It seems like there’s been a lot of crazy weather lately. Powerful tornadoes wreaking havoc across the Southeast, Texas in the worst drought in decades and now flooding along the Mississippi.
Global warming, right?
Um, actually, maybe so.
It’s a standard first response whenever any climate scientist is asked if a particular weather event was caused by climate change: “You can’t say any one storm happened because of climate change.” And then they go on to talk about how climate change may have played a role, but that it’s hard to tell without a long-term context. But by that point, most listeners (including highly-distractible high school students) have moved on. You wasted your 10-second window of opportunity on the caveat as opposed to the main point:
Climate change was involved.
There’s no way it wasn’t. The world we live in is a world warmed-up and altered by greenhouse gases that we put in our atmosphere and that’s just the way it is. There is no control group. Every weather event we get is happening within the context of a climate-changed world.