Shock News : Presidents Used To Be Intelligent

Thomas Jefferson believed in global warming, until Noah Webster pointed out to him that what he was seeing was a UHI effect.  Imagine that! A president who was actually capable of listening and learning – and talking about something other than himself.

In his 1787 book, Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson launched into a discussion of the climate of both his home state and America as a whole. Near the end of a brief chapter addressing wind currents, rain and temperature, he presented a series of tentative conclusions: “A change in our climate…is taking place very sensibly. Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep….The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now.” Concerned about the destructive effects of this warming trend, Jefferson noted how “an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold” in the spring has been “very fatal to fruits.”

Webster concluded by rejecting the crude warming theory of Jefferson and Williams in favor of a more subtle rendering of the data. The conversion of forests to fields, he acknowledged, has led to some microclimatic changes—namely, more windiness and more variation in winter conditions. But while snow doesn’t stay on the ground as long, that doesn’t necessarily mean the country as a whole gets less snowfall each winter: “We have, in the cultivated districts, deep snow today, and none tomorrow; but the same quantity of snow falling in the woods, lies there till spring….This will explain all the appearances of the seasons without resorting to the unphilosophical hypothesis of a general increase in heat.

Webster’s words essentially ended the controversy. While Jefferson continued to compile and crunch temperature data after his retirement from the presidency, he never again made the case for global warming.

About stevengoddard

Just having fun
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6 Responses to Shock News : Presidents Used To Be Intelligent

  1. miked1947 says:

    Unlike now they debated the issues back then!

  2. bubbagyro says:

    Eisenhower also, in his farewell address at Dartmouth, warned of the burgeoning of the scientific technological elite which would consume the lions’ share of federal grant money, enveloping and smothering scientific creativity and the scientific method.

  3. NavarreAggie says:

    Not to mention that they were reaching the tail end of the Little Ice Age at precisely the same time. Climatic accounts during the LIA were peppered with wild temperature swings even as the overall climate was much colder.

  4. gator69 says:

    What about Jefferson’s proposed carbon tax? You left that part out.

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