Republican senators and cable-news talking heads think it’s absolutely hilarious that it’s snowed a lot in Washington this past week. Sean Hannity claimed that first storm “would seem to contradict Al Gore’s hysterical global warming theories.” Newt Gingrich tweeted, barely comprehensibly, “where is al gore to explain it snows this heavily as a sign global warming is imminent.” And the freaking Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, gloated yesterday, “Where’s Al Gore now?” Right, because we all remember when Al Gore claimed it would never snow again.
For the sake of argument, let’s just assume for a moment that, just maybe, observations on a week’s worth of erratic weather aren’t a foolproof way of refuting scientific evidence of an incremental long-term phenomenon. Say, for example, that you saw Newt Gingrich on the Daily Show last night claiming that British shoe-bomber Richard Reid was actually an American citizen. It wouldn’t be fair to conclude that Gingrich is so ignorant and unintelligent that he doesn’t know the difference between the United States and the United Kingdom. His momentary idiocy could have just been an outlier, just like a stormy winter can be an outlier. Republican critics of Al Gore understand this concept, we’re fairly sure, and are simply being intellectually dishonest, which should not come as a shock.
But the other problem is that “global warming” is an unfortunate misnomer, and unlike its more accurate cousin, “climate change,” it doesn’t reflect that our heating planet can result in all kinds of extreme weather, such as heavier snowfall in certain areas. Don’t take our word for it, though (we certainly have no data or expertise of our own) — take this guy’s. Or, if you prefer, this guy’s:
Conservatives mock Al Gore on snowstorms [Politico]