By JR on Tuesday, September 13, 2011
In order to win an election, a candidate needs to have carefully thought out, well-rehearsed one-liners to respond to difficult questions. Obama was very good at that in the 2008 elections - "I don't feel responsible for what Bill Ayers did when I was seven." "They call me a socialist because I shared my sandwich in elementary school." Completely irrelevant non-sequiturs, but they did the trick.
Suppose you are a candidate and are asked "which climate scientists don't believe in global warming?"
All scientists believe that the climate changes and that man has some effect on the climate. But how much? Richard Lindzen is MIT's top climatologist, and he doesn't believe that humans are having a catastrophic impact on the climate. Same for Freeman Dyson, the world's most brilliant living physicist. There are tens of thousands of others who do not believe that we are having a catastrophic effect on the climate.
Hurricanes are getting worse, how do explain that?
In the year 1900, the city of Galveston was flattened by a hurricane, and 8,000 people died. Do you think that Hurricane Irene was worse than that?
The US has been hit by only one hurricane during the last 36 months - one of the quietest three year periods in history. It has been six years since a major hurricane hit the US. But in the year 1888, the US was hit by seven hurricanes - including two majors. Why do you think hurricanes are getting worse? Did Al Gore tell you that?
Fires are getting worse, how do you explain that?
In the year 1871, dozens of cities around the Great Lakes burned to the ground along with millions of acres of forest. Thousands of people burned to death in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Chicago burned to the ground. Do you think the fires in Texas this year were worse than that?
Heatwaves and droughts are getting worse, how do you explain that?
In June 1934, every region of the country was over 100 degrees, and 80% of the country was suffering drought. Do you read your Steinbeck in high school? You should know this already.
Floods are getting worse, how do you explain that?
In 1927, Vermont had their worst flood on record. That same year, the Mississippi River had it's worst flood in history. In 1931, three million people died in a flood in China. Do you think this year's floods were worse?
Tornadoes are getting worse, how do explain that?
NOAA data shows that severe tornadoes have declined since April 1974, which was the worst month in history for severe tornadoes. 24 of the 25 deadliest US tornadoes occurred prior to 1956. Tornadoes are certainly not getting worse.
What about other countries?
Australia has been having severe droughts and floods for as long as people have lived there. Pakistan had much worse floods in the 1970s. They blamed it on global cooling at the time.
Is this the worst year in history?
There have been many years with comparable or worse weather in the 1880s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1970s. We have recently been blessed with a long spell of mild weather, and just don't remember.