Milbank: Snowstorms in the Capital Were Inconvenient for Al Gore

February 14th, 2010 1:40 PM

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank Sunday said the recent snowstorms in the nation's capital were inconvenient for Nobel Laureate Al Gore.

Such a remark seems destined to draw the ire of climate alarmists from coast to coast who have been burning the candle at both ends to not only convince the public that these storms are evidence of global warming, but also to criticize anyone that has jokingly claimed the contrary.

What will also likely anger Gore's sycophants was Milbank's use of facts in his column Sunday:

This latest snowfall, though, is more likely the result of a strong El Niño cycle that has parked the jet stream right over the mid-Atlantic states.

Still, there's some rough justice in the conservatives' cheap shots. In Washington's blizzards, the greens were hoist by their own petard.

For years, climate-change activists have argued by anecdote to make their case. Gore, in his famous slide shows, ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought and the spread of mosquitoes, pine beetles and disease. It's not that Gore is wrong about these things. The problem is that his storm stories have conditioned people to expect an endless worldwide heat wave, when in fact the changes so far are subtle.

Other environmentalists have undermined the cause with claims bordering on the outlandish; they've blamed global warming for shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, genetic changes in squirrels, an increase in kidney stones and even the crash of Air France Flight 447. When climate activists make the dubious claim, as a Canadian environmental group did, that global warming is to blame for the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, then they invite similarly specious conclusions about Washington's snow -- such as the Virginia GOP ad urging people to call two Democratic congressmen "and tell them how much global warming you get this weekend."


Since Gore became the front-man for this myth, he and his followers have tied virtually every malady on the planet to global warming while blaming each and every extreme weather event on the new, more adaptable "climate change."

As a result, skeptics now have taken to humorously depict any cold weather event as disproving that which has made Gore a very rich man -- and the alarmists can't stand it.

But Milbank wasn't done:

In a conference call arranged Thursday by the liberal Center for American Progress to refute the snow antics of Inhofe et al., the center's Joe Romm made the well-worn statements that "the overwhelming weight of the scientific literature" points to human-caused warming and that doubters "don't understand the science."

The science is overwhelming -- but not definitive. Romm's claim was inadvertently shot down by his partner on the call, the Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, who confessed that "there's a huge amount of natural variability in the climate system" and not enough years of measurements to know exactly what's going on. "Unfortunately we don't have that data so we are forced to make decisions based on inadequate data."

Inadequate is an understatement, for even ClimateGate's Phil Jones has now admitted the paleoclimatic data from tree-rings is flawed. 

Beyond this, in the grand scheme of man's existence on this planet, the timeframe the alarmists work with is statistically insignificant. 

Take for example a recent report the alarmists jumped on concerning January being the "hottest month on record" according to satellite data taken by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

As satellites have only been measuring global temperatures since 1979, that means this was the warmest January in 32 years.

Is that statistically significant over the millions of years the planet has been in existence? Does this tell us anything about what Januaries were like during the Dust Bowl era or the Medieval Warm Period?


But alarmists use such data to prove global warming, which makes it that much more enjoyable to poke fun at them when blizzards hit parts of the country that rarely see such things.