Skiing on Dirt in Tahoe

March 24, 2015

The first major Republican Presidential candidate for this election cycle is Senator Ted Cruz, who has made his disdain for climate science and science in general well known. Recently, Senator Cruz opined that snow and ice in New Hampshire disproved the last 300 years of physics.

Above, Governor Jerry Brown of California points out that this kind of insanity, would, in a more rational world, render one unfit to be considered for public office.

Perhaps that’s because Governor Brown has a front row seat on one of Climate Change’s emerging Greatest Hits – the California drought.  Here’s some pathetic pics of some very, very determined skiers at Lake Tahoe.

tahoedirtBusiness Insider:

Thanks to California’s historic four-year drought and hottest winter ever, many Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts have been forced to close early this year.

With little snowfall and over 60-degree temperatures, the few resorts that remain open have little snow left for skiers.

In October of last year, the New York Times ran an in-house interview with its own editor in charge of environmental coverage, Adam Bryant. The interview was about how the Times treats climate change. It included this exchange:

Q. Is the equivalency issue dead? To what extent should we feel obligated to include the views of climate change skeptics?

A. Claims that the entire field of climate science is some kind of giant hoax do not hold water, and we have made a conscious decision that we are not going to take that point of view seriously. At the same time, there is a huge amount of legitimate debate and uncertainty within mainstream science. Scientists are pretty open about not being sure how bad things will get, or how quickly. These are the valid scientific issues and uncertainties that we want to cover.

A recent front-page piece by Justin Gillis — Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Climate Change – provides a good example of providing informed second opinions on a topic. In his piece, Justin quoted an expert who has often been skeptical of claimed links between weather events and global warming in the past. But in this new study we were reporting on, he said the evidence was strong. That insight is more useful to readers than quoting someone who believes the entire field of study is built on a pillar of sand.

We have made a conscious decision that we are not going to take that point of view seriously. You don’t hear that very often from editors and producers of mainstream news coverage. The prohibition against “taking sides” in a public controversy normally prevents it. That the Times had made an exception in the case of climate change denialism was welcome news, an important development, but as soon as I saw Adam Bryant’s statement, I thought: Let’s wait for the 2016 campaign. Then we’ll see.


Responding to California Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) remarks on Meet the Press on Sunday that Cruz was “absolutely unfit” to run for office because of his “direct falsification of the existing scientific data” on climate change, Cruz said Sunday that “global warming alarmists” like Brown “ridicule and insult anyone who actually looks at the real data.”

Speaking on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday, Cruz said that Brown and other proponents of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change engage in “ad hominem attacks” and “don’t want to confront the data” on climate change. Cruz said that satellites are showing that warming isn’t happening, even though “apocalyptic computer models said that we would see substantial warming.”

About 90 percent of the warming over the last 17 years has occurred in the oceans, the impacts of which will start to be felt more acutely in the near future. Greenland’s ice melt has increased five-fold since the mid-1990s. Another recent study found that sea level is rising 60 percent faster than projected.

Satellite data can also be cherry picked to show a trend. Cruz may be relying on one tree of data, when there is a forest of information pointing in the opposite direction. For instance, 2014 was the hottest year on record — although 2015 is on pace to break that record. In fact, the Northeast was one of the only colder-than-average places this winter in the world, and the contiguous U.S. still had its 19th warmest winter on record.

In addition, satellite models from the University of Huntsville in Alabama confirmed last month that the lower part of the earth’s atmosphere, the troposphere, is warming. The researchers also show that nine of the 10 hottest years on record at the Earth’s surface have now occurred in the 21st century. This directly refutes Cruz’s statements on the lack of recent warming, which likely relies on flat tropospheric temperature data.

Grist has a breakdown of the Climate Deniers Who Would like To Be President:

The Republicans basically fall into four categories: (1) Flat-Earthers, who deny the existence of manmade climate change; (2) Born-Again Flat-Earthers, who do the same, but who had admitted climate change exists back before President Obama took office; (3) Do-Nothings, who sort of admit the reality of climate change but oppose actually taking any steps to prevent it; and (4) Dodgers, who have avoided saying whether they believe climate change is happening, and who also don’t want to take any steps to alleviate it. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fall into the latter category.  The Do-Nothings are blue and purple state governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio. In a sign of how far rightward Republicans have moved since 2008, these are actually the guys who are trying to position themselves as relatively moderate and pragmatic. The Born-Agains are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both are staunch conservatives but only partial wingnuts. Back when that meant believing in climate change, they did, but they have since followed their base into fantasyland. Everyone else is an outright denier and always has been.

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