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The Hottest Year

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The National Agency for Climate Change Denial (NACCD) issued a statement yesterday denouncing the recent report that 2012 was the hottest year on record.

“We categorically reject the assumption that the so-called “record heat” had anything to do with human activity,” the statement read. “This is yet further evidence of the massive global warming fraud being foisted on gullible Americans by evil scientists dedicated to proving their crackpot theories, even if they have to destroy our planet to do it.”

The statement was in response to the release on Tuesday by The National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., of its official tally showing that the average temperate in the United States during 2012 was 55.3 degrees, a full degree warmer than the previous high.

 “This has gone beyond being a mere hoax,” a spokesman for the climate denial agency angrily charged. “We now believe that this is a full-fledged international conspiracy.”

The privately-funded agency, staffed by a broad spectrum of global warming skeptics, was established during the second Bush administration by officials alarmed by the growing belief among voters that climate change might be real and that the government might be expected to do something about it.

“Look at the evidence. Climate scientists predict that the temperature is rising, and then they come up with data showing that it’s rising. They predict melting ice caps, and the ice caps melt. They warn that we’ll get more severe storms, and we get killer tornadoes in the South and Midwest and superstorms along the coasts. They say the oceans will rise, and right on schedule, the oceans rise.

“We at the NACCD aren’t scientist—we’re religious fundamentalists, industry mouthpieces and former congressmen entirely beholden to special interests—so we don’t know how they’re doing it. All we know is, these climatologists are extremely dangerous and they must be stopped.

“They’ve already caused massive damage. Dozens dead from tornadoes. Homes and businesses leveled. New Orleans and now New York flooded. Damage in the tens of billions of dollars. Who knows where they’ll strike next in their deranged campaign to persuade people that they’re right about global warming.”

“In the coming days, the agency will issue a number of far-ranging proposals to limit any further damage climate scientists can do. I won’t get into specifics now, but some of the main suggestions will be to stop funding science education in the schools, to make it a crime to collect climate data, and—most important—to refuse to provide disaster funds for any future storm damage caused by these deranged scientists. It’s just bad public policy to continue to reward their recklessness.

“Finally, we ask these self-proclaimed climate experts one question: how stupid do you think we are, anyway? You really try to scare us into believing your scam by claiming that 55 degrees is record heat? Americans aren’t fooled so easily.”

“That’s sweater weather.”

Nov 1

Beyond FEMA

First, a reality check. Those who believe that climate change is happening and that it is at least partly caused by human activity predict warming of the oceans, melting of arctic ice, rising sea water and more frequent and more severe storms as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. Climate change deniers say it’s all a hoax. Given recent events, it would seem that the believers are winning the argument. Now that that’s settled, the question is, what to do about it. If you’re a denier, the answer is, nothing. In fact, if you’re a partisan right-wing Republican, you think we ought to cut taxes, defund infrastructure investments, get rid of government disaster agencies and limit government services. You, not the government, should decide what to do with your money, right? Maybe stock up on sandbags. If you’re New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, you are seriously considering huge investments in infrastructure projects that might limit the damage from future storms. If you’re New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, suddenly full of effusive praise for the president and federal aid, you might be doing a 180 on the whole anti-Washington thing.

If you’re Mit Romney or Paul Ryan, you’re still trying to convince voters that canned-food drives after the fact are the answer. 

The Storm and the Election

All the TV commentators are wondering how Hurricane/Noreaster/Frankenstorm/ Superstorm Sandy will affect the election. They refer, of course, to voter turnout and to the perception of the how Obama and Romney respond to the crisis. What they SHOULD be wondering is why neither candidate has mentioned climate change during this election, and why nobody seems to be pointing out the obvious: that Sandy, following Irene, following Katrina, are exactly the kinds of increasingly severe storms that climatologists have predicted will be spawned as the planet grows warmer. Nature abhors a vacuum, so Sandy, unprecedented in size and menace, has arrived just in time for the election. This be a warning to the candidates that they need to discuss how they plan to deal with global warming. My guess is they’ll pass. I wonder how soon and how big the next one will be.

Aug 1

Record Drought

Okay, so the record drought and accompanying record heat wave is exactly what climate warming models predict with the rise in greenhouse gasses. Crops are dying, food prices will soar, which is exactly what we need in a deep recession. And the urgent response from our fearless leaders? Right. You might want to invest in sunscreen.