OK, so Washington (and a bunch of other East Coast cities) just saw its warmest month in modern history. That would be July 2011, and my greener friends were very happy. “At least now maybe the politicians will listen,” said one of my high-placed friends. D.C.’s weather bloggers insist this is a clear sign of the global warming apocalypse caused by pernicious economic activity.
And so, for the past days, I have been involved in a running discussion with said bloggers. Predictably, I argued that the vast share of Washington’s overheat was caused by our “urban heat island”, and not by dreaded greenhouse gases. I conceded that a small part may have been due to our industrial exhalations.
I was wrong. None of it can be pinned on global warming. Should have tested my hypotheses before opening my yap, something I often accuse my friends of not doing.
A bit on the National Furnace, aka downtown Washington:
Matt Groening should do a comic book about this place, called “Summer in Hell.” Before the invention of air conditioning, anyone who could — including Congress — got out in June and came back in September. Now, thanks to modern technology, we spend the entire summer legislating (or, in the case of this Congress, not legislating) inside air-conditioned marble tombs. Trips outside are horrendous, especially on sunny days when moisture wafts off the torpid Potomac.