HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Guess what: It was cooler than last year

Written August 4th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Sunset in North Albany on the 26h of July, a month slightly cooler than the year before.

On a hot summer day, in an era when everything is blamed on global warming, it’s worth noting that sometimes it’s cooler now than it was before.

Utility bills provide some useful information in that regard. For example, the gas bill from Northwest Natural for an address in West Albany shows that the average daily temperature for the month ending July 19 was 64 degrees F. For the same period in 2018, it was just a little warmer at 65.2 degrees.

Pacific Power reached about the same conclusion. On the bill for an address in North Albany, the power company says July 2019 was one degree cooler than in 2018, 64 degrees this year compared to 65 last year.

Same story in Southern Oregon, where the Pacific Power bill says the average daily temperture this July was 69 degrees, down one degree from the 70-degree average in July 2018.

Avista, the gas company serving Jacksonville, noted an even bigger temperature drop for the month through the middle of July: a daily average of 70 degree this year compared to 75 last year.

What does this say about the climate, or climate change? Nothing really. It’s more about changes in the weather from year to year. But it tends to take some of the hot wind out of the sails of those trying to persuade us that we’re facing an imminent climate crisis that demands draconian action to slow or reverse the trend. (hh)


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26 responses to “Guess what: It was cooler than last year”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I strongly disagree that “it tends to take some of the hot wind out of the sails of those trying to persuade us that we’re facing an imminent climate crisis that demands draconian action to slow or reverse the trend.”

    As you surmise, year-over-year changes are meaningless.The long-term trend of changes DO require very-strong action to slow same IMO.

  2. ean says:

    Kind of crazy that you are calling a slightly warmer than the historical average summer a sign that climate change does not exist. Guess that goes to show you just how hot it has been in the decade or so.

    https://www.registerguard.com/news/20190723/oregon-summer-seems-to-lack-sizzle-but-thats-only-due-to-recent-hot-years

  3. HowlingCicada says:

    Anyone interested in a conservative approach to climate change (without Trumpian anti-science and all-around ignorance) might like Bjørn Lomborg, political scientist and author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” (2001). He’s high on my to-read list if I ever have time.

    “””His issue is not with the reality of climate change, but rather with the economic and political approaches being taken (or not taken) to meet the challenges of that climate change.”””
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg

    Excellent summary of his life and controversy (2003), from a liberal magazine:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20071122190201/http://www.newstatesman.com/200306300013

    My opinion (different from his techno-optimism and economic expansionism) is that some of the medicine claimed to fix the problem tastes so good, it might as well be taken even if it doesn’t work. It means living a bit lighter on the land. A few examples:

    Cars -> bikes and walking.
    McMansions -> Smaller, better-designed houses.
    Traditional American meat-heavy eating -> Thoughtful, healthy, more plant-based eating.
    Perfect indoor weather -> Better adaptation to the outdoor environment.
    Ever-bigger highways and power plants to meet projected peak demand -> Congestion pricing.
    Accumulation of unloved possessions -> Social engagement, education, and experiences.
    Having children because of “nature” or social expectations -> Having wanted and loved children.
    Understanding that many personal “wants” and “needs” are heavily influenced by the economic incentives of the rich and powerful – in other words, marketing and greed.

    The goal is health and happiness. If it helps the environment, that’s fine, but maybe not worth thinking too much about.

  4. Rich Kellum says:

    Climate change/Global warming, A little perspective….. I hear that the climate is changing, I agree, it has always changed back and forth…. Global warming????? I do not know and when someone says that they do they had better restrict themselves to the last 305 years, anything before that is pure BS….
    Just ask Daniel Fahrenheit… who you say?? he is the guy that invented the thermometer…. in 1714. Any temperature listing before then is pure speculation. So when did a thermometer show up in Oregon…. what 1840….. temps before that are speculation unless you are talking about snow, then what kind of recordkeeping did the local population have? no written language More speculation

    • MsJ says:

      Not speculation in the least.

