On this past Saturday, the high temperature in Kansas City was 67 degrees, 23 degrees below the early August norm.
While out for a walk the next morning, still pleasantly cool and crisp, I encountered a young neighbor. “How do you like this weather?” I asked without an agenda beyond neighborliness.
“Don’t tell me climate change isn’t real,” he answered, he too without any agenda other than sharing his anxiety. In speaking to other young people, I found several were actively alarmed about Kansas City’s glorious summer weather.
They are all victims of GUSS, the Great Unclaimed Semantic Shift. Without fanfare, in the first decade of this century, global warming boosters gradually stopped using the phrase “global warming” and shifted to “climate change.”
And yes, the climate does change. Who could deny that?
If current Weather Channel predictions hold, Kansas City will go at least 28 consecutive days this summer with below-normal temperatures, 27 of those days five or more degrees below normal.
For sentient Kansas Citians, this is a blessing. It is too hot here in the summertime, sometimes way too hot.
In 1936, for instance, Kansas City suffered 53 days over 100 degrees, and this was before anyone had air conditioning. More recently, in 1980, the city had 22 consecutive days over 100. The warming may not have been global back then, but it was certainly hot locally.
In the climate-change camp, there has been a reluctance to acknowledge GUSS. To be fair, the media generally concede that there has been a shift, but they refuse to explore why.
In an all too typical article – “Why are they calling it ‘climate change’ now?” – Eoin O’Carroll used just about every evasive tactic in play to avoid answering the question he posed in the very title of this 2009 Christian Science Monitor piece.
Although O’Carroll summarized the skeptics’ position more or less accurately, namely that “pesky facts” forced the “greenies” to substitute terms, he deceived his readers about what those facts were.
According to O’Carroll, skeptics were claiming that temperatures had been “falling” since 1998. This was nonsense.
All halfway serious skeptics followed the evidence. They claimed only that global temperatures had flattened and fallen well below the projected increases.
Four years after O’Carroll’s article, the flattening continued. “Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar,” admitted the climate change-friendly Economist in 2013.
Having dashed the “completely bogus” claims of his straw man, or so he told his readers, O’Carroll spent endless paragraphs showing that scientists had used the term “climate change” in one context or another for a century of more.
This was all beside the point. Some time in the previous decade someone consciously changed the name of the crisis du jour from “global warming” to “climate change.”
Although admitting that environmentalists were “canny about messaging,” O’Carroll never even dropped a hint as to why they had changed their message.
O’Carroll may not have known who was responsible for GUSS. Or if he did know, he did not want to give credit where it is due.
According to Terry Anderson and Kurt Leube of the generally reliable Hoover Institution, the founding father of “climate change” was likely President George W. Bush.
Apparently, in a 2002 memo to President Bush, Republican strategist and pollster Frank Luntz first proposed the shift from “global warming” to “climate change.”
Concerned that the debate was “closing” against global warming skeptics, Luntz told Bush, “Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”
Bush took his advice. He was unaware that the earth in 2002 was in the beginning of a 15-year long “pause,” now allegedly discredited.
Ironically, it was not the skeptics who would embrace “climate change,” but the global warming boosters.
Having built their careers on alarmism, they were not about to let the evidence derail them. If a generation of young people had to suffer anxiety as a consequence, so be it.
So to put my neighbor at ease, when he said to me, “Don’t tell me climate change isn’t real,” I responded, “Don’t tell me climate change isn’t good.”
It certainly has been in the Kansas City August of 2017.
Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact [email protected].