Wow, it’s cold out there!

I had been tempted to post something about the polar vortex that is bringing some very cold weather to parts of the US. However, it’s not something I know much about and there are others who have already discussed it more competently than I could have managed. Instead, I thought I would post the video below, which does a good job of putting it into the appropriate context (okay, don’t watch if you don’t have a sense of humour or don’t like satire. It also has some choice language, so don’t watch if you’re easily offended).

Credit : Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (The Global Warming Hoax).

This entry was posted in Climate change, Global warming, Satire and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Wow, it’s cold out there!

  1. Well it didn’t stop me from writing about it. 😉

    I was tempted to use the clip from the daily show in my blog post, but I decided not to as I didn’t find this one that good. Normally it’s not only poking fun or satire, but also a lot of pointing to the actual facts and, if applicable, some explanation of the science involved.

  2. idunno says:

    Copyright? Difficult to find this outside US. Cover your Wotsit, Wotts.

  3. Collin, yes I’ve seen better.

    idunno, yes, I was aware that it’s difficult to find outside the US, but this one’s on youtube, so assumed it was fine to link to. I guess I may find out otherwise at some stage. I would assume that they’d want it removed from youtube before going after me, but who knows.

  4. Rachel says:

    The video is brilliant! Hilarious! I love the bit about the whole thing being a hoax just so thousandaire (as opposed to millionaire) scientists can vacation in the Arctic (or Antarctic if we consider recent events) on their well-equipped boats.

    Although I hope the weather improves for people in the US soon, I have to say I’m a little bit jealous. I have been waiting, waiting and waiting for some snow and no snow has come and now we will be leaving soon and it doesn’t look like the snow will come at all before then. It’s not even cold here. 10C today.

  5. idunno says:

    Some further info on them climate thousandaires and their luxury superyachts…

    Here’s a long list.

    Check No. 7 – that’s owned by a gubbingmen. See?

    No. 14 “Very little is known about Superyacht Katara, as it is shrouded in secrecy.” I bet that’s Michael Mann’s. Sceptics should send him an FOI request.

    Highly suspicious number from the Gulf States, where it’s sunny. Solar scamsters every one, I bet.

  6. Rachel says:

    Any of those superyachts got an icebreaker, idunno?

  7. Ian Forrester says:

    Rachel, they don’t need an icebreaker, they just hire a few Koch funded deniers to hang onto the bow and all the hot air they expel will melt the ice before you can say “let’s play hockey, where are the hockey sticks”?

  8. Collin, wordpress seems to be preventing me from adding the embed code to the post. I may just simply add a link to the Comedy Central page.

  9. AnOilMan says:

    First you have 4% ish more moisture in the air, that amplifies wind chill, and allows for greater precipitation. We’re not even getting in the meandering jet stream.

    How about that heat wave in Australia?

    Sorry… that was last year…. Here’s this year.

    We’re talking about tires popping on the roads because they no longer work because its too hot.

    Hmm… I think I’d need to see the data in order to see whether there was something truly unusual about what was going on. In fact I’d prefer to look at the long term trend more than anything else.

    Incidentally, Calgary is a dry cold. At -20C I got out in a t-shirt… not for long but I do.
    Victoria BC is humid. At 0 C you hide from the bitter cold that goes right through you. Be afraid.

    PS. My balls aren’t freezing. I have heated seats in my car. Now that I have winter tires on my car I also won’t gain a gaping head wound.

  10. Rachel says:

    It’s not just tyres popping on roads in Australia due to extreme heat, OilMan. The RSPCA say 100,000 bats died in QLD because of the heatwave. That’s what really upsets me. I wonder how the animals are dealing with the cold in the US?

  11. You think it’s cold?

    Here is cold:

    > “Hunger,” Anthony writes, “was the one spice every expedition carried.”

    Let’s hope no 13 yos nor 78 yos were harmed while writing this report.

  12. [ScottishSceptic, I’m not really interested in you promoting your website here, so have deleted your comment. I’m also trying to enforce a stricter comments policy, so you can have the priviledge of being the first to be affected by the new policy.]

