No snow for the Winter Olympics?

The Winter Olympics start in four days, but Vancouver, Canada, where the games are scheduled is experiencing a warm spell and there is no snow! They are hauling it in and manufacturing it, and venues up in the mountains should have it. But Vancouver, with its Olympic village and all of that, looks to be brown. See this.

Vancouver, you can have some of ours! Down in Virginia, we have two to three feet on the ground, and tomorrow we are expecting up to 20 inches more! Take it. For free. How many refrigerator trucks could we get in a convoy?

Which raises another question: Are you going to follow the Winter Olympics?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com Frank Gillespie

    I’m following the Olympics because it’s the only time I get to watch curling.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com Frank Gillespie

    I’m following the Olympics because it’s the only time I get to watch curling.

  • theresa k

    Yes! My favorite sports, held in rinks, won’t be affected. The village scenes won’t be too picturesque, though. Actually, that area is beautiful…just not wintery.

  • theresa k

    Yes! My favorite sports, held in rinks, won’t be affected. The village scenes won’t be too picturesque, though. Actually, that area is beautiful…just not wintery.

  • Joe

    I will be following it. We’ll watch the figure skating, speed skating and hockey as a family. And, I’ll try to get some folks to watch curling and the biathlon with me.

  • Joe

    I will be following it. We’ll watch the figure skating, speed skating and hockey as a family. And, I’ll try to get some folks to watch curling and the biathlon with me.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    Yes, as a Canadian living in the US I miss curling!!

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-27802-Televangelism--Pop-Christianity-Examiner Bob Hunter

    Yes, as a Canadian living in the US I miss curling!!

  • Heidi

    I think the people who were planning the Olympics forgot that Vancouver B.C. is in a temperate area of the province. I live in Washington State and understand that on the western side of the Cascades it is typically too warm for snow. In Seattle, they close schools if there is two inches of snow on the ground.
    Also because I live in Washington, I feel that this Olympics is closer to my home then the Salt Lake City Olympics even though it is in a different country, so I am looking forward to it more.

    The events I will be particularlly watching are figure skating, skiing and speed skating.

  • Heidi

    I think the people who were planning the Olympics forgot that Vancouver B.C. is in a temperate area of the province. I live in Washington State and understand that on the western side of the Cascades it is typically too warm for snow. In Seattle, they close schools if there is two inches of snow on the ground.
    Also because I live in Washington, I feel that this Olympics is closer to my home then the Salt Lake City Olympics even though it is in a different country, so I am looking forward to it more.

    The events I will be particularlly watching are figure skating, skiing and speed skating.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Hockey, baby! But I will never be a real Olympics fan until they introduce snow-machine racing…

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Hockey, baby! But I will never be a real Olympics fan until they introduce snow-machine racing…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So why is it that, whenever there’s an article about a local, short-term cold spell, we’re treated to “Hyuk, hyuk, where’s the global warming now, hyuk!” But when there’s an article about a local, short-term warm spell, nothing? Does the East-coast blizzard somehow disprove global warming, but Vancouver’s woes fail to provide evidence for it? I just want to know the ground rules here.

    Anyhow, I can’t tell from the article how many events, if any, will actually be affected by the lack of snow. There’s almost certainly snow in the nearby mountains where the skiing will take place. And skating (and curling?) take place indoors. So what would this affect?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So why is it that, whenever there’s an article about a local, short-term cold spell, we’re treated to “Hyuk, hyuk, where’s the global warming now, hyuk!” But when there’s an article about a local, short-term warm spell, nothing? Does the East-coast blizzard somehow disprove global warming, but Vancouver’s woes fail to provide evidence for it? I just want to know the ground rules here.

    Anyhow, I can’t tell from the article how many events, if any, will actually be affected by the lack of snow. There’s almost certainly snow in the nearby mountains where the skiing will take place. And skating (and curling?) take place indoors. So what would this affect?

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    This weather is NORMAL for Vancouver. In at least two places in the article, it outlines that. The Vancouver area has rain forests in it. The blame would more rightly go to the committee which chose Vancouver. It’s a beautiful city, but…

    “Vancouver, located on Canada’s west coast and protected from the west by Vancouver Island, is the second warmest of the country’s major cities. Its moderate maritime climate means that under Environment Canada’s ‘Lowest Snowfall’ category, Vancouver is ranked 3rd of 100 Canadian cities.

    The mildness of the city’s climate means it is far better known for rain than for snow. But why aren’t the blizzards burying the eastern side of the continent reaching Vancouver?

    Firstly, Vancouver is a massive 2,812 miles from Washington making it unlikely they will ever be hit by the same weather system at the same time.

    Secondly, the storm has largely stayed south of the border. Areas of low pressure appear to be keeping the bad weather from traveling any further than the Mid-West. Vancouver is still hoping for snow – but precipitation in the city is notoriously difficult to predict.”

