Everyone knows that the best time to discuss global warming issues in the U.S. Congress is in Mid-February, because that’s when it will be nice and chilly, and wise cracking senators from Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana can nail one-liners about Ph.D., atmospheric scientists having to wear mittens and scarves during their commute to testify before Congress, that day. “Haha, Doctor Hockey Stick, did you have to knock the icicles off your global warming report, this morning?” Hahahaha, as laugh reverberate through the chamber.
Sometimes, it seems that the Universe must have a cruel sense of humor. See this straightforward article from the NY Times, for the factual basis of the following (nevermind the opinions). The Eastern U.S. is in the grips of a genuine cold-snap. However, as the U.S. covers two percent of the Earth’s surface, and the Eastern U.S. accounts for less than half of the U.S. land mass, a cold-snap in the East does not explain everything that is happening in the world. In fact, the Earth, has been through its fourth warmest January on record, but because the one-percent of the Earth where law and policy is made in the most influential nation on said planet, we should expect willful ignorance to continue to stridently parade through the chambers of Congress. What a great time for lawmakers to base all of their thought and decision on what they see outside their windows. It is a painful time for citizens and scientists who are willing to take a global perspective. Too bad U.S. senators can’t see Greenland from their limousine windows, or we might have more hope.
It would be too much to assume that God, Mother Nature, Gaia, or the Universe has an actual conscience, and is playing cruel jokes on the human race, but why does it feel that way? Let the cold-snap hit Kazakhstan, and let Washington D.C. get the 70 degree day in mid-February. Then, maybe we might get lawmakers to kind of, sort of, admit that humans are playing some role in global warming. No, the Universe needs a good laugh, so let’s send the last of the cold air to exactly where it will cause the most headaches and heat for humanity. Hilarious if you’re a supreme being sitting at the center of a black hole, but a real nightmare if you’re some poor atmospheric scientist with a hockey stick graph (link for a description of the The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, by Michael Mann). Oh well, at least kids on the East coast can play hockey out on the lake this winter.