Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can't we pretend Hurricane Harvey didn't happen?


  
    What storm? You mean Hurricane Harvey? Or rather, so-called Hurricane Harvey?
     Never happened. An obvious fraud cooked up by Democrats trying to push their “climate change” agenda. The images on TV of waterlogged Houston residents being led to safety through flooded streets? Actors on Hollywood sound stages. More fake news by CNN trying to goose ratings with inspiring tales of rescue and . . ..
     Nah, it’s no good. Can’t do it. See, that’s why we liberals are at such a disadvantage. We have one hand tied behind our backs in the street brawl for America’s soul, denied the full range of fabrication easily employed by the Right, from simple bald lies (Ted Cruz first claiming he supported relief for Hurricane Sandy, then, fibbing again, insisting the bill was laden with pork. Which it wasn’t.) to the most elaborate fantasies (Alex Jones suggesting that Nazi protesters at Charlottesville were Jewish actors).
     Meanwhile, we’re mired in the troublesome realm of the real. Democrats just can’t contort our minds the way they can. We’re like rheumatic middle-aged men trying to compete on the pommel horse against Olympic gymnasts.
     I can’t even in good conscience hold up Hurricane Harvey — the worst rainstorm in United States history — as an example of climate change. While it is certainly the sort of meteorological disaster we are going to see more and more of as the Earth heats up, you can’t point to any one particular storm and lay it at the feet of our warming world. That’s why even though the evidence of climate change is as clear and undeniable as evidence that something wet and windy hit Houston this past week, that doesn’t stop Republicans from denying the former as they shed crocodile tears over the latter.
     Honestly, I’m not even comfortable using Hurricane Harvey as column fodder, because there are people involved. People suffering. Their homes destroyed, their lives upended. You don’t turn that into a joke.
    Either you sympathize with people or you do not. That is the essential gulf we see in America today.


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23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. The weather recording instruments of 1910 were as accurate as today's.
      The rest of your drivel is incomprehensible!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Feel free to write at least as lucidly as the average commenter here, and I assure you that we will look up the words we don't know or ask for clarification of the concepts we are unable to comprehend. Thank you.

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  2. whats worse the climate skeptic unwilling to accept the predictive model presented by politicians misinterpreting science for monetary benefit? or the climate alarmist unwilling to reduce their consumption of fossil fuel while insisting everyone else must immediately by government edict? donate to the unfortunate folks by texting 90999 . $10 will be added to your cell phone bill. happy anniversary

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    1. Texting to 90999, although quick and easy, results in a donation to the Red Cross. While a worthy organization, it gets a rating of only 3 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston gets 4.

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    2. To answer your question, I think the "climate skeptic" is much worse than the "climate alarmist," because the former may keep us from doing anything about man-made climate change until its too late.

      Your syntax is even more confusing than your both-sides-suck approach. Who is presenting the "predictive model," who is "unwilling to accept" it, who is getting the "monetary benefit," and where is this money coming from?

      You also might try using the shift key.

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    3. Scientists present the predictive model. Should this be interpreted by politicians who then suggest policy to combat climate change? Or should we as individuals realize that it's up to us to change our habits of consumption? It's always that question that remains unanswered and is generally ignored by all commenters. Go ahead concern yourself with grammar and syntax and continue to refuse to understand that Americans use so much more than their fair share and think that there are solutions other than reduction in consumption. Get on a plane and fly to the Arctic to watch the icebergs float around. take pictures and then complain of the catastrophe unfolding. Then demand that the politicians make it all better. It's our fault that this is happening we have created this problem. We are responsible to change our behaviors

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    4. By that logic, nobody should have to pay taxes because we're all responsible for our own behavior and should take it upon ourselves to change our spending habits and set aside money for schools, roads, etc. Yes, people should change their energy consumption habits. But leaving a matter like man-made climate change up to individual action is utter folly. People take collective action through politics, and sometimes those politics result in laws and regulations that everyone has to obey, even if they don't feel like it, for the common good.