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    This weather is NORMAL for Vancouver. In at least two places in the article, it outlines that. The Vancouver area has rain forests in it. The blame would more rightly go to the committee which chose Vancouver. It’s a beautiful city, but…

    “Vancouver, located on Canada’s west coast and protected from the west by Vancouver Island, is the second warmest of the country’s major cities. Its moderate maritime climate means that under Environment Canada’s ‘Lowest Snowfall’ category, Vancouver is ranked 3rd of 100 Canadian cities.

    The mildness of the city’s climate means it is far better known for rain than for snow. But why aren’t the blizzards burying the eastern side of the continent reaching Vancouver?

    Firstly, Vancouver is a massive 2,812 miles from Washington making it unlikely they will ever be hit by the same weather system at the same time.

    Secondly, the storm has largely stayed south of the border. Areas of low pressure appear to be keeping the bad weather from traveling any further than the Mid-West. Vancouver is still hoping for snow – but precipitation in the city is notoriously difficult to predict.”

  • DonS

    tODD, it’s the lefty environmentalists who started trumpeting micro-climate patterns as evidence for global warming. Turning off the AC during climate hearings in August in D.C. in 1988. Blaming Katrina and other hurricanes on climate change patterns. We just enjoy tossing it back in their faces when it’s cold, and it’s kinda funny that whenever they are about to announce some new dire prediction, they’re up to their arses in snow and cold. What goes around comes around.

  • DonS

    tODD, it’s the lefty environmentalists who started trumpeting micro-climate patterns as evidence for global warming. Turning off the AC during climate hearings in August in D.C. in 1988. Blaming Katrina and other hurricanes on climate change patterns. We just enjoy tossing it back in their faces when it’s cold, and it’s kinda funny that whenever they are about to announce some new dire prediction, they’re up to their arses in snow and cold. What goes around comes around.

  • BartB

    Whistler/Blackcomb is where most of the outdoor events will take place. It’s two hours north of Vancouver and has plenty of snow.

    The concern is with Cypress Mountain, just north of Vancouver. That’s where the snowboarding will be. Enough snow has been brought in to allow for the events to proceed, and there should be some snow this weekend.

    Vancouver itself will have no snow and should be quite mild. We were driving around with the window rolled down the other day.

    By the way, this is not normal weather for Vancouver. It’s the warmest January on record.

  • BartB

    Whistler/Blackcomb is where most of the outdoor events will take place. It’s two hours north of Vancouver and has plenty of snow.

    The concern is with Cypress Mountain, just north of Vancouver. That’s where the snowboarding will be. Enough snow has been brought in to allow for the events to proceed, and there should be some snow this weekend.

    Vancouver itself will have no snow and should be quite mild. We were driving around with the window rolled down the other day.

    By the way, this is not normal weather for Vancouver. It’s the warmest January on record.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It’s off-topic, but I have to ask: why do conservatives use words (@9) like “arses”, instead of the obvious word they meant to use? It’s like they want to cuss, but they don’t have the cojones (in the words of another conservative) to do so. And Don, you’re not Australian or British, right? I don’t get it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    It’s off-topic, but I have to ask: why do conservatives use words (@9) like “arses”, instead of the obvious word they meant to use? It’s like they want to cuss, but they don’t have the cojones (in the words of another conservative) to do so. And Don, you’re not Australian or British, right? I don’t get it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So Don (@9), you think that bad science is the best way to combat bad science? That the best way to disprove global warming is to show that you don’t understand the concept? How’s that working for you? Also, do you understand the difference between intentional human deception inside a building (as you claim) and a snowy day, on the one hand, and, as BartB notes (@10), “the warmest January on record”?

    And BartB noted what I’d discovered myself: those blaming the choice of Vancouver don’t seem to understand where the snow events are taking place. Or perhaps West Coast topology (for instance, I live in Portland, where it rarely snows, but nearby Mt. Hood has snow on it, in part, year-round). The Vancouver Sun has a good article on the problems of Cypress Mountain caused by “record warm temperatures and heavy rain”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So Don (@9), you think that bad science is the best way to combat bad science? That the best way to disprove global warming is to show that you don’t understand the concept? How’s that working for you? Also, do you understand the difference between intentional human deception inside a building (as you claim) and a snowy day, on the one hand, and, as BartB notes (@10), “the warmest January on record”?

    And BartB noted what I’d discovered myself: those blaming the choice of Vancouver don’t seem to understand where the snow events are taking place. Or perhaps West Coast topology (for instance, I live in Portland, where it rarely snows, but nearby Mt. Hood has snow on it, in part, year-round). The Vancouver Sun has a good article on the problems of Cypress Mountain caused by “record warm temperatures and heavy rain”.

  • DonS

    Well, heck, it appears that in the minds of some, I was a gosh-darned arse for using the term “arse”.

  • DonS

    Well, heck, it appears that in the minds of some, I was a gosh-darned arse for using the term “arse”.

