How Al Gore Saved Christmas

Obviously it’s impossible to avoid the old chestnuts on our TV sets these days. I saw the original version of Miracle on 34th St for the umpteenth time the other day, noticing something for the first time that is a sign of the times. The judge’s political handler, advising him of the political risks of the case, warned him that a decision against Kris Kringle would draw the ire of toy-makers, all unionized and all voters. How quaint.

It’s also impossible to avoid the snow. We got hit with another snow storm yesterday and, for the first time in my life, I was pondering whether I should be thinking about planning my snow banks so that I’d have a place for the snow later in the season. (Through my life, it’s never been an issue in Toronto, we don’t get that much snow as we’re in a bit of a shadow and what we get tends to come and go.) But last year we had snow banks into April and it became hard to figure out where to put the snow.

While thinking about this, I pondered about how Al Gore saved Christmas for us in Toronto, a story that’s been told before, but it’s the season for old stories.

Long ago (2006), in the bad old days before IPCC AR4, Toronto got its lowest snowfall in a century. Lake level declines were sure to follow. Would water supplies for lattes be threatened? Even the unthinkable now seemed possible and even likely.

Nobody knew what do. Except for one little girl. (Hey, it’s a story.) She wrote to a famous ju-ju man in the South asking him to come north and cast a magic spell and make the snow return.

The ju-ju man heard the plea of the little girl. He quickly decided that the situation was far worse than even the little girl thought. This needed his most powerful magic and, so in 2007, he visited Toronto not just once, not just twice but three times.

The magic worked! Soon Toronto was covered up in winter snow. The ju-ju man could only save part of the 2007 winter, but by 2008, his magic was in full force. Yesterday’s snow made 2008 snowfall the highest since 1883, with a few days still on the clock.

And it was all due to that one little girl.

As for me, my arms ache from shoveling snow. I think that the ju-ju man might overdid his spell a little. I’d have been OK with just one incantation.


  1. Richard deSousa
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    Very hysterically funny! Merry Christmas and may your biceps become bigger and stronger so that snow shoveling becomes easier… 🙂

  2. deadwood
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Al Gore visited Seattle too. Amazing how effective just his presence alone is in reversing the effects of global warming.

  3. wilbert Robichaud
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Steve Shovel the snow on the left side of the driveway facing the street. Then Level or slop the right side. That way the plow will not refill your driveway and Instead push it away.

    Chicken little got hit on the Head by an ALCON.

  4. Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Once a mere VP, now a Meteorological Shaman..Maybe its the dark cloud over his head.

  5. DAV
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    I guess it means just getting people thinking about CO2 is itself sufficient. It’s not what you do — it’s the thought that counts. And that seems to be Al’s philosophy judging by his actions. Maybe he’s right after all. 🙂

    Anyway, at least you’re having a white Christmas. It’s in the mid-40’s here in the DC area with no snow in sight. Yesterday it was almost 60. Wanna trade?

    Merry Christmas.

  6. EW
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Good laugh, indeed!

    We in Czechia remember the very unpleasant winter 2005/2006, which was almost 6 months long with much snow; one of our folksingers wrote a satirical song about it. I still shudder when remembering it, it was a bit like that neverending long winter from the 1st book of Narnia Chronicles.

    This winter is rather mild and rainy, although our meteogurus’ prophecy for the next days is dry frost and wind. I don’t think that Al Gore will visit us soon to save this winter (like this) and a visit of the Pope from Rome is scheduled later next year 😉

    Anyway, white or not, Merry Christmas to SteveM and to all at CA.

  7. Pete
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 3:43 PM | Permalink


    my Aunt lives in Canada (a town in the west called Cochrane, don’t know if you know the place) and has done for thirty years after emigrating there from Belfast in the late 1970s. Anyway, on the phone to my Mum the other day she mentioned that they are all seriously worried about the snowfall and the drop in temperatures – she has never experience anything like it in all the years she lived there.

    Is it as bad as she makes out? She is a tough lady having grown up in Belfast during the Troubles of the 1970s but has cancelled travelling to a neighbouring town to visit her son and his wife, so disturbed is she by the weather.

    Maybe I should get her and her neighbours (great folk, by the way) to petition Al to visit the town and somehow make it warmer!

    Anyway, a happy Christmas to you and your kin, this site is excellent, worthwhile and – to use word not associated with climate science – humble.

