Breaking news: Despite global warming, snow still exists

Matt Drudge uses a coincidence -- winter weather when Al Gore is scheduled to testify about the climate -- to attack actual science.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 27, 2009 2:05AM (EST)

Matt Drudge is very excited about the weather forecast for Washington, D.C. It seems that a winter snow watch has been issued for Wednesday, which just happens to be the day former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee about global warming.

This kind of thing makes people who don't believe the science behind the warming theory pretty happy; they've even coined a term for it, the "Gore Effect." Drudge quotes one unnamed "Republican lawmaker" as saying, "I can't imagine the Democrats would want to showcase Mr. Gore and his new findings on global warming as a winter storm rages outside."

And to think some people are worried about the state of science education in this country.

For the record, as people like Drudge should know, local weather and global climate are not the same things. And besides, no one's predicting the end of snow as we know it anytime soon.

Plus, focusing on a single anecdotal data point in this way is a really, really bad way to do science, or to make any sort of generalized observation at all. If you're playing Russian Roulette and on your first turn you happen not to die, this does not mean putting a loaded gun to your head and squeezing the trigger is a good idea. If you're visiting Seattle for a week and on your first day there it happens to be sunny, you should not throw out your raincoat and umbrella. If you're the Steinbrenner family and for the first time in ten seasons Joe Torre fails to lead the Yankees to the AL East title, you should not drive Torre away. (Admittedly, the Steinbrenners will almost certainly never grasp this concept.)

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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