  • cattail

    The city of Vancouver, BC is located on the coast and, like the coasts of Washington and Oregon, very seldom gets any snow, just rain. Snow here (Portland, OR) is considered an extraordinary event, happening once or twice a year. Up in the mountains of BC, WA and OR there is generally lots and lots of snow. We West Coasters like having our snow where we don’t have to shovel it, but can drive to it if we want to play in it!

    However, we are having an El Nino year, which means that there’s a band of warmer water in the Pacific near the equator that makes nearly all the Pacific storms go to California instead of the Pacific Northwest. This is a normal thing that happens every 4-5 years. The snow level (i.e., elevation below which it rains) is high and the snowpack (snow accumulation) is below average. It seems more unusual than most El Nino years because the last two years the Northwest had a far-above-average snowpack. This year, the Northwest will probably have water rationing next summer while California is being hammered with drought-breaking precipitation.

    The downwind effect can be seen in the Rockies, where the northern Rockies are having below-average precipitation this winter while southern Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are having well-above-average mountain snow. It’s the snow in the mountains that determines the water supply next summer, for both drinking and, more important, agricultural irrigation–that’s why we westerners watch it so carefully.

    These are normal climate patterns that have been around for a long time!

  • cattail

    The city of Vancouver, BC is located on the coast and, like the coasts of Washington and Oregon, very seldom gets any snow, just rain. Snow here (Portland, OR) is considered an extraordinary event, happening once or twice a year. Up in the mountains of BC, WA and OR there is generally lots and lots of snow. We West Coasters like having our snow where we don’t have to shovel it, but can drive to it if we want to play in it!

    However, we are having an El Nino year, which means that there’s a band of warmer water in the Pacific near the equator that makes nearly all the Pacific storms go to California instead of the Pacific Northwest. This is a normal thing that happens every 4-5 years. The snow level (i.e., elevation below which it rains) is high and the snowpack (snow accumulation) is below average. It seems more unusual than most El Nino years because the last two years the Northwest had a far-above-average snowpack. This year, the Northwest will probably have water rationing next summer while California is being hammered with drought-breaking precipitation.

    The downwind effect can be seen in the Rockies, where the northern Rockies are having below-average precipitation this winter while southern Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico are having well-above-average mountain snow. It’s the snow in the mountains that determines the water supply next summer, for both drinking and, more important, agricultural irrigation–that’s why we westerners watch it so carefully.

    These are normal climate patterns that have been around for a long time!

  • DonS

    tODD, I didn’t follow your comment @ 12. It’s not using “bad science” if you aren’t using the anecdotes to prove something. I don’t think that Hanson in 1988 was really trying to prove that global warming was happening because it was 90 degrees in the conference room. He was just trying to set a mood and create an image. Concerning Katrina, I think there was deception going on. It’s not that scientists really thought that Katrina meant climate change was here. But certain of them did think they could deceive the public into thinking that, and thereby help to move things politically. Similarly, those on the other side of the issue love the images of two feet of snow outside while Gore is giving his speech on AGW a couple of years ago in NYC. Not because it proves AGW doesn’t exist, but because it counters the anecdotal evidence presented by AGW-proponents that it does. Which goes to the whole point — the AGW controversy has always been a lot more about politics than science.

    As for it being the “warmest January on record” in Vancouver, that’s too bad for the Olympics but it certainly doesn’t prove anything about AGW. It’s been the coldest winter in decades in D.C., and the snowiest one ever. So what? Just proves we have, and have always had, climate cycles.

  • DonS

    tODD, I didn’t follow your comment @ 12. It’s not using “bad science” if you aren’t using the anecdotes to prove something. I don’t think that Hanson in 1988 was really trying to prove that global warming was happening because it was 90 degrees in the conference room. He was just trying to set a mood and create an image. Concerning Katrina, I think there was deception going on. It’s not that scientists really thought that Katrina meant climate change was here. But certain of them did think they could deceive the public into thinking that, and thereby help to move things politically. Similarly, those on the other side of the issue love the images of two feet of snow outside while Gore is giving his speech on AGW a couple of years ago in NYC. Not because it proves AGW doesn’t exist, but because it counters the anecdotal evidence presented by AGW-proponents that it does. Which goes to the whole point — the AGW controversy has always been a lot more about politics than science.

    As for it being the “warmest January on record” in Vancouver, that’s too bad for the Olympics but it certainly doesn’t prove anything about AGW. It’s been the coldest winter in decades in D.C., and the snowiest one ever. So what? Just proves we have, and have always had, climate cycles.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Sorry, folks. We are under a spam attack and my filtering software, Akismet, is blocking some legitimate comments. Stewart and I–well, Stewart–are working on this problem. I’m checking the queue periodically and releasing the comments as I find them.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Sorry, folks. We are under a spam attack and my filtering software, Akismet, is blocking some legitimate comments. Stewart and I–well, Stewart–are working on this problem. I’m checking the queue periodically and releasing the comments as I find them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), I realize you’re a smart fellow, and maybe you thought I was referring to you alone (@7) — I wasn’t. Maybe you’ve made one of those “Hyuk, hyuk” comments, but I don’t recall.

