Let's hear the Global Warming Cult explain this one. The National Weather Service sent out a notice Wednesday (February 6th, 2008) reporting some stunningly low temperatures, including an unofficial mark of 70 degrees below zero at Tok at 8 a.m. Full story published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
The last time an official temperature of 70 below or colder was recorded in Alaska came on January 1st, 2000, when a reading of 72 below zero was recorded at Chicken, the tiny community on the Taylor Highway in the Fortymile country east of Fairbanks and toward the Canadian border. The coldest official temperature recorded in the state Wednesday was 67 below at O’Brien Creek, another spot on the Taylor Highway.
And here's a few more "hot" spots: Chicken posted a temp of 65 below; Chalkyitsik and Fort Yukon had lows of 60 below; Northway and Beaver, 58 below; Eagle airport, 54 below; Manley, 51 below; Fort Greely, 50 below.
And how are the people in Tok taking it? Like normal. “We’re generally close to this temperature at this time of the year,” said Sgt. Freddie Wells of the Alaska State Troopers post in Tok.
Residents of the Fairbanks and North Pole areas also found themselves in the deepening freeze. The Woodsmoke subdivision in North Pole had the coldest temperature in the urban area at 52 below at noon. The noontime temperature at Fairbanks International Airport stood at 45 below.
Traveling in Fairbanks has also been affected by the cold temperatures. Jeff Perkins of A-1 Taxi and Tours said he usually gets one or two calls a week for a jump start but over the last couple of days he has received 20 to 30 calls. “The problem with the jump starts is that 90 percent of the time, they don’t work,” Perkins said. He warned that cars need to be warm enough to receive the jump start. Many times, the car has to be towed to a garage after a failed jump start attempt.
For cars that do start, drivers face other weather-related dangers. Authorities are attributing multiple traffic accidents this week to ice fog, which is hindering visibility. “Conditions are bad. There’s a lot of ice fog,” Tippett said. “You’ve got to have your headlights on.” Note: Ice fog is NOT be confused with freezing fog. Freezing fog can form when the temperature drops below 32F, and deposits frozen dew, or snow on various surfaces. Ice fog requires temperatures of 30F below zero or colder.
Visibility is also a factor for air travel. “The biggest restriction is ice fog in Fairbanks,” said Frontier Flying General Manager Craig Kenmouth. Frontier uses turbine-engined planes, which can operate at lower temperatures than airplanes with piston engines. Warbelow’s Air Ventures, which flies to 22 villages, cancels flights when it concerns the safety of ground operations. Art Warbelow, president of Warbelow’s Air Ventures, said at 50 below at either departure or arrival location, the flight is canceled. Although he said the majority of flights are canceled in January, the last couple of days has seen the company cancel about a third to half of its flights.
This is a marginal problem from cities on the road system, but can become a critical problem for communities off the road system who are serviced only by air.
The weather service, meanwhile, didn’t have any promising news, warning that the region will remain in the grip of extreme cold until early next week.
Amazingly, some intrepid global warmer had the temerity to tiptoe onto the News-Miner website and leave a pro-global warming message, more for appearances than for anything else:
brentonr 2/7/2008, 4:09 p.m: ...of course if you study the global warming issue, you will find the results are chaotic and increasingly severe climate changes due to massive melt-off of glaciers and the ice-caps. In the history of time, a few days of cold temperatures in the interior do not reflect the long-term accelerated climate changes we will be subjected to.
A "few days"? This has been going on for a week, and it's not limited to interior Alaska. South Central Alaska is also colder than normal, with temperatures in the Anchorage Bowl ranging from -25F along the Chugach Mountains to -5F near the Cook Inlet. Eighty percent of the state lies under this Arctic air mass. And in the Lower 48, Eastern Washington and Northern Utah have been battered by repeated outbreaks of "global warming". Utah's about to bust their snow removal budget for the year because they've had to plow and remove so much "global warming". Some communities in the Ogden Valley in Northern Utah were buried with four feet of "global warming" in a four-day period last week. So much for "global warming", huh?
Commentary: Most responsible people do not dispute the fact that warming is taking place. Records show that the surface temperature of the earth has increased 0.45 - 0.6 degrees Celsius during the past century. What's in dispute is how much we, as humans, are contributing to it, whether we need to intervene to abate it, how much intervention is required, and how intrusive, invasive, and expensive that intervention must be.
There are two generic schools of thought. Believers in global warming think that the increased temperature proves that global warming exists, and that it's a significant problem that should not be taken lightly. In contrast, skeptics of global warming believe that the increased temperature is a natural phenomenon, and that if global warming does exist, it's not something to be worried about. What makes this debate so interesting is that there is valid scientific data to prove either side.
Global warming has been proven and disproven using computer climate models. Believers in global warming use them to show that in the next century there will be a significant rise in the Earth's temperature, and an increase in the height of sea level. Global warming skeptics suggest that the models are not entirely based on fact, and that they can not be trusted. As is usually the case, the truth lies somewhere in between. Here's a good website containing both pro and con basic arguments on the global warming issue, so you can decide for yourself.
But how can we uncover the truth if one side is allowed to censor the other side? This is what's happening now, as the believers not only are more vocal, but use intellectual bullying to impose their view upon society. One of the more egregious examples of this bullying took place in January 2007, when Dr. Heidi Cullen of the Weather Channel stirred up a hornet's nest of controversy when she suggested that meteorologists who publicly disagreed with prevailing global warming theory be stripped of their American Meteorological Society (AMS) certification. This is a form of economic warfare, just one step above imprisoning people for their ideas as Germany has done with Ernst Zuendel for publicly disputing prevailing Holocaust dogma.
And these tactics are not limited to the Global Warming Cult or the Holocaust Cult. The Anti-Smoking Cult, the Anti-DUI Cult, the Gay Rights Cult, and the Homeland Security Cult all use similar tactics. People who disagree with them aren't merely dissenters; they are heretics to be ruthlessly exposed, discredited, demonized, terrorized, disenfranchised, and ultimately silenced. We make fun of people who lived 500 years earlier for forcing Galileo to recant or for holding the Salem Witch Trials, but are we that much different? Not at all; we're just as fearful of dissension as they were, but we're just more sophisticated about it.
The issue of global warming is far too important to allow unbridled passion to rule the waves. Honest, civil, and logical dialogue is necessary to arrive at that balanced common ground necessary to devise and implement a systemic approach to the problem.