As I’ve written before, the war on global warming science goes something like this: Whenever it gets really, really cold somewhere in the United States, people like U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and his family make fun of former Vice President Al Gore, a well-known environmentalist, and smugly claim victory.
As absurd as it is, the strategy draws a lot of media attention. (This is what passes for scientific discourse in the media at times.) In February, Inhofe’s daughter Molly-a college professor no less-and her family built an igloo they called “Al Gore’s New Home” after a snowstorm hit Washington, D.C. Even before storm, the Virginia GOP, according to Think Progress, published an ad on the web using the term “12 inches of global warming.” U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) even tweeted this about the storm: “It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’
In particular, the Inhofe family igloo story, as they say, had legs and was widely covered.
Inhofe, of course, is the infamous senator who travels around the world acting as if he is refuting global warming science when, in fact, he is simply embarrassing himself and Oklahoma as he obviously looks after the interests of big oil companies. He once said that global warming was “the greatest hoax perpetuated on the American people.”
So what happens in the media when the tables are turned and there are record high temperatures in winter months? Not much, it appears.
According to the National Weather Service, Oklahoma City reached a record-breaking Dec. 20 temperature of 77 degrees on Monday. The old record was 73 degrees. This resulted in a short article in The Oklahoman by the Associated Press. To be accurate and fair, shouldn’t the local media ask Inhofe and his family about their thoughts on the record temperature since they obviously believe you can determine whether global warming is real or not through individual weather events?
The point here is that you can’t determine global warming through one weather event, whether it’s a cold or hot one. Global warming scientists have also long predicted that climate change would actually result in unusual weather patterns, creating stronger storms, such as the February snowstorm in Washington. But one storm or one particular day of extreme weather doesn’t prove anything conclusively by itself.
At the very least, the media here needs to keep this record high temperature in mind when Inhofe and/or clan pull another stunt mocking Gore.