Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Warmest Year

That would be 2012, the warmest year in the US in recorded history. Let David Dayen at FDL tell you about it.

UPDATE: NTodd, in comments, points us to an article at MediaMatters, Why George Will Is Wrong About Weather And Climate, which contains graphics that should clarify matters for all but the most stubborn climate change deniers. The short version is that the climate trend rides atop the weather cycle, so that extreme individual weather events, whether or not a given event can be attributed to climate change, become more frequent over the years as climate changes. Lately the frequency of such weather events has leaned disproportionately toward heat events rather than cold events, and the change in frequency of heat events has accelerated in a very small number of years, as shown in this government chart borrowed from the linked article:

Will these events become even more frequent over the course of this century? The following map, taken from the government report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, answers with an emphatic yes:

Confronted with this projection, deniers can either dispute the science (usually by finding contrarians willing to go on record saying things far from the consensus opinion among climate scientists), dispute the magnitude of the effect (harder to do every year, as shown above) or shrug and say "It's not our problem," meaning "We won't be alive by then; let our children deal with it." Most of the deniers I have encountered are on the political right, with everything that entails including the typical arrogant self-assurance; it occurs to me that they may also have financial motives to keep things just as they are until it's too late... if it isn't already too late.

Welcome to our world: created by idiots, maintained by imbeciles and led by morons. A bit more intelligence would be very helpful about now...


  1. The scariest global warming chart is here:


  2. Thanks, ntodd. I've considerably expanded the post, drawing heavily on the article you pointed to.

  3. That's a pretty impressive chart and I wonder just how many climate change deniers are working like little devils to figure out how to dispute it.

  4. fallenmonk, the deniers are just plain nuts. Back in about 1971 when I finished my M.Eng, people at Rice were just beginning to discuss the possibility of human-induced climate change; most of us in the engineering disciplines withheld our opinions awaiting more evidence. Over the years, of course, that changed. Now, as far as I know, only people like our friend DD are willing to go against all available evidence and deny it, but if it profits them monetarily, they will deny it until the water is up around their chins.

    Physicist David Deutsch, a brilliant man who is (in spire of that) libertarian, metaphorically shrugs his shoulders and says that humans are capable of fixing the problem in plenty of time, and will be ready to face other problems... personally, I call that political naiveté. The deniers are often among the politically powerful; it's going to take a real cataclysm to overcome the inertia they create and move toward a solution.



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes