OT - Send the Kids to School

Submitted by ijohnb on February 7th, 2019 at 7:16 AM

If you are in the same boat as me, your kids are home for an eight time since January 1.  8 "snow days" in a little over a month.  This is now completely ridiculous.  I don't care if there is ice on "back roads."  I don't care if frostbite can occur on "exposed skin."  I don't care if there are "boil problems."  I really don't even care if there is electricity.

Is the standard for closing school "the existence of winter condition somewhere at some point, kind of" now?  Is that what we are rolling with? 

I here you XM, I need to sit with my family in front of the fire place and read, and read, and read, until everybody falls into a peaceful slumber after a round of "I love yous."  I get it.  And I do love them.  But I have two kids who complained this morning about another snow day.  The kids complained about not having school.

Send these kids back to school.  Enough already.

/End rant

/Until the next "snow day"



February 7th, 2019 at 7:26 AM ^

Crazy weather happens, though.  It has always happened.  They are now canceling school without good reason.  If there are four or five roads in a district that the busses would have trouble on, fine, but those parents need to find a way to get their kids to school.  I am not a "get off my lawn" guy about snow days.  I am happy for my kids when they get a couple.  But in some areas they are getting to the point where this semester of school is going to be a wash.  A lot of kids depend on routine big time to learn.  They are turning into zombies right now.

Surveillance Doe

February 7th, 2019 at 7:39 AM ^

Hate to be the one to tell you this, but "crazy weather" is happening much more frequently now, and it will continue to happen more frequently going forward. I know many people like to pretend it's not a thing, but we actually have ways of measuring this stuff that are far more advanced than uninformed "opinions." Again, I hate to be the one to insert facts into the conversation. I know that is taboo these days.

Surveillance Doe

February 7th, 2019 at 7:50 AM ^

Man, you're the one claiming that these weather conditions are nothing new, while also strangely arguing that schools should stay open throughout extreme conditions because a certain percentage of parents have the means to navigate the conditions safely, as if that's somehow relevant to the offering of public education. 

I'm just letting you know the basic premise of your complaint is something you made up.


February 7th, 2019 at 8:08 AM ^

Dude. Keeping track of detailed weather data has only been around for about 100 years. That is the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. Stop cherry picking things to support a political narrative you believe in. This is a blog that is supposed to be politics free. And John, be glad you get to spend time with your kids. 


February 7th, 2019 at 10:36 AM ^

Haha, sure man. 

The political aspect of this is that the people who harp about climate change pick and choose what they want to use as evidence of some sort of upcoming doomsday. 

You can find all kinds of predictions about how if we don't do something by date x, we're all dead. And then the date passes and everything's fine.

You shouldn't trust people telling you the world is going to end in 30 years who can't even accurately predict what's going to happen the next week. Especially since they've been wrong over and over again. 


February 7th, 2019 at 1:36 PM ^

Thank you! Rarely post but logged on just to say the same thing.

This guy is conflating the weather forecast for a day with global forecasts and trends over years. This is the same guy that'll tweet, "so much for climate change" when it's a little cold on his vacation or on a spring day.

Yeeeeeeeesh come on Scooter


February 7th, 2019 at 12:10 PM ^

The global climate has changed; that's demonstrably true by a glance at the data.  You can debate the degree to which human behavior is responsible for this, and what the best way is to respond to it.  But it's unquestionably changed and all evidence points to the current trends continuing.

rob f

February 7th, 2019 at 8:55 PM ^

... except that many of us (myself included) who have non-U of M degrees---or none at all--- DO understand the difference between "weather" and "climate"; DO realize that climate change is real and needs to be addressed rather than ignored; and DO care about the world we're eventually going to be handing down to our children and grandchildren and generations to come.

I don't think it's nearly as much where one went to school as it is willful ignorance by some (politicians included) of the mountains of evidence there is that we have done damage to the environment/climate and that it MUST be addressed sooner much rather than later.


February 7th, 2019 at 6:31 PM ^

all seriousness, what caused the previous ice age? I know science and speculative data, is it possible we are just on the edge of the next ice age, and perhaps human behavior and advancement have hastened it, but it was otherwise inevitable? To me, the scope of global weather and climate change is bigger than a gallon of gas. By no means saying we have no hand in it with carbons etc...but something froze most of the earth once, and I doubt dinosaurs had gasoline...they ARE the gasoline.