    But just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you get to speak for all conservatives everywhere and attribute to them your reasoning. I’m sorry, but there exists no small number of conservative commenters on the Internet who actually do believe that snowy days somehow disprove AGW.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@15), I realize you’re a smart fellow, and maybe you thought I was referring to you alone (@7) — I wasn’t. Maybe you’ve made one of those “Hyuk, hyuk” comments, but I don’t recall.

    But just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you get to speak for all conservatives everywhere and attribute to them your reasoning. I’m sorry, but there exists no small number of conservative commenters on the Internet who actually do believe that snowy days somehow disprove AGW.

  • Dan Kempin

    I’ve got to go with Don on this one. Most references I have heard about unusual COLD weather have been a tongue-in-cheek jabs at the converse. (Note how I treated myself to a sweeping generalization–but just one.)

    And what’s wrong with arse, guvnor? It helps me picture Don as a cockney street urchin in ragamuffin clothes, which is very entertaining. True, it lacks a little for creativity, but not everyone can pull off ‘Fie.’

  • Dan Kempin

    I’ve got to go with Don on this one. Most references I have heard about unusual COLD weather have been a tongue-in-cheek jabs at the converse. (Note how I treated myself to a sweeping generalization–but just one.)

    And what’s wrong with arse, guvnor? It helps me picture Don as a cockney street urchin in ragamuffin clothes, which is very entertaining. True, it lacks a little for creativity, but not everyone can pull off ‘Fie.’

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@18), here’s a very recent sample of right-wing media on the topic of recent snow and global warming. I suppose it’s all a huuuuge coincidence that so many right-wingers are mentioning the two topics at the same time, playing up that there’s some sort of discrepancy between the two.

    None of them actually believe that a cold weather snap disproves AGW, they just think it’s funny to keep mentioning the two together. Just like it’s hilarious for me to point out that it’s been the warmest January on record in Vancouver. Ha! Get it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@18), here’s a very recent sample of right-wing media on the topic of recent snow and global warming. I suppose it’s all a huuuuge coincidence that so many right-wingers are mentioning the two topics at the same time, playing up that there’s some sort of discrepancy between the two.

    None of them actually believe that a cold weather snap disproves AGW, they just think it’s funny to keep mentioning the two together. Just like it’s hilarious for me to point out that it’s been the warmest January on record in Vancouver. Ha! Get it?

  • Bruce Gee

    Goodness, tODD is picking fights today! I’m thinking a high colonic is called for. Smiiiiiile!

    I’ll watch the skiing. The idea of plummeting down a mountain at 70 mph is vicariously thrilling, having in the past plummeted down mountains at what felt like 70 mph. It was a good day when I learned to control my speed while downhill skiing.
    Snowboarding? We just had the X games, why do we need more snowboarding.? BTW, this was the first time I watched the X games, and they were really a lot of fun. It was only a matter of time before the X gens started using short skis on half pipes.

  • Bruce Gee

    Goodness, tODD is picking fights today! I’m thinking a high colonic is called for. Smiiiiiile!

    I’ll watch the skiing. The idea of plummeting down a mountain at 70 mph is vicariously thrilling, having in the past plummeted down mountains at what felt like 70 mph. It was a good day when I learned to control my speed while downhill skiing.
    Snowboarding? We just had the X games, why do we need more snowboarding.? BTW, this was the first time I watched the X games, and they were really a lot of fun. It was only a matter of time before the X gens started using short skis on half pipes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce (@20), what makes you think I don’t enjoy these discussions (and thus am smiling — at least on the inside*)? That said, I would likely prefer a highball to the medical quackery that is a high colonic.

    *You’re never fully dressed without a smile, you know, and decency requires that I be fully dressed. That said, if I’m only smiling on the inside, then I suppose I’m only fully dressed on the inside. This is topologically distressing.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce (@20), what makes you think I don’t enjoy these discussions (and thus am smiling — at least on the inside*)? That said, I would likely prefer a highball to the medical quackery that is a high colonic.

    *You’re never fully dressed without a smile, you know, and decency requires that I be fully dressed. That said, if I’m only smiling on the inside, then I suppose I’m only fully dressed on the inside. This is topologically distressing.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #19

    I’m trying to figure out whether you are yanking my chain or whether I should be shocked that you, of all people, would cry foul on media bias. I’m not denying that the “hyuk’s” are out there–I’m just surprised that you are taking them seriously. There are those who attempt to subtly refute the argument of global warming by the absurdity of their own statement. Those who take the absurd argument seriously–well, they rule themselves out of any meaningful debate a priori.