      Thermometers are not the only means to know what past temperatures and climate were like as natural processes have been ongoing far greater than 305 years and can be interpreted accurately. THAT is the written language.

      Just google it by searching the phrase “Ways to know past global temperatures” … give it a whirl, took me <10 seconds.

      Here's one of the many articles found:
      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/how-do-scientists-study-ancient-climates

      • Rich Kellum says:

        Ms J…… every one of those is an extrapolation… not a reading. These are the same folks who predicted an Ice Age in the 1970’s by using extrapolation of data or tree growth etc… Gee tight growth rings in an old growth… was that lack of water, or sun spots, or cloud cover, or cold???? or some of all of them… the climate has always changed, that is not in doubt. the cause???? that is

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          The “cause” of it has been massively exacerbated and accelerated by humans. Period:

          • Gordon L. Shadle says:

            Geez, it appears the unscientific crowd in Albany is alive and well.

            There is no “period” in science. “Periods” are final and binary. “Periods” are not the currency of science.

            All scientific knowledge is tentative. Nothing is final.

            I’ll assume Ray graduated from GAPS, or a similar education system with a low graduation bar. That would explain his ignorance of something so basic.

        • MsJ says:

          That’s the beauty of the scientific process, different aspects from many different scientific disciplines can lead to a consensus such as human-caused climate change.

          Biologists observe extinction of indicator species, oceanographers track acidification & see first-hand coral reef destruction, glaciologists interpret snow & ice cores, and their research led to an ominous conclusion, rising CO2 levels are the cause of climate change. None of these disciplines rely solely on a mere 300 year-old instrument called the thermometer or even tree rings.

          Data points such as these if taken individually maybe aren’t worth much, taken as a whole, it can be eye-opening. The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery is a great eye-opening experience about how the scientific process works.

  5. MsJ says:

    The climate change debate is over.

    Those that don’t believe the mountains of data collected over decades of research in support of climate change and its deleterious effects simply won’t, regardless of what stares back at them.

    Most world governments (sadly, not the U.S. anymore under the current administration), and U.S. states, counties, municipalities, etc., are moving forward accordingly based on the contributions of thousands of scientists whose careers are built in the climate change field.

    I’ll trust a worldwide scientific consensus over minor variations in local weather conditions that one’s bills may reflect as this is all it is – minor, local, and supremely unimportant. Climate change is a global phenomena – that IS the point and why it can change a planet’s livability.

    We have had the ability to change the planet since our species came to be, slowly at first, but then rapidly, even exponentially through time. Egypt’s Giza pyramids and China’s Great Wall, built 4,500 & 2,300 years ago, respectively, can nearly be seen from space with the unaided eye, both created using primitive stone-building technology thousands of years ago.

    I guess the mentality is that humans cannot alter a planet no matter what they do and if it doesn’t affect me or I don’t experience it in my backyard, then it’s not real. Meanwhile, catastrophic changes are occurring in other parts of the world, such as unprecedented melting of continental ice sheets, to name a major event currently in the news.

    The Montreal Protocol, internationally ratified in 1989, is a perfect example of what can be accomplished for the betterment of the plant once the danger of ozone depletion was recognized and halted through the banning of CFCs, much to the chagrin of CFC manufacturers such as the powerhouse DuPont.

    But hey, I can’t see ozone so it must be a hoax, but skin cancer rates plummeted after CFCs were banned, especially in countries near the Antarctic (where ozone depletion was first discovered), a testimony to reality suppressing irrational thought.

    “The chair of the board of DuPont was quoted as saying that ozone depletion theory is ‘a science fiction tale…a load of rubbish…utter nonsense’ ” (Wikipedia quote).

    Sound familiar ?
    The same things are being said today regarding climate change, just different companies (oil) wanting you to support their profits at any cost, including the planet, even when greener choices are clearly available now.

    Thank God wiser heads prevailed through the Montreal Protocol, otherwise I may not have been alive to write this comment.

    I hope my children & grandchildren can say the same thing concerning climate change.