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    5. We currently have an Administration that is engaged in utter folly. That's our government. Politicians in conjunction with corporations will never have any other goal but growth andprofit. We as individuals should be responsible for reducing our consumption. The previous administrations also believed that we need to have a vibrant economy based on consumption.
      Looking to the government to solve this problem is utter folly. We should refuse to pay our taxes that support the military industrial complex that makes it possible for us to consume at such an obscene level. Houston is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country and by building on land that is known to flood look at the disaster that has transpired. That's government policy for you

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    6. I have several friends in Houston. One of them refers to the bayou system in the Houston area as "constipated". It doesn't flow well and the zoning laws don't prohibit developers from building where they shouldn't. Sounds like they need more government regulations, not fewer. Left to our own selfish devices, we'll fuck it up every time.

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    7. FME: Politicians are elected by individuals. If the government is engaged in utter folly, regarding climate change or anything else, one of our priorities should be changing that government, not throwing up our hands and declaring there's nothing we can do.

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    8. No policy or bad policy is still the government at work. I don't recommend throwing our hands up in the air and saying that there's nothing we can do. It's actually groups that elect government officials but that's a whole different issue. I still think our priority should be using less stuff and that includes new homes built-in Wide Open Spaces that once absorbed water but now is in our living room. If people refuse to take personal responsibility for the outcome of their behaviors and we turn to the government thinking that'll solve this problem what we get is what's happening now.

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  3. Just a heads up about the ever changing nomenclature of climate science. Global cooling in the 60's and 70's didn't happen, it is now known as a conjecture. Global warming makes people think of beaches and tanning butter. Climate change, always for the worse, is not quit ominous enough. The new goto phrase is Extreme Weather, there that settles the science! Now politicians have a solution, put carbon taxes on big energy which will inevitably be passed on to the consumer. Then if you can't afford the fuel, or raise enough dough to buy an electric car much less pay the electric bill for charging it, well too bad for you! The economic theory is settled and can not be refuted, such policies will increase the economic inequality between the rich and poor.
    If by any miracle a viable program is put in place that halts or reverses the rise in atmospheric CO₂ levels, can climate scientist guarantee that never again will two high pressure cells hold a hurricane in a stationary pattern sweeping in moisture from the ocean and dumping it as rain on land for days at a time? Without that guarantee such programs are a waste of money.

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    1. You think programs to slow atmospheric CO2 levels are "a waste of money" because they can't "guarantee" that there will never be hurricanes? That's an awfully high bar you're setting.

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    2. So, Bernie, are you conceding that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels *are* a problem, or not even that? I remember walking out of "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2006 and saying "If half of that is true, we're completely screwed, because there's no way mankind is gonna deal with this in time." Mr. Gore's conclusion that "We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions, everything but political will. But in America, the will to act is a renewable resource." was so pie-in-the-sky, it broke my heart. He was stating this 2 years after GWB got freaking *re*elected, no less. Uh, personally, I'm almost as pessimistic as you are, though not nearly as militant. The "political will" in this country hasn't been very beneficial at all in prioritizing Gore's agenda on a national level. Surprise! That "will" has seen fit to put in place a president who's more interested in an imaginary coal renaissance than in even the modest goals of the Paris agreement. But doing nothing? How's that been working out for everybody?

      BTW, your "guarantee" conclusion is a huge straw-man, I'm sorry to say. Neil very promptly conceded in this column that "While it is certainly the sort of meteorological disaster we are going to see more and more of as the Earth heats up, you can’t point to any one particular storm and lay it at the feet of our warming world."

