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July 22 2012

13:34

March 10 2010

15:00

Unseasonably Warm Weather at Vancouver Olympics Portends Demise of Winter Games

Skeptics of global warming are fond of declaring the phenomenon a myth whenever unseasonably cold weather strikes a city or region. Those of us who know and comprehend the truth remind those skeptics that the first word of global warming is global. In fact, when measured globally, the decade which we just closed was the warmest on record in the southern hemisphere.

However, in order for the evidence of the anthropogenic origins of global warming to elicit the type of fundamental cultural change which will place humanity on the path to addressing the crisis with the effective scope and urgency it demands, popular culture must be affected and in a manner difficult to ignore. Last month’s Vancouver Olympics yielded just such an opportunity and I am hopeful that global warming skeptics and deniers were paying attention.

Climatologists favor the term climate change over global warming in part because the term helps defuse some of the skepticism. Naturally, I agree with them. However, I continue to use the terms interchangeably for a simple reason. The vested interests who profit by maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel addiction and deforestation spend huge sums of money every year on disinformation and propaganda. They are not swayed by accurate science.

Another reason that climate change is a better name for the crisis than global warming is that in the short term, many regions, in fact, are experiencing colder weather even as the globe warms on account of the natural balance which our atmosphere strives to maintain. Fortunately, the effects of climate change are becoming so obvious that even some skeptics have begun to say, “That can’t be right.”

Our climate is changing and the Vancouver Olympics are an ideal example because people from every continent gathered there for winter games which had almost no winter.

During the Lake Placid or Salt Lake City winter games, who would have imagined weather in British Columbia, Canada so unseasonably warm and dry that snow had to be imported to the mountains and the grass had to be trimmed in the city?

Not to be outdone, skeptics of global warming point to this evidence and see only random convergence. If the opposite effect had not occurred along a similar latitude approximately 2,000 miles east of British Columbia, such rebuttals might be persuasive. In truth, the rebuttals of skeptics only help to make the case of climatologists. You see, even as the Vancouver Olympics struggled with springtime weather in February, the Chesapeake Bay region of North America withstood record snowfalls and hurricane-strength winds, even as the games were underway!

Where skeptics see random events, those of us who know the facts see further proof. Perhaps the worst news, however, is the fact that the 2014 winter games already are in the planning stages for Russia, an area which is losing permafrost so quickly that the games may prove impossible to produce.

I shudder to think what the future holds now that the proof of global warming has achieved a new pinnacle of incontrovertible. Global warming deniers and skeptics needs to get over themselves and move to higher ground.

Fomenting the Triple Bottom Line

Corbett Kroehler

photos credit: © VANOC/COVAN

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