Sunday, September 03, 2017

Blaming “Climate Change” for Hurricane Harvey

When activists quit saying “global warming” and started saying “climate change” the purpose was clear. “Global warming” means the earth is getting warmer. But “climate change” can mean about any weather that happens. Drought. Floods. Hot weather. And (yes) cold weather.

And so the activists blame Hurricane Harvey on “climate change.”

But the science says otherwise. From the Wall Street Journal:
Activists, journalists and scientists have pounced on the still-unfolding disaster in Houston and along the Gulf Coast in an attempt to focus the policy discussion narrowly on climate change. Such single-issue myopia takes precious attention away from policies that could improve our ability to prepare for and respond to disasters. More thoughtful and effective disaster policies are needed because the future will bring many more weather disasters like Hurricane Harvey, with larger impacts than those of the recent past.

For many years, those seeking to justify carbon restrictions argued that hurricanes had become more common and intense. That hasn’t happened. Scientific assessments, including those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. government’s latest National Climate Assessment, indicate no long-term increases in the frequency or strength of hurricanes in the U.S. Neither has there been an increase in floods, droughts and tornadoes, though heat waves and heavy precipitation have become more common.

Prior to Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm, the U.S. had gone a remarkable 12 years without being hit by a hurricane of Category 3 strength or stronger. Since 1970 the U.S. has only seen four hurricanes of Category 4 or 5 strength. In the previous 47 years, the country was struck by 14 such storms. President Obama presided over the lowest rate of hurricane landfalls—0.5 a year—of any president since at least 1900. Eight presidents dealt with more than two a year, but George W. Bush (18 storms) is the only one to have done so since Lyndon B. Johnson. The rest occurred before 1960.

Without data to support their wilder claims, climate partisans have now resorted to shouting that every extreme weather event was somehow “made worse” by the emission of greenhouse gases. Earlier this week, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt directed researchers “to shed some of the fussy over-precision about the relationship between climate change and weather.”

Turning away from empirical science—or “fussy over-precision”—comes with risks. But whatever one’s views on climate, there should be broad agreement today that bigger disasters are coming. Some may blame greenhouse gases while others may believe it to be some sort of karmic retribution. But there is a simpler explanation: Because the world has experienced a remarkable period of good fortune when it comes to catastrophes, we are due.
A good roundup of attempts by the activists to exploit the tragedy in Texas can be found here.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Mark OBLAZNEY said...

I'm blaming Irma on you ahead of time.

6:31 AM  
Blogger jimspice said...

The first sentence is false, so i stopped reading there.

4:42 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

@jimspice: they why did they do that?

7:12 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

The terms "climate change" and "global warming" have both been used for
decades. But the effort to re-brand toward a preference for the former, and its resulting increase in usage, may, in fact, be the result of a deliberate strategy by the contrarians.
Hear Frank Luntz, adviser to Bush, explain it IN HIS OWN WORDS. The
entire video is worth an eyeballing, but skip to 2:30 if you're short on
time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WiTVL9iT1w

8:57 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

@jimspice: That's interesting, but it doesn't explain why the global warming crowd (which, I'm sure you'll admit, includes all the mainstream media) would so happily embrace "climate change" and deep six "global warming."

And you haven't answered my contention that you can blame about anything on "climate change," but only one thing on "global warming."

I think Lutz was simply wrong, having looked at the issue narrowly ("which term is more scary") rather than more broadly ("which terms allowed us to gin up hysteria no matter what happens with the weather").

You do understand that political consultants are wrong, sometimes, right?

9:19 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

"happily embrace 'climate change' and deep six 'global warming.'"

No such thing has happened. The two terms refer to different, though related, things, and each is used as appropriate.

2:32 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

BTW, are you still sticking to the claim that there has been no global warming for the last 17, or whatever, years, or have to learned to actually read a trend line.

2:34 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

@jimspice: interesting that you are changing the subject. Are you admitting that global warming has not caused hurricanes, as we were told was going to happen after Katrina?

As for the trend:

Trend

2016 El Nino pushed the trend up, but it's not nearly as steep as it was during the 20th Century, and nowhere on track toward the catastrophic levels that the alarmists have been claiming. It's only 0.1 degrees C. peak to peak, and much less than that centered.

7:58 PM  

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