Eugene Robinson: Climate-change evidence before our eyes - The Washington Post
All right, now can we talk about climate change? After a year when the lower 48 states suffered the warmest temperatures, and the second-craziest weather, since record-keeping began?Assuming the lower-48 U.S. (1.5% of the world) temperature record isn't deeply fudged, which it is, we're told that an increase of 285.5 Kelvin to 286.1 Kelvin is like the increase from 27 feet to 29 feet in the long jump. Beamon's long jump margin was massively more impressive, and it was not accomplished by fudging the previous record down and the current record up.
Apparently not. The climate-change denialists — especially those who manipulate the data in transparently bogus ways to claim that warming has halted or even reversed course — have been silent, as one might expect. Sensible people accept the fact of warming, but many doubt that our dysfunctional political system can respond in any meaningful way.
Hurricanes striking where they don’t usually strike, fires burning where they don’t usually burn, drought everywhere — these anomalies begin to add up. Scientists have long told us that one impact of climate change will be increased volatility, and unpredictability, in weather events. This appears to be what we’re getting.
...To put it in context, breaking the record for hottest year by a full degree is like breaking the world record for the long jump not by an inch or two, but by nearly two feet, as Bob Beamon did at the 1968 Olympics.