A heat wave, and now the climate nuts go even more nuts

Having just survived the first real heat wave of this year's summer, I am tragically amused by all of the new climate change hysteria being broadcast.  You see, there's this handy-dandy tool that is so useful in observing earthly phenomena: perspective.  Way back in late September of 1964, when I was in high school, all of the schools in Los Angeles were suddenly closed when the temperature rose to 110 degrees F and beyond.

Back in 1934, during the depth of the Great Depression, there began a series of droughts that drastically affected the Great Plains.  Historians and others call it the Dust Bowl.  Ultimately farming practices were changed so as to better conserve the fertile top soil.  But immense demographic changes still occurred, as described in John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.  A major street just south of Los Angeles is named Prairie Avenue for an obvious reason.

Going even farther back was the California flood of 1862.  Torrential rains at the year's beginning ultimately submerged the Central Valley for about six months.  The terms "Pineapple Express" and "atmospheric river" are used to describe the phenomenon, for which modern sediment analysis has established an approximate 165-year repeating cycle that has persisted for thousands of years.

There now seems to be this overwhelming compulsion within the "woke activist" community to exaggerate and, thus, exploit every newsworthy weather event — especially if it has to do with warm temperatures.  Floods and droughts tend to cancel each other out, but they're still good for at least a twinge of fear.

Political success is the result of influencing the opinions of others.  Scaring the living crap out of folks often proves useful.  That's why it is so often done — problem being that, within our cultural heritage, is the fable of the little boy who cried "wolf!"  Thus, a combination of weariness and numbness is whittling away at the impact of such tactics when they involve climate and weather.  Just FYI, when I took climatology, the professor specifically defined climate as weather averaged over twenty years.

There are also the arguments presented by rather erudite skeptics such as Bjorn Lomborg.  These are especially significant when compared to the alarmists, who continually present speculation as if it were data.

Revisiting perspective, we have the aligned disciplines of geology and paleontology.  The Earth used to be warm enough to support giant reptiles.  Sea level was so high that the vast space between the Rockies and the Sierras was mostly under water, the Great Salt Lake being a particularly conspicuous remnant of this situation.  There were also those pesky periods known as ice ages, the most recent being the Pleistocene, which ended about 12,000 years ago and during which about 30% of the Earth's surface was covered by ice.  The reasons for these oscillations are not understood with anything close to great precision.

Although we're pretty good at recognizing what is happening, we're still not really up to speed at figuring out the how and why.  Suffice it to say that there are various cycles of orbit, rotation, solar intensity, etc. that interact with one another.  Add to this the chaotic nature of weather itself.  The alarmists mostly rely on atmospheric heat trapping — which is supposedly enhanced by the increase in its content of CO2 as a result of selfish human endeavor.  They fail to mention that heat trapping is what keeps us from freezing every night. 

They also erroneously refer to the "greenhouse effect," which implies a transparent roof that traps warm air by arresting convection — rather than merely reflecting infrared radiation back down to the earth's surface.  They also fail to mention that all of the carbon in fossil fuels was previously extracted from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis.  How did the carbon get into the atmosphere in the first place?  To this day, CO2 continues to ooze up from the bowels of the Earth through volcanic vents and the like.

When considering the numerous severe hardships attached to the "green" agenda, the amount of persuasion needed for the alarmists to succeed is especially daunting.  "Selling snow to Eskimos" seems to be an apt characterization.  Working in their favor, however, is the appeal that the prophets of doom have with those who are already looking for an excuse to escape from the tedium of just plain ordinary life.  Perhaps even more significant is the gratification that guilty middle-class liberals get when they make sacrifices for what they consider to be worthy causes.  Hence their adamant hostility toward anyone who casts doubt on what has, to them, become a sacred duty.

Image via Pxhere.

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