July 27, 2009
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Letters to the Editor and other People Speak
COLUMN: The summer of ’09: what global warming?
By Bob Confer
The family and I were supposed to go on vacation in northern Saskatchewan in mid-June. A few days before we were to fly out, we received a phone call from the camp’s owner, who said we’d have to postpone the trip. The lake was covered by four feet of ice!
So, we went there a couple of weeks back. Not surprisingly, the lake still had mammoth sheets of ice floating on it July 11. Mind you, this was not the tundra. It’s a lake that’s normally ice-free by the end of May.
That delay to the start to the summer is reminiscent of what has happened on the home front. After a lengthy, very cold winter, most Western New Yorkers were suffering from cabin fever and looking forward to getting outside and enjoying those oh-so-few months of sun and warmth. For many, 2009 has been a real letdown. Our summer has often seemed nonexistent and just a run-off of our spring. By any standard it has been unusually cool with nippy nights and temperate days.
Personally, you won’t hear me complaining about 50-degree sleeping weather or daytime highs around 70, but most folks don’t dig that. Professionally, though, I don’t either; it’s hurting my business. Those who find it a little too frigid haven’t opened their swimming pools or invested in a hot tub, which in turn has prevented Confer Plastics from selling the products they need to enter those watery retreats from the summer heat. Day-in and day-out, we hear from pool and spa professionals in the Northeast and Midwest that this has been one of the coldest summers in recent memory. Because of that, our pool/spa-related sales are down about 7 percent versus last year.
Our industry is not alone in a loss that is independent of the slow economy. Outdoor-dining venues have taken a beating. Summer retail sales hit such lows that stores began discounting weeks earlier than they normally would.
These are not just anecdotal references about the state of the environment. The statistics can back them up.
The Buffalo-Niagara region had only 6 days of 80-degree heat by mid-July when almost 20 of them are typical by that point in time. Atlantic City had its third-wettest June ever, which was the Northeast’s coldest in 27 years. Even the usually-balmy Southwest had its coldest June in 42 years.
This trend hasn’t ended, either. July weekly temps in the upper Midwest were 10 degrees below average. Canada’s temperatures have been well below normal since December and gardeners and farmers in central Alberta actually had to deal with frost a week and a half ago.
This weather is definitely not normal.
The press, the environmentalists, the Left, Al Gore ... they all knew it would be abnormal. But, even so, they were wrong. Dead wrong. This year’s climate trend has been the exact opposite of what the global warming alarmists have been calling for. We were supposed to be facing deadly heat and droughts. Instead, we’re looking at lower temps and lots of rainfall throughout North America.
This year’s cool weather hasn’t been the only tell-tale sign of their errors. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Wasn’t that storm supposed to usher in a new era of relentless and deadly storms? Hurricane seasons have been downright tame since then.
This general cooling is comforting in a way. For starters, it’s nice to know the environment isn’t taking a beating and heading down a never-ending path of overheating and absolute destruction. And, secondly, it has shown that I and other naysayers (often deemed “idiots” by the Green people) have been right all along: Global warming is not the gospel, it’s a flawed belief.
Most people in Middle America are practical souls and have never fully believed in the nonsense and fear mongering of the Inconvenient Truth and its zombie-like following in academia and the media. But, sadly, policy-makers aren’t so logical and have tuned-out the not-so-hot real world. They continue to believe in the questionable science of Gore’s doomsday prophecy while pushing for equally-cartoonish and oppressive regulations such as CAFE and Cap-and-Trade.
I think that before they go any further with such laws they need to get out of the Capitol Building and spend some time in the great outdoors. Then, we’ll see what they really think about global warming.
Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda.