UPDATE: Australia’s own local alarmism “sausage factory”, CSIRO, comes up trumps right on cue, predicting “more droughts, floods and cyclones” as a result of “global warming”:
“SOUTH Pacific island nations will be hit by almost twice as many droughts, floods and extreme tropical cyclones over the next 80 years due to global warming, according to research led by the CSIRO.
The study, published in Nature today, suggests that the countries will face an even tougher time adapting to climate change than previously thought. Most previous studies have focused on sea level rise.” (source)
Apparently, they selected the best climate models (translation: least worst) and used those. So that’s OK, then.
As has been said many times on this blog, there is no weather condition that would not be “consistent with” some global warming model somewhere or other. More rain: global warming. More drought: global warming. More snow: global warming. Less snow: global warming. Etcetera etcetera.
So whenever there is an episode of extreme weather, the alarmists crawl out of their holes to link it to “global warming” in order to advance The Cause™. As always, we should ask what weather would “not be consistent” with their projections? None. Zip. Nada. It’s our old friend the unfalsifiable hypothesis again. Not so much science as astrology.
Bjørn Lomborg, writing in The Australian, takes apart the latest hysteria in the US over links between extreme weather and climate change:
A hot, dry summer (in some places) has triggered another barrage of such claims. And, while many interests are at work, one of the players that benefits the most from this story is the media: the notion of “extreme” climate simply makes for more compelling news.
Consider Paul Krugman, writing breathlessly in The New York Times about the “rising incidence of extreme events” and how “large-scale damage from climate change is happening now”.
He claims that global warming caused the current drought in the US midwest and that supposedly record-high corn prices could cause a global food crisis.
But the UN climate panel’s latest assessment tells us precisely the opposite: for “North America, there is medium confidence that there has been an overall slight tendency toward less dryness (wetting trend with more soil moisture and runoff)”.
Moreover, there is no way Krugman could have identified this drought as being caused by global warming without a time machine: climate models estimate that such detection will be possible by 2048, at the earliest.
Bill McKibben similarly frets in The Guardian and The Daily Beast about the midwest drought and corn prices.
Moreover, he confidently tells us that raging wildfires from New Mexico and Colorado to Siberia are “exactly” what the early stages of global warming look like.
In fact, the latest overview of global wildfire incidence suggests that, because humans have suppressed fire and decreased vegetation density, fire intensity has declined during the past 70 years, and is now close to its pre-industrial level.
When well-meaning campaigners want us to pay attention to global warming, they often end up pitching beyond the facts.
And while this may seem justified by a noble goal, such “policy by panic” tactics rarely work and often backfire.
Remember how, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Al Gore (and many others) claimed that we were in store for ever more devastating hurricanes?
Since then, hurricane incidence has dropped off the charts; indeed, by one measure, global accumulated cyclone energy has decreased to its lowest levels since the late 70s. Exaggerated claims merely fuel public distrust and disengagement. (source - paywalled)
In which case, I say to Krugman and McKibben: carry on!