Global Warming Nerves   Leave a comment

The global-warming crowd is a little getting nervous. Why? Because this was a cold, long winter in many parts of the world and it’s hard to sell anthropomorphic

Here in Alaska, we bet on the date the Tanana River ice will go out. What can I tell you? Small isolated community with a lot of frozen rivers. In the early part of the 20th century, what else were we going to do with our time and the considerable amount of gold dust some of the miners had stashed? For as little as $2.50 for a single ticket, you can win in excess of $300,000, depending on how many tickets were sold. It’s not Powerball, but it’s our own little funky contest and in a state where gambling is not legal, it’s about the only time any of us get to place a bet without committing a misdemeanor. Technically, it is not a game of chance because there is science involved in figuring out when the ice goes out.

This is the latest the Tanana River has gone out in the history of the Ice Classic … one day later than in the very cold year of 1964 (the year my mom won a bar pool on the Classic). It was the coldest winter since 1971. April 2013 was the snowiest April on record. The trees haven’t budded yet, a good two weeks later than any year in my memory. The Denali Highway keeps drifting in with snow as soon as the road crews clear it.

I understand this is a trend. The northern states of the United States experienced a bitterly cold and late winter and Europe saw a similar pattern. On average, this March was 13 degrees colder than last year. On the other hand, the Arctic sea ice is definitely declining and is at the fifth lowest extent in recorded history, and Greenland has experienced dramatic melting as well. Paradoxically, Antarctica’s ice sheet reached its highest extent on record in 2012, but scientists say the ice there is changing. I would note that polar region research is still in its infancy, so the meaning of these observations has yet to be determined.

Which is my point. After 20 years of warming trend, Alaska has seen three winters in a row in line with historical weather trends – the cold I knew as a kid is back. Now, this summer is looking to be a chill one, which was NOT the pattern when I was a kid. We had warm, even hot summers, in Interior Alaska.

But, if you’ve made a career out of global warming, this spring will make you cranky. Professor of forest ecology Glenn Judy was there to shut down logging in Oregon to protect the spotted owl who were falling prey to a larger, more efficient owl species. Now he lives in Alaska to nag us about what he sees as our wanton ways. But, if the weather is returning to normal, what’s he going to do for a living? So, let’s insist that the Weather Service and commonsense Alaskans with decades of Alaskan experience are confused by calendar dates and that we really don’t know what we’re observing.

Another ruling-class elitist who wants to insist that he and his know more than the rest of us. We’re scientists; we’re experts. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Your observations are merely the confused ramblings of poorly educated people who mistakenly think you are able to think for yourselves. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! We will control all that you see and hear! The ice is melting, the temperatures are going up. You’re cold and it’s snowing in May? Here, put on a woolen burqa to protect you from the sun’s rays. You’re hot now, aren’t you? See, global warming! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

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