Global Warming Causing Record Cold Temps at Winter Olympics

No one should be surprised that the Winter Olympics, just like the NFL, is no longer primarily a sporting event.  Instead of ice-skating and skiing, the major sport in the Olympics is media virtue-signaling over race, gender, and climate.

Not surprisingly, TV ratings are down for the winter games, just as they were for the latest NFL season.  The big media are swooning over Rocket Man's sister, demonstrating that journalists have never met a communist dictator they didn't immediately fall in love with, whether Castro, Gorbachev, or Che Guevara.  Then there was the somehow racist coin toss that determined the U.S. flag-bearer and the obsession over the sexual orientation of figure skaters.

All that's missing is the obligatory lecture from retired broadcaster Bob Costas on global warming.  Or gun control.

Speaking of temperatures, NBC reports how cold it is in Pyeongchang.  "Record-breaking cold."  "Bone-chilling temperatures."  Concerns over "hypothermia."  "Temperatures as low as 11 degrees Fahrenheit."

What part of "winter" in "Winter Olympics" is confusing to NBC?  Was anyone expecting to ski or snowboard in balmy 50-degree weather?

NBC, rather than fretting over the cold temperatures, should be rejoicing.  Such cold temperatures suggest that global warming may be a thing of the past – despite Donald Trump sitting in the White House and Mike Pence frowning at Rocket Sister in the VIP booth at the Olympic stadium.

But wait.  Maybe these cold temperatures are indeed evidence of global warming.  The scholarly Scientific American tells us, without a trace of irony, that "[g]lobal warming can mean harsher winter weather."  Of course it does.  Does that mean the converse is true, that global cooling will lead to warmer winters?  Or is modern climate science a one-way street with predetermined conclusions regardless of the facts on the ground?

Let's go back four years to the Sochi Olympics.  Those games were the warmest ever.  Four years later, the Pyeongchang games may be the coldest.

Which is due to climate change?  Warm Olympics or cold Olympics?  Is the planet warming?  Or are some winters just warmer or cooler than past winters?  Or are some locales better suited for snow and cold than others?

Denver is a contender for a future Winter Olympics.  It's been quite mild there this winter.  Had the Olympics been in Denver this year, it might have been another set of warm games, rivaling Sochi.  Were the games instead held in Lake Placid, New York, as in past years, there would have been more than enough snow, as upstate N.Y. is the snowiest place in America this year.

Perhaps more thoughtful choices of Olympic venues would solve these problems.  February temperatures in Sochi range from the mid-30s to the high 40s.  Hardly cold.  Not the best location for the winter games.

Warm temperatures at the Olympics don't necessarily imply global warming.  Instead, they mean that the Olympic committee didn't do their homework, selecting a temperate location where snow and cold are iffy in February.

According to the N.Y. Times, Sochi was reliably cold for the winter games in 2014 but will be too warm after 2041.  Based on what?  Computer models?  The same models that predicted melting ice caps, rising sea levels, and super-storms?

The same models that said Sochi was reliably cold for the 2014 Olympics were wrong, as these were the warmest winter games on record.  Will the models be any better predicting future temperatures?

Time, in a bit of irony, claims, "Bitter cold Winter Olympics might soon be a thing of the past as a result of climate change."  Then bemoans "the bitter cold of Pyeongchang" in the next paragraph.  Do they actually read what they write?

Huffington Post predicts, "Climate change will make hosting the Winter Olympics harder." The Atlantic asks, "Do the Winter Olympics have a future in a warming world?"

Where is Bob Costas when we need him?  NBC prime-time broadcasting is the perfect venue for him to lecture viewers on how the bone-chilling cold in Pyeongchang is further evidence of global warming.  And the obligatory criticism of solemn Mike Pence while lionizing the communist dictator's sister.  Blaming whatever the weather is on President Trump.

No wonder TV ratings for the Winter Olympics are going the way of the NFL.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

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