Crappy weather

Blargle.

I really wish I didn’t have a reason to use the “snow-covered truck” picture, but here in the Democratic People’s Republic of SE Michigan, IT KEEPS FREAKING SNOWING!!!!

Well, right now, not so much snow as wind-driven rain that is being blown by a very strong easterly wind toward the back of our house and is finding all the weak spots in the roof (which are all located there on the back part of our house) and thus we have a little bit of a leak. Again.

But it’s cold, wet, and crappy.

A few weeks ago, we had two record-setting 80-odd degree high temps, and you could hear the cries of “Thirty degrees above normal! It’s Global Warming! We’re all DOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEDDD!!!” from here all the way to the Gore mansion.

Since then, we’ve had two WEEKS and still going of temps 10-20 degrees below normal, including the transition day where it dropped 30-odd degrees in about 18 hours.

I haven’t looked to see how we are so far this year on “degree heating days”, a cockamamie attempt to “measure” global warming by counting the number of degrees of variance above the “normal” daily high and low temps — let’s say the normal low/high is 30/50, and the temps on that day are 34/55. That’s (34-30) (55-50)=9 degree days of heating.

There are a number of problems with this from a science perspective, by the way. “Normal” temperatures as seen on TV weathercasts are actually 30-year average temperatures. So, today, they’d add up the low temps and high temps 30 April 11ths (1977-2006), divide each by 30, and you have a “normal” low and “normal” high. Okay, so 30 years sounds like a long time, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m only 38 years old — that’s almost 79% of my entire life! Well, in geologic and climatologic age, 30 years is about 3 seconds relative to a human life.

In fact, we don’t have, in all of recorded weather history, more than maybe 200 years of decent quantitative temperature data in some parts of the world, and in other parts of the world, we have considerably less than 100 years of quantitative temperature data. There are ways to estimate generalities about climate through tree-ring growth analysis, glacial ice core samples, anecdotal accounts (“March 15, 1626. It was very warm today, the frost melted only an hour after sunrise.” doesn’t lend itself to anything other than the overnight low was below freezing and the dew point was around the same temp as the low), and the like, but again these are generalities and it’s a real reach to extrapolate this into decent quantitative data.

Which, of course, doesn’t stop quite a few scientific types from being rather strident that we are undergoing global warming and the “data” show this to be true.

WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH LEGIT DATA TO MAKE THIS CONCLUSION. We have — let’s be generous — 200 years’ worth of temperature data for say, Western Europe. Which is 2% of a 10,000 year climate cycle that these same scientists claim is about the periodic rate of the Earth’s climate.

I’m an engineer. Collecting and analyzing test data is part of my job. If I was to extrapolate a sample that was but 2% — and all on one end — of the total population out to cover the entire 100%, I’d be fired for presenting bogus data. I realize that opinion pollsters do this sort of thing all the time (“We’ll sample 500 people in one geo-political region to represent the whole of the United States!”), but… OPINION POLLS ARE NOT SCIENCE. No, that 2% sample is nothing more than a 2% sample.

30 years ago, many of these same scientists were dead certain the Earth was at the cusp of a new Ice Age… but now, not only have they done a 180 and are trumpeting Global Warming, they have… a CAUSE! Why, it’s man, of course! And not just any man, but Industrialized Man of Western Europe and THE UNITED STATES!

Is there an upward trend in temperatures over the 100 or so years we’ve been paying attention to temperatures in a quantitative manner? That data is easy to analyze, and I won’t argue that conclusion.

Is this trend anomalous, which would correspond with the onset of the Industrial Age, or is it part of a larger cycle? Can’t say: we don’t have reliable data before this point.

Have there been other data points not being considered by people eager to blame Industrialized Man Of The West? Certainly. Solar energy is on an uptick — observed temps on Venus and Mars, with admittedly very short sample times, are trending upward, and direct solar energy measurement is showing the same trend.

But in the meantime, we were something like 20 degrees below the 30-year-average high today, with a mix of various cold forms of precipitation. My furnace is on, my wife has gone to bed early to huddle under the down comforter, my feet — and nose — are cold, and I’m finding exceptionally difficult to not wish for some more 80 degree high temperatures.

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