Well, not exactly. Ah, here in northern Georgia the southern summers can be brutal with all the heat and humidity. I work at a metal fabricating plant, in a powder coating shop. No air-conditioning because the oven temperature for curing the powder is well over four hundred degrees. But before that happens the filthy steel must be washed with detergent water heated to over a hundred degrees - that belches additional steam and humidity into our workplace.
This week we have been having a brief period of relief from what has been slightly above average July temps. Yesterday, according to the weather in Chattanooga - just north of where I live and my old home town - we set a record for the lowest high temperature for a July 18. It was 72, degrees, with overcast skies and drizzle to light rain all day. The previous record lowest high for that date was 77, way back in 1918. (That not only was before my time, but also before my parents' time!)
But what about global warming? Well, it seems every time there is a weather anomaly the denialists allude to it as disproof, while the champions assure us that instead it's further proof of their thesis. What can the average lay person hope to understand about this?
I think the big debate is whether the global warming (for which there has been enough data to satisfy this non-specialist fool) is a human-induced phenomenon, or whether it is just part of the ebb-and-flow of nature.
Several years ago arch skeptic and professional debunker James Randi had the audacity to question the anthropocentric climate change thesis. For that he was publicly flogged by his fellow skeptics and debunkers, until he tried to walk back his original skepticism. (I posted about that once and don't have the links at hand, but they are easily found with a Google search).
What Randi originally wrote didn't seem to me unreasonable, but what was interesting to me was yet another example of how non-religious orthodoxy attempts to stifle open-minded inquiry.
Now I'm not what they call a climate change denialist. I am, however, someone who is very mindful of Twain's observation that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. I wonder how much about root causes we can know with certainty by examining statistics, trends, and anomalies. Are the climate scientists really "doing" science or merely making predictions and educated guesses?
I'm old enough that I remember well the global cooling scare of the seventies and eighties. When I was living in Chattanooga in the 1980s I endured some very cold winters then, including one where we experienced the lowest ever recorded temperature (minus 7 degrees, Fahrenheit) for that city. Global cooling seemed reasonable enough.
But now, thirty years later, after Chattanooga recorded it's highest ever temperature in July, 2012 (107 degrees F), it's enough for me to doubt anyone fully knows exactly what the heck (if indeed anything) is happening with the climate.
Just recently much was made about a decade-long "slowdown in global warming." For example, here is a link to a Guardian article, dated Feb. 26, 2014, explaining that the Global warming slowdown "does not invalidate climate change." While less than a month later a Skeptical Science article states Global warming not slowing - it's speeding up. This article points to surface warming and explains:
So contrary to what the denialists claim, there is no “slowdown” in global warming and certainly no “pause” or “cooling”, as the Earth continues to accumulate heat faster than ever. It’s true the rate of surface warming appears to have slowed slightly in the last 15 years. However, 2013 was still the 5th warmest year in the 164-year global temperature record, according to the University of York.
Okaaaaay. Lies, damned lies and statistics, I suppose.
Okay, I get that the various reports and surveys get massaged by those with agendas. Sure, it is in the interest of the Corporatists to downplay any role humans have in harming the environment and possibly bringing about widespread climate change. Costly regulations and such would surely eat into their profit margin.
And I don't deny that ecologists at times seem to be practicing something akin to religion in their relentless zeal to "save the environment." I'm closer to aligning myself with this group, certainly, than the former. But I'm not an extremist about the matter.
I know I'm thankful for this brief respite from the July heat. It saves on the ol' electrical bill and braces me to endure another month and a half (at least) of heat and humidity - unless the temps start falling to abnormal lows. In which case that would be either consistent with anthropocentric global warming or the ever-evolving climate of earth.
I don't know. I'm agnostic about the matter and fairly weary of the whole "debate."