GWOCD: Global Warming Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Why does every weather occurrence have to have a tie to global warming? Earlier this week, I read a report on last month's Colorado floods that included the de rigueur blame for global warming. Today, it was in a newspaper story.

I finally figured it out: The media has Global Warming Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (GWOCD).

I usually read my Wall Street Journal over lunch and came across this story:
Perhaps my GWOCD Radar was on the fritz, because it didn't alarm as I started reading. (As background, before I even read the story, I already knew it had been colder than normal at the Arctic this summer.) I'm reading about the genuine plight of the villagers and, suddenly, the alarm went off! Before I even read the words, I knew what was coming:

State and federal marine experts, meanwhile, say the collapse of the walrus harvest is another example of how wild weather is altering life in native villages like these that still follow a subsistence lifestyle. Rick Thoman, a climatologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, said the Arctic's warming climate is likely to make it harder for such villages to catch enough walruses and other prey animals and fish, which scientists say are likely to fall in number in coming years due to diminished ice.

Of course, knowing it had been colder than normal this year, I wondered how they'd manage to spin that inconvenient truth. I didn't have to read much further:

But this past spring, the village had the opposite problem: The coldest winter to hit the state in decades meant the Siberian Yupik Eskimo hunters on the island, which lies just 36 miles from Russia's Chukchi Peninsula, weren't able to maneuver their boats past unusually thick ice in the Bering Sea as the walrus herds migrated past.

Wow. Cold weather is bad. Warm weather is bad. Insightful coverage.

Acknowledging the cognitive dissonance that accompanies GWOCD, the story goes on:


Even including last winter, Alaska's average temperature has risen 3.4 degrees in the past half century, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates. [emphasis mine] The reduced ice protection from ocean storms has resulted in so much coastal erosion that some villages have laid plans to relocate to drier ground. State officials said the climate-change threat comes on top of others, including rising fuel costs.
Of course, people with GWOCD can't be bothered to actual obtain the measurements (available from the Danish Meteorological Agency) to see what temperatures have actually done; an "estimate" is good enough. And, if the temperatures really are rising, it will offset the rising fuel costs! But, for people infected with GWOCD, nothing about global warming can ever be good. 

If Casablanca were to be remade today (heaven forbid!), Claude Rains' (Inspector Renault) character would be a journalist instead of a policeman. Upon noting some adverse weather somewhere in the world, his line would be, "Round up the usual climate scientists!" 

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