Saturday morning I woke up, got the coffee going and turned on the TV to check out the morning’s Premiere League soccer match. That’s how I do Saturdays this time of year, to the point that it doesn’t even feel like Saturday has started until I’ve gotten a look at the “beautiful game in stunning high definition,” as that Sylvania ad that runs every five minutes calls it. And this past Saturday, I was especially up for the Arsenal vs. Stoke City matchup. Arsenal, the only team that matters as far as I’m concerned, was coming off an annoying and unlucky road loss to Manchester United. That loss had let Man U leapfrog the Gunners to take first place, but a win at home over Stoke could right the world. So I was ready to watch the Gunners fire off, and the Fox Soccer Channel had that match on the bill.
Mother Nature had other ideas, though, and the Arsenal vs Stoke match was canceled due to snow. A blizzard had slammed the UK, burying much of the country and canceling Premiere League matches all over the place. The statement from Arsenal’s front office summarized the scene nicely.
“[Due] to a huge deluge of snow in north London starting over Emirates Stadium at 11.38am, the match referee Lee Mason made the decision at 12.07pm to postpone today’s match.”
“Approximately three inches of snow fell over this half hour period and there continues to be heavy snowfall with no apparent let up.”
Not only was this winter storm unexpected, it was supposed to be impossible. As Ed Driscoll noted, over the past several years mild winters have brought out the global warming crowd to tell us that snow in the UK is a thing of the past. Take this sample of climate journalism from March 2000.
[T]he warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
Until this past week or so, when snow buried the country and wiped out the soccer schedule, simultaneously disappointing and delighting kids all over the UK no doubt. Oops.
But the onset of what most of us call “weather” hasn’t deterred the anthropic global warming crowd. George Monbiot, the global warming alarmist so constantly alarmed he might as well change his name to “moonbat,” is out in the Guardian arguing that, yes, the return of snow is also a symptom of global warming, now rebranded “climate change.”
There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere. With the help of the severe weather analyst John Mason and the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, I’ve been through as much of the scientific literature as I can lay hands on (see my website for the references). Here’s what seems to be happening.
The global temperature maps published by Nasa present a striking picture. Last month’s shows a deep blue splodge over Iceland, Spitsbergen, Scandanavia and the UK, and another over the western US and eastern Pacific. Temperatures in these regions were between 0.5C and 4C colder than the November average from 1951 and 1980. But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual. Nasa’s Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9. There was a similar pattern last winter. These anomalies appear to be connected.
And so forth and so on. No snow=global warming. Snow=global warming. Heads the alarmists win, tales the rest of us lose.
Over at Watts Up With That?, Anthony Watts does a good job of taking Monbiot apart by showing precisely where the GISS weather stations in question are positioned (near airports) and how this impacts the data set. Watts also refines the GISS data to show that there are a great deal more holes in it than Monbiot lets on in his piece. That there are holes in the data is neither surprising nor scandalous — it’s a big planet, after all — but papering over the holes to create warm spots that may not be warm at all crosses the ethical line.
Ever since the weather stopped cooperating (which was as likely as not influenced by the 11-year solar cycle) and the ClimateGate emails saw the light of day, the AGW folks have become increasingly desperate to own the debate by any means necessary. It’s telling, to me at any rate, that someone in the AGW community has decided to launch an anonymous attack blog dressed up as a comic book web site, in the name of making villains out of skeptics, which is among other things one of the most unscientific actions anyone can take. The site is called Global Warming Superheroes, and it declares that the “future of humanity is depending on them.” Which is bad news for the future of humanity, I guess, because “Gaia Girl” and her merry band of smear heroes don’t actually exist.
Global Warming Superheroes is, basically, a site set up to launch ad hominem attacks on “deniers” while setting up NASA’s Dr. James Hansen as a “hero.” But the site is an odd duck, combining a childish comic book treatment with a churlish, bordering on profane, treatment of its targets. Scroll down the site a ways and, on the right hand side, you’ll see a section called “Bad Guy of the Week.” The most recent is Marc Morano, who worked for Sen. James Inhofe and — shudder — Rush Limbaugh. Global Warming Superheroes runs through Morano’s biography, trashing all the way, before giving readers its rating of his eeevil, villainous power.
Dickhead Factor 9
Scientific Credibility 0
Not making that up. That’s how the Global Warming Superheroes site rates all its enemies: With a “Dickhead Factor.” Classy. They do the same to Lord Christopher Monkton, while decrying the fact that “deniers” enjoy freedom of speech and can post videos to YouTube. The horror!
On their “About Us,” page, instead of finding out about who is behind the site, readers are treated to this:
Spider-Man made a big deal of protecting New York from the GreenGoblin. But let’s be honest: scrapping a lycra-clad gimp on a hover-board is about as gutsy as wiping a pube from the bath.
“…wiping a pube from the bath.” Classy.
And then there’s this:
This blog will contain all the facts you need to convince yourself which side of the fight you’re on. Still, we’re happy to stand by Hulk’s timeless warning, which gains added bite when the future of an entire planet is at stake:
“Don’t make us angry. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry…”
Yeah, if you make them angry they just might wield a gigantic hoax to raise your taxes, imperil your job, destroy your freedom and wreck your economy! Wait, they’re already doing that… So who’s the villain here again?
At the risk of angering and Hulkifying the Global Warming Superheroes, I tried to figure out who’s funding the site. That question is often asked, but never answered, in the site’s own comments. So who’s behind the somewhat expensive Global Warming Superheroes web site? It seems that while they’re content to launch stink bombs at others, they don’t want anyone to know who they actually are. A whois shows that they registered the domain on Oct 14, 2010, and their nameservers are located in snowbound UK, but they also paid a little extra and concealed their other information from prying eyes.
I guess they’re trying to protect their superhero identities. Perhaps Julian Assange will eventually WikiLeak them.