A photo of some dogs walking on water in Greenland seals the deal. The planet is on fire. “Experts say this image is indicative of the planet’s climate crisis.” Except that this phenomenon, in this location, is not a sign of climate change. According to the meteorologist who took the picture, it happens because the ice is so solid that the Spring melt simply runs across it, and it’s happened lots before. So, yes, it’s perfectly indicative of the so-called crisis.
How bad is the crisis? Well, according to Greenland’s Polar Portal “surface mass budget committee” which measures ice melt “The high melt is unusual so early in the season but not unprecedented.” And a Danish Metereological Institute colleague of meteorologist Steffen Olsen, who took the photo, added that as the temperatures were not unprecedented, “it’s hard to pin it down to climate change alone.” But as Olsen himself said about dogs splashing through water atop 1.2 metres of solid sea ice in Greenland, whose iconic Jakobshavn glacier is baffling scientists by growing not shrinking, the photo is “more symbolic than scientific to many”. And what more could you ask? (Other than a CBC headline “Melting Arctic sea ice forces sled dogs to slosh through water” though technically it was the guy driving the sled, namely Olsen, who “forced” the dogs to go that way.)
Anecdotes do the trick. Thus NBC MACH quotes a surfer and self-taught weather forecaster that, essentially, everybody’s gone surfin’ due to climate change. And give him credit; he reluctantly points to one positive result of warming: “I hate to say it, but rising temperatures, at least in the short term, are favorable for big-wave surfing." But maybe it will do in golf, soccer, skiing and skating as people worry about heat. Or something. NBC says, “Springtime flooding in the Midwest forced the cancellation of baseball games this year. In England, the rate of rain-affected cricket matches has doubled since 2011, according to that same 2018 report. And last fall, for the first time ever, the traditional Invercharron Highland games in Sutherland, Scotland, were canceled because of unusually hot, dry weather.”
Hang on. Is it getting wetter or dryer? Or are you just blaming everything bad on climate change including stuff that hasn’t happened yet that is proof positive? Well, yes. Piers Forster of the Priestly International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds says “The impacts will only get worse.” So there you have it.
Or don’t. Because for some reason the IOC just chose Milan (and Cortina d’Ampezzo) in Italy, rather than Stockholm, to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. Surely if they believe what they’re saying they’d be afraid even cold Baltic countries will not feature snow just four years away from the 2030 climate apocalypse, let alone warm Mediterranean ones.
If there’s no skiing in Milan by 2026, get back to us about it.