    • Shawn Dawson says:

      Thank you MsJ. With all the respect I have for Hasso, I am disappointed in the occasional article he does along these lines. The science is there, as well as simple observations of what was traditionally permanent ice and snow.

      As you say, we banned CFC based on science. After a long battle with industry, we banned the insecticide DDT in the 1970’s. The evidence and science showed the severe harm DDT was to birds of prey, ad well as humans. We see the great result the ban has accomplished and will not go back. It is time to act again, to make the future better for our children as the prior generations did for us.

      The science proves 1) global warming is based on human activity and 2) global warming is a severe threat to human and many, many other species. To let industry and others who reject these facts prevent the needed changes would be a critical failure of this generation.

      Shawn

      • MsJ says:

        Shawn – absolutely (well, how about 99.9% ?) agree with you. Banning DDT is another great example of how science, however imperfect, can still be an effective tool in bringing attention to and solving life-threatening problems. I read recently that even after 47 years of banishment, effects of DDT are still present.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      “The climate change debate is over.”
      “The science proves…”

      Time for a reality check.

      Science is, by definition, in constant flux. It is not permanent. It is merely the current best model.

      When it comes to scientific matters we never have 100% proof of anything. There will always be doubt. There will always be debate.

      • HowlingCicada says:

        “””Science is, by definition, in constant flux. It is not permanent. It is merely the current best model.

        When it comes to scientific matters we never have 100% proof of anything. There will always be doubt. There will always be debate.”””

        It depends on what is in “doubt.” In honest science, there is always doubt that one’s results are 100% correct. That doesn’t prevent drawing actionable conclusions.

        A good example is the danger from smoking. The evidence was a little fuzzy at first, building gradually to overwhelming consensus (not 100% proof). At some point along the way, it was time to act. All the while, those who benefited from the sale of tobacco sought to befuddle the public by casting doubt about the science — and by lying to Congress, under oath, about the conclusions of their own companies’ research.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Berkshire

        Are we at that stage now with climate science? Probably. Oil-company lying is only a trivial example.
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/19/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        The overwhelming[!] preponderance of evidence says it is happening – and accelerating. Feel free to adhere to your beliefs though…

        • It amazes me that a simple, factual observation — that last July in two places in Oregon it was warmer than this July — can prompt all this generalized outpouring of passion about science. Makes me think that maybe there’s too much passion where a sober acknowledgement of a fact or two would serve us all better.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            Very true…and accurate…until your very last sentence. Absent that sentence, I would not have made a comment.

          • ean says:

            “But it tends to take some of the hot wind out of the sails of those trying to persuade us that we’re facing an imminent climate crisis that demands draconian action to slow or reverse the trend. ”

            Sounds like maybe you should heed your own advice then HH.

      • MsJ says:

        Yes, science is what I like to call ‘theory in motion’, but you act upon that theory if there is a credible threat and decades of research by thousands of scientists worldwide have reached a consensus, especially when concerning an entire planet – climate change is human-caused and accelerating rapidly.

        My CFC example in an earlier post was also a worldwide credible threat.

        Although the CFC issue wasn’t 100% proven, the debate ended and the reliability on the scientific research was close enough to act upon so as to avoid something that would have been absolute – premature death due to elevated rates of skin cancer.

  6. birdieken says:

    If the country is bankrupt or poor the last thing they worry about is climate change. So Americans pay so other countries can pollute? You’d think climate change would be non profit but why do so many people profit ? The same people promoting climate change have put us 23 trillion in debt and now tell us to trust them? The country will go bankrupt before climate change and the suffering that follows will make climate change irrelevant. The best way to fight climate change is American innovation not government intervention.

  7. H. R. Richner says:

    As people abandon their old religions, they need something else to blame humanity for. The climate interventionists have this in common: they believe that the market which still allocates most resources is unable to help with any of this. There has been exactly one story in our paper reporting a positive effect of climate change, increased productivity of Midwest agriculture. That compares to the daily drumbeat pointing the way to Armageddon. The deep state employs most scientists and is on its way to take over.

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