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Olympic Sports

Sochi’s Trademark Warmth Prompts Nonsensical USA Today Article About Athletes Who Support Global Warming

First of all, global warming is real and you should probably read the evidence if you weirdly don’t believe in something that is a scientific fact. But that’s not my point here, in reference to a weird USA Today story titled, “Olympians speak out on climate change as Sochi warms up.”

More than 100 winter Olympians, led by Americans, have signed a petition urging world leaders to fight climate change as balmy weather creates slushy conditions at the Sochi Games.

I’m all for this, because global warming is real and bad. But… what? As we just told you, Sochi is the warmest city in Russia right now. And as we told you in our Mega Olympic Preview, “Sochi is often called the unofficial ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia.” It’s one of the most southernmost places in Russia. Sochi is not a cold place. The warmth was expected. It’s weird that the Winter Olympics are being held there.

Yes, temperatures have been a bit higher than historical averages, but obviously two weeks of slightly-warmer weather in a warm-weather climate should not convince someone of climate change. Basically, the story makes no sense.

While athletes have campaigned for other causes in the past, this is the first Winter Olympics at which they’ve coalesced on climate change. They each have stories about how rising temperatures are affecting them.

That’s fine. Cool. But what does this have to do with a few days of warmth in Russia?

In Sochi, where temperatures have soared into the low 60s, a lack of snow has contributed to safety complaints that the halfpipe is too bumpy. Training for the men’s super-combined downhill was postponed a few days this week while women’s downhill training Tuesday was canceled.


There was a quote from a professor and a couple of athletes talking about the larger trends that actually make sense, so it seems the real problem is the writer having no idea what the fuck is going on.

And of course, writing an article that makes no sense opens up the door for a dumb skeptic to get in some publicity.

Anthony Watts, a skeptic of man-made global warming who writes the “Watts Up With That?” blog, says only a small share of Olympians — about 4% — signed Jewell’s petition. In a post, he says the athletes should hardly complain about lack of snow, because Sochi is “climatically not that great of a place for a winter Olympics.”

Because of the nonsense, this guy comes out looking like the smartest person in the article. “Sochi is warm all the time, idiot,” says fool who knows obvious fact.

“When it comes to winter sports, global warming has us skating on thin ice,” says Julian Boggs of Environment America, a group urging limits on carbon emissions from power plants.

Just picture a global warming activist saying “global warming has us skating on thin ice” out loud. Had to have been prepared for years, just for the Winter Olympics. You killed it, Julian.

This is the last line:

His group says continued increases in global emissions could make the balmy weather of the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games the “new normal.”

I propose playing the 2026 Winter Games all across the equator, just so we can convince dumb people to stop believing lies, and so we can read the USA Today headline: “It’s 100 Degrees At The Winter Olympics, We’re All Dying Tomorrow.”

[USA Today]

  • Art Faucett

    First, Global warming is NOT real. Why do you think they don’t call it that anymore. They call it Climate change so they can stand on the side of the fence wwhere the money is. You’re not even old enough to realize that in the late 70′s magazines such as Time, ran stories on their covers that said, “How do we warm the planet”. This is because they were worried we were headed for an ice age. Third, using Sochi, a sub tropical city as your example illustrates how desperate and pathetic you are. Grow up, and talk to real scientist that aren’t being paid to follow the party line. This is just another scam to rally a small group of sheep to vote the way they want. You included.

  • BooS

    Sigh, and here comes those that don’t understand/read the actual science.
    First off, the IPCC was created in 1988. Can you guess what the ‘CC’ stands for? Second, No scientists were worried about an upcoming Ice Age in the 70s (and yes I am old enough to remember), Time magazine is not science. Third, actually I agree, Sochi was a bad choice for the Olympics, and is a tropical city. See, we can be civil an agree when you are actually correct! Finally, no it is not a scam. Really, how can anyone sane person believe that anymore?

  • Denmark Vesey

    Actually Art is right on the money Boos. Sane people no longer believe the pseudoscience of “Global Warming” because there is no EVIDENCE of AGW. None. There are only flawed computer models and the myth of scientific “consensus” that support the theory of AGW. (It was once the “scientific consensus” that the earth was flat) Even the IPCC admits the planet has actually experienced a cooling trend for the past 15 years. “Global Warming” is a cult. It is a secular religion dependent upon faith and belief. People who challenge their religion are called “Global Warming Deniers”. It has become the International Church of Climate Change … Carbon taxes = Collection plate.

  • Anonymous

    Record Sochi January temperature 70F, 20 C, February: 74F, 22C set over thirty years ago. Sochi is on the west coast of a sea that contains a lot of fresh water over salt, a natural green house effect that can raise temps along the shore as well. 18C is not unusual for the area. Sochi has a quasi tropical climate like San Diego in some respects. Like all AGW stories pumped by AP and others, there is no there, there.

  • Anonymous

    DV, you’re taking denialism to new heights. Congrats on that. Now check the global average temperatures, and the decadal averages. Even without on-the-ground data in the extreme regions of the world (Arctic, Sahara; btw, the ocean surface temps are recorded by ships) the decadal averages just keep on going up. And, btw, last year ranked 4th to 7th warmest ever measured (rank depends on the org keeping score, the differences being within the error bar).

