Climate isn’t Weather, Except When it is
March 14, 2014

Climate Isn’t Weather, Except When It Is

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” recently told Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that climate and weather aren’t the same thing. Nye, who appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, said, “Climate is the big picture. Weather is day to day.”

Bill Maher was impressed by that statement and the audience applauded. Take that, “climate change deniers.”

Except, the problem is that the mainstream media – the very media that supports and endorses the concept of “climate change” – is often just as guilty as the Honorable Rep. Blackburn in confusing the two. Anytime there is any big storm the nightly news the words “climate change” are invoked.

Brian Williams of NBC News has many times suggested that “wacky weather” or “extreme weather” is the result of climate change.

CBS News had physicist Michio Kaku contend that, “The wacky weather could get even wackier.”

This does sound a lot like weather is being confused with climate doesn’t it? In other words, when you want to make the case that “extreme” or “wacky” weather is a problem you can say it is climate change. When you suggest that a cold winter is… well, a cold winter then Nye and others will remind you that this isn’t the case. Don’t confuse the issue, unless you agree with it.

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer questioned President Obama, who claimed, “the debate is settled.” He took it further when speaking on Fox News and called it a religion.

His choice quote, in my opinion, occurred when addressing this year’s harsh winter.

“That’s not climate change. It’s called winter and it happens every year,” he said. “It’s happened every year for a long time and to me it’s just plain cynicism to seize upon any event and then to use it as an example of a theory which is not a way to prove it and this billion dollars, this attenuation fund it is going to be exactly like the money that was spent on green energy.”

Krauthammer is an admitted “climate change denier,” but he brings up a good point. The President, Bill Nye, Bill Maher and many others don’t want a debate on this issue. As noted by the President’s words, “the debate is settled.” Is science something that can be settled?

Isn’t science supposed to be about research and theories?

Conservative columnist George Will noted, “When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science says ‘the debate is over,’ you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it.”

Now for the record, I’m not what you would call a climate change denier. I believe the climate is changing, but I also believe it has changed before. History suggests there was once an ice bridge that connected Asia to North America. This allowed the first people to get to this continent.

That suggests that the climate changed.

There was a medieval warmth that changed the climate of Europe, so much so that grapes grew in southern England, where there was a wine-making industry. This suggests that the climate changed.

So today, maybe the climate is changing. What we’re experiencing right now is the end (hopefully) of a long winter. And to push this point just a little further, Nye and Maher suggested in their chat this could be the future of winters.

They must have short memories.

This has been a long, cold winter. Two years ago however – it was a very different story. Let’s circle back to “Mr. Wacky Weather” Brian Williams, who noted that January could have been dubbed “Junuary.”

This archive of the news shows that there was record warmth in 26 states. Compare the map of those states to this winter and many are the same states hit with the so-called polar vortex.

As for what to expect, well some reports suggest that El Niño could make its return. That could mean a wetter winter for California and perhaps a much milder winter for much of the country. But that will still be weather, not climate or climate change.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Peter Suciu is a freelance writer and has covered consumer electronics, technology, electronic entertainment and the fitness sports industry for more than 15 years. In that time his work has appeared in more than three dozen publications including Newsweek, PC Magazine and Wired. His work has also appeared on,,, and Peter is a regular writer for

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