February 7th, 2019 at 12:20 PM ^

Fine, ignoring what is clearly a "political" argument only for people who apparently believe record temperature change is somehow a sign of bias, the OP is complaining about people being too safe with the weather by cancelling school.  It was pointed out that lots of people are dying due to exposure to said dangerous conditions, and that perhaps some caution is in order.  

Schools don't like to be closed; it's a huge pain in their ass from a logistical standpoint to say nothing of the disruptions it causes to the students.  But I can claim with near 100% certainty that the OP would respond quite differently if his or her children got hurt as a result of going to school in such conditions.  


February 7th, 2019 at 8:29 AM ^

Your assertions are unfalsifiable. Literally two weeks before the recent polar vortex (less than a month ago, in other words), a climate scientist for the University of Minnesota testified that they don't expect to see temperatures below 10 degrees in Duluth much anymore. So, mild weather is evidence of catastrophe. Then, the temperatures plunged (as they occasionally do here in Duluth). And some (you, for example) cite THAT as evidence of catastrophe. Similar arguments were made to explain the absence of major hurricanes, until we had some major hurricanes, at which point those were used to argue the same point.

Right now the upper midwest is experiencing a run of winter weather. Believe it or not, this has happened before, and it will happen again. You do a disservice to scientists who are diligently trying to demonstrate patterns and long-term trends when you seize on isolated statistical noise and attempt to tie it into a narrative. This is the rough equivalent of seeing Eli Brooks make a layup and dish an assist in one five-minute stretch of a basketball game and proclaiming that he should replace Zavier Simpson at starting point guard. 

Edit: "My issue isn't political" is absolute malarky and such dishonesty makes it hard to believe you actually believe the arguments you are making. 


February 7th, 2019 at 9:27 AM ^

Just because it's cold where you are doesn't mean the planet isn't warming up. 2018 was the 4th warmest year on record. THIS VERY WINTER, while we've had 2.5 weeks of cold-as-shit weather, has been extremely mild. Fuck, the snow is already off the ground and has been since Saturday. 

Whoever commented earlier that denying this shit is extremely dangerous is right. Scientists who study this crap are 98%+ in agreement that the weather is changing at a torrid pace. Has it ever warmed this much in the past? Probably; but there were also mass-extinctions that coincided with it. Climate change is not Santa Claus; you don't get to choose whether or not you believe in it. 


February 7th, 2019 at 9:52 AM ^

You are countering arguments that have not been made in the post your are responding to; frankly, aren't made at all (though we still have over a foot of snow where I am). 

The assertion that disagreement is "dangerous" is a pretty clear demonstration that the idea that this topic is non-political is hogwash. People use words like "denying" and "irrational" and "dangerous" because they want to effect political change, and people who disagree with them are "dangerous" because they disagree with the proposed political solutions. 

Few people have any issue with the concept of a changing climate, since it has been changing for the entirety of the history of the world. What is under question is whether or not anything is to be done about it, and what that should be. The arguments tend to get dishonest and bitter rather quickly, as is seen here. 



February 7th, 2019 at 10:20 AM ^

Disagreement on the fact there is climate change is dangerous, if people started saying that gravity is not real and disagreed on it would you call that political or just people being stupid and blind?The argument being put out by people saying climate change isn't real is motivated by large money corporations wanting to make as much money as they can and not worried about how they do it. So to the actual point there is excessive amounts of data to show that the large amount of carbon emission that is being produced is accelerating the process and we don't know how that will fully affect the climate. So the only argument is how much is the accelerated climate change going to affect the earth and its inhabitants. And if your really interested in it here is a very recent, interesting research article to read: http://dro.dur.ac.uk/26391/1/26391.pdf 


February 7th, 2019 at 12:06 PM ^

Don't get me wrong - I believe that climate change IS real, and that there is strong, scientific evidence, both direct and indirect, to support that conclusion. 

However, don't be naive in believing that the money is only on the side of those who are promoting a "nothing to see here" agenda; it's on BOTH sides. That's due to many factors, including political motivation, but mainly the way science is funded through both government and private sources. 