    Keep up the good work, sir.


    • CodeTech
      Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pete (#7), Ask your aunt if she remembers the horrible winter of 1995-1996… when we had over 30 days in a row below minus 30. By this time there was this much snow, and it had been cold for longer. Cochrane is about 50 km from where I am in Calgary.

      • Pete
        Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

        Re: CodeTech (#39),

        I will surely the next time we talk. As I stated earlier, it was the fear factor that I noted when she spoke about how cold it was and the amount of snow. Thanks for your reply.

      • Tom Gray
        Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

        Re: CodeTech (#39),

        Re: Pete (#7), Ask your aunt if she remembers the horrible winter of 1995-1996… when we had over 30 days in a row below minus 30. By this time there was this much snow, and it had been cold for longer.

        Check this for a look at snow from the blizzards of March 2008 in Quebec. This came from two days of snow.

  8. jeez
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    This thread is just crying out for Dark Enthalpy. Can someone please pick up the (cold) torch!

    Oh, and Steve Mc. DE needs to be added to the list of common acronyms.

  9. Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    Face it Steve, you need the exercise. Otherwise you’d just be sitting in front of your laptop with furrowed brow trying to work out the next Stupid Pet Trick.

  10. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    our man flint must have been on the job.

  11. jeez
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Time for this classic.

    For people who seem to miss my links (Steve Mc, Bender, etc.) click on the word classic above.

  12. Mac Lorry
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Nature has a way of averaging out the weather, so when Al Gore visits a place nature follows up with a cold snowy winter to make up for Gore’s hot air. Before inviting him, governments should consider the real cost of having a visit from Al Gore.

  13. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas, St. McIntyre and all you little elves as well. Here in usually Ho, Ho, Hot and sunny Phoenix it’s not too cold, but there’s been more rain than I can remember for this time of year. If I’d still been back in Ohio with this much water coming down, we’d have been worrying about snow banks too.

  14. Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    x /sup 2 = t /div p /mult 5

  15. jae
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Anthony Watts’ site has U-TUBE skit that fits well here.

    Happy holidays to all!

  16. Not this time
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    It’s all part of the Al Gore rhythm

  17. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Dec 25, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Here in the Seattle area we’ve had our coldest and snowiest winter in 44 years. Now where that Gore be hidin’…

  18. Sylvain
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 1:05 AM | Permalink

    Around Montreal in the summer of 2007, the Richelieu river got to its lowest level to memory. Many boat owner who weren’t able to use their boat because of it got very worried, for a little while. Five month later we had the first flood warning in 30 years with the river reaching the highest water level since the last flood. Go figure.

  19. Gordon
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    and here in southern France about 10 miles from the Mediterranean, elevation 30 metres, about 15 minutes after dawn the temperature is 0.5 degrees and falling, with heavy rain turning to snow.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

      Re: Gordon (#21), So, I guess, ‘The snow of Bordeaux falls now on Toron-To!’

  20. Brit_in_Aussie
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    Meanwhile here in Sydney, its been a coolish (for this time of year) 28C of Aussie sunshine and I’ve been on a family picnic to a beach on the Hawkesbury River.

    I blame Al Gore.

  21. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

    Nice link!
    Weather events being hyper-dramatised by propogandists now being ridiculed for what it actually is: average weather events being overblown into Armegeddons.
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen this type of reporting in the media over the recent years – all with the aim of spreading anxiety throughout the population.

  22. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    Not once have I been able to ever listen through an entire song of 12 Days of Christmas, no matter what version. It’s probably the most annoying and maddening carol ever composed. I got to about the 5th Day in Anthony Watts’ post before turning it off.
    The carol itself is hardly more intellectual than “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”.

  23. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    Climate correlating with Al Gore’s behaviour?
    No less preposterous than climate correlating with human behaviour I suppose.

    I checked sunspot activity back in 1883. It seems to be similar to what it is today.

    In 1883 the sun had just finished an active cycle, which was the last cycle of an active solar period occurring after the Dalton minimum. 1883 was the start of a quiet solar period, similar to today’s cycle 24, which just does not want to start. Again it appears we sre entering such a post-1880 quiet period. Or maybe even post-1800-like period!

