It’s not that I don’t believe in global warming.
I do. I figure if you dig up and cut down all that carbon and burn it to keep warm and run our machines, it’s going to have some effect on the atmosphere.
I also have an inclination to tune out those who view science either politically or religiously. Both have their place, but they should stay out of research-based topics such as science and baseball.
Besides, we have enough trouble getting our kids interested in science without making them think that if they talk about it, they’ll get yelled at and accused of channeling Al Gore.
I’m not even going to start with evolution and other theories that are out there. I get enough email already.
So anyway, I’m not one of those deniers who receive more attention than they deserve. I don’t want to be one of those people who say, “So much for global warming” every time it snows.
It’s just that there are days when I’d like to see a bit more evidence of climate change. You know, evidence like more than two days in a row of summer temperatures. Maybe even three.
I thought we were there this Saturday when I finally took the window fans out of the basement and installed them in the upstairs bedrooms. As evidence of the quality of the summer of 2011, this is the latest date on record for such a household project.
(OK, I don’t keep records for when I put in the window fans. But saying things like “the latest date on record” gives anecdote and memory a lot more impact. The same is true of any statement backed up by statistics, as in: “99 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.” See what I mean? Impact.)
The window fans are not required for a single hot day. My house tends to heat up gradually and it takes several days of 80-degree days for the bedrooms to stay uncomfortably hot throughout the night. Several times over the summer I have gotten close, only to be relieved of the duty when the clouds rolled in again.
Sometimes the fan installation has commenced as early as May. I think. As I said, I don’t keep records. Yet to go for nearly an entire summer without window fans in the bedroom has to mean something, right?
Of course, Western Washington could be the exception that proves the theory. I was in Washington, D.C., in July when the temperature approached 100 and the humidity approached swamp. It was so oppressive that we even ducked into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s visitor center to steal some AC, only to learn that under no circumstances should anyone visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s visitor center. Please, learn from my mistake.
To be fair, the summer of 2011 is not the worst summer on record (they actually keep records on this one). That would be last summer when it was so cool and damp that my tomatoes rotted unripened on the vine.
By comparison, this summer has been dry. University of Washington-Seattle atmospheric sciences professor Cliff Mass has even dubbed it “The Northwest Drought.”
“Northwest summers are supposed to be relatively dry, but the last four weeks have been downright arid around here,” Mass wrote on his popular weather blog (cliffmass.blogspot.com/).
“Week after week of high pressure area parked offshore,” he wrote.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has recorded 0.31 inches so far in August, with 0.74 being normal. Sea-Tac has collected 0.12 inches, with 0.76 inches being normal.
Mass pointed out that Austin, Texas, Phoenix and Las Vegas have all been wetter over the last month. Not wet, exactly, but wetter.
By the way, my tomatoes are doing great.
I awoke Monday to clouds. So, in an annual rite of seasonal change, I removed the window fans from the bedrooms and stored them again in the basement. That is the shortest period of window-fan use on record.
Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657