As heat waves move across the U.S. from the northeast to the southwest and in much of western Europe, climate alarmists are responding predictably by blaming hot temperatures not on true meteorological causes but on the nebulous bogeyman of “climate change.”
The lazy person’s answer to explaining weather phenomena is to forego the grueling task of trying to assess the virtually limitless variables involved in climatological events and to attribute everything instead to the all-encompassing catchall of global warming. Whereas past generations spoke of an “act of God” to explain extraordinary weather occurrences, now we point to the more scientific-sounding but equally vague notion of “climate change.”
Convincing people that “climate change” threatens the world as we know it becomes all the easier when hot summer days play into the narrative that the world is getting inexorably warmer. Thirty or forty or a hundred years ago, hot summers were just hot summers and people understood that. Now they are an omen of something huge and scary and out of control.
“Deadly heat waves are going to be a much bigger problem in the coming decades,” warns CNN, “becoming more frequent and occurring over a much greater portion of the planet.”
“Extreme heat waves,” CNN continues, “are frequently cited as one of the most direct effects of man-made climate change.”
Some climate change alarmists go further still, predicting with astounding precision the effects that global warming will supposedly have on future generations decades from now. A new study from Nature Magazine, for instance, makes the remarkable claim that by the year 2100 exactly 74 percent of the world’s population will be exposed to climatic conditions exceeding a “deadly threshold” for at least 20 days a year, if we don’t drastically cut back on fossil fuel emissions.
If sociologists, biologists, or scientists in other fields attempted to make such ridiculously precise predictions for events eighty years in the future, they would be laughed out of the academy. But somehow, climate “scientists” get a pass. They can say almost anything they please and expect only respectful nods from their colleagues and adoring adulation from the mainstream media.
One supposes that the authors of such studies can rest easy, knowing that when their dire predictions fail to materialize they will already be dead and buried and no one will care that they terrified people with theories concocted in laboratories with radically fallible climate models.
For the record, the hottest temperature ever measured on the planet was 134 degrees Fahrenheit, in Death Valley National Park. This record was set on July 10, 1913—more than 100 years ago. Manmade global warming? Nope.
Then there was the 1936 heat wave that killed some 5,000 people in the midwestern United States and elsewhere in the nation. In Springfield, Illinois, temperatures reached triple digits on 29 days that year, including 12 consecutive days from July 4 through 14. This was before the days of air conditioning.
Some of the more recent climate frenzy is of course a knee-jerk reaction to President Trump’s commonsense decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. It is simply the nearest convenient stick with which to attempt to beat the sitting leader of the free world.
“Even if humans aggressively cut back on fossil fuel emissions, such as outlined in the Paris climate agreement,” CNN warns, “rising temperatures and humidity levels will combine to increase the intensity and frequency of deadly heat waves.”
For now, the summer is hot, as summers often are. If it makes people feel better or more responsible to link their sweat and lethargy to a major “ethical issue” of global dimensions, that’s fine.
Since the earliest days of recorded history, human beings have looked to myth to explain the unexplainable. The only difference now is that the myth has a very thin veneer of scientific respectability.
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