Unfortunately, global warming skeptics are going to have to fully accept the climate change theories of Al Gore and the like. The definitive evidence is in: Global warming is real.
That, presumably, was how the progressive Think Progress thought the picture of street lamps in Stillwater, Okla., published on its blog melting in the intense (114 degree) heat would play as it took an opportunity to call out Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on the issue.
With the photo the website declared:
WOW. It’s so hot in Oklahoma that the streetlights are melting.
Today could be the hottest day in Oklahoma City history, 114 degrees.
Meanwhile, a senator from Oklahoma, James Inhofe (R), is a major climate denier.
If the post was to be believed, it would have to mean one of three things is true:
- The streetlamp bulbs, most likely made of the same high-density polyethylene that most all bulbs of that type are, were defective. The melting point of the plastic material is, according to manufacturers, somewhere around 226 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The vigilant observer of the melted bulbs actually got the temperature reading wrong and was unwittingly braving temperatures higher than 226 degrees that day. That’s some serious global warming. This scenario seems unlikely, unless the photographer regularly walks around in a heat-resistant suit.
- The poster of the picture is seriously lacking in careful observation and deductive reasoning skills. As the individual attempts to back what he believes to be scientifically proven global warming, he actually has no real motive to consider deductive scientific questions. (Like: “Would a bulb made to be in constant direct sunlight at the top of a streetlamp be made of a material capable of withstanding elevated temperatures?” or “Why aren’t all the streetlights melting?”)
If you answered No. 3, you are correct.
According to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, the street lamps melted because of a dumpster fire in the area that erupted the night before (Think Progress has not yet linked that to global warming). KFOR first posted the streetlamp photo on its Facebook page.
The progressive blog has since issued a correction, but still partially blames global warming via a quote:
After we published this piece, we saw reports from people on the ground in Stillwater that the melting streetlights were due to a nearby fire. The person who took the photo, Patrick Hunter, described the scene: “Being the person that actually took this photo, I’d say that this was due to a fire semi-close by coupled with the unbelievable heat we are experiencing. Still an amazing photo and not fake as many are saying on here. Enjoy!”
The site also changed gears, focusing on drought in Oklahoma instead of streetlamps melted by burning rubbish in a follow-up piece.
Inhofe (whose skepticism about climate change was only enforced by the blunder), used the incident as an opportunity to call out global warming activist Bill McKibben and his followers.
“Poor Bill McKibben — he’s been trying to get something to melt for ages but it keeps backfiring,” Inhofe said in a statement.
“These alarmists never learn their lesson. Remember Bill McKibben was the one who was going to melt a giant ice sculpture in the shape of the word ‘hoax’ on the national mall, but his group had to cancel because there wasn’t enough interest. Now, after proclaiming that street lights in Oklahoma are melting because of global warming, it turns out that a fire caused this scene.”