George grew up in central Illinois. It is not hard to check the temperature records, nowadays, for that area -- for example, Champaign, Illinois. What do we find for, for example, the 2 July - 7 July period? Every single hot temperature record was broken this year there -- and by over 10 degrees.
And, George asks "What is so unusual ..."
So far in 2012, across this country, high temperature records are falling at a rate ten times higher than cold temperature records (and leading to the likelihood that it 2012's summer will be hotter than the Dust Bowl years). Simply put, this has not occurred in George Will's lifetime ... and such a lopsided breaking of temperature records hasn't occurred since such statistical analysis began over 100 years ago.
As for George's growing up in central Illinois "without air conditioning", I challenge George or anyone who supports Will's willful deceit to provide an extended period of 95+ degree temperatures during his youth such that lack of air conditioning might actually have represented a threat to health.
A correspondent sent me a note about this:
Being from southern Illinois, I can tell George that he never went through a summer like this during his lifetime in central Illinois. I just had this same argument with my 80-year-old mother, who insisted that she remembers all the 4th of July's that were over 100 degrees. Bull pucky! I went back over the temperature records and the highest temp on July 4th for the past 50 years was 97 degrees, and the average was 87!
This year it was 104.
"Bull pucky" indeed.
George Will's selective memory about growing up reminds me of the parentreacting to the child talking about how difficult it is to walk through a three-foot snow bank. The 6-foot tall dad says, "this is nothing. When I was your age, I had to walk through snow up to my shoulder when I walked to school." And, the father points his hand to his neck, two feet about the head of his 3 foot 6 inch tall son. Hmmm ...
George's selective memory is conducive to a quick data check and, well, found to be totally wanting.
The casual "oh its summer" provides a perfect example of the power of the will-fully deceiving debater. When Will made the comment, what journalist had Weather Underground's data base for central Illinois memorized in their head to be able to call "Bull Pucky" on George?
Now, let's link back to the start of this post ... there is also baseball.
Interestingly, yesterday, George had a chance to deal with baseball in a near equivalent to the climate question.
Every baseball fan talks about the golden age of baseball, and it's always when he was about 12 years old. I have news for you: This is the golden age.
George didn't argue, as he did with climate, that there was 'nothing special' going on even though the contrast between 'today' and (for example) 1952 is far less stark and clear with baseball.
Just imagine a situation where home run records were falling virtually every day. And, there were a swath of players batting above .500. And, ... Just imagine George Will stating "oh, this is nothing. When I was a kid and the professionals weren't so pandered to, they were doing just the same thing. Nothing unusual here." With an obviously falsifiable statement like that, George Will would be crucified by anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the sport. And, in the face of repeated statements that were so easily proven false, Will's audience -- and ability to rake in money by being on ABC's This Week and having a huge number of papers running his OPEDs -- would falls off the cliff.
Yet, when it comes to climate science, this isn't exactly George's first time out the gate with such easily proven false statements. Time after time, those who actually pay attention to reality have had to call out "Bull Pucky" on George's will-ful deceit. And, even with this, George remains accepted into 'polite company' despite his willingness (even passion) to confuse and deceive.
While baseball is without question a far more serious issue than climate change's impacts on our economy, weather, health, national security, environment, and future prospects, the double standards remain rather shocking.
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