Scientists are, after all, human beings. They have jobs, families, homes, careers, and other motivating factors that make the need for funding to support research a real thing. It also doesn't take long for them to realize that you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you, particularly when the majority of the available funding in climate research comes from sources who want you to demonstrate that the change is happening. That doesn't mean the conclusions are illegitimate or wrong; but it opens a wide door for skeptics to ask those questions - and it's to everyone's benefit that they ARE asked. That's what good science is supposed to do in the first place. It's also why such a term as "scientific consensus" is so anti-science. 

Climate science has become so politicized that the only solution may be to make all of it double-blind, in the same way that we test pharmaceutical products. Scientists would not know the source of their funding, and the providers of funding wouldn't know who is doing the research. At the very least, it would be truly independent. Right now, it's not; and that's a problem.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 7th, 2019 at 1:04 PM ^

I never got this argument and I'm still not sure I get it. So, you believe in climate change but think Big Science also has something to gain from it? One side, which is essentially represented by corporate interests worth billions and billions of dollars and which has a vested interest in denying climate change, has essentially convinced an entire segment of the population that it is somehow not real. They have everything to gain from politicizing it, because they have a lot to lose if our political leaders decide to do something about it.

I don't think I've ever heard of a flawed or biased climate change study that came to the conclusion that this phenomenon is actually happening. At this point, haven't there been tons of legit scientific studies that have concluded that climate change is real and dangerous? I don't get who benefits from this - scientists? Because they can use it to increase their funding?

The money is on one side, don't be fooled.


February 7th, 2019 at 1:13 PM ^

The biggest gain for Big Science? Money, influence, power ... same as any other human motivation (and vice). I've been in and around the scientific community for most of my adult life. Scientists are no different than any other human beings. They certainly aren't as altruistic as the media and politicians (who, themselves, have plenty to gain or lose from the outcomes of research) would have you believe. Don't be suckered into thinking otherwise.

L'Carpetron Do…

February 7th, 2019 at 2:10 PM ^

So you're suggesting that some of the scientific studies supporting the climate change theory may have been falsified?

Also, if I understand correctly, many of the major  climate studies have been funded and carried out by our government, which you think wouldn't have an agenda one way or the other. In fact, a recent major study, from our current administration (which is not environmentally friendly)  said that climate change could cause serious problems in the next 20 years. Just yesterday NOAA and NASA said that the past 5 years have been the 5 hottest years on record. I mean, we should scrutinize every study and make sure its free from influence of any kind - you're right about that - but I tend to trust the scientific community on most of these issues. And I think the major incentives are on the other side. 

4th phase

February 7th, 2019 at 3:48 PM ^

I was waiting for someone to claim science is in the pocket of Big Solar. Or that the Green Mafia is going to snuff out any scientist who doesn't agree.

There's nothing to be gained by the claim that climate change is real. There's no money in curbing emissions, only extra costs. There's no scientific prestige or fame in following literally every other scientist.


February 7th, 2019 at 1:27 PM ^


Right now the upper midwest is experiencing a run of winter weather. Believe it or not, this has happened before, and it will happen again.

This equally damaging hand-waving that tries to minimize real issues by treating it like people are being reactionary for political gain.  This isn't some "isolated statistical noise" that weather patterns have shifted and the world as a whole is getting warmer for a sustained timeframe.  Yes, in the grand scheme of the world's existence it's been a blip; humanity is but a fart in the history of the planet.  It's still relevant.

Also, that quote from the article must have been taken out of context; today's temperature a year ago was a degree.  Weather change occurs quickly but usually not in a year.

Also, the Eli Brooks analogy is also a bit weak; the better one would be Simpson's improved FT shooting recently being a sign of noted improvement or a blip.  


February 7th, 2019 at 8:43 AM ^

While I appreciate your position, you're conflating weather with climate.  The two are related but not the same thing.  When you cite extreme weather events as proof that climate change is real you're making the same type of fallacious argument as Donald Trump does when he denies climate change is a problem because it still snows in New York City.


February 7th, 2019 at 9:09 AM ^

Yeah, except that there is evidence that climate change via global warming leads to greater frequency of polar vortex intrusions, because warm air intrusion into the Arctic (which is not normal) pushes the vortex out of the Arctic and into the US. 

