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Snow buries global warming bill -- and my balcony [Updated]

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Congress is closed for business this week, shuttered by the heaviest snowfall since 1922. For Libertarians, this might be a dream come true -- no danger of lawmakers enacting new laws that will impose government regulation.

But for one piece of legislation in particular -- the climate-change bill that Democrats assumed they could pass in Barack Obama's first year as president -- the snowfall has been a meteorological as well as a political disaster.

Fresh from Republican Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts, politicians in both parties deduced that voters saw other issues as more important. Ever since, they've been rearranging their priority list. Think jobs, the economy, government spending.

But the snowfall is also giving skeptics new reason to question the extent of global warming or the urgency of government intervention. Once among the crown jewels of the Democratic reform agenda, cap-and-trade legislation seems as stuck in the snow as a jackknifed truck.

South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint raised the issue on Twitter. Long dismissive of former Vice President Al Gore's international campaign to combat climate change, DeMint tweeted, “It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries 'Uncle.' "

On a more serious note, New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingaman conceded that the blizzards have made climate-change legislation a tough sell.

“It makes it more challenging for folks not taking time to review the scientific arguments,” said Bingaman, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “It’s hard to see [how] an economy-wide cap-and-trade [proposal] of the type that passed the House could prevail."

[Updated at 3:01 p.m.: Environmentalists argue that global warming actually increases the chance for extreme weather because as the planet warms, it can hold more moisture. "Even unusually cold weather in the eastern United States doesn’t mean that global warming isn’t happening," said Dan Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign at the D.C.-based Center for Auto Safety. "Now, shall we also talk about the dearth of snow for the Vancouver Winter Olympics?"

Still, that hasn't stopped the naysayers from exploiting their moment in the snow.]

Asked Tuesday about prospects of passing cap-and-trade legislation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell burst out laughing, then quipped, "Where’s Al Gore when we need him?”

As for me, I'm indoors, looking out my balcony window.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photos: Johanna Neuman

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Comments () | Archives (7)

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Business does not grind to a halt. Everyone with any responsibility in the government or big businesses can telecommute. Where I work we've had remote access drills to prepare for just these kinds of situations. Some people say they get more work done when they work from home.

The blizzard overrides the global warming scam......and they(the Dems)just thought it was the Republicans who were putting a kink into the works. What a hoot! God does have a sense of humor!

"But the snowfall is also giving skeptics new reason to question the extent of global warming or the urgency of government intervention."

Seriously. Have you spent so little time on the issue of climate change that you believe that snowfall = NOT "global warming"?

Not only is this scientifically illiterate and beneath minimal journalistic standards (after all, you've had a DECADE), but ought to embarrass you, Ms. Neuman, if you're still capable of feeling embarrassment.

Climate change means that extreme weather will become MORE extreme, and what you're experiencing is more PROOF of climate change than REFUTATION.

Seriously. Read a book and THEN comment. Don't just make this stuff up because you're too intellectually unadventurous to do ANY research whatsoever.

Thanks for the pictures. It's time for Al Gore to say "Uncle" Last year Robert Kennedy said the children in Virginia would never see snow. The windmills in the Northern States are freezing and producing no electricity, just and ugly sight.

Right now the now falls abundantly,come the fall leaves and democrats will
fill the gutters,and our hearts with joy.

Hart, Please present your proof of man-made global warming. Maybe the invalid hockey stick model or disguarding tree core samples that disagree with the pre-determined conclusion or CO2 being to heavy a molecule to contribute to a greenhouse effect or the glaciers doomed to melt by 2035 being thicker than ever or UN global warming committee leader having to apologize for including false research in the UN global warming report. Seriously, which of these should Ms. Neuman read up on?

No, this isn't more proof of global warming, and it certainly is damning evidence if you look at the full picture.

Back when Virginia was lacking snow and having droughts, much of you enviro alarmists warned it was because of global warming. When we had Hurricane Katrina, many of you cried it was from Global Warming. Now, we've had fewer hurricanes and regions of the world are getting unprecedented amounts of snow, and you want to blame that on global warming too. You can't have it both ways, folks. If you were wrong then, you are wrong now.

Furthermore, the idea that these massive snow storms could be a result of long term rising temps, in-turn causing increasing moisture has been refuted by the unusually COLD weather the country and world are currently experiencing. There has been a cooling trend and record cold temperatures to go along with all of this snow. The theory is warped no matter which angle you see it from. We've seen snow in Copenhagen, frost in Columbia, record cold in Britain, snow in Houston and unprecedented cold temps in Florida. The rise in temperatures leveled off 10 years ago. Naturally, it will take the glaciers a while to grow back. They didn't recede overnight, and it may take hundreds of years for some of them to grow again. Are you enviro-alarmists updating us on the progress of the numerous glaciers that already are growing?

And shall we still say the snow storm is a result of warmer temps resulting from Global Warming? Only if you're a fool.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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