A new study found that the majority of the United States is actually experiencing better weather now compared to 40 years ago due to global warming. This study posits that good weather is not a positive thing, because it makes people complacent about global warming.
According to this study – published in the journal Nature and written by Patrick Egan and Megan Mullin – most of the U.S. has been experiencing milder winters over the past 40 years. And those milder winters have not been offset by more extreme summers, which they say have remained relatively stable.
Egan and Mullin – a political scientist and environmental politics professor, respectively – suggest that in talking about global warming, the focus should be on extreme weather events, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, and floods, instead of the weather itself. Convincing people to be scared about global warming is difficult when the weather is nice. As the Los Angeles Times reported about the study:
It’s hard to complain about sunny days, but the researchers foresee a problem. If Americans think climate change has benefited their lives so far, they’ll have little motivation to demand action or overcome apathy in responding to global warming, the scientists write.
By the end of the century, however, the study predicts the pleasant weather trend to reverse as summers heat up to uncomfortable temperatures.
If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, 88% of the current population will live in areas where the weather is less pleasant than it was before. The paper does not predict how changing weather patterns will influence migration patterns over the coming century.
And based on Americans’ experience with climate change so far, “none of this gives the American public reason to demand change and public policies to address this critical problem,” Mullin said.
So when news of weather milestones — such as Los Angeles’ hottest February on record — breaks, what happens?
“Climate scientists are reporting those results with alarm, but based on these findings the public is not receiving the message with alarm,” Mullin said. “They’re receiving it with complacency. They’re thinking of warm, sunny winter days.”
Mullin suggested climate scientists and climate communicators focus the message on extreme weather events — the wildfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes that take significant human and economic tolls.
Nothing the global warming industry has predicted over the past 40 years has come true. Local meteorologists have a hard enough time predicting the weather days in advance. Why should anyone believe what government-funded climate scientists say about what the weather’s going to be like 85 years from now?