  24. PHE
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    Re: Sylvain (20)
    And here in Toulouse (SW France) its snowing on Boxing Day (26th Dec). My French relatives cannot remember the last time it snowed in December. So it cannot simply be argued that Canada’s experience is just a local aberation!
    Now the AGW faithful will say sceptics are claiming this is ‘proof’ that AGW does not exist. Of course this is not the case. But its just a fun tease to counteract the constant ‘proof’ of AGW with every drought, flood and hurricane.

  25. Sune
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Poor Ali G(ore). He should get some sleep because he actually looks tired on the pictures here. Perhaps the global drop in temperature caused by changes in the ENSO or the sun or the clouds or whatever, disturbs the argument for a “climate crisis”. All that talk about “the earth is having a fever” makes me think it could be ‘climate science’, and not mother earth, that is having a fever. snip 🙂 Mary Christmas

  26. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Here is Chicago we got another snowfall, pushing us to the snowiest December in a milllliiiion years…

    In Seattle they are so PC they didn’t want to use salt on their streets (they rarely get snow) and tried to use sand, which didn’t work. hundreds of accidents and police couldn’t even respond to emergencies. They were worried that the salt would harm Puget Sound…part of the ocean…but the highway dept was angry about having to use sand which clogs up storm drains and is hard to clean up. It is funny if you don’t have to suffer from such madness.

  27. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Amazing how the teleconnections spread the snow to France and other areas!

  28. Boris
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    This needs publishing, imo.

  29. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    The last graph looks like a hockey stick to me…

  30. Fred
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    that does bring back memories of shoveling snow in Ottawa when I was a kid in the sixties . . . we had to plan for multiple piles over the winter. It also meant we had multiple fort & tunnel complexes in the various piles – we had to plan like mining engineers to make it all work.

    Made good money back then shoveling lane ways in the area. Loved it when it snowed . . . Ka Ching !!

  31. Jryan
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Quick everyone! Go outside and start your cars and leave them running… we have to save Canada!!

  32. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Re 24. Pierre. You actually watched the video through the first five days of Xmas?

    I just fast forwarded to the end
    and then listened.. on the 12th day.. on the 11th day.. and so forth, rather than
    listen from the beginning all the way to the end. Shrugs..

    And I opened presents on xmas eve.

  33. Solomon
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    It is not just the USA. In Scotland where the ski slopes have had so little snow for the last decade that the hoteliers of Aviemore were thinking of abandoning the idea of advertising the town as a ski resort, snow arrived in November and so far it has, apparently, been abundant.

  34. Anthony Watts
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 2:05 PM | Permalink


    You shovel Gore related “stuff” every day. Why are your arms tired now?

  35. Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    I have noticed that it’s snowing in so many places now that Gore only has to THINK of going somewhere for the snow to start falling. I call it “The Enhanced Gore Effect” — more about and much else from the sceptical perspective on my site

    Happy holidays to everyone here!

    — Harold

  36. old construction worker
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    HMMMMMMMMM…… The Gore Effect

  37. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 8:08 PM | Permalink


    Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

  38. Jeff Norman
    Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    And now for something completely different…

    The Toronto forecast for tomorrow is for light rain with a high of (drum roll please) 10°C. The radio weather person was waxing apocolyptic about breaking temperature records tomorrow. “10°C! In Toronto! In December! Call the O.P.P.!”

    The record high for Toronto for December 27 was 9.4°C set in 1949 for a record that goes back to 1938ish.

    This is not Toronto per se but the airport, back in the day when it was the Malton Airport far from the edge of the city. The end of WWII saw a large reduction in traffic at Malton so it was at a bit of a nader at this time. Since then the city has grown up around and beyond what is now called the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. The airport itself has had numerous expansions (hangars, runways, terminals, in field terminals, traffic, highway access, parking lots, etc, etc, etc) the latest one being over the last five years. And the people! Many many people, “And the noise, oh the noise, all the noise, noise, noise, noise!” (yes we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas).

    Can you say urban heat island? I knew you could.

    I have a vague plan of doing an Anthony like review of this weather record some day.

    So yes, a 10°C degree day could very well blast out the olde record of 9.4°C tomorrow.

    But… this is just stupid because there are other days in December with other records, like:
    * 20.0°C on December 3 1982, or
    * 15.7°C on December 25 1982, or
    * 17.2°C on December 28 1982.

    I was in Victoria in 1982 so I do not recall this particular winter.

    Happy Christmas everyone and all my wishes for a Happier and Secure New Year.

