Heat. And Goats.

Posted: Sep 15, 2006 4:06 PM
Heat. And Goats.

  • In yesterday's USA Today:
  • This Was Hottest Summer Since 1936, Report Says

    "The USA sweated this year through the hottest summer in 70 years with temperatures not seen since the Dust Bowl of the 1930's according to a government report."

  • A box to the side of the article tells us that the average summer temperature (June 1 - August 31) in 1936 was 74.73 degrees. This summer it was 74.50 degrees. Darn. Just 23-one-hundredth of a degree and we coulda been da champeens.
  • The chairman of the National Climatic Data Center's Climate Monitoring Branch --
  • How do the cops near the National Climatic Data Center's Climate Monitoring Branch test for drunk driving?
  • They make you say it out loud.

    -- said "That's likely the result of long-term warming trends…"

  • Ok. The data box next to the article listed the years 1931, '33, '34, '36 (the warmest), and 1937 as five of the top ten warmest years.
  • The others are 2001, '02, '03, '06 and 1988 (however that got in there).
  • My point is: The 1930's - which were during the Great Depression (which, my mother says, "wasn't all that great if you ask me") - when the nation was still overwhelmingly rural, included five of the hottest summers on record.
  • Then things apparently cooled off even with factories running 24/7 to produce airplanes, tanks, ships, guns, shells, and who-knows-what-all for the War Effort, largely fueled by coal-fired furnaces pumping all manner of crap into the atmosphere.
  • Then the US cooled off until 2001.
  • If the chairman of the National Climatic Data Center's Climate Monitoring Branch had been asked in 1936, I wonder if he would have had the same sense of surety about this being the result of a "long-term warming trend" just before a mini-ice-age apparently hit the US for the next 60 years.
  • Oh. And here's another bit of "make the data fit your theory:" In the same piece, some guy from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that this year's disappointing lack of humongous hurricanes in the Atlantic is not the result of errors by those who forecast "long-term warming trends" but a function of a "weak El Niño" in the Pacific.
  • Maybe there is a "long-term warming trend." And maybe the new Atlantic coastline will be in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. And maybe the ice sheets in the Arctic and in Antarctica will melt faster than ice cubes in a scotch-and-water at an Upper East Side cocktail party. But it would be nice if they demonstrated the actual science to back it up.
  • New Topic:
  • Here's yet another reason the Swiss will never take over the world: It seems driver from Switzerland was caught doing a hundred in a sixty mile-per-hour zone on a highway in eastern Ontario, Canada.
  • His excuse? "[He] said he was taking advantage 'of the ability to go faster without risking hitting a goat.'"
  • A goat, eh? Alrighty then, Hans. Why don't you just step out of that vee-hickle and say these words:
  • National Climatic Data Center's Climate Monitoring Branch.

    In German, Italian, and French.

  • Final Topic:
  • Another article in USA Today was about the Transportation Security Administration deciding that it will cost frequent fliers $200 to be a "Registered Traveler" so they can zip through airport security lines like a driver without goats on the road.
  • Now that it has become clear that the TSA is not going to institute my very excellent suggestion for a "Rich Galen Only" line at airports (not all the time, just when I'm traveling), I will pay whatever it costs not be stuck behind some goofball holding everyone up while he complains loudly about the shoes-off-computers-out-hair-gel-gone rules because he has been living in Somalia for the past 15 years training goats to run wild on Swiss highways.
  • On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: Links to the USA Today articles; a Mullfoto from the crack 'o dawn the other day, and a topic-appropriate Catchy Caption of the Day.