A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Our climate: Still great, right?

Written May 7th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Albany's Timber Linn Park: Where's climate change here?

Albany’s Timber Linn Park in May: Where’s climate change here?

Living in the Willamette Valley, we don’t seem to be greatly affected by climate change, which according to President Obama and the big media is just about the greatest danger Americans face. And they say climate change is harming us now. Really?

Weather disasters affecting every American had become worse and more frequent and would get even worse in years to come. That was the message of the television footage Tuesday and Wednesday on just about every national newscast. There were file shots of killer storms, floods and wildfires, augmented by current scenes of half-empty lakes in drought-stricken parts of the U.S. All of it was to back up Obama’s theme that we must do more to curb carbon pollution in order to keep all the bad weather from getting worse.

The government has just issued a new report, more than 800 pages long. The central message is that Americans are already feeling the effects of “man-made global warming, from heat waves to wild storms to longer allergy seasons, and it’s likely to get worse and more expensive,” as the Associated Press put it.

Greenery everywhere, right on schedule.

Greenery everywhere, right on schedule.

Americans have a way to check how true those alarming words are (even if we were not aware that severe hurricanes, for just one example, have occurred less often in recent years).  We can look out the window, or even go so far as to venture outside, where we see the weather unfolding this spring pretty much as it always has.

The flora has greened up on schedule. Blue sky has alternated with clouds and showers, just like every April and May. We can also check our heating and light bills. They show how much we used month by month during the last year compared to the one before. And we note that consumption is pretty much on track for the year.

In short, if the climate is changing, it’s not changing drastically enough for anybody around here to notice. And as for occasional snow storms, downpours, dry spells or heat waves, well, that’s the sometimes unpredictable weather the way we remember it from when our world was young.

Which is probably why most people still don’t think the climate is worth worrying about more than how to make ends meet, or how to pay off crushing student loans, or how to find and keep a job. (hh)

5 responses to “Our climate: Still great, right?”

  1. STEVE GEDDES says:

    This intricate and complex world is really nothing more than a blend of the right molecules in the right place at the right time, the interaction of which allows the system to work as it does. An incredible system to be sure. By extracting from the ground and burning carbon based fuels we are adding 36 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere yearly…isn’t google great. The atmosphere we think of as a limitless place in which to deposit stuff we don’t want or know what to do with is really not all that vast. I read once, that if compressed to a liquid state, it would only be a thin layer. Urinate in your pool…no problem. Urinate in your glass of water?? History is ripe with examples of civilizations that declined or disappeared as a result of being poor stewards.

    To show a picture of Oregon’s spring and use it as evidence to disprove climate change while ignoring world-wide evidence to the contrary is simply anti-intellectual. Sort of like reading Silent Spring, and thinking…can’t be true…my parakeet is doing fine.

  2. bob woods says:

    Analysis by anecdotes is hardly a challenge to scientific analysis.

    To be sure some in the media reach for the headline and the dramatic threat. Others in the media scoff at the worry.Both do so to appeal to their audiences.

    Anyone can look out the window. Science requires theories and empirical evidence, which can be independtly reproduced, to test the theories truth. And the theories being tested today involve the whole planet, not just the beauty of a spring day in the Willamette valley.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      If there was any empirical testing of theories, people like me would have no complaints. But there isn’t. Instead of pointing to test results, the climate change alarmists like to cite hurricanes and droughts and such. And they cite temperature readings. But their reliability is undercut by adjustments, such as the recently reported NOAA adjustment of historic temperature records downward so that the average warming since then would appear more pronounced. (hh)

  3. bob woodse says:

    The NOAA changes you cite ARE empirical testing! Scientists are dedicated to revisions to explain the reality they measure.

    I will not support alarmists who proclaim charges without proof.

    Nevertheless the vast majority of climate scientists believe that climate change is occurring. That belief is backed up by measurements and models that are successfully predicting effects. That’s the difference between science and “wishful thinking” of nonscientific opinionators.

  4. tom cordier says:

    Keep up the good writing on this subject. The whole cooling/warming/climate change is all
    hype. The nut case pres. and his rich friends use this to gain control. Where is the proof that 90%? of scientists agree we are on the verge of catastrophic events caused by man?
    Those who agree are being paid public money to agree–that’s how it works


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