    O.P.P. = Ontario Provincial Police

  39. Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    I work at a bookstore and we have this book in the children’s department:

    When Santa Turned Green

    A little propaganda for the kiddies’ Christmas stocking—there’s an endorsement by Al Gore on the cover. Basically the North Pole is melting due to global warming and if we can just lower the production of CO2, everything will be fine. But Santa needs all the children to help him save the planet. (oh barf…)

  40. Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Uh oh, my message became the link for the book! Sorry, my bad! I guess I need to post more to get the hang of this. 😀

  41. Posted Dec 26, 2008 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    Re #43 I have no data for Toronto so here’s a look at nearby Buffalo. The chart shows the number of 10C, or higher, December days in Buffalo:

    The choice of starting data affects the slope. If there’s an upward trend since WW2, it’s modest.

    I imagine that Toronto data would look about the same.

    • Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

      Re: David Smith (#45),

      That graph strikes me as odd. It’s not that the numbers are wrong, I just wonder why the creator smoothed a graph of exceedingly finite numbers.

  42. JFA in Montreal
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    This year, I definitely planned for snow, opening a channel with the sleigh-shovel and distributing the snow over the available front yard (25ft x 30 ft.) There is already significant accumulation, several tons of snow, 2-3 ft thick in certain locations. I forecast, thanks to compacting, that I’ll accumulate 1.5m of snow this year.

    Three years ago, there were not a single snowflake on Christmas day.

  43. Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 3:55 AM | Permalink


    Congrats on another successful year challenging the dogma of the AGW religion. Your graph on Toronto snow is quite telling. It appears that snow has been in decline for well over 100 years up there until the very recent past. Hmm. Anyway, you need to think about your snow piles. A storm is coming your way for the 3 January period, give or take a day. Thanks to Al!!

  44. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    In a previous generation, the one of the Cold War, writers for Peter Sellers in “Dr Strangelove” showed admirable prescience about “We’re all going to die”, beating Al Gore by some years. Here is an excerpt, with minor modern mods for the PC –
    (smiling wisely)
    Mister President, man is an amazingly adaptable
    creature. After all, the conditions would be
    far superior to those, say, of (poor places), where there is ample evidence most of the
    wretched creatures clung desperately to life.

    Although the PRESIDENT seems unconvinced, looking around the
    room, it is apparent VON KLUTZ’s proposal has not fallen upon
    deaf ears.

    (smiling modestly)
    It would not be difficult. Nuclear reactors
    could provide power almost indefinitely.
    Greenhouses could maintain plant life.
    Animals could be bred and slaughtered.
    A quick survey would have to be made of all
    the suitable minesites in the country, but
    I shouldn’t be surprised if several hundred
    thousand of our people could be accomodated.
    Every nation would undoubtedly follow suit.

    But who would be chosen?

    A special committee would have to be appointed
    to study and recommend the criteria to be
    employed, but off-hand, I should say that in
    addition to the factors of youth, health, sexual
    fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of
    necessary skills, it would be absolutely vital
    that our top government and military men be
    included, to impart the required principles of
    leadership and tradition.

    The arrow has not missed its mark, and there is an outbreak of
    sober, nodding heads.

    (laughs, distastefully)
    Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh?
    There would be much time and little to do.
    With the proper breeding techniques, and starting
    with a ratio of, say, ten women to each man,
    I should estimate the progeny of the original
    group of 200,000 would emerge a hundred years
    later as well over a hundred million.”

  45. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    #42. I’m pretty sure that I remember the winter of 1982-83. I remember one of my sons and one of his friends catching a frog on New Year’s Day one year up near Collingwood – and my guess is that it must have been that year. That year was a huge El Nino (of near 1998 dimensions) – though that information was not then on people’s lips.

  46. Gary Luke
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    What’s this stuff you all call snow ???

    We’re having a cooler mid-summer this year in Sydney Australia. It’s not 30 deg C in the middle of the night like a few years ago.

  47. Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    In my book, any event that breaks a 30 year old record isn’t weather; it’s climate.

    Oh, and I want to dispel a vicious rumor that’s going around. It is absolutely untrue that Obama has asked The Great Hockey Puck to stay home on inauguration day.