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    3. All right, it's good to be back and have internet access after a vacation featuring a spectacular solar eclipse. The basis of modern science is built on the scientific method. You make observations gather data form a hypothesis, then deign experiments to test your theory for its ability to predict future events. The summer of 1988 was dry and had some record high temps. It was predicted that the summers would be warmer and dryer in the middle latitudes including our Midwest, because the jet stream which forms rain storms, would be confined to upper latitudes, leaving us with drought conditions. In fact this weather pattern has not repeated itself very often. A few years later the unpredicted great flood of 1993 occurred. Talk about moving the goal posts, the theory morphed into droughts and floods at random times and places are the fault of man made climate change. From what I recall of Al Gore's movie super duper big hurricanes would slice and dice tropical zones, year after year with endless destruction. He described a weather pattern that has yet to materialize. After 12 years we get hurricane Harvey a category 4 storm. Normally a hurricane will make landfall, devastate the area where the eye is, diminish into a tropical storm, and bring heavy rains miles inland. What makes Harvey unique is it remained stationary dumping rain continuously on Houston for days. A weather pattern that was not predicted, and we are pretty much in conformation bias territory now. Perhaps a little facetious expecting a guarantee of positive results, but we should have more accurate theories before making major changes to our economy. I know hurricanes are a natural weather event that occurred in the past, and no matter what we do, will continue for millennia into the future.

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    4. All rightee, then, I'll take that as a "No, not even that." in answer to my original question...

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    5. I will concede carbon dioxide levels are rising, resulting in a slightly higher average global temperature over time. It also seems to me climate alarmist are exaggerating the risk most extremely. They all to often sound like telemarketers or high pressure salesmen saying you must act now before it's too late. The science has become heavily politicized, and the current climate (pun intended) will not advance science. What I would like to see is federal grants going to Universities to fund field work that gathers data from the tropical rain forests to the arctic regions. Too much research consists of things like Professors and Grad students designing computer models that will project how many species will become extinct because of extreme weather

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    6. "What I would like to see is federal grants going to Universities to fund field work..."

      Hmmm... I wonder which side of this "heavily politicized" issue would support your suggestion. That's a stumper.

      It doesn't seem to me that the science is the problem, it's the interpretation of the measurements and field work that has already taken place. Granted, Bernie, there's plenty of sky-is-falling speculation going on. But the facts are concerning enough, whatever one's interpretation. How many once-in-500 years weather events need to take place around the world before we should wonder if they have to do with climate change and not random variation?

      I agree with you to some extent about the shifting goalposts. I certainly remember Al Gore's prediction about hurricanes that you mentioned, and have noticed that it hasn't panned out. But the permafrost *is* melting, sea level rise and acidification *are* happening, etc., etc. I'm not going to argue with you point by point, but amending and changing hypotheses are a large *part* of science, as you well know.

      Believe me, I don't know what to do about it and am not sure how much I trust politicians to do what's best. But encouraging renewable energy sources and taxing ones that pollute a lot, regardless of climate change? That's a no-brainer, to me. Taking the issue seriously and at least discussing what to do about it, rather than denying the science that *is* solid and not politically malleable? Also a no-brainer.

      But "such policies will increase the economic inequality between the rich and poor." Well, then that needs to be addressed in some way, politically, but of the number of factors that have created the new gilded age that we are now living in, the pursuit and implementation of renewable energy options are *way, way* down the list. Jobs in the renewables sector do more to help with regard to income inequality than fantasy pandering about "bringing back coal" ever will.

      "we should have more accurate theories before making major changes to our economy" That would be good, surely. Unfortunately, when the party that controls all 3 branches of the federal government actively denies that there is any problem that even needs to be theorized about, one wonders how bad things will get before changes to our economy might be considered to be an option.

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  4. "do nothing" is the GOP's appellation.

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  5. I'll bet that many people look at these record-breaking disasters as the new reality TV, not really to be taken seriously, as evidenced by our president's visit yesterday: "What a crowd, what a turnout." Like him, they don't recognize the victims, yet a dog carrying kibble video goes viral. That's entertainment!

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  6. BERNIE. : but we should have more accurate theories before making major changes to our economy. i agree

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