Anyone attempting to challenge the increasingly vocal battalion of sceptics, deniers and assorted right wing nut jobs who have somehow emerged as "expert" media commentators on the recent run of global extreme weather events would be well advised to heed the words of that great modern-day philosopher Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter: "A wise man told me don't argue with fools. Cause people from a distance can't tell who is who."
And yet sometimes it is impossible to resist the urge to roll up your sleeves and take on the daunting task of deconstructing their logic-defying attempts to dismiss climate change and its assorted risks as a global conspiracy.
This urge has become all the more apparent in recent weeks as various climate sceptic commentators have developed their latest trope on the network news channels, arguing that it is impossible to link the recent spate of extreme weather events - catastrophic floods in Pakistan and now China, heat waves in Russia, record temperatures in 17 countries - with manmade climate change.
Unlike countless climate sceptic lines of reasoning that can be disproved with reference to a vast body of scientific evidence, this particular claim has the virtue of being true. At the semantic level it is impossible to link any individual weather event to changes in the climate on the grounds that almost any event, however extreme, will be confined within natural levels of variability.
Weather and climate are different things, and just because climate sceptics are daft enough to use extreme cold weather events, such as the freezing temperatures that hit Northern Europe and the US earlier this year, as evidence in their case against climate change, does not mean those who accept the reality of climate change should deploy the same flawed reasoning when climate change deniers miraculously start to understand the distinction between climate and weather and use it to deny the relevance of extreme heat waves and floods.
But at the same time the recent spate of extreme weather events, or rather the increased incidence of extreme weather events, is relevant to climate change and does provide a taste of the kind of risks we will have to become increasingly adept at dealing with over the next few decades.
The question is how to demonstrate this link without falling into the inaccurate and scare-mongering trap of hailing every extreme weather event as conclusive evidence of climate change.
I think I may have found the answer, and it lies in the recent form of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool lost to Man City last night. This is a one off event and it also used to be a rare event. For much of the past decade Liverpool have consistently finished in the top four in the Premier League and picked up numerous cups along the way. During each season victories and occasional draws were the norm with defeats scattered around the fixture list as relatively extreme events. In 2007/08 Liverpool lost only four league games, drew 13 and finished fourth. A year later they lost just two games, drew 11 and finished second. As I say defeats and to a lesser extent draws were rare events at the club.
However, last season Liverpool lost 11 times, drew nine and finished seventh. They have now started the new season with one draw and one defeat. The previously rare defeats are occurring that a bit more frequently.
The point is this: no individual defeat can be taken as evidence that Liverpool are not as good as they were a couple of year's ago - after all, even when they were at their best they still lost an occasional game. But at the same time, if they keep losing games at the same rate as last season then you would look pretty stupid trying to argue that nothing has changed. There comes a point at which you have to accept that each individual defeat is part of the wider pattern - that the increasingly frequent defeats have become the norm.
Of course football results are not weather events and the league table is not the climate - for a start Liverpool could yet overcome their sluggish start to win the league title, while it would defy everything we know about atmospheric science for normal climatic service to be resumed within a few years. But the same principle applies. No individual weather event is the result of climate change, but there comes a point at which they come along so frequently that you have to accept something has changed - that the extreme has become the norm.
All the evidence suggests we are getting closer and closer to that point, and all those rent-a-quote sceptics currently insisting that the floods in Pakistan and the heat waves in Moscow have nothing to do with climate change increasingly look like one-eyed football fans refusing to accept that their team is not what it once was.
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