Charleston's Other Paper implies that climate change has been invalidated by a single error among scientists' climate change predictions, which is like saying that the discovery of Hawaii disproved the existence of the Pacific Ocean.
Indeed, the head-in-the-sand crowd is dying hard.
In the past year, Rush Limbaugh advised the chronically misinformed that, "Belief in global warming requires faith because there is no evidence ... " and " ... man-made global warming, climate change, is now an official scam."
Limbaugh has yet to explain how the researchers' well-oiled scheme was put into place. If Rush is correct, thousands of scientists have put on hold their self-involved hopes for the Nobel Prize so that they may surreptitiously conspire to deceive us about air temperature. And they have done this unobserved, even though they work for numerous governments, hundreds of agencies, dozens of universities and a myriad of research groups in far-flung nations. One wonders whether Rush suffers hallucinations in which secret handshakes are exchanged at clandestine meetings in little used rooms of dusty basements far beneath the classrooms of ivy-covered chemistry buildings.
In contrast to such paranoia, the National Climatic Data Center said that 2010 was the second hottest year in history, after 2005. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that more than 15,000 warm temperature records fell nationwide during March this year.
Last year the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) concluded that Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the warmest in measured history. Each year since 2001, summer ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean has been at, or near, a new record low, a pace that predicts ice-free summers in the Arctic Ocean in the next 30 or 40 years.
A few months ago, University of Pennsylvania scientists announced a rise in sea levels of an inch every 10 years, over the past hundred years.
By last Fourth of July, rising temperatures had caused five million acres of U.S. forestland to dry and burn, a sharp increase when compared to years gone by. Two days later a monster dust storm, a mile high and hundred miles wide, sandblasted its way across Arizona.
In 2011, the U.S. suffered $11 billion in weather-related disasters, a record that eclipsed the entire decade of the 1980s, according to NOAA. Heat-dried Texas lost a million acres to wildfires. Oklahoma recorded the hottest month in the nation's history.
Richard Muller, a UC-Berkeley physicist, and until now a climate change skeptic, has announced that global warming is real. His review showed the average land temperature has increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950s, a finding consistent with that of the International Panel on Climate Change.
Arctic meltwater constantly evaporates to the skies, floats our way, then falls as rain or snow. Last year the Ohio Valley recorded triple its normal amount of rainfall. Huntington had set an all-time record for precipitation by the first week of December, 18 inches above the annual average of 42.5 inches.
This paper has reported on the head-in-the-sand crowd at the Heartland Institute in Chicago. Heartland is pushing a climate-denying curriculum for our children. Their books were cooked by Dr. David Wojick, whom Heartland describes as an environmental science researcher for the Department of Energy. But Wojick has never conducted a lick of research for the DOE, the agency said. Leaked documents show Heartland to be nothing more than a shill for the oil industry.
We ignore Christ's admonition about environmental stewardship at our peril. In so doing we may contemplate our children, when they get old, recollecting to their grandchildren how it used to snow here.
Wyatt, of Huntington, is a psychology professor and a Gazette contributing columnist.