It is almost July and I saw a girl in ShopRite wearing a coat. A coat. Why? Because it has been cold up here, for some reason.
It has recently come to my attention that any change in the weather is no longer called "Global Warming" (mainly because it isn't all that warm); rather, we now call it Global Climate Change.
whatever. I still don't think it is caused by humans. (And neither does the Wall Street Journal.)
I am a professional historian. I am not a scientist, and while I took plenty of science classes, I'm not qualified to speak on that subject.
The following are only historical facts, from which you may draw your own conclusions.
- Fact: The weather has been scientifically monitored in the United States for less than 150 years.
- Fact: The earth is a lot older than 150 years. Granted, England has been keeping records for a little over 300 years, and claimed that 2007 was the warmest year on their records… but it shattered the previous record from 1865. So 2006 wasn't as warm as 1865? I'll let you figure out why that's funny.
- Fact: When Vikings landed around modern Newfoundland in Canada (which we know from archaeological evidence), they called the area Vinland for all the wild grape vines. There is a reputable source that refutes the claim that this may be used to indicate a "medieval warm period" because there isn't enough information to come up with a scientific measurement of the earth's temperatures. However, the very fact that they admit there isn't enough data discounts their own conclusions, and leads any historian to arrive at the same conclusion they always have – there was a time of warmer temperatures, which we glean from the written documents of the day. No, no one sat down and wrote, Today in the Holy Roman Empire it is 62 degrees with a northwesterly wind. But they did write about events (such as finding grapes) that were directly affected by the climate.
- Fact: Grapes do not grow in Newfoundland, Canada, today due to the cold. There are those who cite the Domesday Book's (1087 C.E.) indications of several active vineyards throughout England as evidence that England had a warmer clime than centuries later when wine making was virtually nonexistent. To be fair, that conclusion can't really be drawn because other factors (like those pesky plagues, for instance) possibly contributed to the lack of English production. But there's always the argument that Greenland used to be green…
- Fact: The earth was warm during the early Middle Ages, but a small climatic cooling change resulting in crop failure created a starving European populace ripe for the plague. This is an easily verifiable source, but I'll give you an excellent book where I first read about it. Norman F. Cantor, In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death the World It Made, 2002.
- Fact: Dinosaurs once lived in Antarctica. Antarctica has sat at roughly the same latitude for the past 100 million years. However, during the Cretaceous Period (144 million – 65 million years B.P.), it was "warm and lush" with dinosaurs running about. Again, I'm no scientist, but I associate neither "warm" nor "lush" with snow.
- Fact: After the 2004 hurricane season in Florida (at which point I lived in St. Augustine), everyone said that 2005 would be worse. Well, it's 2009 and when was the last major hurricane?