Educator Amos Bronson Alcott once warned, “To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.”
That warning should be stamped on the foreheads of misinformed politicians, disc jockeys and Bill O’Reilly’s TV ambush producer, Jesse Watters, who went out into last week’s crippling East Coast snowstorm to ask New Yorkers, “Have you seen Al Gore anywhere?”
Their ignorance is obvious that they don’t understand the difference between local weather and global climate.
USA Today recently explained it last month:
“Local isn’t global. This month’s severe cold isn’t affecting the whole planet, or even the whole USA. The same weather pattern that has funneled frigid air into Chicago and Minneapolis has brought unusual warmth to Alaska and severe drought to California. Even more to the point, the USA covers just 2 percent of Earth’s surface. Australia had its hottest year on record last year and experienced temperatures this month as high as 118.”
“Weather isn’t climate. Weather is what happens moment to moment in the atmosphere; climate is the long-term average of weather over time in particular places. As an adage puts it, climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get. Global warming doesn’t preclude cold snaps, even severe ones.”
“The climate trends are overwhelming. Earth had its fourth-warmest year on record in 2013, and all of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last week.”
Ninety-seven percent of active climate scientists agree that significant global warming is man-made and cite the following additional evidence:
• The amount of very heavy precipitation on the Northeastern Seaboard rose by 67 percent between since 1958.
• Carbon dioxide levels are up in Hawaii, and Greenland has been about 5°C warmer than normal in January.
• The Caribbean has lost 80 percent of its coral reefs and. Japan is digging out of its worst winter ever while much of England is fighting historic flooding.
• The average summer temperature in the eastern Canadian Arctic is higher than in any previous century in the past 44,000 years.
President Barack Obama will ask Congress for a $1 billion “climate resilience fund” to research and gather data on climate change and to find innovative technologies and infrastructure so that the country can resolve climate change.
He won’t get the money because the climate nay-sayers in Congress rebut the facts, thus proving that “Ignorance is not bliss.”
I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.
Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.