Up to Our Alligators As Area Warms?

By Peter Galuszka

Holy magnolia!

The area just south of Washington on the Potomac River and all the way north of Baltimore on the shores of Chesapeake Bay have become noticeable warmer over the past 22 years. Consequently, it is possible to grow species of plants in that zone that previously needed warmer, more southerly climates such as those from Tidewater, Va. south.

According to a front page Post story, gardeners have known about the increased warming in the region for years. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made it official. The general warming trend has manifested itself in other ways. Alligators have recently been spotted in southern Virginia beyond their usual limits in North Carolina.

The agriculture department warns that its study should not be taken as fresh evidence of climate change. It also found that parts of the West Coast and South Dakota actually have had colder winters.

Here in the Mid-Atlantic, however, the comparison is unavoidable. And that brings up the next point.

If we’re up to our camellias in alligators, why are Virginia’s right-wing politicians continuing their persecutions of academics who suggest that global warming is real and is man-made?

Atty. Gen. Kenneth Cuccinelli has made a second career persecuting former University of Virginia climatologist Michael Mann who says mankind if responsible for global warming, a view held by most scientific experts. After Cuccinelli saw his attempt at subpoenaing Mann’s records quashed by a court, his conservative comrade, Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William County, teamed up with the American Tradition Institute to get some of the records through the Freedom of Information Act.

Scientific evidence apparently means nothing to Cuccinelli or Marshall. What does it matter? Cuccinelli is running for governor and Marshall for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Playing to the wing elements pays political dividends.

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13 responses to “Up to Our Alligators As Area Warms?”

  1. Insurance companies are making weather related rate changes. It is harder for ski resorts toget snow insurance, for example.

  2. Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again) Met Office releases
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html#ixzz1krLBNUkZ

  3. DJRippert Avatar

    I read the same article as TMT. Interesting stuff. It sounds like scientists from Duke, Georgia Tech and even the infamous East Anglia climate center are being forced to admit that the warming models just aren’t working.

    Hopefully the alligators are packing their parkas as they head north.

    All of this illustrates an inconvenient truth – the temperature of the Earth is dictated by an incredibly complex set of things. It seems clear that one of the factors affecting the Earth’s temperature is the release of greenhouse gasses by human beings. That’s obvious, even to a layman like me. What’s less obvious is the extent to which greenhouse gasses affect the Earth’s temperature. That remains a subject of serious scientific debate whether the “big government” liberals like it or not.

    All of which brings us to Dr. Mann and his time at the University of Virginia doing research with public funds. It appears to me that the hysteria over the pace of global warming can be traced, in large part, back to Dr. Mann and his so-called hockey stick chart. It was this chart that was the driving force behind the near panic at the United Nations, circa 1998.

    Some evidence exists that Dr. Mann manipulated the data in the development of the so-called hockey stick chart. While this does not mean that Dr. Mann was acting unethically or illegally it does raise some legitimate questions. The fact that a group of his peers “cleared him” in interesting but insufficient. I wonder how people would react if a group of hedge fund managers cleared John Corzine of wrongdoing. I suspect their verdict would ring hollow in the ears of those who heard it. Likewise, a group of professors clearing a fellow professor rings hollow in my ears too.

    The original request for information regarding Dr. Mann’s publicly funded research was made appropriately through the freedom of information act. Previously, Greenpeace had made a similar request for research about a University of Virginia professor’s research. This professor had a slight climate change skepticism bias. UVA immediately released the information. Yet, when essentially the same request was made for Sr. Mann’s research, the University reacted by immediately lying. UVA claimed that the materials in question had been permanently deleted. Attorney General Cuccinelli called UVA’s bluff by processing a legally binding request for the same records. Faced with this, the University of Virginia stopped lying and started stonewalling. It seems the materials had not been deleted after all.

    Where there is smoke, there often is fire. UVA’s inappropriate behavior in regard to these requests causes me to question their motives. Perhaps worse – their actions cause me to suspect a cover-up.

    UVA’s claims of protecting academic freedom ring hollow when viewed in light of the Greenpeace FOIA matter. orwell once wrote, “Some animals are more equal than others”. It seems, at UVA, the same can be said for professors and their research.

    Good luck to Attorney General Cuccinelli and Del. Marshall. This research was paid for with public funds and, like the Greenpeace request, it should be made available to the public through the FOIA process.

  4. the real point here is that we are seeing changes. And in a global warming scenario it does not mean increasing warmth everywhere at first.

    What it means is swings between hot and cold in a much quicker tempo and violent less predicable weather patterns and floods and hurricanes at the margins and beyond… for instance multiple 500 year floods in 50 years or mega hurricanes /typhoons…. etc.

