Global warming has been very, very good to me

By Kennedy Maize

God, I love global warming.

This spring and summer has been the coolest and wettest since we moved to our current western Maryland farm 20 years ago. My pastures are lush with clover, and we took our lambs to the butcher six-to-eight weeks earlier than normal. We raise 99% grass-fed lambs (a little bit of corn gets them to follow the bucket, since we don’t use sheep dogs). They put on weight this year like we’ve never seen before.

We had really wet conditions in April, May, and June. July was, typically, dry, but we got .5 inches of rain on the 22nd and another .5 on the 24th. That’s just unprecedented. August is typically the wettest month of the summer, largely because high temperatures induce thunder storms. Hard to tell whether that pattern will hold. But it doesn’t matter, because my lambs are in the freezer, not on the pasture.

So far this year, we’ve had four days that touched 90 (F). Often, we’ve had that many 90-degree days in April. July, August, and early September typically feature a lot of 90+ days. No so far.

My wife noticed on the Weather Channel (her favorite view) that some parts of Chile had seen snow this summer, a totally new experience this early (or late) in their season. Low temperatures are showing up around the globe, and NASA data indicates we haven’t seen warming in a decade.

Now, global warming evangelists will argue that you can’t extrapolate global data from local conditions. Weather isn’t climate. Fair enough, if they would follow the same rule. Hurricanes aren’t global conditions, nor are tornadoes, or other “extreme” weather events. But the warming advocates are quick to jump on those local phenomena, claiming, against all evidence, that global warming is producing extreme weather. That’s simply bogus.

Golly, does the truth of global climate mean we don’t have ways to scare folks about what’s happening locally into policies that aim to affect global political action? Maybe that undercuts the decades-old environmental credo of “think globally, act locally.”

Some 15 years ago, I wrote a commentary for Electricity Daily, titled “Global Warming Got Your Dog,” taking the greens to task for claiming that every untoward weather event showed the hand of man in pumping CO2 emissions. I got a whiny response from my friend Ralph Cavanagh of NRDC, denying that mainstream environmental groups were making such claims.

Sorry, Ralph, but I called the trend correctly. The greens, including NRDC,  were soon attributing virtually every extreme weather event to man-made gloabal warming. Indeed, the politically-correct term is no longer global warming, but “climate change.” The new term encompasses anything one wants: too much rain, too little rain; too warm, too cool; too much snow, not enough snow. It’s all man-made “climate change,” as if the climate hasn’t and doesn’t continually change in ways chaotic, regardless of the works of man at the margin.

In that regard, a recent article by two Aussie scientists and a Kiwi in the Journal of Geophysical Research – highlighted by Marc Morano of Climatedepot.com – provides strong evidence that most of the variation of global temperatures in the past 50 years has an entirely natural explanation: the El Nino Southern Oscillation, also known as ENSO. It’s a powerful article, although difficult for laymen to parse. The journal is published by the American Geophysical Union, and articles are peer-reviewed.

Skepticism about the now-conventional wisdom of global warming appears to me to be growing. The New York Times has published several articles recently about sunspot activity and the possible link to the Earth’s climate, most recently on July 20. Man-made global warming skeptics have long argued that Earth’s climate fluctuates within the 11-year sunspot cycle. We are currently in a very limp sunspot period, which may explain why global temperatures haven’t gone up for the past decade. The Times’s excellent science blogger, John Tierney, has long provided a platform for skeptics (aka “deniers”) to make our case. Tierney hasn’t taken a stand. He’s merely provided a platform. Good for him.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration had to pull out all the stops to win House approval for the Waxman-Markey climate change (and all kinds of other stuff) bill, 219-212.

The prospects for passage in the Senate may be slim. Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, former secretary of agriculture in the George W. Bush administration, predicted that the cap-and-trade legislation won’t pass in the Senate, because it will hurt farmers, a potent lobby in Washington.

For those of us daring enough to bring up global warming in our conversations with friends and acquaintances (I do this a lot at picnics and pig roasts, and suffer slings and arrows of uninformed animus), the Marshall Institute has published a useful pamphlet – “The Cocktail Conversation Guide to Global Warming.” If you are bold enough to broach the topic with friends and acquaintences, read this. If you aren’t willing to talk about the issue, fearing fisticuffs, print the pamphlet and distribute copies during the party.

Finally, if what I’ve experienced in the past year is global warming (and, clearly, neither I nor anyone else has a clue about that, although I doubt it) I say: bring it on. I’d like to finance bumper stickers that say: “Burn more coal. Warm the Earth.”