Our hyped-up, hysterical country

At Drudge:

Historic snowstorm rages on…
Paralyzing nation’s capital…
Severe Winter Storm Striking Mid-Atlantic…

It’s called winter.

Last night on local New York TV, I actually heard them describe temperatures in the 20s as “extreme cold.” What would they call temperatures in the teens? The end of civilization as know it?

And, by the way, the article which Drudge links with the apocalyptic headline, “Historic snowstorm rages on,” says nothing of the kind. It speaks of a “punishing winter storm.”

The orchestrated hysteria over every little thing, and the demand for ever bigger government to take care of us (see discussion in previous entry of Sarah Palin’s various demands for big government), are two sides of the same coin.

How did my father and his brothers, coming from a very “unprivileged” background, have successful businesses, marry, buy homes, raise families, have decent lives, without any involvement of the federal government in their lives? How was that possible?

- end of initial entry -

Rick U. writes:

It’s the same with the summer storms, every hurricane is an impending disaster. In reality, these storms are largely beneficial. It’s called water.

Brandon F. writes:

“Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Mark Jaws writes:

Since I have a degree in meteorology and have an interest in climatology and weather records, I am experiencing this “historic DC snowfall” here in Northern Virginia with “professional interest.” First, the snow storm striking DC today is of historic proportions, with probably close to two feet in my backyard. But raging blizzard it is not. I remember when “blizzards” had to meet three criteria—heavy snowfall (at least four inches), wind gusts over 35mph, and temperatures under 20 degrees. Thus, the 1947 storm which paralyzed NYC with 26 inches of snow, was known as “The Big Snow of ‘47” because it was not cold enough to be clasiffied as a blizzard. On the other hand, the Blizzard of 1888 was a true blizzard, with temperatures below 10 degrees, wind gusts up to 50 mph and drifts two-stories high! This raging “blizzard” hitting DC today is producing no such temperatures or wind gusts.

Edward L. writes:

I object to the disparaging slant on your piece about the snowstorm (“Our Hyped-up, Hysterical country”). Why go out of your way to minimize it or point out that it doesn’t rise to this or that alleged superlative? How, exactly, are you distinguishing attitudes that deserve to be berated as hyped-up hysteria from normal frustration?

LA replies:

I don’t know what you mean by frustration. The absurd hyping of every weather event as a national catastrophe is a constant in our society. Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf?

Edward L. replies:

By frustration, I simply mean the normal feeling of being unhappy about it. If anything, I think we often hear more contrarian anti-hype (“Oh, this is nothing!”) than hype itself.

LA replies:

Frustration or unhappiness does not describe the thing I’m talking about which is the alarmism, the drama, in media reports about upcoming and ongoing weather events, in which ordinary storms are treated as major disasters.

Ferg writes:

For Minneapolis on February 6

Temperatures (° F)

High Low

Record: 51° (1925) -24° (1936)

Average: 22° 3°


Most Largest snowfall

0.26” 1895 1.7” 1952

On this day in 1994: The national low was at Tower with -41. (Which is no big deal due to the weather we’d had lately … )

LA replies:

So, you’re saying this is a winter for wimps?

Ferg replies:

Saying what you said. The weather is the weather, it is not a crisis. Everything has been seen before and will be seen again. Just in my 68 years I have seen sixty degrees here in Minnepolis in mid February, and the year I lived up in Hibbing Minnesota, on the iron range, (winter of ‘81-‘82), it hit an overnight low of -42F in Hibbing and the thermometer at Embarass Mn. bottomed out at -60F (may have been colder, the instrument only measured down that far. Embarass is down in a hole and is usually the coldest spot in the state).

So what does all this prove? Other than this is a Winter for Wimps? It proves just what all the other jabber about the weather proves, absolutely nothing. We are not in a real warming trend, or a real cooling trend, we are experiencing the weather we always have had, as long as Europeans have lived on this continent. Yearly variations, sure, decade too and perhaps century, but all normal in the over all picture. I have photos of Minneapolis in February of ‘47 and ‘48. Not a trace of snow anywhere. Not even any left in gutters or shaded parts of roofs. It just looks like it had not yet snowed that winter, by mid February. So? So.

LA replies:

Got it.

But—the most precipitation was .26 inch?

February 7

Ferg replies:

According to my WCCO Weatherguide calender, February is a dry month.

What snow we do get often has little moisture content which must have been the case in 1952 with the record snowfall of 1.7”. If you don’t mind I will send you these now and then just for fun because so often the record high was many years ago and the record low more recent, although in this case there was not much separation. Often though the high was in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and the low in the seventies or even later as in the temperature for Tower in 1994 being -41F. Yet more proof of Goreball warming.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 06, 2010 11:22 AM | Send

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