    We don’t know for sure but a good number of reputable and credible scientists from around the world, from NASA, from NOAA and from other credible organizations think that things are changing and they could be not for the better and that it only makes sense to pay attention rather than baying stupidly at the moon as the Luddite fringe has become convinced.

    You can find contradictions in virtually every scientific model that ever existed. That’s how science works. Early on.. there are conflicting theories and conflicting results and strong disagreement and yes… I know this is a shock but messing with the data. Remember cold Fusion?

    Cancer, polio, cigarette smoking, PCBs, DDT, all of them have controversy and conflict in the scientific community.

    It has never been proven clinically that cigarettes cause cancer beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are 100 year people who have smoked their whole life. But do these inconsistencies justify throwing everything out?

    If you are a thinking person – you do not focus on the fact that there is no established iron-clad “proof” that cigarettes cause cancer… you focus on the preponderance of the evidence and the fact that a large number of scientists concur in general.. have a consensus even as there continue to be a number of cranks who disagree.

    I think it’s just plain ignorant to say there is nothing going on …. the historical charts present a compelling picture of change. The degree and severity of change are not known and much harder to predict – as Rippert points out – it’s a huge, complex system.

    Anyone who remembers the Cigarette “wars” remembers how it played out and there are some remarkable similarities.

  5. What is “normal” for climate in any particular location? We don’t know.
    My grandparents owned a lake cabin in northern Minnesota. I went there from the time I was a baby until my mid-20s when my grandparents sold their property. I remember the lake level changed over time. It was high when I was little (less land between the cabin and the water). Then the lake level dropped significantly and stayed that way for a number of years. Next, the water level increased and was quite high when my days at the cabin ended. What is the normal lake level? I don’t know.
    Why is climate different?

  6. I think my particular angst on this is the generalized anti-science sentiment now days with folks pointing out “flaws” like there never were flaws before.

    Science has ALWAYS been this way. It’s a process and you never get 100% agreement – just a strengthening consensus usually.

    Even now days, they argue about the damage from DDT or BHA or fungicides or mercury deposition from smoke stacks.

    but to disregard all of it because there is a suspicion that the books have been cooked on a worldwide conspiratorial basis is akin to the Agenda 21 issue.

    IMHO of course.

    I just think when you’re getting some warning signs, it’s dumb to deny them even if they are not clear or you do not understand it all.

  7. even the infamous East Anglia climate center are being forced to admit that the warming models just aren’t working.


    But you accept the model that predicts cycle 25.

  8. That remains a subject of serious scientific debate whether the “big government” liberals like it or not.


    And whether conservatives like it or not, too. Whether anyone likes it or not. I don;t see anypoint in adding that to the end of the sentence: it adds nothing useful.

    We will continue this debate until the truth smacks us in the face, and then it won’t matter if the face is liberal or conservative.

    The Truth is non partisan.

  9. the generalized anti-science sentiment now days with folks pointing out “flaws” like there never were flaws before.


    These are science morons who do not know the difference betwen a flaw and a statistical outlier.

  10. EDITORIAL: Global warming’s ‘dirty laundry’
    University of Virginia should disclose climate emails

  11. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Sorry but I don’t take much from the Moonie paper too seriously.

  12. it’s worse than that. It’s more pitchfork and torch politics. Take ANY field of science …where there is still controversy and different point of views…

    and make a law that requires every single scientist to release every single correspondence between him/her and others in the community and what have you got?

    You’ve got a world where politics then determines scientific process – that’s what.

    We went through this with cigarettes but no one wants to remember.

    We had “pro” and “con” scientists and a jihad was launched to hunt down the heretics….

    the fact that the cigarette companies were eventually found in bed with the sympathetic scientists did not bother many folks one bit.

    you have “scientists” right now who are linked to the Koch brothers and other companies who are invested in fossil fuels and yet the “scandal” is with those on the opposing side with their own biases.

    We are living in a Luddite world these days where the very same Global Warming skeptics are often allied with the Agenda 21 folks who are allied with the anti-ozone hole folks.

    Ignorance is now proudly worn like a war medal.

  13. Peter, understood, but I remain puzzled by why you regard Fred Hiatt’s editorial board as having anything sensible to say on Virginia. His ignorance of Virginia and arrogant refusal to permit contrary views when he might be shown not to understand the facts highlights him as one of the worst practitioners of journalism the United States. His latest rants for higher and higher taxes for transportation ignores the annual $200 million taxpayer subsidy to overweight trucks, the fact that Virginia law does not allow reporting of gas tax revenues by county, the fact traffic congestion cannot improve in the absence of adequate public facilities laws, the actions of the CTB to fund roads based on engineering metrics.
    Did you see his cheering for Dulles Rail Phase II? I’ll bet you a cup of coffee the Post will not even report on the Reston Citizens Association’s analysis of tolls even though several transportation reporters have copies.

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