On the eve of the first major northeastern winter storm of the season (10 PM EST Forecast: 7+Inches in Yankee Stadium; maybe 2 feet in Fenway) I can imagine the warming denial warriors hunched over keyboards, ready to hit the blogosphere with another round of “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” posts.
As Boston digs itself out of the blizzard on Saturday, someone will be sure to say “Big storms like this are surely a sign of things to come,” or some such generalization, and the statement will come unqualified, incomplete, and probably out of context.
And it will spread like salt from a dump truck on I-95.
Hacks who pretend to have an understanding of climate will spew: “Doesn’t the (Mayor, governor, local TV celebrity) read the history books? Has he forgoten the story of the Blizzard of 1888? There was no global warming then!”
Well-intended, but verbally and scientifically challenged spokespersons for the climate science community spring from all corners when nature takes a swipe at us. The denial crowd relishes an open mike at such occasions, and short, loose quips become to them more evidence that anthropogenic global warming “activists” are trying to scare us all with lies and distortions.
(And, regrettably, despite the veracity of the “Loaded Dice” analogy, widely attributed to James Hansen, it remains dangerous for a communicator to put forward any casual connection between warming and a specific event: We have to learn to do a better job at this.)
Put a zipper on it, Governor. Shut your pie hole, Madame Mayor.
Ask a well-informed source about the storm and leave the speculation to those who have really studied and understand regional impacts of global warming.
Let’s not give the knuckleheads any bogus victories.
Make them shovel their own walks.