With insinuations about climate change, this morning, somebody tweeted a Providence Journal article at me headlined, “Providence is likely to record its hottest August on record“:
“We are on pace to be the warmest August on record,” Alan Dunham, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Norton, Massachusetts, said early on Friday.
This August has included 11 days above 90 degrees and two official heat waves — Aug. 5 to 9 and Aug. 28 to 30. Meteorologists define a heat wave as at least three days in a row with high temperatures at 90 or above.
The funny thing is that whenever those of us who remain somewhat skeptical about climate alarmism bring up particularly cold months in winter, the alarmists scoff about the difference between climate and weather. When it’s hot in a given month, however, apparently that’s decisive.
By serendipity, this morning I also came across an interactive tool from the New York Times that shows you the change in number of days per year above 90 degrees in your hometown since you were born and (of course) projected into the future with a scary curve. When I was born in 1975, my childhood home in northern New Jersey could expect six 90-degree days, which climbed to 11 days in 2017 and (they project) will reach 27 days by the time I’m 80.
But my 25-year high school reunion is coming up, and according to the graph, there has been no increase in 90 degree days since the year I graduated. Let’s just say that’s not what we were led to expect back then.
Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t have data for Rhode Island or any Massachusetts towns on our border. However, we can compare with Connecticut. Plug in Killingly and the oldest start date possible of 1960, and you get one 90-degree day on average back then, which has gone to… one day now. Actually, it’s gone down, from just over one day to just under one day.
So what do we make of the fact that Providence had 11 90-degree days in August alone when a nearby town is supposed to average just one per year? Well, for the record, various sources that come up in an online search give higher numbers for Providence, trending around 10 per year and three in August. This, however, is where we get to that difference between weather and climate. These are all averages, and as a summary report on NOAA’s Web site (perhaps from 2001) puts it, Rhode Island’s urban areas average eight to 10 summer days over 90 degrees, which can go up to around 20 days in a given year.
So, back to the point: We should be aware of climate and do what we can for the health of our environment, but when it comes to handing over freedoms or tying down our economy, the evidence just isn’t sufficient to justify it.