Today, Harry Binswanger writes in an Op-Ed for the Forbes business web site, “A generation and a half into climate change, née global warming, you can’t point to a single place on earth where the weather is noticeably different from what it was in 1979.”
Harry Binswanger calls himself an “Objectivist”, by which he means that he is a follower of Ayn Rand. The label Objectivist also implies that Binswanger will heed objective facts even when they don’t fit with his preferred ideology. His comments show, however, that he elevates ideology over objective reality.
Binswanger says that we can’t point to a single place on earth where the weather is noticeably different from what it was in 1979, but that’s simply not the case. Scientists around the world have made careful, objective measurements of the weather and found statistically significant, and historically unprecedented, changes in the weather. These measurements have been independently verified, and subjected to rigorous analysis to establish consistent descriptions of rapid and unprecedented climate change (which includes global warming, but is much broader, incorporating elements such as extreme weather, sea level rise and ocean acidification).
Binswanger’s grip on objective reality must be quite strained if he failed to hear the news that 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of the United States of America. That’s noticeably different weather.
Right now, we can point to objective data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which shows that, after last year’s record-low Arctic sea ice extent, the surface area of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is right now even lower than it was last year, beyond two standard deviations below the average Arctic sea ice extent from between the years 1979-2000. That’s not just a subjectively noticeable difference in the weather. It’s a scientifically confirmed difference.
If Harry Binswanger can’t see how the weather has changed over the last generation, it’s because he’s too busy gazing in adoration at a portrait of his hero, Ayn Rand.