Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Like a Heatwave

Our Maple Tree -- what's left of it after an ice storm -- bloomed.
Michigan, February 22.
The old saying is that, if a frog is put in to a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. But if the frog is put in to a pot of cold water, and the water is heated only gradually, the frog will sit there, unaware of the danger until it is too late. The metaphor is so obvious that Al Gore used it in An Inconvenient Truth, more than a decade ago.

So here we are. Te GISS data shows that, for the 3rd consecutive year, we had the warmest year since the start of record-keeping in 1880. In January, I wrote, "It took a little longer than I expected, but the final numbers for 2016 were finally posted today. As expected, 2015 is the warmest year on record. As expected, December was warm. Very warm. December is now the warmest month ever, compared to average."

By the end of March, December 2015 was only the 4th warmest month ever. But I also wrote, in that piece: "El Niño returned in 2015, and the temperature records were shattered. Of course, once El Niño ends, we'll likely see a drop in global temperatures for a year or two -- just long enough for the deniers to come out of their foxholes again."

El Niño faded, though 7 of the first 8 months of 2016 still had record-setting heat. January 2017 was only the third warmest January ever.

So the deniers will be back, led by a new EPA Administrator whose mission appears to be to dismantle environmental protections.

Last Friday, a CBS News report included interviews with beach-goers at New York's Jones Beach. As I drove home, I heard someone say, "it's really nice. I'll take it." I just shook my head. "Really nice." The printed article has people saying, "terrific," "great," and "loving it."

Bring on the dipping sauce.