A simple fact: California is drying up. The snowpack is at record lows (which means less spring runoff). Farmers' fields are brown, rather than green, even as irrigation wells are going deeper and deeper (and some farmers game system for big profits). Reservoirs are retreating even faster than glaciers. The situation is so serious that one can reasonably ask: Does California drying portend California dying?
At the same time, leading science observers like Republican Senator James Inhofe strive to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that the climate change is occurring and the planetary system is warming, that humans are playing a significant role in driving this warming and that this warming creates risks for humanity.
Inhofe's science engagement, more appropriately called science denial, had a famous incident last month: a snowball on the Senate floor. Simply put, that snowball means that it is 'game over' for climate scientists.
"It's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable." Inhofe, who is also chairman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, then turned to his prop for a bit of "scientific analysis."
"So," he said, throwing the snowball to the sitting Senate president, "catch this."
Yup, a snowball in the face truly disproves all the scientific basis for understanding climate change.
This is far from the first time that Inhofe has exploited the reality that winter exists and will continue to exist well for billions of years to come to assert that cold in his backyard somehow disproved the potential for a warming planet. In another famous incident, just a few years ago, Inhofe built an igloo with his grandchildren on the Mall referencing Vice President Gore. Ha ... ha ...
Sadly, for our representative government, too many elected officials have a hard time looking past their own backyard (both in the physical sense and metaphysical ones like their fiscal interests and ideological blinders). In the case of Inhofe's February snowball, while Washington and much of the East Coast froze, the rest of the world (essentially) was well above average temperatures. Look at the graphic. That deep purple is more or less centered on 'inside the Beltway', where Jim Inhofe spends most of his time. The deep purple is cold below average temperatures. Those reds and yellows: above average temperatures. (Just as promoting the few scientists who deny humanity's role in climate change (as opposed to the over 97 percent of climate scientists who agree with the core consensus on climate change), Inhofe seems determined to call attention to that little bit of purple/blue as opposed to the overwhelming (and more than 97 percent) red. (Note, this is a rare occasion where Inhofe prefers blue over red ...) One of those all too numerous orange zones; America's west coast as California continued its decline into an ever-more precarious water situation.
In light of the stark contrast between the East and West Coasts, would it surprise anyone if Californians called on Jim Inhofe to throw some of his snowballs in their direction?
NOTE: A hat tip to GreenMiles for the inspiration for this post.
LA doubles old record for 90 degree days in March, asks Inhofe to send snowballs http://t.co/b0qatp7dQp @VeronicaRochaLA #Anthropocene
-- Miles Grant (@MilesGrant) March 30, 2015