  • Justin Banks

    I VERY MUCH enjoyed your article. A correction however; global warming is not a fact. It’s a theory. If you’d like to debate that theory, bring it. That said, well written and spot on for the most part. And kudos for not using the term “denier” anywhere in your article…a term used widely by a-hole, non-scientific, political Leftists attempting to group Climate change skeptics with Holocaust deniers. Unfortunately, the remainder of folks using the phrase are just those too stupid to realize they’ve been hoodwinked by the a-hole, non-scientific,political Leftists. Nuff said. Good job.

  • Justin Banks

    17 years…no change. No major (cat 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes making landfall in U.S. in 8 years…longest period since the Civil War. So which is it…AGW causes more/intense hurricanes or less hurricanes/slightly more intense (Landsea, NOAA)? Sounds like they have every eventuality covered with this inane theory. Sun rises –> global warming. This ridiculousness is a “cult” as previously stated…it does not remotely resemble science. “”When there’s no evidence to falsify what is merely a supposition, we are left with magical theories that explains absolutely everything – including diametrically contradictory phenomena, lack of logic and absence of evidence.” – Judith Curry.

  • Anonymous

    JB, your grab bag of disjointed statements is quite impressive, to a ten year old. As said, check the marching (up) decadal averages, which still leave out whatever goes on at the arctic and the Sahara, since there are no direct measurements there. The satellite measurements meanwhile indicate increased temperatures for those regions.

  • Justin Banks

    G0f0rit…thanks for the insite-full comments. Actually, my comments were oriented such that a 10 yearold would understand. Unfortunately, I had no idea that someone on the board would be so obtuse that they’d be unable to grasp the concepts. My recommendation to YOU would be to look at a more reliable long term record….and go for the decadal record averages, since you seem to thrive on the simplistic. However, use the U.S. record as it is by far the most reliable record in existence. That said, weather stations at barns in Iowa, Wyoming and Texas…how reliable are they over 130 years. The 1930′s remain the warmest decade on record. Of course, that was Mother Nature’s fault. Any repeat these days is somehow our fault. Complete, unadulterated nonsense. Hopefully that didn’t go over your head as well. I could always send you a dictionary if necessary.

  • Anonymous

    Sigh, It wasn’t just Time magazine, The desperate attempts to deny that cooling was a concern, are not supported if one chooses to do some research. At that time there were serious suggestions for geo-engineering to warm up the planet, one of which was to create an ice free Arctic Ocean, by seeding the ice from the air with re-agent to make it melt. There were also serious suggestions to divert the Gulf Stream and other ocean currents.

    What do you think the “I” stands for in IPCC, Intergovernmental of course. That means politicians. Billions of dollars have been poured into this and it really is a scam. There is serious money to be made by jumping on the global warming bandwagon, sorry, climate change. There is little to be made by challenging it, other than loss of research grants and vilification. Oh, I forgot, Big Oil.

    Well, again, if you do some research you will find that the oil companies have been at the front of the queue taking the subsidies for so called “green” energy and they have gifted hundreds of millions of dollars to global warming research scientists, particularly Exxon, BP and Shell.

    Activist scientists who benefited are Michael Oppenheimer at Princeton and advisor to Environmental Defense Fund and the late Stephen Schneider at NCAR, who most definitely was promoting the prospect of a coming ice age:
    Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and
    Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

  • hari

    every year, I can see that the glaciers in the himalays are shrinking…. Each summer, we have to go to more heights to see the ice and snow and glaciers. Monutains are not covered in white snow nowaydays. On most times of the year, they looks like cones of gray mud, and naked. I remember, 10-20 years back they were fully and beautifully covered in snow. I think the global warming is real, wheather it is created by human or nature.

  • Anonymous

    JB, why pursue local effects when it’s a global phenomenon is beyond comprehension. As said, maybe ten year olds like that.
    Back to the basics you so prefer: Global Warming does cause Climate Change, and climates are regional, so in that respect pointing to local phenomena isn’t all bad. It just fails to deliver the goods needed to deny that we humans are messing up the globe big time this time around.

  • Anonymous

    c..n, Well, I give you that there is a grain of truth to your statement, in that the increasing abundance in the 1900s of air-carried particulates due to pollution was starting to effectively reduce the heat from the Sun entering Earth’s system. So, people did reverse that trajectory for a while, although now places like China are doing their utmost to up the ante again. Given that, you must be elated.

  • Anonymous

    JB, measured data have brought about the knowledge (!) that the planet is warming. Those measurements establish fact. Btw, that’s called science.

  • Justin Banks

    G0f0rit…thanks for the response. I’m fairly convinced that I’ll have as much difficulty convincing you that an increase in CO2 from .028% of the atmosphere to .039% is much ado about nothing…as you’d have convincing me that we’ve affected the climate. I could provide you a hundred and fifty years to two hundred years of “regular” extreme weather. It’s called life on Earth. But in the 1800s it was called Mother Nature…now every event is somehow our fault. It has completely left the realm of science and resembles a faith based religion of some sort. You can call me a denier, but I’ll just call you a delusionist. Maybe we can have a beer sometime….of course yours will be 2 degrees warmer, thanks to the global warming boogey man! All the best!

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