    In any case, I think I’ll go out and write “Bring back global warming!” in the snow on my lawn. Nobody else will think it is funny, but I’ll laugh my arse off!

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #19

    I’m trying to figure out whether you are yanking my chain or whether I should be shocked that you, of all people, would cry foul on media bias. I’m not denying that the “hyuk’s” are out there–I’m just surprised that you are taking them seriously. There are those who attempt to subtly refute the argument of global warming by the absurdity of their own statement. Those who take the absurd argument seriously–well, they rule themselves out of any meaningful debate a priori.

    In any case, I think I’ll go out and write “Bring back global warming!” in the snow on my lawn. Nobody else will think it is funny, but I’ll laugh my arse off!

  • DonS

    I never answered the original question. As usual, I am presently disinterested in the Olympics. However, once they’re on, I will no doubt get sucked in, and at least sample the coverage each day.

  • DonS

    I never answered the original question. As usual, I am presently disinterested in the Olympics. However, once they’re on, I will no doubt get sucked in, and at least sample the coverage each day.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@22), I’m afraid you haven’t been following my arguments on media bias very well. Clearly, you need to purchase the Unabridged Cranach Comments of tODD, vols. I-III to get a better understanding. Because I’m pretty certain I’ve never said, as you seem to imply, that there is no bias in any media outlet whatsoever. Clearly, some outlets are biased, either conservatively or liberally. It would seem quite ridiculous to claim that media outlets that even conservatives admit are conservatively biased are … well, not conservatively biased. Fox and Friends? The Washington Times? Do I really have to build a case for you that they have a conservative bias? (Or, just to throw you a bone, that Maddow, Olbermann, and the Huffington Post are liberally biased?)

    And I’ll admit that I got lost in your pronouns, so I’m not sure what you’re arguing about taking arguments seriously. I don’t take the hyukers (if you will) seriously, if by that we mean “think that their arguments are intellectually honest”. But I do take them seriously inasmuch as I think they are serious and honestly believe what they say. Don seemed to deny that the hyukers were ever serious in their responses to AGW when it comes to blizzards and the like. Sorry, but I’ve talked to too many of them to believe that they’re not serious.

    Finally, if we remember to turn on the TV, we’ll probably watch whatever Olympics bits are on. As long as they’re actually showing sports, and not schmaltzy human-interest stories, that is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan (@22), I’m afraid you haven’t been following my arguments on media bias very well. Clearly, you need to purchase the Unabridged Cranach Comments of tODD, vols. I-III to get a better understanding. Because I’m pretty certain I’ve never said, as you seem to imply, that there is no bias in any media outlet whatsoever. Clearly, some outlets are biased, either conservatively or liberally. It would seem quite ridiculous to claim that media outlets that even conservatives admit are conservatively biased are … well, not conservatively biased. Fox and Friends? The Washington Times? Do I really have to build a case for you that they have a conservative bias? (Or, just to throw you a bone, that Maddow, Olbermann, and the Huffington Post are liberally biased?)

    And I’ll admit that I got lost in your pronouns, so I’m not sure what you’re arguing about taking arguments seriously. I don’t take the hyukers (if you will) seriously, if by that we mean “think that their arguments are intellectually honest”. But I do take them seriously inasmuch as I think they are serious and honestly believe what they say. Don seemed to deny that the hyukers were ever serious in their responses to AGW when it comes to blizzards and the like. Sorry, but I’ve talked to too many of them to believe that they’re not serious.

    Finally, if we remember to turn on the TV, we’ll probably watch whatever Olympics bits are on. As long as they’re actually showing sports, and not schmaltzy human-interest stories, that is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I just realized my above link didn’t work. Whoops. Here’s the actual link about right-wingers tying AGW to the recent snow. You’ll note the link goes to Media Matters, which is obviously a liberally biased group. Nor do all of those quoted necessarily make an explicit connection between the two unconnected (as we all agree, yes?) phenomena . But there are certainly a lot of implications in those quotes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I just realized my above link didn’t work. Whoops. Here’s the actual link about right-wingers tying AGW to the recent snow. You’ll note the link goes to Media Matters, which is obviously a liberally biased group. Nor do all of those quoted necessarily make an explicit connection between the two unconnected (as we all agree, yes?) phenomena . But there are certainly a lot of implications in those quotes.

  • DonS

    Let me clarify what I said, or at least what I meant concerning anecdotal AGW evidence, since my comment has now been referenced a couple of times. I think the majority of those who take an anti-AGW stance actually take the position that it is the AGW proponents who carry the burden of proof regarding AGW theory. The reason for this is that they are proposing, no, DEMANDING, wrenching changes and costs to economies worldwide, based upon an allegation that we need to reduce carbon emissions 80%!!!!! by 2050. This is a startling demand to make. You’d better have an airtight case that:, 1) such a reduction is possible without putting us all back in unheated, unlighted cabins with horses and buggies; 2) even that reduction would actually change anything significantly with respect to AGW; and 3) that the warming alternative is so bad that attempted emergency prevention of it is worth the millions and potentially billions of lives it will cost (yes, because of wrenching economic deprivation, the proposed measures will likely kill millions). This is a threefold burden of proof, and it is obviously a HUGE one to carry, given the stakes.

