Climate Vs. Weather Video

Article written: 19 Jan , 2010
Updated: 25 Mar , 2012

It happens every winter, and even more so during the recent cold snap here in the US: frequently people say, “Well, so much for global warming! Guess that’s not an issue anymore!” But there’s only one way to respond to that: “WRONG.”

I was going to write an article about the difference between climate and weather, but I came across a great video series on You Tube called Climate Denial Crock of the Week, put together by Peter Sinclair, a longtime advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives, and Sinclair says everything better than I could. This video takes the 10-second sound bites used by those who deny climate change is occurring, and intelligently breaks them down one by one.



15 Responses

  1. 2ru_press says

    Good stuff, as long as it’s not used to globally tax people to death under the guise that the carbon dioxide is a dangerous gas. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used by plants during photosynthesis to make sugars, which may either be consumed in respiration or used as the raw material to produce other organic compounds needed for plant growth and development. It is produced during respiration by plants, and by all animals, fungi and microorganisms that depend either directly or indirectly on plants for food. It is thus a major component of the carbon cycle.

  2. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    Using ten second soundbites that could be out of context doesn’t constitute a scientific rebutal.

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Indeed CO_2 is an ingredient used by plants in photosynthesis. This does not mean that plant life is going to respond immediately by increasing the global photosynthetic rate to compensate for this. It also has to be realized that we humans are chopping out forests at a huge rate. In fact human activity on this planet is generating desert territory at about the rate of a Holland’s worth of land area annually. So we humans are also reducing the photosynthetic capacity of Earth, as we convert its forests into things like fast food paper bags — aka trash.

    We need to roll up our sleeves and get to the task of reconfiguring our energy and resource basis. This will require a considerable effort that will involve national and maybe even global oversight and management. Yet in America we are trapped in various mantras, such as no new taxes, so we are unable to invest in our national infrastructure. This taxation issue gives your average American a few $100 of taxation reduction, and gives many $billions of taxation reductions to corporations and the most wealthy. That is what this is really for, it is to enrich the rich and it relies upon the fact Americans are on average a highly stupid people. So resistance to reconfiguring our infrastructure will continue, and the economy of this nation will be more and more of a casino game of investments and so forth. IOW, we Americans are taking the path is least resistance, which permits the rich to get richer by playing these games, and where the average is fed various media images and messages that keep them in line.

    Then we will in decades to come get some serious alarm bells, more serious than the ones sounded already, but it may then be too late.


  4. gr8hifi says

    It’s unfortunate that the issue of climate change can’t be mentioned without an immediate polarization of opinion. What’s worse is that articles that retain the true journalistic nature of presenting fact rather than opinion, or even presenting fact without belittling the “other side” are no where to be found… at least not in the mainstream anyway. Even this article ends with such distracting, obvious jabs, by pointedly using all caps in saying “WRONG”. This type of stuff has caused me to look on for my facts as I feel that the writer has instantly taken on an opinionated stance. Hopefully future articles wont seem so snippy otherwise my RSS reader may end up having to look elsewhere.

  5. ZomZom says

    You mean like Al Gore standing in front of a satellite image of Hurricane Katrina?

  6. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Oh, look, some Electric Universe believers have crawled back to this science site. They are so cute when they fumble with scien… wait, it’s Global Warming Deniers, not so cute anymore.

    under the guise that the carbon dioxide is a dangerous gas

    Hydrogen dioxide isn’t a dangerous liquid, it’s in fact a major component of the water/oxygen cycles. Nevertheless it is a major hazard for land animals on 70 % of the global surface, because its concentration is too high.

    Likewise CO2 and other green house gases are a major hazard for life when their concentration is too high.

    As the youtube said, “context”!

    polarization of opinion […] the “other side”

    Again, context. This is no public debate, it’s a scientific issue – and facts and theories have no “opinions” or “sides”.

    The contrariwise facts and theories are mixed together in the process, and presented in full in reviews like the IPCC summary of climate science.

    And the outcome is, you guessed it – no sides, no opinions. But assessment, quantitative uncertainty and qualitative judgment.

    Which sums up to that the majority of climate science works tests AGW to be a valid fact. You can argue the point until you are hot, but what the science says is clear.