  48. Scott Brim
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    I have a memory from the mid 1970s, from one of those “Energy and Environment” classes that were popular at the time, of hearing that the Russians, in the 1960s, had informally proposed the construction of a partial barrier across the Bering Straight for the purpose of controlling the flow of water into the Arctic Ocean with the intention of warming the Arctic and keeping it mostly free of ice for most of the year.

    The primary benefit was supposedly that the added evaporation from a warmer Arctic Ocean would cause increased rain and snowfall in Siberia and in northern Canada, resulting in greater opportunities for the exploitation of hydropower resources and for an increased supply of fresh water to more-southernly regions on both continents that could make use of it.

    With this as background, is it possible that the unusual rain and snow we are seeing here in the north and northwest — which is much more characteristic of the early 1960s when I was growing up than of the 1980s and 1990s — partially a consequence of increased evaporation from a warming Arctic?

    A necessary corequisite question is this: Is it appropriate to state that this year’s rain and snowfall is “unusual”; i.e., what does the precipitation and temperature data for the northern hemisphere actually show for the last 40 years, and what confidence do we have in its accuracy?

  49. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Is Al Gore scheduled to visit Europe soon?
    According to GFS weather models, Europe is due for a nasty and bitter cold snap for early to mid January. Something we may not have seen for quite a number of years.
    Joe Bastardi alluded to this already a few days ago.

  50. Richard Hill
    Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    Coming from a place where snow isnt such a big issue, I ask why put all the effort into shovelling snow? Didnt Canadians invent snowshoes and snowmobiles? To hell with mitigation, Adaption for ever!

  51. Posted Dec 27, 2008 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    Our snow melted today. All of it. We went from the coldest Bears game on record to record warm weather.

    • EW
      Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

      Re: lucia (#60),

      Probably we are starting to get your cold weather now, here in Central Europe, but no snow, so far. Very unpleasant. This afternoon we went to see an exhibition of Nativities (lot of various sets carved in wood, painted, made from ceramics, folksy and modern…) and later we were for a walk in the historical Old Town. It was only mere -3 C, but we needed mulled wine, coffee and hot mead to make it through the day 😉 Definitely, we aren’t so resilient like Yakutian kindergartners.

  52. John Baltutis
    Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

    That’s what my mother, lifelong Chicago resident told me this afternoon, but look what’s coming tomorrow:

    Sunday… Partly cloudy. Blustery. Highs in the lower 30s. West winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph at times until late afternoon becoming southwest 10 to 15 mph late in the afternoon.
    Sunday Night… Partly cloudy. Temperatures nearly steady in the upper 20s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

  53. Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    john Blatutis–
    Yep. That’s the forecast. We are having Chicago weather on steroids!

  54. Mike Bryant
    Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    It is odd, but it definitely helps to eyeball whether there is a trend.

  55. Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    I was born in El Salvador and lived there on an off until I was 7. (Our family moved to New York state for about 1 year when I was 4.) I am also not as resilient as a Yakutain kindergartner.

  56. Mark T
    Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    The Colorado mountains are again setting snowfall records. Silverton has had 100 inches in December, not counting overnight which beats the previous record of 93 inches set… drum roll please… last year. They still have a few inches to go. I just got back from Crested Butte and must say, I’ve never seen this much snow in my life, let alone in December (snowy months for CO are February and March). Sigh, it is sad to be back home. I hope everyone had a great holiday. Should I post some Crusty Butt pictures?


  57. Mark T
    Posted Dec 28, 2008 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    They still have a few inches to go.

    Should read “a few days to go” which will result in at least a few inches (I think there’s a storm coming tomorrow).


  58. page48
    Posted Dec 29, 2008 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    Toronto is the hottest place I have ever been, at least on the inside of the buildings.

    I’m from Alabama. When it gets cold here, we don’t turn up the thermostat; we “dress warm.” There’s a good reason for this; if we have a 35 degree F high on one day, there’s every chance we might have a 70 degree F high on the next day. No way can the buildings clear out the heat in 24 hours. When it gets really cold we just keep the thermostats on 68 degrees F, put on the sweaters, and wait for warmer weather.

    Not so in T-town. Thermostats always on 88 degrees F or so. Nobody in Toronto “dresses warm” for inside in winter. They all dress for summer inside. Torontonians “LAYER” their clothes. This was an unknown concept to me when I first visited about 20 years ago (I’m a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan and like to catch his Massey Hall shows when I can). After a few suffocating visits I got the concept. I’ve never gotten used to the very high indoor heat settings, however.

