Hoping to defend their fossil-industry funders from having to limit carbon pollution, conservative politicians and pundits are increasingly embracing conspiracy theories that global warming is an ideological hoax — even as the consequences of climate change grow more dire. “Challenging science,” Media Matters’ Walid Zafar comments, “seems to be the conservative movement’s equivalent to speaking truth to power.” Today in a Nevada town hall meeting, President Obama took on the conservative deniers, explaining in straightforward language how record snowstorms in the nation’s capital are connected to manmade global warming:
First of all, we just got five feet of snow in Washington and so everybody’s like-a lot of the people who are opponents of climate change, they say, “See, look at that. There’s all this snow on the ground, you know, this doesn’t mean anything.” I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn’t mean that every place is getting warmer. It means the planet as a whole is getting warmer. But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver which supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees and Dallas suddenly is getting seven inches of snow. The idea is that as the planet as a whole gets warmer, you start seeing changing weather patterns and that creates more violent storm systems, more unpredictable weather. So any single place might end up being warmer. Another place might end up being a little bit cooler. There might end up being more precipitation in the air. More monsoons, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more drought in some places, floods in other places.
As Joe Romm notes, the scientific evidence has shown that we get snow storms in warmer-than-normal years.
Read the entire Global Boiling series at the Wonk Room.