It's called climate change for a reason - because it's more than just 'it will get hotter'. Extreme weather events alone do not serve as proof of climate change, but we're seeing that they're happening more frequently and finding more ways to link them back to increases in atmospheric carbon.




February 7th, 2019 at 10:16 AM ^

This comment makes zero sense as the planet doesn't have a 'correct' temperature, but we can say that atmospheric carbon levels prior to the industrial revolution rarely reached levels we're seeing today (not at any time in the last 800,000 years), and that the rise in those levels lines up perfectly with the increase of a carbon isotope that is only created during fossil fuel and plant combustion.  And since we know how the greenhouse effect works (refresher if necessary), we know that temperatures will increase overall with an increased atmospheric concentration of carbon.


February 7th, 2019 at 10:54 AM ^

We can say with certainty that change is a bad thing because this change is highly likely to cause:

  • Thermal expansion of oceans and melting of polar ice caps, leading to higher sea levels and devastation of coastal populations which include 25 million Americans, 58% of U.S. GDP, and 10-40% of the global population - and the eventual resettlement of these millions of climate refugees
  • Severe droughts in equatorial regions like the Middle East, leading to conflict over increasingly scarce sources of water, and in dry regions like California leading to more devastating forest fires
  • Increased polar vortex intrusions into North America
  • Stronger hurricanes and cyclones due to warmer ocean temperatures

Personally I don't think any of those are 'good things' because they lead to human and animal harm, suffering, and death. But I guess if you don't care about that, it's not so bad.


February 7th, 2019 at 11:44 AM ^

So, if you don't want the climate to change, you think what we have now (or a few years ago) is the correct temperature.

Those things would be bad.  Also bad: a global ice age.  Mile-high glaciers would cover where you are sitting right now.  Meanwhile, warming would open up more arable land in northern climates.  More rainfall would help crops in arid places like the Sahel.

At least one of the assertions you make is 100% speculative and theoretical.  Yes, warmer oceans should in theory lead to stronger hurricanes.  So far, however, there is zero trend toward stronger hurricanes.  The ACE scores of hurricane seasons over the past 150 years bear that out.  Why?  RIght now, any claim of worse hurricane seasons is fearmongering, as it is not even remotely supported by real data.  Science.


February 7th, 2019 at 12:18 PM ^

You are so beyond the point where you can end your sentence with, "science" since the entire rest of your argument refutes the vast majority of scientrisc data we have now. 

I'm not gonna look it up but if it's true that hurricanes aren't worse or more frequent, that's fine, but you cherry-picked one point out of his whole argument to make your case and then ended it with "science". Just stop it. 


February 7th, 2019 at 1:13 PM ^

truferblue22...I was with you until he countered one of your points with his own data and you responded with I'm not going to look it up. Educate yourself on all area before you go spouting off on a topic. I think climate change is real. But I'm also going to educate myself on both sides of the topic. There is so much finger pointing in this debate rather than saying let's work on a solution. That is one of my problems with enviornmental science. So much doom and gloom without ever giving a practical solution.

4th phase

February 7th, 2019 at 3:55 PM ^

This is the major point that that most people don't get. They say "If the planet is heating why is it cold today?" Well the answer is complex but for an EL5 answer it basically boils down to, too much warm air in the Arctic means the Arctic comes to you. 

This is why in Chicago last week it was actually colder than the Arctic. The weather had almost swapped places. And no this doesn't mean everything balances.

Robbie Moore

February 7th, 2019 at 8:49 AM ^

Shattering records? You mean for a specific date, right? What about other dates, like January what ever it was back in 2007 when it was -18? Or the San Diego Cincinnati playoff game in 81 when the wind chill was -40? And they played the game! In front of a large crowd. Who managed to drive there. 

Sorry. There have always been incidences of extreme weather. 


February 7th, 2019 at 10:50 AM ^

Sure. Here's Ryan Maue, a Michigan grad who got his Ph.D in meteorology from FSU:

Notice that he cites the reduction in frequency of the cold pools that generate "polar vortexes" due to warming climate. The result, according to him, is less frequent extremes. 

Similarly, we are only a couple of years removed from a remarkable drought of hurricanes striking the United States. One might counter-argue, "it's random," but then, we're discussing the thesis that extremes are more frequent.