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We just can't get no respect

27 Jan 2021 | OP ED Watch

If you want to be one of the cool kids, you have to be warming faster than the average, as nearly everyone is or claims to be. But poor Canada seems to be warming at only half the rate the models predicted, which puts us at the back of the class unless, um, the models are overstating warming everywhere. Undeterred, Environment and Climate Change Canada (and with a name like that you can’t really back down, can you?) declares that extreme weather driven by climate change pounded relentlessly on our locked doors and windows last year: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a serious threat to the health and safety of Canadians across the country, but the impacts of a changing climate have not slowed either. Across the country this year, Canadians were impacted by another year of extreme weather events—from destructive summer hailstorms, thick smoky skies, to powerful tornadoes.” Now it causes hail and smoke?

Well where there’s smoke there’s fire, you might say. But in fact the 2nd item on the “The Top Ten Weather Stories of 2020” list was “BC’s September Skies: All Smoke, No Fire”. Which is odd since when BC had forest fires a few years back we were told they were the obvious inevitable result of global warming, as with Australia and the Amazon, and now we’re told warming is continuing but the fire went out.

The list is awkward in other ways too. The Top 10 were, in order: “Calgary’s Billion-Dollar Hailer” “BC’s September Skies: All Smoke, No Fire” “Fort McMurray’s Flood of a Century” “Endless Hot Summer in the East” “St. John’s Snowmageddon” “Record Hurricane Season and Canada Wasn’t Spared” “The Year’s Most Powerful Tornado” “Frigid Spring Helps Canadians Self-Isolate” “Fall in Canada – Winter in the West and Summer in the East” “August Long-Weekend Storms: East and West”. A surprising number of them seem to be about cold, or things not related to warming, while one is just weird.

We speak here of #6, which says among the top weather stories of the year is that the most powerful tornado of 2020 happened in 2020. We think if it happened in some other year it would take quite some explaining. But note that of the others, one is hail, one is no fire, one is snowmageddon, one is a frigid spring and one includes winter in the west. All kind of lack-of-heat stories. Then there’s “Record Hurricane Season” except globally it wasn’t, one of those awkward fact things that seems to have increasingly minimal impact on a certain mindset. Whereas blaming a flood in Fort Mac on climate change or, if one happens, a fire there illustrates the flexibility of post hoc alarmism.

A hot summer in the east does finally sound connected to warming, as does summer in the fall in the same region. But here we fling down the gauntlet: Show us the science that says “climate change” will produce August long-weekend storms. Or a flood in Fort McMurray. Or BC not catching fire. Or catching fire. Or indeed anything on that list. It’s just wait and see what happens then drape it in lurid prose and nail it to the mast.

It works as clickbait. But it’s not really science and frankly it’s not very cool.

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