Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Hurricane Harvey Is a Tragedy, not a Rhetorical Tool

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Much more predictably than the weather, climate change alarmists are using the calamity of Hurricane Harvey to further their agenda by blaming the size and intensity of the storm on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.

“The human contribution can be up to thirty percent, or so, of the total rainfall coming out of the storm,” said Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research.

As this is being written, nearly 30 inches of rain has fallen in some portions of South Texas. Are we to believe that one species on Earth, humans, is responsible for nearly 10 inches of that precipitation?

Exactly where Trenberth’s claim of a 30-percent increase in rainfall from Harvey comes from is unclear, but it may have to do with the Clausius-Clapeyron Equation, which postulates that there is a three percent increase in atmospheric moisture content with each 0.9F of global warming. In other words, there is more water vapor in the air, due to human activity, which intensifies a storm such as Harvey.

Additionally, the water in the Gulf of Mexico is warmer than normal this summer, between 2.7F and 7.2F above average. Climate scientists tell us that this is a main reason for Harvey’s swift growth from a tropical depression into a Category 4 hurricane.

If all of that sounds a little convoluted, it’s because it’s meant to.  Climate alarmists don’t want people to question the actual science of what is being alleged. They only wish to throw alarming statistics at us in an attempt to frighten the masses into blindly agreeing to socialistic government programs, which are designed, ostensibly, to save us from ourselves.

Science can be defined as a systematic study of the structure of the natural world through observation and experimentation. But the term has been coopted by leftists. The word is now used as a rhetorical club, wielded in efforts to silence critics and further their agenda. Don’t believe in anthropogenic global warming? Then you deny science. 

Lost in the hysteria over climate change are a couple of questions. Given our imperfect nature as human beings and our apparent proclivity to mess things up, is it even wise for us to attempt to reverse our effect on the climate? Do we even have the knowledge or necessary skill to do so?

There are dissenting opinions, even among scientists. American climatologist Dr. Judith Curry stated, “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” Instead, Curry blames the gigantic amounts of rain on the lack of movement of the hurricane. “While there was a large amount of water vapor ingested into Harvey, the huge amounts of rain are associated with Harvey’s stalled movement,” Curry said.

Clearly, the actual science on climate change, global warming, or whatever we’re calling it currently, is far from “settled,” as Nobel Prize winner and failed presidential candidate Al Gore once famously claimed. Far from being settled, the science of climatology is only in the beginning stages of being understood.

But that doesn’t stop Chicken Little leftists from telling us that the sky is falling. Sadly, for them, their predictions on the issue of climate change continue to fall flat. In 2005, the United Nations Environmental Programmed issued dire warnings predicting that, within five years, the Caribbean, low-lying Pacific islands and coast lines all over the world would be producing upwards of 50 million climate refugees due to the effects of global warming, rising seas, and increasingly powerful hurricanes. These projections have been, to put it charitably, wildly inaccurate.

In fact, over the last decade, the opposite seems to be true. Professor Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado Boulder points out, “the world is presently in an era of unusually low weather disasters.” Pielke’s study focuses not on hysteria but on dollars. “Disaster costs as a portion of GDP have decreased,” Pielke points out. “One important reason for this is a lack of increase in the weather events that cause disasters, most notably tropical cyclones worldwide and especially hurricanes in the United States.”

But despite valid, dissenting opinion, climate alarmists continue to disparage those who won’t toe the party line. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson even used the recent solar eclipse as a reason to question the intelligence of anthropogenic climate change skeptics when he tweeted, “Odd. No one is in denial of America’s Aug 21 total solar eclipse. Like Climate Change, methods and tools of science predict it.”

Perhaps, Dr. deGrasse Tyson, when the predictions of the climate change alarmists are as evident as the solar eclipse was, we will. Until then, kindly keep your hands off of our electrical outlets and our automobiles.

Satellite image of Hurricane Harvey as the storm’s eye nears landfall: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

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