“Weather isn’t climate.” They teach this in 5th grade science, don’t they?

“Weather isn’t climate. They teach this in 5th grade science.”

That’s one of the comebacks to Trump’s ridiculous tweet last week about the polar vortex that froze a large swath of the US. The problem isn’t only the president’s puerile, ill-informed ideas and responses. It is the method of his communicating his thoughts, with itchy fingers that want to ‘say’ something about, well, anything.

As noted many times earlier, social media has made a mockery of our modern-day communication. I wish they teach communication as a compulsory subject –Reading, Communication, Arithmetic?– in elementary school.

Or as an after-work class at the Oval Office…

Polar Vortex gets media massage – delicious left-wing/right wing debate

Breaking News. Limbaugh’s argument freezes on contact! 

I have to admit the term Polar Vortex at first sounded a bit of verbosity aimed at making a big story out of a weather phenomenon.

But I did look it up, and find that for once, it is not one of those media marquees trotted out by a TV station’s graphics department.

But it turned out to be a delicious controversy, when good old Rush Limbaugh stuck his tongue out at the equivalent of a frigid lamp-post.  I first picked up the detail in the Discussion Pages of Wikipedia. One Charles Edwin, a Wikipedia editor (biting his tongue, no doubt) left this terse note in the Talk Pages:

“a lot about the media frenzy. Rush Limbaugh, like others, say they remember cold winters and walking to school in massive snow, uphill, both ways. 🙂 Rush Limbaugh is a student of global weather and expects there may be a three-day gap in the cold for Superbowl Sunday.”

Limbaugh called the term something invented by the left-wing media. Predictably so, since Limbaugh makes everything sound like a conspiracy, since that is the jet fuel which powers his craft. Here’s what he said on Monday.

“Now, in their attempt, the left, the media, everybody, to come up with a way to make this sound like it’s something new and completely unprecedented, they’ve come up with this phrase called the “polar vortex.”

To which weatherman Al Roker, threw a nice counterpunch, by revealing and reading from a 1959 college text-book that had the term Polar Vortex defined.

Sometimes these silly spats teach us something, especially about speaking out of turn –with poor facts.

Now if you’re wondering why I would be interested in this the Vortex debate it’s this. I just got back to school today, and as is normal, interrupted my lesson plan to get my fifth- and sixth-grade students to do a project on the Polar Vortex. 

As I used to tell people when discussing social media and the oft-contested topic called the ‘wisdom of the crowds,’ poking around the talk pages can take you to down some interesting paths.