Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hurricane Al Gore and the IPCC

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"You dare challenge global warming with scientific debate?"

I’ve written before how the pronouncements of the global-warming-is-man-made-and-we’re-all-going-to-die crowd sound both apocalyptic and reminiscent of biblical plagues. I’ve also written of the similarities between modern environmental doomsayers and ancient soothsayers.

Harken to the ancients, and how the future was foretold by “reading” the entrails of animals (including humans) and interpreting cosmic “signs.”

An eagle couldn’t just land on a cactus to devour a snake. No way. That eagle on that cactus eating that snake was a prophecy fulfilled. To the eagle, it was dinner. To the watching priests, it was destiny.

So it is with Al Gore and his Acolytes, and the high priests of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). To them, a hurricane like Katrina is a sign of what is to come. A lot of hurricanes in 2005 were a sign that what is to come has already came. However, when 2006 bestowed few hurricanes, it wasn’t taken as a sign of anything.

I guess some “signs” can just be ignored, if what they imply are inconvenient in the light of telling greater “truth.”

Compared to the current period, there were many more powerful hurricanes in the period 1926-1935, and 1900-1905 was almost as active. What were those periods a sign of?

If man-made, greenhouse-gas caused global warming is responsible for increased hurricane activity now, mustn’t it have been responsible then? If so, hurricane activity should have increased steadily since 1900, because CO2 certainly did. Why the long period of low hurricane activity during a period of steadily increasing carbon dioxide?

What made the hurricanes of 2005 special? Were they special because Al Gore and the IPCC were looking for a sign?

Historically, nothing has made the current hurricane activity special. However, the long period of low activity following 1935, when temperatures fell as carbon dioxide increased, were finally reversed by a return to the same sort of increased activity which has characterized hurricanes for hundreds of years. In the meantime, during the quiet period, mankind invested billions in developing the choice coastal properties that are jeopardized when the natural hurricane cycle brings back strong storms like the ones early in the twentieth century.

People like to live by the sea, and benign weather, plus insurance rates for coastal properties kept low by regulation, encouraged them to do so.

According to some scientists, the number and intensity of hurricanes have increased. According to others, all that has increased is our ability to identify and measure them. Weather satellites and devices for measuring wind speed and hurricane strength have only been in use since about 1980. Less than a hundred years ago, a hurricane that didn’t make a landfall had a high probability of not being counted.

Ones that did come ashore, but hit what were then mostly sparsely populated regions, would not have been accurately measured.

Speaking of measurements, what does science estimate global warming would add to hurricane forces. Supposedly, if water temperature increased one degree Fahrenheit, wind speed would increase two percent. Water temperatures off the coast of Africa have increased about one degree, so a very strong hurricane would have a top wind speed two to three miles per hour higher.

Hardly a devastating increase in power.

Anyway, the IPCC in all its wisdom says that the hurricanes we are experiencing show that man-made global warming driven by increased carbon dioxide is already here. I think I would be more convinced of the logic of their position if they would explain why the very things that used to be considered natural now only occur because mankind is doing something bad.

If increased carbon dioxide causes it, why did hurricane activity decrease significantly during a period when carbon dioxide went up over twenty-five percent?

It was up when carbon dioxide was down, and down when carbon dioxide was up. Now it is up when carbon dioxide is up, except one year hurricane activity was up, the next it was down, but carbon dioxide was up both years.

Doesn’t it seem like something else is going on here? The correlation of hurricanes and carbon dioxide is, being charitable, non-existent or coincidental. The correlation of hurricanes with solar activity during the last century is direct. So why are we blaming hurricanes on man-made global warming, when it seems to be more likely that it is the sun, not carbon dioxide, that is driving hurricane activity?

Is it because we can’t dictate mankind’s personal and economic activities if the sun is to blame?

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