On Global Warming Misfires

It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather. (President Obama)

When I heard him say those words, I shook my head and wanted to shake some sense into him because he should know better. Then again, he is a politician who does what politicians do. For most of the eastern US, winter 2011-2012 was abnormally mild. However, regardless, of one’s stance on global warming, I shake my head at anyone who any point in time to promote or criticize global warming – and yes – I criticized President Obama on these pages at the time.

Not long after President Obama’s remarks, the Wall Street Journal published a guest columnist – Dr. William Harper, a physics professor at Princeton University. Dr. Harper concluding paragraph began with these words.

The most important component of climate science is careful, long-term observation of climate-related phenomena, from space, from land, and in the oceans.

I agree with Dr. Harper’ concluding statement, but it is interesting to examine the data that he used. He opened his column with President Obama’s quote in order to counter the president. Interestingly, the majority of the data he cites in his article is specific point data rather than long-term data. In other words, he did what he criticized President Obama for doing.

My point is that there is a difference between weather and climate. Whereas both are important for any location, the key difference between the two is the time involved. Each of us know how the weather can change very quickly, climate, on the other hand, involves years of data to establish climate. Therefore, discussions about climate change should involve climate data – not weather data.

So here we are, in this period of abnormally scorching temperatures across the much of the U.S., ridiculous comments continue to come forth.