  7. jjb says

    Yes I have to agree – I listened to it … and it sounded like “Cut – Paste” words, so we have NO CLUE the context. This is really sad for what I’ve come to expect from UT.

  8. Andy F says

    I have to agree with Lawrence B. Crowell… the same thing is happening here in the UK. I think it was Dr Michio Kaku who, when asked when something serious would be done to mitigate global warming, said probably when the villas of the rich and famous are being flooded out on the seafront at Miami.

    On balance as to whether AGW is happening… there is some pretty serious science supporting in….. whether or not it is a matter of belief as some state… it would seem withsuch high stakes, it would be prudent to do something about it, and now.

  9. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    What amuses me is how deniers don’t see the enormous economic potential for actually working through this problem. For instance: I work on string and D-branes and one of the areas of work involves a duality between black hole horizons and quantum singularities. The quantum singularity has these remarkable properties, which interestingly enough are found in a planar monoatomic layer of carbon called graphene. Now this is amazing stuff! You could create N and P monoatomic layers of graphene and put it almost everywhere. These would be solar cells at the price of tissue paper — literally, and when embedded in everything we could solarize things and get I estimate 30% of our power from solar energy. Folks, that is a whole new industry. It requires the seed money to reach that critical breakeven point — just as NSF and DOE money funded computers for 4 decades before the 1980s and the microchip revolution. There are other elements to this energy infrastructure issue as well, from wind energy to tides and so forth. All of this will involve rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. Anyone interested in science and engineering should be cheering this on! Yet deniers seem to favor the current economic model which is becoming this sort of casino economy, which really produces less and less.

    The evidence and data are becoming almost overwhelming on this front, but a whole political industry has emerged to cover this up. We do so at our own peril.


  10. Russ says

    Here is a couple of web sites. and
    I like how they say “Well, so much for global warming! Guess that’s not an issue anymore!” But there’s only one way to respond to that: “WRONG.”
    Then they call the recent cold snap Winter but the heat wave in Australia is global warming, I say Wrong, that’s Summer down there right now, and didn’t parts Australia have snow last week. What this Video shows is they are cherry picking their data. They have dropped their world weather stations from 6000 to about 1500, and fill in the data in between now. allot to the weather stations they use of the 1500 are not up to code and show a urban heat island effect. Why? Check out the two web sites and read for your self. It will explain it. First there was Climategate showing the global warming alarmist cooking the books to Hide The Decline. And have scientist discredited that didn’t believe in their global warming agenda via PEER review. Carefully selected Peers to review.
    Then they call people that don’t buy their alarmist cause deniers!! Deniers, as to cast people that don’t believe in global warming, into a group with holocaust deniers. That’s why they use that word because when the science they used to claim Global warming is being proven wrong by properly conduced science they resort to name calling. Now the melting glaciers in the Himalayas report is false ( Glaciergate )
    Check out the two web sites and
    All I can do is point you to the water, I can’t make you drink it. So open your mind and see for your self.

  11. Russ says

    By the way, It’s Dihydrogen monoxide not hydrogen dioxide. Dihydrogen monoxide is 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom to make a Molecule there is nothing dangerous about H2O until you drown in it. but you need it to survive.

  12. Russ says

    Comment policy: Be nice and brief. Don’t advertise your stuff, or promote your personal theories. We’ll delete any comments that break these policies.
    This whole story is promoting a persons personal theory, so if my first comment is deleted, and by the way I saved it, Then this whole story should be deleted. Because the science is not settled, and the debate is not over, although Al Gore will say other wise.

  13. DrFlimmer says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell,

    you are so right! Nothing more to say!

  14. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    D’oh! Russ, thanks!

    HO2, hehe.

    the current economic model which is becoming this sort of casino economy, which really produces less and less.

    I’m not sure if you mean the economy in general, which observationally becomes more productive over time, and always trended that way?

    Or if you mean energy economy specifically, which observationally is both more productive (say, electricity vs mechanics) and more producing (global energy consumption increasing)?

    In any case, it doesn’t seem to fit the facts.

  15. Russ says

    Actually, Weather Is Climate
    It is statistically appropriate to point to this year’s frigidity as evidence that the theory of man-made global warming is suspect.