    So what do we get as proof? Some computer models and a lot of anecdotal chirping about how the last decade has been the hottest one ever (and then it turns out, maybe it wasn’t), and how we seem to be getting a lot of big hurricanes lately (and, then we aren’t). Forgive us if we are not impressed. We also get news reports that tell us that the “science is settled”, and that we troglodytes better fall in line, quick.

    In this context, when we see record snowfall and cold, we say, “look, you can’t even make your anecdotal case, let alone a real one, based on centuries, or at LEAST decades, of comprehensive, verified evidence and properly vetted, documented, and open to investigation by skeptics”.

    So, yeah, I’m sure some “deniers” are looking at the present cold weather and saying “see, that proves there’s no AGW”. But, since they don’t carry the burden of proof anyway, that’s not really the problem. The problem is that AGW theory proponents shouldn’t have been trying to score cheap political points by exploiting anecdotal evidence in the first place. They should have, instead, built a real case.

  • DonS

    Let me clarify what I said, or at least what I meant concerning anecdotal AGW evidence, since my comment has now been referenced a couple of times. I think the majority of those who take an anti-AGW stance actually take the position that it is the AGW proponents who carry the burden of proof regarding AGW theory. The reason for this is that they are proposing, no, DEMANDING, wrenching changes and costs to economies worldwide, based upon an allegation that we need to reduce carbon emissions 80%!!!!! by 2050. This is a startling demand to make. You’d better have an airtight case that:, 1) such a reduction is possible without putting us all back in unheated, unlighted cabins with horses and buggies; 2) even that reduction would actually change anything significantly with respect to AGW; and 3) that the warming alternative is so bad that attempted emergency prevention of it is worth the millions and potentially billions of lives it will cost (yes, because of wrenching economic deprivation, the proposed measures will likely kill millions). This is a threefold burden of proof, and it is obviously a HUGE one to carry, given the stakes.

    So what do we get as proof? Some computer models and a lot of anecdotal chirping about how the last decade has been the hottest one ever (and then it turns out, maybe it wasn’t), and how we seem to be getting a lot of big hurricanes lately (and, then we aren’t). Forgive us if we are not impressed. We also get news reports that tell us that the “science is settled”, and that we troglodytes better fall in line, quick.

    In this context, when we see record snowfall and cold, we say, “look, you can’t even make your anecdotal case, let alone a real one, based on centuries, or at LEAST decades, of comprehensive, verified evidence and properly vetted, documented, and open to investigation by skeptics”.

    So, yeah, I’m sure some “deniers” are looking at the present cold weather and saying “see, that proves there’s no AGW”. But, since they don’t carry the burden of proof anyway, that’s not really the problem. The problem is that AGW theory proponents shouldn’t have been trying to score cheap political points by exploiting anecdotal evidence in the first place. They should have, instead, built a real case.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@26), in all honesty, I think part of the problem is that you don’t listen to scientists when it comes to science. You listen to politicians and yahoos on the Internet who happen to favor one scientific theory, and then you blame the scientists whose work forms the underpinning of that theory for what the politicians and yahoos said.

    “It is the AGW proponents who carry the burden of proof regarding AGW theory.” And they have offered lots of proof, Don. You know where to find it: in scientific journals. Not in newspaper articles, on TV shows, or in blog comments.

    “The reason for this is that they are proposing, no, DEMANDING, wrenching changes and costs to economies worldwide, based upon an allegation that we need to reduce carbon emissions 80%!!!!! by 2050.” Here is where you start to get sloppy. The “they” here clearly has as its antecedent “AGW proponents”, but it’s not clear if you think you’re referring to scientists studying global warming or politicians acting on scientific research. While I’m sure many climate scientists are calling for political action, whether personally or as professionals, I believe most of them are merely doing their jobs as climate scientists.

    “Yes, because of wrenching economic deprivation, the proposed measures will likely kill millions.” Mmm-hmm. And no doubt you have evidence for this allegation, right? Because it would be ridiculous for you to demand evidence for the AGW allegations without having evidence of your own shocking allegations, wouldn’t it?

    “So what do we get as proof? Some computer models and a lot of anecdotal chirping about how the last decade has been the hottest one ever (and then it turns out, maybe it wasn’t), and how we seem to be getting a lot of big hurricanes lately (and, then we aren’t).” See, this is where I start to think that you haven’t so much read any actual climate science journals as you’ve read people talking on the Internet about AGW. Perhaps you can point to such a journal that uses “anecdotal chirping”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@26), in all honesty, I think part of the problem is that you don’t listen to scientists when it comes to science. You listen to politicians and yahoos on the Internet who happen to favor one scientific theory, and then you blame the scientists whose work forms the underpinning of that theory for what the politicians and yahoos said.