  13. AnOilMan says:

    Rachel: I don’t know about the US, but I don’t think its an issue. Climate is pretty mild in North America. Its only a problem when weather completely outside the norm occurs. Like snow in Southern California. “Like Duuuude… whoa! Its white!”

    Canada is an interesting place to look at because its northerly, and it’s heating way way way more than the average. The temperature anomaly from 1950 is 3C.

    So, critters here are adapted to the cold, and its not so hot that they are struggling with the summers. However, seasonal variances are causing serious issues. Birds fly north too soon arrive before food does. Longer growing seasons and weak soil aren’t that helpful.

    It is clear and obvious that its not as cold as it used to be.

    British Columbia has suffered huge forestry losses due to Pine Beetles. These little critters have antifreeze in their blood, and only really die if you get like 2 weeks of -35.

    They are predicting a total infestation by 2020. (This is the end game scenario for the forestry industry.)

    So Climate Change is now costing billions, killing the economy and costing jobs;

    I predict a day when no one understands this song;

  14. jsam says:

    Off-topic. Rachel may well feel the need to chastise me. If she does I shall man up. :

    But I see the usual trolls can’t resist commenting on Mawsom in Nature.

    I played basketball for years. I wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t great. My coach made me appear better than I was. He explained that if I came up against someone more skilful than me I should play the man. Maybe my coach works for the GWPF now.

  15. Bobby says:

    The bit at the end of Comedy Central wasn’t funny, but I liked the rest of it.

  16. Bobby, yes, that bit did make me think a little before posting this. I found it a bit over the top. The rest was very funny though.

  17. Rachel says:


    But I see the usual trolls can’t resist commenting on Mawsom in Nature.

    If I had balls they’d be really angry right now.

  18. Rachel says:

    Thanks. I’ve heard about the pine beetles. I also read recently that the moose are dying off although they’re not really sure why but ticks may be partly to blame.

  19. toby52 says:

    The RSPCA say 100,000 bats died in QLD because of the heatwave.

    Jeez, hope poor Lawson does not find out … the thought of the hecatombs of bats massacred by wind turbines puts him in a terrible depression. God knows what this new bat-holocaust will do to the balance of his mind.

  20. jsam says:

    The “jaminthemiddle” is reverse-trolling [Mod : I’m going to try out my new comment policy by removing this little comparison. It may be apt, but is unnecessary.]

    It is interesting to note that it is the “usual suspects”. What’s the correct collecive noun for trolls? Swarm? Pack? I’ve seen suggestions such as feculent, flame and rash. I think I like irritation the most.

  21. jsam says:

    Curses. Foiled again. 🙂

    This one is for Rachel. Give it a few seconds.

  22. That was me, not Rachel. I suspect you’ll get plenty of other opportunities in the not too distant future 🙂 . I enjoyed the video, anyway.

  23. AnOilMan says:

    jsam: A “Dunce of Trolls”?

    I prefer to call them seagulls. They swoop in, squawk, crap all over everything, and leave.

    Why is it that they need to keep thinking up new problems for us to look up? Surely they only need one. After 25 years, you think they found it by now.

    As far as I’m concerned, after 25 years all they’ve really done is prove that the science is totally solid without any error.

    I’ve reverse trolled once before. But to really sink it in you have to tell them you did it. Or better, publicly tell your pals while he argues away. Its funny because they are usually the ones doing it, and they just aren’t used to receiving it.

  24. jsam says:

    I’ve always heard them called pigeons.

  25. AnOilMan says:

    jsam: Pigeons don’t squawk.

    But really… calling them a “Dunce of Seagulls”, reduces them to what they really are. [Mod : I decided to remove this last part. It may be a valid comparison, but wasn’t really necessary to say.]

  26. AnOilMan says:

    This might have been a better video;

  27. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Yay! That Jon Stewart vid is like, wow! The self-congratulation and ignorant tribal trashiness of Radio Four’s The News Quiz – but with moving pictures! Yay!

  28. BBD says:


    There’s nothing “tribal” about calling a climate troll a troll.

