Just how hot is it out there?

With the temperature a balmy -8 outside here in Ottawa, shortly to ease down to -19, I’m catching up on my NBC news feeds. It’s not pleasant. I’m encountering subject lines (story headlines don’t always match the email teaser) like “15 Dead, Records Obliterated as Brutal Cold Hits U.S.” (with Chicago having its coldest morning in 79 years) and “So Cold You Can Hear Ice Crack, Hammer Nail with a Banana?”. People are doing their best to cope, hence “’Frozen’ Queen Elsa Is a Wanted Woman in Kentucky” (the police in Harlan, Kentucky haven’t lost their sense of humour) and “#ItsSoCold: Your Best Posts About the Deep Freeze”. But it’s a serious business. People have died. “U.S. Economy Could Take $5 Billion Hit From Brutal Winter Weather”. And it’s not over yet. “Record-Shattering Cold Tightens Grip Across U.S.” and “More Brrr! 'Siberian Express' Drags On Into Next Week” with another winter storm coming.

So of course NBC also ran a piece on how cold weather reduces crime, naturally saying that researchers are “driven by a desire to understand what the world will look like as global temperatures rise. They've all found good reason to believe crime, and social disorder, could increase.”

No matter how obvious it is that it’s incredibly cold, the story is that it’s incredibly warm. This, I gather, is called evidence-based decision making.

Meanwhile my Sun Media colleague Lorne Gunter offers the absurd notion that what warms the earth is indeed Mr. Sun and not the local factory or SUV. I mean seriously, what’s the sun, other than a gigantic blazing hot nuclear reaction that showers earth with energy, and whose quiet spells reliably correspond with unpleasantly cold spells?

No no no. If parts of Niagara Falls are frozen, they’re probably just oil-company funded “deniers” who go on about the Maunder Minimum and other things journalists who say the science is a lock don’t know about. It’s hot out there.

I mean, who are you going to believe, alarmists or your own fingers and toes? Come off it.