The Brutal Winter That Wasn’t

It was one of the coldest, harshest winters in history…or was it?

This past weekend, the city of Boston officially set the record for its snowiest winter ever. That city has received a staggering 108.6 inches of snow this winter and it could be seeing even more snow tomorrow, just in time for the start of spring. But Boston wasn’t the only city that faced snowstorm after snowstorm this winter.

Up and down the East Coast, winter hit with a vengeance. It brought frigid temperatures and blinding snowstorms to millions and millions of Americans. In fact, if you ask anyone living on the East Coast about this winter, they’d probably tell you it was one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

And, people like Senator Jim Inhofe, America’s climate change-denier-in-chief, would tell you that this winter was proof that climate change and global warming are a big joke. But here’s the thing: The East Coast was the only part of the United States this winter that was cold.

That’s right. According to new data from NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the East Coast was the only part of the U.S. that saw cooler than average temperatures this winter. In fact, this was the 19th warmest winter for the contiguous United States ever, with much of the country seeing warmer than average temperatures.

Out west, California, Nevada, Washington, Utah and Arizona all saw record warm temperatures, while continuing to deal with a devastating drought. Meanwhile, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico all saw temperatures way above normal.

But the United States isn’t alone in having an unusually unseasonable winter. Globally, this has been the warmest winter in history. From the United Kingdom to Japan, nearly all of the Northern Hemisphere has seen above normal temperatures this winter.

It’s the same story for the world’s oceans too. While parts of the Atlantic Ocean did see record cold temperatures, the majority of that ocean saw above normal and record temperatures this winter. The Pacific Ocean also saw record warm temperatures and the same goes for the Indian Ocean too.

So, don’t let Jim Inhofe throwing a snowball on the Senate floor fool you. Climate change and global warming are alive and well, despite the fact that people in Boston were jumping out of second-story windows into massive snowpiles. And, if we continue to choose inaction over action, things are only going to get worse.

In winters to come, Boston might end up looking like a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow, while California could see Sahara-like conditions. To avoid those kinds of doomsday scenarios, we need to kick our toxic addiction to fossil fuels, and keep carbon in the ground.

A recent study published in the journal Nature argues that most of the remaining fossil fuel reserves on our planet will need to be left in the ground if we want to have any chance at preventing catastrophic climate change. The scientists behind that study argue that most Canadian tar sands oil, all Arctic oil and gas, and most shale gas has to stay buried underground if we want to avoid the 2 degrees Celsius global warming benchmark.

From record high temperatures out west to constant blizzards in Boston, climate change reared its ugly head this winter, and unless we act now, things are only going to get worse. It’s time to fight back against the greatest threat the human species has ever faced.


John Pranke's picture
John Pranke 8 years 11 weeks ago

If memory serves Al Gore grought AGW into the national spotlight, he didn't invent it, he just researched what he had learned about in college and put into a powerpoint production a book and film. Originally it was called "Man Made Global Warming". Then GOP spinmeister Frank Luntz massaged it into a more benign term "Climate Change" sounds a lot less frightening doesn't it. Climate Change driven by Anthropogenic Global Warming is probably an accurate description (plus I like to use the term Anthropogenic, though I'm not a scientist). This is one of the few safe places to comment without being swarmed by AGW denier Trolls. Cheers.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 11 weeks ago
Quote John Pranke: This is one of the few safe places to comment without being swarmed by AGW denier Trolls. Cheers.

John Pranke ~ I wish I could agree with that; however, this thread ain't over yet; and, I'll bet we get a few trolls before the night is over. Cheers!

stopgap's picture
stopgap 8 years 11 weeks ago

I think I said this a while back but I'll say it again. The cruelest irony of all is right-wingers going on and on about the national debt and using the debt to justify their cruel budget agenda to deny people healthcare, education, living wage, etc., etc. and drone on and on about passing the debt down to their children and grandchildren and never consider once that if they destroy the environment they will be passing a hell on earth down to their heirs.

It tells you once and for all just how greedy these fascist bastards are. They would rather murder their own children with their denial and excess, than give up even one of their dumb-ass toys.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 11 weeks ago

Thom says: "It's time to fight back against the greatest threat the human species has ever faced." That threat is Authoritarian Capitalism.....the root cause of inaction on climate change!

Two oil barons made 100 billion dollars causing climate change. Now those same guys have been given permission by our Supreme Court to purchase what was left of our democracy and thus gain the authority to continue on with the suicidal madness.

tottcatering's picture
tottcatering 8 years 11 weeks ago

I do believe that Global Warming is destroying the planet and everything else that is trying to survive, but what amazes me why most folks and my dear friend Thom don't see the big elephant in the room that is causing the marjority of Global Warming. It was shocking and horrifying for me when I saw the big elephant. It was on January 15, 2015 and totally by accident that I discovered the BIG ELEPHANT and it was happening in the sky right above my house. I realize now that its been going on for years and years. It's called Geo Engineering which means "weather modification". It also has a partner called "Haarp". Most skies anymore aren't even normal, but its been going on for so long people don't even question it. Before that day, I never even heard of those names, especially CHEMTRAILS. i spent the whole day watching military jets swarming and spraying trails across the skies going in all different directions and not one of them was dissipating or disappearing. In fact each trail expanded and spread like sheets and after a few hours the sun was covered and most of the blue sky. I don't believe they stopped even when the sun went down. Following morning the jets were still swarming the skies spraying, that is how it looked like to me. I got real scared while watching and asking myself "what are they spraying" and is that coming down on me and all my pets? I even sent Obama an email cause I was just frantic of what is in that spray. By the 4th day jets still spraying and swarming and the sky looked totally overcast!! The jets continued for another 2 days and the sky was so thick with all the layers and layers of all those sprayed trails. It is March 19, 2015 and the jets still swarm the skies with maybe a break of 3,4,5 days of sun and blue skies and then their right back at it again. This explains why there is always haze, clouds and overcast. Government denies any such thing and only tell you their contrails and not chemtrails. It's documented that these sprays contain heavy metals that refect sunlight back up into the stratisphere (not sure of the name). The metals are highly toxic: Aluminum, Barium, Mercury just to name a few. I loose sleep over my discovery and most people just can't believe it, their eyes are closed. During my research their are millions and million around the globe that post photos and video of chemtrails. Ever look at a sunrise or sundown that looks like there's a blazing fire going on, that's the affect of looking at chemtrails. is the most informative websit but there are hundreds more. I myself have amature photos from my cell phone, 4 or 500 of them. God help us all. I sent more emails to Obama and never heard anything back.

