Today’s column is about global warming. Sitting down to write it made a nice break from all the hard physical chores we’re tackling thanks to the unseasonably cool weather.
Yes, unseasonably cool. As the July 16 Citizen reported, “Ottawa’s summer was supposed to be sticky and dry, and June passed the test with flying colours. But now the hot weather has taken a summer holiday of its own, with clouds and rain seemingly stuck in a holding pattern over the city.” In addition to almost constant rain, the paper added “Vacationers and cottage-goers might disagree, but July temperatures have only been slightly below normal. The average high has been 24 C; the average low, 13.4 C. Both are just two degrees cooler than usual. June was scorching by comparison. Eight days of 30plus temperatures were recorded, topping out at 34.2 on the 26th.”
I’m trying to be level in head and tone here. June was hot, July was cold, the predictions were wrong and as a result we know … not much. Other than that weather, like climate, fluctuates in weird ways because it is complex. A cool summer no more proves the Earth is not heating up or that humans are not causing it than a warm decade in the 1990s proved it is and they are. So I consider it unfair that when temperatures are “just” two degrees above average Al Gore starts holding rock concerts, David Suzuki is all over the billboards and arcane computer models acquire a degree of infallibility at which the Pope can only gaze in envy. But when they’re down by that much, an Environment Canada meteorologist dismisses the variation as “not extreme” and says, what the heck, computer models aren’t that reliable. Continue Reading →
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