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ThinkCreeps
Seriously, it's time.
05:30 AM on 08/30/2011
I suspect it's justan issue of phrasing, but hurricanes can easily make it up the east coast, and have been doing so for a very long time. It's getting easier, but it's a process that is assisted rather than enabled by warmer oceans.

The sea-surface temperature condition of 27C is necessary for a tropical storm to form and intensify; once established, it can survive very nicely and remain dangerous over water that is cooler.
04:11 AM on 08/30/2011
It is difficult to understand why many Americans still deny that any warming is taking place, it beggars belief IMO. There are so many indicators that only a person living devoid of any technology would be unaware of all the changes around the world.

Species migration is just one pointer that change is taking place. The average change is some 20cm per hour towards the poles, with some species migrating faster than others. Some species can not adapt, or are prevented from migrating because human activities.

In the UK we are considering what species of tree would be appropriate in the future. In fact my local council has been right wing for decades, but now accepts that change must come about by encouraging walking and cycling. The councils new building has a 'green' roof and solar water heating and they celebrated a cut of 10% in CO2 emissions (in one year) earlier this year by planting a Eucalyptus tree. A non native species suitable for a warming climate. Most of these changes are funded by increased efficiency in providing a diverse range of public serves in the new building. In fact the council has frozen council tax levels for about 3 years.

Change can come about, no matter what your political view. You just need to work out how to do it in the context of your political views.
08:01 AM on 08/30/2011
The obtuseness of the American public on this issue can be traced directly to a powerful PR campaign funded by oil and coal interests. It's a travesty.
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lbsaltzman
Permaculture and Sustainability
09:08 AM on 08/30/2011
Actually many people are aware of climate change without technology. Ask the Inuit who live near the Arctic Circle what is happening to the ice and they will tell you. Ask farmers in many parts of the world and they will tell you all about climate change.
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ILoveFiction
That's unbelievable!
04:09 AM on 08/30/2011
And today's other news:

Minolta still confused!
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chuckd
04:03 AM on 08/30/2011
Michelle Bachmann is already doubling down, claiming the hurricane is a message to Washington from God-- apparently to start enacting all the policies that her and her right wing comrades support.

At some point one would think that these people will have to notice that each new climate-related disaster always seems to be "the worst since..." The drought in Texas, this hurricane, flooding along the Mississippi River, the wildfires in southern California-- each one worse than the last and each setting a new standard in how bad things can get. Unfortunately, I think that Bachmann's comments suggest that things can never get bad enough for some people. This will always be a sign from God, in their eyes, his way of telling us that we are sinful and being punished for all the things that they just so happen to disagree with. If God is really all-powerful, would he need a natural disaster to show us the error of our ways? He could talk to all of us in a big booming voice that all could hear and leave no doubt. Mostly I hear silence.
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ILoveFiction
That's unbelievable!
04:01 AM on 08/30/2011
Inhofe jobs plan:

Clean up after storms.
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
03:13 AM on 08/30/2011
Actually the graph of the increasing cost of natural disasters looks much worse for globally than it does for North America.

The current political discussion in the US is so far removed from reality on so many levels that it is bizaar. The only reason I can think of is that it is some kind of collective hysteria overtaking the country, as they see the end of the American empire, and economic dominance of the world.

The Republicans inability to come to grips with simple economic facts is one thing, but the evidence for global warming is so vast, involves so many lines of evidence, and is so conclusive and accurate, that the failure to accept the evidence is a sign of the worst denial imaginable.