gordal's picture
gordal 8 years 11 weeks ago

The bad winter in the eastern U.S. was due to a decreased temperature gradient from north to south due to much less ice in the Arctic. This caused slowing of the jet stream and big fluctuations in its path. When it travelled south of us (I am in central Illinois), the cold from the Yukon plunged down on top of us.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 11 weeks ago

John Pranke, I'm surprised you think "warming" makes a phrase sound more frightening.

Also, the term "anthropogenic" is not accurate, as that means that it makes people, not that people make it. Carcinogens make carcinomas, hydrogen makes water, mutagens make mutations. Therefore something that's anthropogenic makes people. There's unfortunately no suffix for the passive variant.

I've seen someone suggest "HIRGO", for "Human-Induced Rapid Global Overheating".

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 11 weeks ago

tottcatering -- Who in the govt is denying the video you have taken of that chemtrail process? Have you shown them to your local congress person or senator? Have you checked snopes or politfact for their comments on

RFord's picture
RFord 8 years 11 weeks ago

Some one should have explained the precipitation cycle to Senator Jim Inhofe, something the rest of us learned in grade school, you know, evaporation - transportation - precipitation - transportation. Someone should have pointed out that the water in that snowball was in an extra warm Pacific Ocean a month before and that massive amounts of water had evaporated from that ocean, moved east in the winter while the northern jet stream was pushing cold air south causing all of that snow and with global warming you get more and more evaporation, more and more clouds and more and more rain and snow, storms and changing weather patterns so while some places get extra snow & rain, otherplaces get droughts. And this idiot, Inhofe, is the CHAIRMAN of the senate committee on environment and public works?? What a joke!!!

Greenthumb's picture
Greenthumb 8 years 11 weeks ago

Re: tottcatering


Concerning your quote: "I do believe that Global Warming is destroying the planet and everything else that is trying to survive, but what amazes me why most folks and my dear friend Thom don't see the big elephant in the room that is causing the marjority of Global Warming."

The "big elephant in the room" is Human Overpopulation and our inability to accept that we must stop overbreeding as a species. There is no solution to our propensity to "be like fruitflies and multiply" - except for us to voluntarily stop overbreeding and using all the "nutrients" in our "petri dish," our one and only planet Earth. We can try using alternative energy sources, stop eating meat, attempt geoengineering, (and other stop-gap "fingers in the dam" attempts to slow global warming), but if we don't stop our need/right for human multiplication, one day (most likely sooner rather than later) we'll use up too much of the earth's resources and poison ourselves just like any other organism(s) habitating a closed system. Unlike the rest of animals on our planet, humans are capable of understanding the future possibilities of our actions ...we just don't seem capable of actually acting like the evolved, sentient beings that we are. It is Humans who are "destroying the planet and everything else that is trying to survive!"

Marion Delgado's picture
Marion Delgado 8 years 10 weeks ago

HAARP has shut down. It was a sequester victim. I did the first reporting from the HAARP site the day it opened. It never controlled the weather and the chemtrails story has no basis in science or evidence. Global warming is real and caused by anthropogenic carbon releases, due to industry, transportation and animal husbandry. Deal with it. God won't help us all, so we have to ignore rank idiocy like this, educate ourselves, and fix our own problems, ourselves. Accommoding absolute nonsense won't give us any leverage.

Marion Delgado's picture
Marion Delgado 8 years 10 weeks ago

Origin of IATROGENIC (of or relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment.):

Greek iatros physician + English -genic So by the above reasoning, iatorgenic illnesses are illnesses that CAUSE medical examinations and treatments.

"Genic" simply means relating to origins or genes. "Anthropogenic" is the term of art used, it's fine, and it means what the people who coined it and promulgated it intended it to mean.

Also, none of us focus-grouped "global warming" or "climate change" to make them more "frightening." They're descriptive terms that fell out of the data. Science is not a PR campaign or an election. The key issue with the current warming in this anthropocene era (not quite official yet) is simply the rate of change.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 10 weeks ago

Marion Delgado -- Thanks for taking time off from the chat room to contribute here.

Greenthumb -- California would have a negative population growth rate without immigration. Do you know what the US population growth rate is? As Thom has pointed out, if you want to cut down on population growth rate, enpower women.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 10 weeks ago

Pretty much every state would have a negative growth rate without immigration (include inter-state intra-national immigration). There's hardly a state in which more than 80% of its residents were born there. So the population of California will find its level rather quickly if the jobs go where the people need to go.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 10 weeks ago

Chuckle8 quotes Thom saying "If you want to cut down on population growth, empower women." AMEN. We who were born holding the keys to the gateway to life are the only ones with the power to close it.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 10 weeks ago

Or to put it another way, Alice, men have the "keys", but, while keys are good for opening, it doesn't take a key for women to close their "gates". (The whole thing makes me think of Ghostbusters, with the Keymaster and the Gatekeeper.)

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