It’s the name of an excellent book by Roy Spencer, but I’m talking about real confusion now. Not the recently found emails that show that the science behind man-made global warming was trumped up, but the climate confusion that caused so much trouble for the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in December, 1620.
You may wonder why they didn’t know better than to head to the Northeastern coast of the New World so late in the year, when bitter cold awaited them. Actually, they intended to arrive much sooner but their ship, named the Speedwell and later changed to the Mayflower, began to sink soon after leaving England and they had to return for repairs. That made their departure much later than they had planned but they weren’t worried. They knew they were going to a place of just about the same latitude they were leaving. They concluded that the weather would be about the same as that part of England, and December would not be much worse than November or even October.
Here is where climate confusion comes in. They didn’t know that latitude alone does not control weather and in fact some Northern latitudes have milder weather than other areas farther South in latitude. They didn’t know that ocean currents have a huge effect on the weather of a region, and that the relatively mild weather of Southern England in December turns to bitter cold in that part of North America that is now Massachusetts. So when they arrived they were greeted with a bitter cold that they did not expect and which cost them dearly over the ensuing winter. Climate confusion. It was a problem then, and still is. At least the Pilgrims had not been duped by a bunch of liberals calling themselves scientists.