Those who ignore and deny the science, are at best ignorant, but most are also vastly dishonest, self centred, and narcissistic enough to believe that preserving their belief in whatever ideological paradigm it is that they follow, is much more important than accepting reality, and taking action on the single most dangerous threat to ever face America or the rest of humanity.
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jimspy
Quod quae operibus sufficit.
03:40 AM on 08/30/2011
Faved, badged, and everything else I can do...
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
08:36 PM on 08/30/2011
Tanks for that...
01:01 PM on 08/30/2011
Since I seem to be ignorant on these matters, perhaps you can explain to me how in 1938 a
CAT 4-5 hurricane made it all the way up the coast an slammed into long island before traveling up the Connecticut River and causing amazing damage and flooding all over New england. I also have read about the non summer of 1887 where it snowed around here in July.
Maybe people should read ALL the facts!
You are aware the Sahara was actually a wetland up until about 6,000 years ago? Did man cause the desert also????
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jimspy
Quod quae operibus sufficit.
07:42 PM on 08/30/2011
Humbleone (and you do seem to ask these things more humbly than most here), the claim is not that these types of storms have never happened before. The claim is that these types of storms will happen with greater frequency, and greater intensity. You had to go all the way back to 1938 for the last big one (I believe that was the famous "Long Island Express"). Climate scientists are predicting that you probably won't have to wait 70 years for the next one. In fact, a glance at Katia tells me it could happen next week. As to the non-summer of 1887, I don't get the connection. Ditto the Sahara. Earth has gone through tremendous changes on its own in the past, and will continue to in the future. What the scientists are telling us is that man's activity, specifically the ADDITION of tremendous amounts of CO2 in a very short time frame, is going to EXACERBATE the normal changes. It's going to speed them up and make them worse than they would be if we weren't here. Capishe?
03:12 AM on 08/30/2011
"But what might do it is if the insurance industry gets sick and tired of footing the bill for the lack of D.C. leadership and mounts a multi-billion dollar lobbying and education effort of their own."

Or what is more likely, lobbying for a colossal industry-wide bail-out at public expense.
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chrisd3
Excelsior!
06:45 AM on 08/30/2011
Did you not see the frequency chart of natural disasters, or did you not understand it?

You know, in the reality-based world, conspiracies exist, but not EVERYTHING is a conspiracy.
12:41 AM on 08/30/2011
Hurricane Irene is a simple current example of how wrong scientists/experts can be in their predictions.
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Minolta321
Photographer
02:07 AM on 08/30/2011
Exactly. We already know the global warming models are wrong in that the planet has been cooling when they predicted warmer. NASA now says the earth is releasing far more heat than the global warming models predicted.

We can't figure out what the weather will do 5 days from now or predict the strength of a single storm which we are tracking with every device we have.....and these guys are pretending what's going to happen a generation from now is settled weather science....as the scientific proof that it's not happening they way they say it will is mounting.

What really hurts their cause is how they have politicized it and turned it into a hard core plank of the far left platform.
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jimspy
Quod quae operibus sufficit.
03:04 AM on 08/30/2011
Please support the statement "NASA now says the earth is releasing far more heat than the global warming models predicted."
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
03:19 AM on 08/30/2011
NASA doesn't say anything of the kind. The Heartland institute misinterprets NASA in that way.

The difference between predicting the weather and predicting climate is easily understood by anyone with the vaguest understanding of science and mathematical probability. One simple example is where a Doctor tells you the malaria you have contracted will cause a fever. The Doctor is right, and your temperature does start oscillating wildly, but there is no way in the world the Doctor can predict your instant by instant temperature chart. In the same way, the science of climate change would predict average numbers of days above a certain temperature, and changes in annual precipitation - without ever claiming to be able to predict the exact weather on any particular day in the future.

The fact is that the science of global warming is settled purely on the basis of the science and the evidence. The only people who turn it into an ideological issue, are those who attempt to deny the facts and the evidence (like yourself), and those who object to some of the necessary changes we must make in order to reduce its impact.
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
03:14 AM on 08/30/2011
Do you mean they were expecting a heatwave?
12:32 AM on 08/30/2011
Common sense says time and money would be better spent on strategies for us to adapt to the inherent changes that occur in the Earth's climate over time rather than attempting to alter that climate.
Climactic change has and will continue to occur whether humans are on the planet or not. I know many have difficulty outside that comfortable zone controlled by a digital thermostat and want the same for the planet.

