Lenar Whitney represents a district southwest of New Orleans in the Louisiana state legislature. She’s been in the position for less than 2 years. In that time, she has shown that her batsh*t credentials are stellar. Her position on the committees for Ways and Means, Health and Welfare and Labor and Industrial Relations have given her plenty of chances to let her Teabagger flag fly. A look at her voting history tells you that she’s all about toeing the conservative line.
It should be no surprise, then, that Whitney is running for Congress. She wants to represent Louisiana’s 6th district in the House of Representatives. Her campaign website has all the proper credentials for a wingnut: wants to end abortion, lower taxes, repeal Obamacare, yada, yada, yada. Wait a minute… where’s her statement about climate change? Oh, that’s so special that she had to make a video:
That’s right: climate change is the “greatest deception in the history of mankind.” At least we know that she’s a fan of hyperbole. Off the top of my head, I can name a few bigger deceptions. “Those are showers,” “Saddam has WMDs” and “Galileo is wrong,” come to mind.
Why does every opponent of climate change drag Al Gore into it? What he said 20 years ago is irrelevant now. Yet Whitney tries to use Gore as a bludgeon to make her point. Fail.
But this just made me facepalm: “Any 10-year-old can invalidate their thesis with one of the simplest scientific devices known to man: a thermometer.” Because winters are colder and more severe, there can’t be any warming, she contends. I contend that she is ignorant of the difference between weather and climate. Note that she can’t resist a jab at President Obama’s administration, implying that it’s a bizarro world, where up is down, etc. Projection is one of the right’s favorite tactics.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Weather is what you see outside on any particular day. So, for example, it may be 75° degrees and sunny or it could be 20° degrees with heavy snow. That’s the weather.
Climate is the average of that weather. For example, you can expect snow in the Northeast in January or for it to be hot and humid in the Southeast in July. This is climate. The climate record also includes extreme values such as record high temperatures or record amounts of rainfall. If you’ve ever heard your local weather person say “today we hit a record high for this day,” she is talking about climate records.
So when we are talking about climate change, we are talking about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space.
So the fact that it was colder last winter means only that the weather changed. The actual climate changes more slowly. The National Weather Service has an excellent page about this, with maps and links. It would behoove Ms. Whitney to read that page. Her claim about polar bear overpopulation is also bunk. Populations are increasing in only two areas.
The attack on liberals is to be expected. Teabaggers always have to politicize issues that they don’t understand. “Liberals said that global warming would cause an increase in severe weather systems such as hurricanes and they blame global warming every time…” This statement can be disproved with the simplest Google known to man. Or a copy of the latest climate change report:
Earth’s lower atmosphere is becoming warmer and moister as a result of human-emitted greenhouse gases. This gives the potential for more energy for storms and certain severe weather events. Consistent with theoretical expectations, heavy rainfall and snowfall events (which increase the risk of flooding) and heatwaves are generally becoming more frequent. Trends in extreme rainfall vary from region to region: the most pronounced changes are evident in North America and parts of Europe, especially in winter. (source: The National Academy of Sciences. Climate Change: Evidence and Causes (PDF Booklet) )
In 2012, the last year we have complete data, it was found that half of the extreme weather events that occurred that year were linked to human-caused climate change. Heat waves in the northeast, drought in the Great Plains and the storm surges of Superstorm Sandy were all exacerbated by climate change. Heavy rains in New Zealand and Australia were made worse by the increased water vapor in the atmosphere due to climate change as well.
No, Lenar Whitney, climate change is not a hoax. I don’t know whether you are being paid by Big Oil &Gas and Coal or if you are just choosing not to believe something that scares you. But you are wrong. Less than 3% of climate scientists back you up. All of your conclusions are based on fallacies and false premises. And maybe a bit of wishful thinking. A staggering amount of evidence contradicts you and your claims. Your lack of scientific knowledge makes you unsuitable for holding national office.