First, I (Dr. Duane Thresher) do not make light of the deaths and damage Hurricane Harvey has caused. I know all too well the devastating deadly power of hurricanes. I lived for several years on Okinawa, a small Japanese island infamous from WWII. There they have typhoons, which in general are worse than hurricanes. I saw first hand this devastating deadly power.
But hurricanes have always been devastating and deadly, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s take the quintessential example, the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. (By the way, from what I saw in my work with tree rings, 1900 was one of the hottest years ever in the West.) 6,000 to 12,000 dead — it was so bad they couldn’t accurately count — and over 3,600 homes destroyed.
And this was early in the increase in people and wealth in the area. If the Great Galveston Hurricane had come a few years later, even if it had been a weaker hurricane, the death and destruction would have been even worse.
Oops! I am not allowed to say that. Damn. There goes my climate science career.
Roger A. Pielke Jr. argued exactly this, that the increasing damage from hurricanes was due to this increase in “wealth density” and not an increase in hurricane intensity or frequency, which themselves were not proven and then assumed without proof to be due to global warming.
Pielke had his career ruined for saying this by, among others, John Holdren, and — oh not him again — Michael Mann. Holdren was Obama’s science advisor and is known for being a little too interested in population control. Mann you know from Climategate infamy and as one of the RealClimate.com climate change Gestapo, along with Klimafuehrers Stefan Rahmstorf and Gavin Schmidt.
Let’s look at the higher educations of Holdren and Mann according to their carefully-crafted Wikipedia pages to see their qualifications to even talk about climate and weather, never mind ruin someone’s career over it.
Of course. They were both trained as physicists in areas having nothing to do with climate and weather. Then they magically became climate scientists. Just like James Hansen, the father of global warming.
What is it with these know-it-all physicists? Just because everything involves some physics does not mean a physicist knows everything. Never took a climate or meteorology course and yet they are experts on climate and weather. I’m going to declare myself a brain surgeon and start up a practice.
Actually, mathematicians are exactly as bad. That would cover Gavin Schmidt, current head of NASA GISS, anointed by his predecessor Hansen, and a climate change warrior scientist/spokesperson like Mann.
Full disclosure: I was at NASA GISS while James Hansen was its head and I worked closely with Gavin Schmidt there. I am a coauthor with both on several publications.
And yes, I am more qualified than any of the above to talk about climate and weather.
Now with Hurricane Harvey the whole global warming/hurricane increase (non) issue has reared its ugly pinhead again, with Michael Mann at the top claiming that Hurricane Harvey is almost certainly worse because of global warming.
Michael, I talked quite a bit with and almost worked for Barry Saltzman at Yale too — I turned him down to go to Columbia — and I have to think he would be ashamed of you. He was a lot more careful about certainty, which is what happens when you know about chaos.
Because of the lack of any real evidence but a desperate need for it to be true, the global warming/hurricane increase issue has become a field of double-talk. Consider this quote from Allison Wing, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University and supposed hurricane expert:
“Unfortunately for society, it does seem like a fairly confident projection that hurricanes will get stronger in the future. There is less evidence that they have gotten stronger thus far because of complicated factors, some which oppose that increase and some which favor it in the current climate, as well as limitations from our observational record. We simply don’t have that many years of reliable data. But all of that is consistent with our expectations, and as the climate becomes even warmer we expect that … the increase in intensity will get larger, and it will be unfortunately even easier to see that the hurricanes are going to get more intense.”
If you think that makes any sense, you too can be a climate scientist these days.
“It is a fundamental fact, although increasingly conveniently ignored, that no single climate event or location can be attributed to global warming. There is simply no valid way to prove a connection and correlation is not causation. If it were, the following would be true: As global warming has supposedly been occurring, the average human lifespan has significantly increased. Therefore, global warming causes increased human lifespans and is a good thing.”
So who is that guy next to Mann in the photo? That’s Prosper-Rene Blondlot, discoverer of N-rays, hailed by scientific consensus as a great discovery. And then one man, Robert W. Wood, after “wasting a whole morning”, showed that N-rays were complete nonsense. Sound familiar?