    “It is the AGW proponents who carry the burden of proof regarding AGW theory.” And they have offered lots of proof, Don. You know where to find it: in scientific journals. Not in newspaper articles, on TV shows, or in blog comments.

    “The reason for this is that they are proposing, no, DEMANDING, wrenching changes and costs to economies worldwide, based upon an allegation that we need to reduce carbon emissions 80%!!!!! by 2050.” Here is where you start to get sloppy. The “they” here clearly has as its antecedent “AGW proponents”, but it’s not clear if you think you’re referring to scientists studying global warming or politicians acting on scientific research. While I’m sure many climate scientists are calling for political action, whether personally or as professionals, I believe most of them are merely doing their jobs as climate scientists.

    “Yes, because of wrenching economic deprivation, the proposed measures will likely kill millions.” Mmm-hmm. And no doubt you have evidence for this allegation, right? Because it would be ridiculous for you to demand evidence for the AGW allegations without having evidence of your own shocking allegations, wouldn’t it?

    “So what do we get as proof? Some computer models and a lot of anecdotal chirping about how the last decade has been the hottest one ever (and then it turns out, maybe it wasn’t), and how we seem to be getting a lot of big hurricanes lately (and, then we aren’t).” See, this is where I start to think that you haven’t so much read any actual climate science journals as you’ve read people talking on the Internet about AGW. Perhaps you can point to such a journal that uses “anecdotal chirping”?

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #24,

    I confess that I do indeed lack the mental stamina to remain engaged in the debate on media bias. I don’t have cable and I don’t follow broadcast media, so I may well have mistaken your perspective up to now. (Plus, Amazon was out of vol. II of “The tODD.”*)

    I have never heard you say that there is no media bias, but I have heard you rightly blow the whistle on those who complain of media bias–particularly when their charge is sweepingly general and conveniently partisan.

    *Since I don’t know you well enough to know whether you consider the backhand “Scrubs” reference an insult or an homage, I’ll say there was nothing behind it other than a whim. Debate five!

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #24,

    I confess that I do indeed lack the mental stamina to remain engaged in the debate on media bias. I don’t have cable and I don’t follow broadcast media, so I may well have mistaken your perspective up to now. (Plus, Amazon was out of vol. II of “The tODD.”*)

    I have never heard you say that there is no media bias, but I have heard you rightly blow the whistle on those who complain of media bias–particularly when their charge is sweepingly general and conveniently partisan.

    *Since I don’t know you well enough to know whether you consider the backhand “Scrubs” reference an insult or an homage, I’ll say there was nothing behind it other than a whim. Debate five!

  • DonS

    tODD @ 27:

    Actually, tODD, I have studied this issue in some depth, and have read a great many journal articles written by scientists on both sides of the issue. My arguments above were directed to the noise that comes through in the political world, to the popular culture, but that does not mean that I have not viewed the issue on a deeper level. The consensus of the research on both sides is: 1) there appears to have been some warming in the past century, though it is difficult to quantify because the older data may be unreliable and because of the heat island effect occurring at many of the temperature monitoring stations ; 2) there appears to have been a substantial increase in CO2 in the atmosphere in the past century, on the order of about 50%, though, again, this is difficult to quantify because of a dearth of old data; 3) no one knows whether the current apparent warming trend is part of a natural cycle, an effect of the CO2 increase, or something else; 4) the warming trend has stalled in the past decade; and 5) the earth was apparently considerably warmer than it is today about 1,000 years ago. Beyond the foregoing, everything else is pretty much speculation, based on computer modeling and hypothesis. Much of the research on the AGW side has been directed to what the effects of anticipated warming would be, after the underlying warming is assumed.

    A significant problem for AGW proponents is that they know that, even were we to cease all CO2 emissions tomorrow, we could not stop the warming trend if it is based on increased CO2 in the environment. The best we could hope to do is slow it a little. They also know that we cannot reduce emissions sufficiently to actually reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere by switching to hybrids, re-using our grocery bags, or switching from incandescent bulbs. The required lifestyle changes would be wrenching. Literally, private automobiles and reliable electricity supply would need to be essentially eliminated, for starters. Amazingly, even though the chances of really successfully accomplishing the reduction goal are practically nil, and even though it would cost the world economy at least $100 trillion in wealth over the next 40 years (and probably much more), there has been little funded research into alternative strategies of climate warming mitigation (i.e. how to cope with climate change and mitigate its effects). That tells me that this whole issue is more a political one than a scientific one, where you truly would, in an impartial way, investigate all of the options and possibilities.