    Talk about a weird aspect of “culture shock.”

    Happy Holidays to all. These observations are meant as “good fun.”


  59. Morley
    Posted Dec 29, 2008 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Did you notice that Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is being shown on CBC New Year’s night?
    I emailed CBC saying that it should be preceded by a caveat that it is advertising or propaganda, but expect that they will show it in all its “Gorey” glory without preamble or rebuttal.

  60. Mark T.
    Posted Dec 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    It was on the Science Channel last night, too. Hmpf, science… in who’s world?


  61. Fred
    Posted Dec 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    When something like “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is on TV it suddenly becomes important that its opponents are interviewed immediately before and after in order to provide “balance” but when an “Inconvenient Truth” is shown (repeatedly, I might add) on the Science Channel, it’s provided as a public service. I wonder why?

  62. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jan 4, 2009 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    This is fun.

    According to the Weather Network, Toronto (Pearson) set a new temperature record of 14.2°C on December 27, 2008. The minimum temperature was 1.4°C. The mean temperature was 7.8°C.

    In #42 above I was showing the forecast of 10°C.

    However, according to Environment Canada the hourly temperatures recorded at Pearson on the 27th & 28th were:
    00:00 1.5°C <= lowest
    01:00 1.7°C
    02:00 2.2°C
    03:00 2.5°C
    04:00 2.7°C
    05:00 3.0°C
    06:00 1.6°C
    07:00 2.1°C
    08:00 3.3°C
    09:00 4.2°C
    10:00 5.7°C
    11:00 7.0°C
    12:00 9.0°C
    13:00 8.9°C
    14:00 9.4°C
    15:00 9.4°C
    16:00 9.6°C
    17:00 9.3°C
    18:00 10.1°C
    19:00 10.6°C
    20:00 10.0°C
    21:00 9.0°C
    22:00 9.0°C
    23:00 12.8°C <= highest
    00:00 13.4°C
    01:00 13.8°C
    02:00 15.9°C <= highest
    03:00 14.0°C
    04:00 13.0°C
    05:00 10.8°C
    06:00 9.0°C
    07:00 8.7°C
    08:00 11.6°C
    09:00 8.0°C
    10:00 5.2°C
    11:00 3.4°C
    12:00 2.6°C
    13:00 2.2°C
    14:00 1.7°C
    15:00 1.7°C
    16:00 1.6°C
    17:00 1.6°C
    18:00 1.7°C
    19:00 1.6°C
    20:00 1.4°C
    21:00 1.2°C
    22:00 0.9°C
    23:00 0.8°C <=lowest

    Oddly, the Weather Network thinks the maximum temperature on the 28th was 15.9°C. The minimum temperature was 0.1°C. The mean temperature was 8.0°C. The hourly Environment Canada values matches my recollection of the hourly data presented by the Weather Network for the 27th on the 28th. I was somewhat confused by their simultaneous claim of a 14.2°C record.

    Also remember that the “mean” temperature for the day is the average of the max and the min hourly values, maybe.

    Here we have two recent records for the same place for the same day with two separate results. Maybe the max and mins are instanteous values. If so then this represents a change in how max and min values are recorded and the mean temperature derived from these values.

    Imagine how an instantaneous temperature reading could be affected at a modern busy major airport.

  63. Thomas J. Arnold.
    Posted Jan 5, 2009 at 11:24 AM | Permalink


    Your Mathematics always dumbfounds me, but the sense of humour always cheers me up!! are you on Al’s Christmas card list???

  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 17, 2009 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    I was feeling very grumpy about winter the other day.

    It was really really cold. Sort of minus 15 deg C plus wind chill. I usually walk out to get my daily Starbucks dose, but instead of walking, I decided to drive. Then I came home as usual.

    The trouble with coming home “as usual” was that this meant that I walked home, leaving my car about 5 blocks away. As soon as I arrived home, I realized this. Needless to say, I was very annoyed with myself, not relishing the walk back in the cold. I decided to warm up a little. Slightly distracted, I didn’t notice some black ice on the driveway and took a nasty fall, with my feet simply giving way under me. It’s very disconcerting. You watch out for black ice falls in Toronto; I hadn’t had a black ice fall for about 20 years and I’m too old to have them. So now I was both cold and sore.

