Snowmageddon 2015, nicknamed “Juno,” is upon us. (Well, upon some of you. D.C. is getting the kind of tepid drizzle that usually results in our canceling approximately a week of school and shutting down the government.) But what does it mean?
Ever since the age of Noah — “See that rainbow? That’s God’s way of saying NO MORE FLOODS” — people have been using that day’s weather to prove that they are right about something.
Every big snow produces drifts of politicians who step up to microphones and say something along the lines of, “But Al Gore said there would be no more snow!” or “Global WARMING? Feels pretty cold to me.”
“No,” scientists try to say. “Weather and climate are different. The fact that today is cold does not contradict the overall trends we have observed. There are trendlines, and there are outliers. Here is a chart.” At this point the scientists pause to knock over several small tables in frustration while a polar bear looks on and shakes its head. (The same thing goes for the other end of the thermometer, too. Just because it is hot today does not decades worth of trendlines make. Come on, people!)
If you think that Snowmaggedon 2015 indicates that you are right about global warming, you get access to a lot of fun logic: “I know you have a lot of evidence for Y, but I personally had a vivid experience of X!” Here, as a reminder, are some other statements that make almost equal sense!
- “I got six heads in a row! Whoever says there’s a 50-50 chance of getting tails each time is a big old liar.”
- “Today it is my birthday. Historically, it has always been my birthday.”
- “Today I saw no people. There are no people.”
- “I heard a good song on the radio today. Music is better than it has ever been!”
- “Mike Huckabee said something sensible today. Mike Huckabee says something sensible every day.”
- “Kim Kardashian makes lots and lots of money. All people with no discernible skills or talents make lots and lots of money.”
- “One woman rejected me. All women are terrible, flighty, two-faced liars who wouldn’t know a good thing if it bit them on the ankle.”
- “I or someone I saw on TV once experienced a vivid anecdote, so science is wrong.” (This one is great if you don’t want to vaccinate your kids.)
- “I have never personally experienced harassment/discrimination/poverty, so it does not exist.”
- “Today, the stock market closed several points higher. President Obama has been good for the economy.”