    Given the economic costs of reducing CO2 levels as prescribed by AGW proponents, how could you doubt that millions of lives would be lost? It is not the wealthy who typically get hurt in economic downturns, but rather the poor. And this effort would require an economic downturn unlike anything previously imagined. Those at the margins will be deeply hurt by costly and scarce energy, food, and the like. Moreover, because we seem to be choosing CO2 reduction over mitigation measures, if the AGW theorists are correct, they will also be hurt by the inevitable climate change effects.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 27:

    Actually, tODD, I have studied this issue in some depth, and have read a great many journal articles written by scientists on both sides of the issue. My arguments above were directed to the noise that comes through in the political world, to the popular culture, but that does not mean that I have not viewed the issue on a deeper level. The consensus of the research on both sides is: 1) there appears to have been some warming in the past century, though it is difficult to quantify because the older data may be unreliable and because of the heat island effect occurring at many of the temperature monitoring stations ; 2) there appears to have been a substantial increase in CO2 in the atmosphere in the past century, on the order of about 50%, though, again, this is difficult to quantify because of a dearth of old data; 3) no one knows whether the current apparent warming trend is part of a natural cycle, an effect of the CO2 increase, or something else; 4) the warming trend has stalled in the past decade; and 5) the earth was apparently considerably warmer than it is today about 1,000 years ago. Beyond the foregoing, everything else is pretty much speculation, based on computer modeling and hypothesis. Much of the research on the AGW side has been directed to what the effects of anticipated warming would be, after the underlying warming is assumed.

    A significant problem for AGW proponents is that they know that, even were we to cease all CO2 emissions tomorrow, we could not stop the warming trend if it is based on increased CO2 in the environment. The best we could hope to do is slow it a little. They also know that we cannot reduce emissions sufficiently to actually reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere by switching to hybrids, re-using our grocery bags, or switching from incandescent bulbs. The required lifestyle changes would be wrenching. Literally, private automobiles and reliable electricity supply would need to be essentially eliminated, for starters. Amazingly, even though the chances of really successfully accomplishing the reduction goal are practically nil, and even though it would cost the world economy at least $100 trillion in wealth over the next 40 years (and probably much more), there has been little funded research into alternative strategies of climate warming mitigation (i.e. how to cope with climate change and mitigate its effects). That tells me that this whole issue is more a political one than a scientific one, where you truly would, in an impartial way, investigate all of the options and possibilities.

    Given the economic costs of reducing CO2 levels as prescribed by AGW proponents, how could you doubt that millions of lives would be lost? It is not the wealthy who typically get hurt in economic downturns, but rather the poor. And this effort would require an economic downturn unlike anything previously imagined. Those at the margins will be deeply hurt by costly and scarce energy, food, and the like. Moreover, because we seem to be choosing CO2 reduction over mitigation measures, if the AGW theorists are correct, they will also be hurt by the inevitable climate change effects.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan, I’ll one-up you. I don’t have cable, don’t follow broadcast media, and I don’t watch Scrubs. Sorry, didn’t catch your reference.

    “I have heard you rightly blow the whistle on those who complain of media bias–particularly when their charge is sweepingly general and conveniently partisan.” Well, duh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan, I’ll one-up you. I don’t have cable, don’t follow broadcast media, and I don’t watch Scrubs. Sorry, didn’t catch your reference.

    “I have heard you rightly blow the whistle on those who complain of media bias–particularly when their charge is sweepingly general and conveniently partisan.” Well, duh.

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    How do you unsubscribe to a thread? This conversation will kill me before global warming does.

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    How do you unsubscribe to a thread? This conversation will kill me before global warming does.

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    Figured it out! I was subscribed to 33 conversations! Once subscribed, you will see a hyperlink Manage Subscriptions. Click it and remove yourself from any thread you wish. Cool!

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    Figured it out! I was subscribed to 33 conversations! Once subscribed, you will see a hyperlink Manage Subscriptions. Click it and remove yourself from any thread you wish. Cool!

  • cattail

    I just realized that we were being asked if we were going to watch the Olympics, never mind the weather.

    I stopped watching TV altogether a year ago. I got a coupon for a converter but never bothered to go get one. Frankly, I don’t miss it at all.

    It used to be that the Canadian Broadcasting System’s coverage of the Olympics was outstanding, and when I lived in Washington I could get the coverage via cable. In Oregon,no CBC overage is available. I understand that the CBC has scaled way back on its coverage, so no joy there. I always hated the US networks’ so-called coverage!    

  • cattail

    I just realized that we were being asked if we were going to watch the Olympics, never mind the weather.

    I stopped watching TV altogether a year ago. I got a coupon for a converter but never bothered to go get one. Frankly, I don’t miss it at all.

    It used to be that the Canadian Broadcasting System’s coverage of the Olympics was outstanding, and when I lived in Washington I could get the coverage via cable. In Oregon,no CBC overage is available. I understand that the CBC has scaled way back on its coverage, so no joy there. I always hated the US networks’ so-called coverage!    


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