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I consider myself to be a skeptic in the matter of man-made global warming. I’m not a denier; I’m not smart enough to be that certain. But, as with a lot of things in life, I’m skeptical. (And see what they did there? By labeling skeptics as deniers, they equate us with Holocaust Deniers. Pretty clever, huh?) Every now and then, I’ll use my Twitter account to send out a tweet poking fun at climate alarmists (see what I did there?). And, while most Twitter users understand the humor, there are those who get very, very angry.
First, they pointedly remind me that I’m not a scientist. That’s very helpful, because sometimes I confuse being a TV game show host with being a scientist. (It’s always embarrassing when I show up for a taping in a white lab coat.) Actually, that’s not the first thing they do; the bulk of them usually start with obscene name-calling. There are two favorites, but Ricochet’s Code of Conduct forbids my being any more specific on the matter. Finally, most of them tell me that they don’t care what such an idiot who hosts such an idiotic program for idiotic viewers thinks about something that 90% (or 94% or 97%) of climate scientists agree on. Of course, the fact that they read my tweet, became agitated by it, and responded to it demonstrates that they truly do care. I find that rather odd, because I’m not sure why anyone would particularly care about any beliefs—or non-beliefs—held by a quasi-celebrity, especially one who doesn’t use his television forum to proselytize (as some are wont to do).
I’m also often reminded by my global warming (climate change?) Twitter buddies that climate is not weather. The fact that it’s extraordinarily cold in particular areas at particular times does not negate their argument. The climate—hockey stick and all—will doom us if we do not act quickly and drastically. I find the climate vs. weather argument interesting because weather events can only prove their point; they cannot disprove it. The historically calm Gulf hurricane period since Katrina—despite predictions of increasingly strong and devastating storms—can be explained away. However, it’s a safe bet that, had the last decade been marked by more violent activity, it would have been more evidence that The End Days were near. Snowless winters in England are a sign of the climate changing times, but when the snow and ice return…well, it’s weather, not climate.
So here we are. The science is settled. Extreme weather of any kind confirms it. Weather that seems to fly in the face of predictions is irrelevant. So how can one possibly deny all that? I can’t, because I’m not a scientist. But can’t I be just the teeniest bit skeptical?