Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Climate-change deniers are sweating

Now that we've hit the hottest day in 15 years here in Philly, along with record-breaking heat all over the northeast, I gotta ask: Wouldn't this be an appropriate time to build a bonfire and label it "James Inhofe's new home"?

Climate-change deniers are sweating

E2P blogger Signe Wilkinson´s take on the heat.
E2P blogger Signe Wilkinson's take on the heat.

Now that we've hit the hottest day in 15 years here in Philly, along with record-breaking heat all over the northeast, I gotta ask: Wouldn't this be an appropriate time to build a bonfire and label it "James Inhofe's new home"?

That might sound harsh, but it's just the flip side of Senator Inhofe's family (with the inveterate climate-change denier's blessing, no doubt, since he posted the photos on his own Facebook page) building an igloo they labeled "Al Gore's new home" back when the northeast was experiencing record snowfalls.

The thinking, if you can call it that, was that record-breaking cold, wet weather proved that long-term trends in climate science were all bogus. It was a popular enough meme that our own Editorial Board had to address it. Well, if record snow proved climate science wrong, then record heat must prove the previous proof wrong... right?

More seriously, though, this is as good a time as any to check in with the climate deniers' favorite hobby horse, the stolen emails they dubbed 'Climategate.' Just as Inhofe's igloo was a fun one-day story that eventually melted as temperatures warmed, the 'scandal' we were promised when a couple of damning phrases were cherry-picked from a massive volume of private conversations among scientists also seems to have dissipated in the strong light of the sun.

These corrective developments, unsurprisingly, haven't gotten the same front-page treatment the stolen emails did, but it's worth noting that:

Meanwhile, as global temperatures have continued to set and break records, any evidence of serious fraud or overall error in the AGW model has failed to materialize. 'Climategate' turned out to be, as I said when it broke, nothing more than a tempest in a teabag.

This won't stop denialists from continuing to generate even more warm carbon dioxide on the issue, and the average reader will reamin, as the deniers hope, confused about who's right. If you had to read any of the above developments here rather than in bigger mainstream sources, that's a good indication of how well the carefully orchestrated 'Climategate' hoax worked. The point was not to offer any credible argument against the scientific consensus, but only to sow doubt - especially right before Copenhagen - among the majority of the public as to how much consensus there really is.

Remember, weather is not climate. But it's hot - really hot - right now, and if nothing else that can serve as a reminder that, ultimately, it's going to get hotter.

UPDATE 7/7: Yet another inquiry finds nothing behind the 'Climategate' headlines: 'Climategate' inquiry clears scientists of dishonesty - now when do we get the investigation into the actual crime, the stealing of the scientists' private emails?

About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





    Earth to Philly
  • Latest Health Videos
    Also on Philly.com:
    Stay Connected