Greens Misread the Climate Tea Leaves

In recent days we’ve been hearing a lot of hysterical chatter, from the NYT, the National Geographic, and other mediaoutlets—about how 2012 was the hottest year ever for the continental United States. Obviously, this is evidence that global warming will soon destroy us all:

Scientists said that natural variability almost certainly played a role in last year’s extreme heat and drought. But many of them expressed doubt that such a striking new record would have been set without the backdrop of global warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases. And they warned that 2012 was probably a foretaste of things to come, as continuing warming makes heat extremes more likely.

Meanwhile, in China, the FT reports the country is having its coldest winter in thirty years, leading to a sharp rise in food prices. India too has had a terribly cold winter. And in the Middle East, a snowstorm has been sweeping across the region and even hit Saudi Arabia, in an usually cold and wet winter for the area.

As we’ve said before, whenever it’s especially warm out, alarmists take that as decisive evidence of our impending doom. When it’s cold or normal, they dismiss it as mere “weather,” if they mention it at all. For much of the green movement, weather only counts as climate when it proves their arguments. A heat wave in Australia is proof that immense disasters are about to strike; cold waves in Eastern Europe and India that kill hundreds of people mean nothing at all.

Read more at The American Interest. By Walter Russell Mead.

Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network (Creative Commons)

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