Year 3, Month 7, Day 24: I Never Understood The Designated Hitter Rule

Making up for lost time, the Washington Post continues its shrill campaign:

Most Americans say they believe temperatures around the world are going up and that weather patterns have become more unstable in the past few years, according to a new poll from The Washington Post and Stanford University.

But they also see future warming as something that can be addressed, and majorities want government action across a range of policies to curb energy consumption, with more support for tax breaks than government mandates.

The findings come as the federal government released a report Tuesday suggesting the connection between last year’s severe weather and climate change. According to the study issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, changes fueled by the burning of fossil fuels made the 2011 heat wave in Texas 20 times more likely to occur compared with conditions in the 1960s.

In the report, the scientists compared the phenomenon to a baseball or cricket player’s improved performance after taking steroids.

“For any one of his home runs (sixes) during the years the player was taking steroids, you would not know for sure whether it was caused by steroids or not,” they wrote in the report, which will be published in a forthcoming Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. “But you might be able to attribute his increased number to the steroids.”

This was fun to write. Sent July 13:

After years of muted scientific language, the American public’s got something it can understand: climate change’s influence on weather is like that of steroids on the performance of professional athletes, according to the recent report from the NOAA. Performance-enhancing drugs affect muscle size, response time, and a host of other factors — but it is impossible to attribute any single home run or touchdown to them. Rather, they “load the dice” in favor of extreme athletic accomplishment. Similarly, atmospheric carbon dioxide is a performance enhancer for Earth’s weather systems.

Steroid use “…makes the body behave unnaturally,” as columnist George Will noted in a 2010 interview with the Wall Street Journal; greenhouse emissions make our climate behave unnaturally, while triggering side effects that may very well endanger the future of our civilization, professional sports and all. Perhaps Mr. Will, a legendary baseball fan and a climate-change denier, will grasp the NOAA’s analogy.

Warren Senders

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