Doug L. Hoffman
The Resilient Earth
May 27, 2011
Despite warnings to the contrary, and waning public support, the all purpose boogieman climate change is once again getting credit for the recent spate of natural disasters in the US. Whether its flooding on the Mississippi, rain soaked fields too wet to plant, or rampaging tornadoes laying waste to whole towns the villain behind our misfortune is anthropogenic global warming. Reports from the scenes of devastation are sure to include at least one reference to climate change, which is of course caused by people. In essence, the yammering news media—who always needs a culprit to blame when disaster befalls a group of innocents—has placed the blame squarely back on humanity. That’s right, we are responsible for the tragic deaths of hundreds of people caused by storm, flood and tornadoes. The chattering class once again demonstrates that they have bought the IPCC climate change scam: hook, line and sinker. They would rather mindlessly repeat the discredited memes of climate alarmists than think critically themselves.
The latest round of blaming bad weather on climate change began in mid-winter. Last summer in the Southern Hemisphere brought heavy rains and flooding in many places and bitter winter weather across the Northern Hemisphere. Report after report of unusually heavy snow falls and unusually cold temperatures were accompanied by a steady stream of talking heads and erstwhile experts trying to convince the public that the cold weather was being caused by global warming. Go back more than two or three years and look for predictions that global warming will cause colder winters. In 2007, when abnormally warm winter weather was occurring in Western Europe, the talk was “see, we told you! It’s global warming!” When things began to turn cold the warmists veered uncomfortably close to the truth by stating that warm or cold weather was not proof of climate change.
After several years with cold nasty winters, the alarmists have reversed their field. Now, the cold weather during the past winter, and the unseasonable cool, wet spring here in the US, is a side effect of human caused global warming. Even the disgraced prophet of climate doom, Al Gore, has emerged from his burrow to proclaim: “A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”
Now we are being told that the record flood of the Mississippi River was caused by global warming. Never mind that the river rises every year, and it is only the extensive system of dikes and levies that keeps those who live near old man river dry. Or that by restricting the flow of the river, forcing it to remain within a comparatively narrow channel, amplifies the flood level, to the point that when a wet spring does occur and the levies overflow, people who have never experienced flooding get a very rude surprise. Old timers still remember when the Mississippi flooded in 1927, its width exceeding 100 miles in places. Just because some event has not happened in the last 50 or 100 or even 500 years does not mean it isn’t natural. Most natural cycles happen on time scales longer than human lifetimes and human memories are notably fallible over shorter spans.
Those who read the last IPCC report, AR4, might recall one of the predicted outcomes was to be increased desertification. With the soggy spring of 2011, that prediction seems, well, all wet. Naturally, the climate change crowd says the wetter weather is caused by global warming as well. Even when the get the proximate causes correct—the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation—there is always that evil global warming lurking in the background, calling the shots. The IPCC party line answer is that climate change makes it wetter where it’s getting wetter and dryer where it’s getting dryer.
Most recently the American South and Mid-west has had one of its worst tornado seasons on record. One monster tornado leveled much of Joplin, Missouri, on May , causing at least 122 deaths. The massive twister that leveled 30 percent of the town has been rated an EF5 by the National Weather Service and is being called the deadliest single tornado since 1950. Tornadoes have also ravaged Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas killing people in all three states.
Is this the work of that daemon global warming? My own local news cast a few nights ago ended with the ominous statement “this is only going to get worse as the climate warms.” Thank you, airhead local news dweeb. Even when an otherwise authoratative source actually gets the facts right they still cannot resist tossing in the scary climate change monster to spice up their report. Case in point: consider this article in MIT’s online Technology Review. Here is the article’s lead paragraph:
Tornadoes have killed more people this year than they have since 1953. This has some wondering whether higher global temperatures might be contributing. The answer: there isn’t a statistical correlation between the number of tornadoes and rising temperatures. Yet scientists predict that climate change will bring increasingly harsh weather, and that’s got some commentators wondering whether this year’s tornadoes, record floods, and droughts, might be connected.
There is no statistical correlation, but yet… what school did the author go to again? This mixing of fact with fiction, science with nonsense, empirical observation with urban legend is typical. Even those who should know better give in to temptation and blame the monsters in the closet or under the bed for every bump in the night. Weather is defined as “the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.” Bottom line: when it comes to weather something is always changing—that’s what makes it weather!
All the world’s eco-activists and treehuggers—so quick to blame humanity for everything bad that happens—have made common cause with the climate change alarmists. Anthropogenic global warming has become the root of all evil, the cause of every catastrophe. Like all good conspiracy theories, global warming can explain every bad event no matter how contradictory or implausible. And like all good conspiracy theorists, nothing can shake the climate alarmists’ beliefs. As tragic as effects of this spring’s violent weather have been, we need to remember that all of Earth’s creatures, including humans, live here at the sufferance of nature. Instead of yelling “damn you global warming,” climate alamists need to recognize that natural disasters are just that—natural.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.
This article was posted: Friday, May 27, 2011 at 3:09 am