  29. BBD says:

    Although I’m not going to defend either the video or R4 TNQ.

  30. Joshua says:

    Physicist Formerly Known as Wotts:

    What is your new moderation policy? So’s I don’t run afoul of it.

  31. idunno says:

    I can’t actually watch this via this link, but American readers of this blog are promised more from “Noted climatologist Donald Trump weighs in on global warming…”—friends-vs–global-warming

  32. Tom Curtis says:

    Anthony Watts has a post highlighting the ratio of cold to warm temperature records set over the last week. He writes:

    “Records for the “polar vortex” outbreak show a big disparity between warm and cold records. There were 655 cold records in the past week compared to 101 warm records, a ratio of 6.5 to 1. Cold temperature records have been set from the Canadian border down to the Gulf coast of Louisiana.”

    but later cautions:

    “While this isn’t anything except proof of a cold weather event, remember this come summertime when warmists tout a similar, but opposite disparity of records during a heat wave as “proof” of something else.”

    Indeed, some “warmists” do tout such record ratios during heat waves. An example is an article from the Guardian during the US 2012 summer heatwave:

    “For the seven-day period from June 24-30, 1,924 daily high temperature records were set or tied in the U.S., along with 634 warm overnight low temperature records. Of these records, 565 set or tied monthly high temperature records, and 67 set or tied monthly warm overnight low temperature records.

    Remarkably, 155 all-time record high temperatures were set or tied during this period, along with nine all-time record warm overnight lows.

    For the year-to-date, there have been 40,113 warm temperature records set or tied, compared to just 5,835 cold records. (These figures, compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, are preliminary.) In other words, the warm temperature records have been outnumbering cold records by about 7-to-1.

    In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm. According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even. Other studies have shown that climate change increases the odds of extreme heat events and may make them warmer and longer lasting.”

    (My emphasis)

    But while the Guardian mentions the number of high records, it only sites the long term trend in temperature record ratios as evidence of global warming, and backs up its claims be reference to a peer reviewed article. It appears that Watts is misrepresenting the “warmist” argument so that he can focus exclusively on the record of the week of the last week.

    It is also interesting to note that with 2558 warm records from June 24th to 30th, 2012, they outnumber the number of cold records from January 1st to 8th, 2014 by 3.9 to one. So, while there are still cold spells under global warming, evidently they are not as bad as the heatwaves. Indeed, over the last 365 days, all time warm records outnumber all time cold records by 7 to 1. How narrow your focus has to be to pretend that recent cold waves have been comparable to recent heat waves in intensity and extent.

  33. idunno says:

    Hi Tom,

    I haven’t been through either one with a fine-toothed comb, but Master’s take seems contradictory to Watts’…

  34. Tom Curtis says:

    idunno, there is no contradiction between Watts and Masters, although Masters is far more balanced and informative. The reason there is no contradiction is that Watt’s records include daily records, ie, coldest minimums or maximums for a given station on a given date, whereas Masters reports on all time records, ie, the coldest minimum or maximum on any date in the year. The former are a dime a dozen, the later are rare. Having said that, I have seen at least one report of seven all time minimum records on Tuesday. It is possible that they did not occur at NOAA weather stations (Master’s other restriction), or that the reports are simply inaccurate. Certainly, Master’s data agrees with NOAA’s as seen in the last link of my preceding post.

    In essence, Watt’s post contains no factual errors that I am aware of, but it busily attempts to conceal that as historical cold spells go, this one was relatively mild, and would not have been at all unusual a hundred years ago. In contrast, recent heat waves, and most noticeably the US summer heat wave of 2012 (to which we can add 2003, Europe; 2010, Russia; 2013, Australia; and probably a number of others that didn’t inflict nations of predominantly European descent and hence got massively under reported) have been truly exceptional.

  35. Joshua, I created a new Comments policy page. It’s all mainly common sense and I doubt you would be a typical candidate for moderation 🙂

  36. MarkG says:


    Richard Tol has another comment on the Mawson trip in Nature. The man is a serious obsessive. [Mod : Minor edit. I know the comparison may be apt and has been made elsewhere, but would rather it wasn’t made here.]

