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On the Edge of Common Sense: Record winter

Baxter Black Published on 31 March 2014

“We can expect to see extreme cold with increasing frequency as global warming continues.”

—President Obama’s science and technology adviser, January 11, 2014.



I cringe at how ludicrous global warming climatologists must feel these last two winters. Nature is pooping in their nest. Did he mean “extreme heat” instead of cold? Can they have it both ways?

They shouldn’t be making excuses, however. They should be elated that winter seems to be coming back with a vengeance. But what if it continues? It puts them in the position of hoping for bad news. It’s called schadenfreude.

I make the distinction between accredited climatologists and the teleclimatite believers who worship at the feet of Al Gore. The same people who continue to think that cows flatulate methane and fossil fuels should be banned as a source of energy. They have the credibility of a left-handed duck doing surgery on your prostate.

To the credit of the science of climatology, it has come a long way in predicting weather patterns. It is common of them to predict the weather one to two weeks in advance with some accuracy.

But the further into the future their predictions, the less accurate they become. It is at that point they start trusting “computer models” until it becomes a guessing game. Their predictions lose their statistical significance.


How far ahead did they predict Hurricane Sandy? Frozen Atlanta? New York’s power outage? Iced-over Dallas? A week? Two weeks? At 30 days, you might as well have been looking at the Farmer’s Almanac.

As a medical person, I can empathize with their position. Vets and doctors are forced to give a prognosis on the future of illnesses, surgeries or procedures. We apply our expertise, experience, history and judgment – as in “a 50 percent chance of pulling through.” Sometimes we are right, and sometimes we are wrong.

I have great respect for the weathermen. They do a great service to us all. They continue to expand their abilities. They give us the facts when possible, but they have the responsibility to remind us that their predictions are simply that – educated guesses whose validity declines daily, monthly and yearly over time. The last two winters have demonstrated that.

The problem arises when CEOs, talk show hosts, self-appointed environmentalists, activists and carbon-credit panhandlers tempt real scientists into their shell game. Winters like this damage the good guys’ global warming credibility.

And probably the best or worst example of the tainting of their reputation is the desperate, blatant grasp of changing the name of the threat from global warming to the transparent, meaningless, shameless climate change.

I guess when money comes in, science goes out. PD