    January 22, 2010 – by William M. Briggs

    Sure is cold out there, unusually so. By “unusual,” I mean the temperature is on the low end of the observed temperatures from previous winters.
    Of course, we don’t have any more than about 100 years of reliable measurements, so it’s possible that the freeze we’re experiencing now isn’t as unusual as we suspect. But, anyway, it still sure is cold.
    If you recall, a lot of global warming models predicted it would be hot and not cold, and to risk redundancy, it sure is cold. Does this dissonance between the models’ predictions and what is actually happening mean that those models are wrong?
    No. But it sure as ice doesn’t mean that they are right.
    Here’s the thing: No matter how cold the winter is, no matter how much snow falls, the global warming models will not be disproved. In technical language, they cannot be falsified by the observations.
    Another way to say this is that the winter we’re seeing is consistent with what the models have been predicting. Again — does this consistency mean that the models are right and that the theories of man-made warming are true?
    Consistency is such a weak criterion that almost any imaginable theory of climate will produce predictions that are consistent with observations. The term is probabilistic: It means that what actually happens had to have some chance of occurring according to a model. If global warming climate models said, “It is impossible that this winter will see temperatures below X,” and temperatures did, in fact, drop below this threshold, then the models would be inconsistent with the observations. The model would be falsified.
    But global warming climate models never make statements like that. They say that any temperature is possible, even if this possibility is low. Certain temperatures have probabilities as low as you like, but they are never precisely zero. (To anticipate an objection: “that number was practically zero” is logically equivalent to “she was practically a virgin.”)
    Man-made global warming is just one of many possible theories of climate. Another is the Business-as-Usual Theory (BUT), which states that whatever happened last year will more or less happen this year, and so on into the future.
    The winter we’re seeing is consistent with the BUT, which like the man-made global warming theory, never says any temperature is impossible. Further, BUT is corroborated more strongly by this winter than is the man-made warming theory. BUT’s predictions are closer to what we actually see.
    “Stop right there, Briggs! You’re making the classical mistake of confusing weather with climate. The global warming models make predictions of climate and not weather. This winter doesn’t mean anything!”
    I am not making that mistake, and it is you who are confused. Weather is climate. More specifically, aggregations of weather are climate. Means, averages, and distributions of daily weather comprise climate. That is, climate is a statistical phenomenon and depends for its existence on defining a reference time frame.

    or instance, if “climate” is defined as the yearly mean temperature, then this year’s cold winter will produce a yearly mean temperature that is colder than average (as long as the coming summer isn’t abnormally hot: winter, of course, overlaps two calendar years and a hot summer can balance out a cold winter in the yearly mean).
    So it is appropriate to point to this year’s frigidity as evidence that the theory of man-made global warming is suspect. If “climate” is defined as the decadal mean temperature, then this year’s cold winter will push the decadal mean lower. And it is still acceptable to point to this year’s winter as evidence against the man-made global warming theory.
    Just as it was appropriate when the media trumpeted each and every “record setting high!” as evidence for that theory.
    The difference is that one day’s temperature has little influence on a yearly mean — it is just one out of 365 other numbers that make up the average. One day’s temperature is thus weak evidence for or against any theory of climate.
    But a slew of months with higher- or lower-than-average temperatures will push that yearly mean higher or lower. A season’s mean temperature is stronger evidence for or against any climate theory than is a day’s.
    Back in the 1990s, when the yearly mean temperatures were increasing, this was touted as evidence for the man-made global warming — but those years’ temperatures also corroborated the Business-as-Usual theory. Which theory was better?
    For the past decade, we have had a string of years with mostly decreasing temperatures. This is strong evidence against the man-made global warming theory, but pretty good testimony for the BUT. So far, the BUT theory is winning on points (there are other climate theories the BUT doesn’t beat). This doesn’t mean that BUT is true and that the man-made global warming theory is false, but it does suggest that this is so.
    You can’t have it both ways. It is a mistake to extol evidence that supports the man-made global warming theory and to cry foul when presented with evidence which weakens that theory.
    That so many do this says more about their desires than it does about any theory of climate.

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