OK, so it’s unfair to suggest crazy winter weather across the country means global warming’s all bunk. At the risk of sounding like an egghead, you can have anomalous episodes any time that are irrelevant to the macro-climate trend. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is right about that.
But let’s be fair. If you say 50-plus inches of snow in Washington, D.C., breaking a record set at the turn of the century — that’s the 19th to the 20th century — means nothing, then don’t argue that one especially bad hurricane season, like 2005 (Katrina, Rita, Wilma), proves climate doom. Which is what a number of global warming prophets did. This year’s harsher winter and 2005′s hurricanes-on-steroids season are blips compared to real climate trends, measured in hundreds and thousands of years.
While we’re at it, another public debate no-no: Claiming everything that happens with the weather — hot, cold, rainy, dry, blizzards, no blizzards, hurricanes, no hurricanes — all prove human-caused global warming. You can come up with any hypothesis you want if you claim everything is evidence of it.
Of course, everyone knows Washington, D.C., is a big igloo right now after multiple snow storms. The nation’s capital looks like Siberia, and its denizens, who’re used to a couple of light dustings each winter, are struggling. The Washington Examiner’s Dave Freddoso used the current white-out to dig up a column Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote last year, bemoaning the lack of winter weather in the D.C. area because of global warming.
In the piece Kennedy recalled sledding as a child at his family’s Hickory Hill estate in McLean, Va., but wistfully noted most Northern Virginia kids probably don’t even own a sled now. Meanwhile, he continued, the oil companies fund a deceitful campaign to depict man-made climate change as a fantasy.
“Having shoveled my walk five times in the midst of this past weekend’s extreme cold and blizzard, I think perhaps RFK, Jr. should leave weather analysis to the meteorologists instead of trying to attribute every global phenomenon to anthropogenic climate change,” Freddoso writes. Kennedy told National Review Online cold-weather “anomalies” don’t disprove global warming: “It’s like if you hear that a person didn’t die from smoking, now you want to believe that smoking doesn’t cause cancer?”
Hmm. Sounds like a guy who can pay someone else shovel his walk for him.
Congressman John Murtha’s passing Monday means someone new will represent Pennsylvania’s 12th District for the first time since 1974. Over that span Murtha, a Democrat, built a reputation for steering federal dollars to southwestern Pennsylvania — to a district full of coal miners, steel mill workers and traditional, working-class values.
A former Marine who became the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress, Murtha, 77, served for years as chairman of the House subcommittee for defense spending. He didn’t apologize for making the appropriations process work for his constituents. Because of his pro-military record, Murtha’s late 2005 opposition to the war in Iraq sent shock waves through Congress.
His death from complications following recent gallbladder surgery leaves a large void on the leadership team of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to reports, a special election will be scheduled May 18 to fill Murtha’s seat, but it will be some time before anyone replaces his institutional prowess and overall presence.
Enjoy the Super Bowl? Too bad the ads didn’t quite measure up to the game. The best of the lot had to be Audi’s spot for its new diesel model, where “Green Police” shake down everyone for environmentally unfriendly behavior: choosing plastic (instead of paper) at the store — “You picked the wrong day to mess with the eco system, plastic boy!” — committing a compost infraction (throwing away an orange peel) and possession of an incandescent light bulb. The ad ends with the Audi being waved through an eco roadblock, where officers in forest-green shorts search vehicles for violations. Laugh now, but Al Gore and other environmental types probably thought, “Hmm. Eco cops searching residential trash bins for improperly discarded batteries, choppers with floodlights looking into people’s kitchens … yeah, that’s a good idea!”
On the gas, off the gas. Makes you crazy when you’re in the car with someone who drives like that, doesn’t it? Well, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had that effect on owners of recalled Toyota vehicles – telling a House committee Americans shouldn’t drive those cars, then throwing it into reverse a few hours later, saying people should take the cars to dealerships for repairs. “What I said in there, or what I thought I said was, ‘If you own one of these cars or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer,’” LaHood said, pedal firmly to the metal. LaHood’s no-go/go remarks certainly fit the situation with Toyota, which has recalled millions of vehicles because of a potentially deadly problem with sticking accelerators.