It seems that extreme weather is becoming more extreme and increasingly common. We can't pick up one of the few remaining papers, visit a news website, turn on the radio, without hearing of another hurricane, tornado, mudslide, nor'easter, or common everyday snow storm called Billy Bob, Wilma May, or a cyclopoop.
Here is an article we ran on InnerSelf.com and ClimateImpactNews.com about the extreme weather we have been having. The author, Jennifer Francis, is on the frontline of this investigation into the persistent weather patterns we've been having on the East Coast of North America or other parts of the world some Americans try to ignore. These extreme weather patterns and events potentially caused by a warming climate include the big freezes, torrential rains, droughts and fires occurring during all seasons.
Mirror Mirror On The Wall
However, here is an article from The Hill that is a very well written and easy to read effort surgically designed to convince the casual reader to scoff at any research on the extreme weather that is connected to human-caused climate change. This is a pattern lately. The author works for the Institute for Policy Innovation a think tank based in Irving, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey. IPI is purported by Sourcewatch.org to receive its funding from the anti-democratic all-stars Exxon, Koch, Scaife, and Bradley Foundations. What once were ham-fisted efforts have given way to more subtle versions of the same vested interest diversion from truth. Purposely cherry picking statistical data is a common and effective tool for the learned devious. For example:
"It should be remembered that the Earth has been on a gradual warming trend since the end of the last ice age thousands of years ago."
Of course it has. The author, however, fails to mention the acceleration in the warming pattern. His explanation sounds very reasonable and simple like "sugar is sweet" when discussing causes of diabetes or "climate is always changing". Paid climate-deniers have taken this tack of using statistical half truths rather than boldface lies. Our Presidential denier-in-chief on the other hand has taken the latter and more simple approach made infamous by Fox News and Satan. One of the more infamous statistical variations, called the warming "slow down" or "the reversal" after the El Nino of 1998 concluded, has been since been erased or disproved (take your pick) by the passage of time and a bit more research.
There are several other things in the article that are a dead giveaway such as the use of the term "climate alarmist". Frankly, what is there not to be alarmed about?
I am really surprised that The Hill would run such a bogus piece and try to hide behind "it's not our opinion". I guess they never learned in journalism school that inclusion or exclusion are opinion. Perhaps they were asleep in the back of the room with their cowboy boots propped up on the chair in front of them like a previous famous slacker student who became president. I will have to keep a closer fact-checking eye on their content in the future.
Harder To Determine Fact From Fiction
It's no wonder the world and particularly the US is becoming so screwed-up recently. We are constantly bombarded by propaganda from Russian, US and a smattering of other oligarchs 24/7 on nearly every information platform. With fewer librarians, editors, and learned overseers left to guide the unsuspecting and formative, it is almost a full-time job just to get beyond the truthiness that has been massaged relentlessly for pay to provide maximum deception.
As with most of our interactions with our environment, little is certain and most is merely increasingly improbable or probable. It is this weakness in language that the deceivers use to take advantage of our desire for the simplest explanation of life's mysteries. We even have a simple explanation for a complex concept.
Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation. - Wikipedia
I like to keep on my toes "simply" with: "nothing is as simple or complex as it seems".
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About the Author
Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
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