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Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Recent Personal Encounter With A Global Warming™ Acolyte

Tuesday morning, I was outside smoking a cigarette with my boss, and a guy that routinely butts in on our conversations in order to ingratiate himself "overheard" us talking about the damage that Monday's hail storm did to the tulips out side of the office, and offered his two cents:

"Wow, last week we had frost, and now we got two hail storms in a week! This weather is so weird, but I guess that's what we get for burning up all the oil and coal, and putting it in the atmosphere,"

Last Friday, there was a hail storm that briefly covered the ground in pea to penny-sized hail.

Now for an enthusiast without a formal degree, I think I have a very good understanding of meteorology, to the point where I can accurately analyze skew-t data, maps, radar, etc.

In the office, I am know as 'The Weatherman'.

My boss knows how I feel about the GW hype, and she just kinda pursed her lips in a semi-smirk and looked away, trying not to laugh. She knew what I was thinking, even if she doesn't agree with me.

I looked at the guy and tried to explain that hail events in the Midwest during the spring, especially the early spring, were not unusual, but expected and common. And this had nothing to do with greenhouse gases or Global Warming.

He looked at me and cocked his head with an open-mouthed, raised-eyebrow expression and said, "You don't believe in Global Warming?"

I try to be reasonable: "Believe in Global Warming? I'm trying to tell you that these spring hail storms happen all the time here in the Midwest, and have since before the Asians settled here over 15,000 years ago. You may only experience a few severe weather events per year, even in Kansas City. And yes, when they happen, it's pretty intense, and considering how localized this sort of thing is, yeah it might seem "weird" to an observer. But it didn't happen because of Global Warming."

He replied, "So, you don't think that Carbon from people is causing the Earth to warm and causes more extreme weather?" He's still looking at me like a misbehaving child.

"I didn't say that, I said that you can't attribute a couple of hail storms, which are common this time of year, to Global Warming because they seem strange to you."

"So you don't believe in Global Warming," he replied.

Exasperated, hung-over, and not a little pissed-off at this point, I raised my voice and said, "No goddammit, I don't fucking believe in fucking Global Warming! And I still wont fucking believe in Global Warming this week when severe storms cause flooding, and drop hail and tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska!" It's the fucking goddamn spring in the Midwest!"

"Okay, okay, sorry man! It's just hard to believe that somebody that knows that much about weather doesn't believe in Global Warming."

This conversation really happened. Seriously, it did.



Blogger al fin said...

Just the phrase "believe in global warming" is the language of religious belief. Do you believe in global warming? Just like "do you believe in God?" "do you believe in the devel?" " do you believe in life after death" , and all the other things that can't be proven one way or another.

It's like the guy was admitting that "catastrophic anthropogenic global warming" (CAGW) is a religion that a person has to "believe in" or have faith in.

But he didn't even realize what he was doing.

4/24/2008 11:49 AM  

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