    Anyway I went inside to warm up, putting my keys down on the ledge. My wife wasn’t home to give me some sympathy. So I sulked for a few minutes and then went back to pick up my car. Except that when I got to the car, I realized that I’d departed from my normal habit of putting my keys in my pocket. The keys were still on the ledge.

    So now I was cold, sore and locked out. I don’t normally carry a cell phone or else I would have conceded and called my wife to pick me up (she was going to be back soon.) So I trudged home. My wife had arrived back, drove me back to the car. She thought the episode was pretty funny. I was too cold to notice.

  65. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 17, 2009 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    #77 — lol! That’s quite a story, Steve, and well-told. I trust you’re OK after that, with no more than a bruised chagrin. 🙂 Your story reminded me of an old comedy routine, describing a series of connected accidents, where a guy tells a story about using a pulley and rope to raise a load of bricks to the roof. Just at the top, the ratchet breaks and the heavy load comes down. But the guy holds onto the rope and so goes up, receiving a smart bang from the down-coming bricks on the way. At the top, his fingers get jammed into the pulley, and at the bottom the bricks hit the ground and their pallet breaks. Now, with no counter weight, back down he goes receiving a smart bang by the remains of the pallet coming up, and at the bottom lands on a hard heap of brick rubble, breaking his leg.

    Let’s see, shoes with knobby soles for Toronto’s globally-warmed black ice winters, a supplement of acetylcholine for memory, and Peet’s coffee instead of Starbuck’s. All of that might produce a material improvement, especially subbing Peet’s for Starbuck’s.

    But better yet, Steve, avoid the whole business and move to California. We’re having a mild winter and it’s presently sunny and 20 C outside. The birds of spring actually returned last week, and are chirping up their nesting spaces even as I type. The worst walking hazard, apart from someone cruising through a stop sign, are the small buckles in the sidewalk left by the Loma Prieta earthquake.

    Toronto, San Francisco . . . . . Toronto, San Francisco . . . . which should it be. . . . .? 🙂

    • AndyL
      Posted Jan 17, 2009 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pat Frank (#78),
      The “bricklayers lament” is fabulously told here…

      It’s been a long time since I last heard this – thanks for the reminder

      • Pat Frank
        Posted Jan 18, 2009 at 1:56 AM | Permalink

        Re: AndyL (#80), Thanks for the link, Andy. That was a great listen. I’d forgotten a lot of the funnier bits.

  66. KlausB
    Posted Jan 17, 2009 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    that episode could have been right out from the typewriter
    from Ephraim Kishon, see here:

    Especially the final two sentences:
    …She thought the episode was pretty funny. I was too cold to notice….
    That was right out of the book of dry sense of humor.
    I hope you are well again.

    Here, we had our bunch of black ice, too.
    Which wasn’t that unexpected. Germany usually doesn’t has severe winters.
    Usually only every 10..12 years and more, every 20..23 years.
    This/last year, an old guy in my village here, did tell already in Aug ’08
    “The winter of 08/09, the global warming will get a cold shower”
    It does look as if he was right on that.

    By the way, the real “winter’s” I did expirience were:
    – as a kid, in the sixties. Had 4.5 kilometers to go to school, snow was up to my belly.
    – 1978/1979, I’ll never forget that winter. I was in the northernmost state of Germany,
    Schleswig-Holstein, when snow and cold came totally unexpected.
    There’s a 45 minutes video on youtube, from TV.
    Language is german, unfortunately, but the pictures do tell enough:
    Title is: “protocol/diary of a catastrophe “, “”The day, when the snow came””
    The last snow from that winter did smelt on May 23rd.
    Usually, there are days, you can get out with t-shirt in the last week of march.
    But not that year.

  67. BarryW
    Posted Jan 28, 2009 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Al Gore must be stopped before he causes the next ice age.

    Gore Delivers ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Lecture to Senate Committee

    Snow, sleet prompt school closings in DC Area

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] and even likely.    “Nobody knew what do. Except for one little girl…” How Al Gore Saved Christmas by Steve McIntyre ________________________________________ . Air We Breathe Becoming Thinner? . […]

  2. […] and technical skillz. Still, I can pick up most of the meaning from the context. The author has a sense of humor […]

  3. […] Steve McIntyre, famed debunker of the Mann Hockey Stick graph, points out that his own home town of Toronto, Canada, has experienced the Gore Effect first-hand. Here’s a graph of annual snowfall in […]

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