Alarm Versus Denial and Experience of a Hot Summer


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.

  • Justin’s Inquisition

    So anecdotal evidence, combined with “handing over freedoms or tying down our economy” is a reason to deny science? I would suspect you would have supported your Church’s persecution of Galileo proving the Earth moves around the Sun if you had the chance back in the day if you didn’t agree with the perceived politics of it.

    • Justin Katz

      Umm… no. I was responding to somebody using anecdotal evidence on behalf of alarmism. And it is not “anecdotal evidence” to point out a 25-year time line that doesn’t match what alarmists have said.

      That’s kind of how science works.

      • Justin’s Inquisition

        You define someone using facts as “anecdotal evidence” and then call an online tool from the “failing and fake” NYT as science? I’m glad you aren’t a “researcher”. Oh, wait a minute…never mind. Was Galileo a round earth “alarmist”?

  • Mike678

    Spot on. It isn’t about truth or presenting a balanced argument…more whatever advances the narrative.

  • BasicCaruso

    Correct, one month doesn’t mean much if anything (lets see if Monique remembers that next time it snows). On the other hand…

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Validated models…Bueller? Anyone?
    The models can’t even predict what happened, yet we’re supposed to turn the world upside down because “The Science”?
    Some people will believe anything.

    • Mike678

      If these totalitarian-leaning clowns had their way you’d be punished for not toeing the party line. See Sheldon W for exhibit A.

      • Christopher C. Reed

        So would it be impolite to point out that in 1974 “the science” showed that there was a cooling trend from 1940 on…data conveniently omitted from the 2001 & 2017 NASA datasets.
        Or that all available satellite data shows no global warming…oops, better flush that down the memory hole.