  37. MarkG,
    Well, Richard had plenty of practice commenting about the trip here, so I would hope that he is thankful for all the effort we put into helping him hone his various views on the topic 🙂

  38. Phil L says:

    AnOilMan, To add to your observations about warmer winters worsening Canada’s Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic… Forest managers across the boreal forest are nervously watching the pest munch through the lodgepole pine forests of B.C. and Alberta. A decade ago the prevailing wisdom was that Jack pine wouldn’t be a suitable host, but recent research seems to indicate that the beetle may do just fine with that species. Jack pine extends across the boreal forest clear into Newfoundland, so a lot of forestry-dependent communities could be severely affected.

  39. John Mashey says:

    I did a radio talk show a few years ago in Vancouver, courtesy of PICS, First caller tried a Gish Gallop, easily taken care of by reference to Skeptical Science numbers, which I’d said I’d would use for standard questions. Then I noted that I’d been talking a couple B.C. lumber guys in a ski lodge, and they knew of the beetles, didn’t want them there, and knew perfectly well that global warming was bringing them.
    I suggested to the caller that he could tell them there was no such thing as AGW, but they were big guys who probably still knew how to use axes.

    Anyway, the swathes of beetle-killed trees are really ,really obvious when you fly over/

  40. Steve Bloom says:

    AnOilMan, forests and lumberjacks may one day be forgotten, but Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy will live forever. 🙂

    That beetle projection is very interesting. Last I heard, and I pay semi-attention to this, there were bold predictions of the outbreak burning out and *not* getting into the north like that. Of course ~5 years ago the Alberta and federal forestry departments were talking big about the boreal cross-over not being a problem, either.

  41. Steve Bloom says:

    Topical: Public perception of cold weather events as evidence for and against climate change. It will be interesting to compare this with U.S. polling for the current cold event.

  42. william says:

    [Mod : I’m going to delete your comment because all you’ve done is highlight another time when lots of birds died. If you want to make such a comment, you need to provide some context. This falls into the category of trying to goad others into a response, rather than trying to present something constructive. See my new Comments policy if you’re unsure.]

  43. william says:

    and the bat comment certainly goaded me into a response, the piece was about the cold, oil man bought in temps in Australia, you managed to bring in bats and i followed with parrots dropping out of the air in 1932.

    Every comment has the potential to goad others into a response.

  44. William, don’t play the ref. All I’m asking for is some context. Simply pointing out that something similar has happened before, but without some context has little value – in my opinion at least. I don’t believe that anyone is suggesting that a heatwave has never occurred in Australia in the past. The association between these events and global warming is really to do with trends, not necessarily with individual events.

  45. Joshua says:

    ” It will be interesting to compare this with U.S. polling for the current cold event.- “

    IMO – the take-away from the abstract:

    ” We also show that the way in which people interpret cold weather is associated with levels of pre-existing scepticism about climate change, which is in turn related to more general worldviews.”

    It’s like “Climategate.” Many “skeptics” like to argue that it caused a “crisis” in confidence in climate scientists. In fact, only a relatively small people followed it closely, and an even smaller % of people said that it altered their opinions on climate change, but even more telling, one could rather easily predict whose opinion was altered, and in what way, on the basis of their preexisting ideological orientation (or from the article “worldview” – an expression I think is not suitable as I think that people can have similar worldviews and different ideological orientations). Those who say that their confidence in climate scientists was shaken by “Climategate” were predominantly already “skeptics” and/or libertarians/conservatives. For some, who had an opposite starting orientation, “Climategate” served to reinforce their concern about climate change and the fallaciousness of climate “skepticism.”

    So it will go with cold weather and opinions on climate change, IMO. People filter their take on the weather through their ideological predisposition. Only a handful of people will have their perspective altered in the sense of going for “realist” to “skeptic” or visa versa. “Skeptics” will look at the cold weather and use it to confirm their biases.

  46. Pingback: Global energy accumulation | And Then There's Physics

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