Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Washington Post seems to think Presidents they don’t like can cause hurricanes.
Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.
By Editorial Board
September 11 at 7:45 PM
Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.
It is difficult to think of a claim more ridiculous – though to be fair the Post article does go on to quote climate scientist Kevin Trenberth. But Washington Post does have historical precedent when they blame individuals for severe weather events.
Back in the late 1600s, the Salem Witch Trials accused defendants of using black magic to cause bad weather, during a prolonged period of bad weather.
… The Salem witch trials fell within an extreme cold spell that lasted from 1680 and 1730 — one of the chilliest segments of the little ice age. The notion that weather may have instigated those trials is being revived by Salem State University historian Tad Baker in his forthcoming book, “A Storm of Witchcraft” (Oxford University Press, 2013). Building on Oster’s thesis, Baker has found clues in diaries and sermons that suggest a harsh New England winter really may have set the stage for accusations of witchcraft.
According to the Salem News, one clue is a document that mentions a key player in the Salem drama, Rev. Samuel Parris, whose daughter Betty was the first to become ill in the winter of 1691-1692 because of supposed witchcraft. In that document, “Rev. Parris is arguing with his parish over the wood supply,” Baker said. A winter fuel shortage would have made for a fairly miserable colonial home, and “the higher the misery quotient, the more likely you are to be seeing witches.” …
Washington Post is accusing President Trump of causing warm weather and hurricanes, whereas the Salem trials accused people of causing cold weather. But The Washington Post also claims that CO2 causes more damaging winter storms – so maybe the Post is not so different in their thinking to the historical Salem witch hunters.