about weather in Minnesota also change according to the season of the year to which they are attributed. If Dec. 3 is extremely cold, then winter begins Dec. 21 so the cold temperatures won’t be averaged in for winter. If Dec. 3 is extremely warm, then the warm temperature is averaged in for winter. That way the winter temperature averages will reflect the global warming model more closely.

John Hinderaker said in the Feb. 28 Powerline that global temperatures fell during the 1970s. Many scientists, including some warning us about global warming today, worried then that the next ice age was coming. “There was even a proposal to paint the ice caps black, so the earth could soak up more sunlight and avert catastrophic cooling,” Hinderaker said.

Comparing today’s temperatures with how they were in the ‘70s, makes it seem extra warm.

I’m not convinced that global warming is real. It might be, but it seems to me we don’t have enough data. If half of Minnesota was covered by glaciers only 10,000 years ago, we might be in the middle of a 20,000-year cycle and this weather might be perfectly normal.

We didn’t have satellite technology and thermometers everywhere on the planet earlier than 300 years ago so we don’t have hard data on what the weather was like then.

There are billions of variables involved in meteorology. If we can’t predict what we will have for Social Security in 2020, when we have actual people and dollars to count, how can we predict weather with all those variables?

I remember in May 2005 it snowed in the Twin Cities, convincing me that Minnesota has horribly long winters. Instead of a catastrophe, maybe global warming will be an improvement.

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