I asked my assistant Colette to look for any articles online or in print that claim that the current cold winter disproves global warming. She found a number of such claims made; here are some examples:
- Rush Limbaugh in a January 8 broadcast.
- Marc Shepard in the January 10 American Thinker.
- Mark Finkelstein in a January 10 article on newsbusters.org.
- Ralph Reiland in the January 11, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Yates Sealander in a guest column in the January 12 Madison News.
To say that the weather this year or this week disproves mountains of data about warming trends in the world over the past few centuries is a kind of arguing by anecdote, the anecdote being the weather you are experiencing today.
What you see of course always makes a more powerful impression than what you read about, but in this case I think the writers are using immediate experience because they want to ignore, and they want the public to ignore, a preponderance of evidence that represents the immediate experience of literally billions of people for hundreds of years.
Weather will fluctuate from hour to hour, from day to day, from year to year, and even from decade to decade, but global warming is about a general tendency that is decades old and is now rapidly changing the ecosystems of most living things. If we ignore it, we lose the ability to slow it down and to insulate humans and other living things from what could be devastating effects.