It is all well and good to gratuitously inform the great unwashed masses who are not privy to the secret wisdom of the computer powered elites that we, the little people, are just not smart enough to understand something as complex as the climate.
"Of course in a warming world their will be more moisture in the air, hence more snow" snickers our betters as they punch their predetermined assumptions into the super computers we have bought for them, that they may keep us at bay,
"Oh foolish children, of course there will still be bouts of cold in the warming world and because you refuse to unplug your cell phone chargers, blizzards are your just punishment."
"But what", one so foolishly may question "about the cold in Mexico?"
Low temperatures caused natural gas shortages in New Mexico while, south of the border, Mexico faces significant crop damage and food price hikes.I know, I know what you're thinking, OK Kent we'll play the game......."How cold was it"?
by Kent Patterson
The images and news reports from Chihuahua, New Mexico and Texas were gripping. Last week's sub-zero temperatures grew sheets of ice on the walls of unheated homes. Water lines froze and burst, wells clammed up, natural gas shortages left towns without heat and the normal functioning of schools, business and factory production was thrown into chaos. On both sides of the US-Mexico border, governors issued disaster declarations and troops were called out to assist with emergency relief.
"We can call this historic", said Dave Novlan, meterologist for the National Weather Service in the border town of Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
In neighboring Ciudad Juarez, a city already battered to the bone by extreme criminal violence and economic crisis, 90,000 families were reported without water the first weekend of February. Next door, in El Paso, Texas, the city water utility took the extreme step of ordering residents not to shower, wash cars and clothes and otherwise restrict water usage until further notice
In Aldama, Chihuahua, nearly three dozen animals-parrots, snakes, crocodiles and a monkey, froze to death at a private zoo, while the epic freeze was suspected in the death of a $30,000 giraffe at a zoo in Clovis, New Mexico.
As an old Mexican saying goes, "Crazy February" had come to town.WOW Kent, that is cold! When you have to bring out that "Crazy February" saying, you know it's cold. I had no idea giraffes were so cheap though. Tell us more how cold was it?
Across the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, at least 19 people were reported dead from cold weather-related incidents by February 3, even before the temperatures took more turns downward. By the end of the first week of February, four additional victims were reported in the state of Tamaulipas, which also borders Texas.
Of the 19 Chihuahua victims, nine reportedly succumbed from carbon monoxide poisoining, six from hypothermia and four from burns. In a non-lethal fire, Ciudad Juarez firemen unable to overcome frozen water lines were forced to watch the historic building housing the Lion's Club burn down.
Earlier, in January, a broad swath of northern and central Mexico shivered in the cold. Even in the tropical port of Puerto Vallarta, where thousands of Canadian and US "snowbirds" pass the winter along with migratory humpback whales every year, unusually low nightly temperatures had residents and visitors snuggling up in sweaters and coats.
In northwestern Mexico, more than 1.3 million acres of grain, vegetable and fruit crops were reportedly damaged or destroyed in the most recent bout of extra cold weather. One farmer assessed the situation as a "total loss."
Mexico's Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries counts on an additional $100 million in disaster compensation funds this year. The federal agency considers Mexico among the most vulnerable nations to impacts from climate change in the Americas.
But Mexico's potential crop losses came at a time when a kilo of staple corn tortillas was already fetching ten or more pesos, or one-fifth the amount of the daily minimum wage. In 2011, some economists warn of further rising food prices in the months ahead
Probing slightly beyond the emergency nature of the extreme weather, which by most accounts was the most severe spell since the 1950s or 1960s, some mass media outlets spoke about an archaic infrastructure or the inability of the New Mexico Gas Company, for example, to supply enough energy to freezing residents, 32,000 of whom were stranded without gas heat for days on end.
Questions were raised about the liability of the private company for customers' broken water lines, as well as company exports of New Mexico-produced gas to outside markets while residents were deprived of a vital heating source- almost as if the Land of Enchantment was a classic energy colony.Now in all seriousness, this is a serious situation. We have people dieing, extreme property damage, economic and agricultural devastation on a massive scale, certainly somebody is taking this cold weather in unexpected places seriously...right?
But almost without fail, US and Mexican media coverage had one thing in common: no mention of how human-induced climate change might be responsible for the Deep Freeze of 2011. Indeed, media attention soon focused on Super Bowl Sunday and Christina Aguilera's interesting interpretation of the National Anthem.
The climate change omission extended into government and business circles. Annette Gardinier, New Mexico Gas Company president, insisted the freeze was a "50-year weather event" not experienced since 1971 and 1911, and an emergency situation of similar magnitude was "unlikey" to happen again.
In an Internet article, however, Santa Fe resident Subhangar Banerjee noted the link between Artic warming and the predictions of climate scientists of "more frequent and severe intensity winter storms" arising from "human made climate change."Oh, I see, Kent like most of the Pavlovian media has determined that this massive cold spell which is destroying the infrastructure, the economy, and reeking havoc on his region is the result of man made global warming. Of course he can not say global warming, that would be just so.... naive, so common. So Kent goes for the "human-induced climate change". But wait there is more:
Banerjee also cited other evidence of climate change in New Mexico, including the massive die-off of pinon trees since the turn of the century, and the record high temperatures of 100 degrees that were registered in the normally cool state capital of Santa Fe last June and July. In contrast, February temperatures in Santa Fe plunged to -40 with the wind chill factor thrown in, according to Banerjee. "This is my way of saying it's too cold for New Mexico," he wrote.
"Crazy February" arrived just as Congressman Fred Upton (R-Mi) rolled out legislation designed to prevent the US Environmental Protection Agency from limiting greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change by the world's leading scientists.
Overall estimates of economic losses stemming from this month's ongoing emergency or cost projections from similar future catastrophes were not immediately reported.
Meantime, the second week of February kicked in with more cold weather chilling the greater borderlands. In a statement, the US Federal Emergency Managenent Agency's Region 6 assured residents it was working hard with local counterparts to prepare for yet another "round of snow and ice." Federal officials urged residents of New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma to have an emergency kit ready and stay on the alert for advisories from the authorities.
Kent Patterson is the editor of Frontera NorteSur, a news service of New Mexico State University.Oh yes that uppity Upton, he is going to be responsible for even more frozen pipes in New Mexico and tortilla shortages in Mexico. If they don't let the EPA regulate that greenhouse gas stuff they'll have to extend the winter storm emergency warnings down into Guatemala or maybe even Venezuela. Maybe a little ice will clear the sulfur from Hugo's nose.
You see the absurdity of this don't you? Please tell me you see the absolute insanity that the mad scientist have wrought upon us. Frozen pipes in New Mexico and frigid weather in tropical Porte Varade are the result of Man Made Global Warming.
It never ends.