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

  • Matt Rudnitsky

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]