A couple of years ago The Knife operated upon a nice guy who was and is a leading light in the UK green movement, fresh out of university and brimming with green fever. We had a few well-tempered arguments about global warming. Outside was heavy snow. I pointed this out, which was, I know, a bit of a facile move, but the riposte was the first time I heard the now mandatory You know very well that climate is not the same thing as weather.
Is it not? Well I think they’re pretty close personally, and I’m not alone. The numerous “climate scientists” who until last year were predicting the end of British winters seemed to feel there was link. Until it became inconvenient.
One of the great joys of being a global warming rationalist/sceptic is being fed the most outrageous pieces of pseudoscience which all aim to explain, with bag-of-a-fag-packet levels of coherence, how alleged global warming actually causes freezing snowy winters. It usually throws in a few references to the gulf stream, seasoned with a dash of El nino, topped off with the safety net that we’re presently in a mysterious 10 year hiatus in the otherwise inexorably rising temperature. Bravura stuff.
“…..the number of Britons considering this climate change gubbins to be all a load of old cobblers must, in the last week, have risen appreciably. I have every sympathy. It seems entirely natural to believe the evidence of your own eyes. I only do not concur because I have learnt the difference between climate and weather – weather’s what happens this week, climate’s what happens this century – and also because, having now covered the issue in detail for more than twenty years, I am inclined to take a longer view.”
Well, you would be, wouldn’t you? Love that “inclined”. Then, referring to a piece in The Economist:
“The magazine has no truck with climate scepticism – the future is far too important for nonsense.”
Well, the humility didn’t last long.