Or you can insist on a New Orleans strategy of insisting on building under water "cause I want things just like they were!"
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MikeWebster
Always happy.
03:25 AM on 08/30/2011
Of course we need to adapt to the vast changes that will occur. Rich nations have some chance of doing that - if we manage to keep the change in the climate within reasonable bounds. For the poorer nations, with vast populations in marginal environmental areas, adaptation is going to involve a huge amount of death I'm afraid - and all because of pollution that they didn't cause.

The problem is, without taking action on climate change, the problem of adapting to the changes might be as problematic as trying to adapt to a bullet to the head. In other words, there is no guarantee that we can adapt to the changes brought by global warming.
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chuckd
04:16 AM on 08/30/2011
You suggest strategies to allow us to adapt "rather than attempting to alter that climate"... we are already altering the climate-- that is the whole point. I think what we want to do now is to reverse course and limit the damage. Adapting is a necessity that will not be afforded to everyone. What if you live on a Pacific atoll likely to be submerged by rising ocean levels-- how do you adapt in this case? It is folly or ignorance to just accept a vastly changed world-- a world that WE have changed and have the power to change back-- and all that that implies: worldwide drought and famine, population displacement, the spread of disease from the tropics to areas made newly habitable by warming, etc. The list goes on and on and the idea that we should do nothing to lower our carbon output to try to mitigate the affects of this warming is absurd.
12:00 AM on 08/30/2011
I really dislike the tactic of linking any one weather event to AGW, because it is so easy for denialists to pick holes in the connection, and then dismiss the entire idea of AGW by extension. This is of course a logical fallacy on their part.

Your evidence (and much, much more) shows clearly that AGW is real, anthropogenic, and likely to be very disruptive. I think we should focus, as you do, on the clear, undeniable trends, rather than these weather events.
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jimspy
Quod quae operibus sufficit.
03:07 AM on 08/30/2011
I understand where you're coming from, but at some point, an event BECOMES part of a trend. It is largely in retrospect, of course, but I feel pretty confident that Irene is a poster child for AGW. As slow-moving as she was, she should not have maintained strength all the way to Canada; the fact that she did indicates that she picked up energy from a warmer North Atlantic.
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Minolta321
Photographer
10:21 PM on 08/29/2011
People have been dying from "climate change" for as long as there have been people and climate. Because climate always changes and humans often get caught in the squeeze.

Most of the science I've seen coming out for the past few years all points to the fact that this climate "emergency" is way way overblown. Not to mention the west no longer has the trillions of dollars the warmists want to shower on third world nations as a "redistribution of wealth".

NASA just came out with their global heat loss study and indicated the earth is shedding far more heat than the climate change models predict and they said the models for climate change (carbon trapping heat) are way way off track.

In Greenland scientists recently found that the Greenland Ice pack was only half it's current size just 5,000 years ago. They know by carbon dating when it showed up and from the type of wood where it came from. They indicated that means the tipping point is much much further down the road than present global warming alarmists are proclaiming.

When the real numbers come out we see that man caused global warming has been blown way out of proportion if it's real at all.

Now we are being told by warmists that we may in fact already be in a mutli-decade cooling period!

This idea of bashing those who do not go along with the global warming socialist agenda is very offensive.
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lw1
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
11:16 PM on 08/29/2011
and there are scientists who say overall the sun is unusually cool right now and when it warms up we are cooked.
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Minolta321
Photographer
02:03 AM on 08/30/2011
Now that we know the planet has been cooling not heating up I'm hearing some warmists saying they believe we have entered into what may be a mutl decade cooling period that will completely mask global warming for decades.

Very handy. Global warming being true for generations no matter what actually happens.

It's starting to sound like a religion that one believes despite the facts and despite science that says it's not happening.
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Badgersouth
11:22 PM on 08/29/2011
About that so-called "NASA study"...

“The hype surrounding a new paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell (SB11) is impressive (see for instance Fox News); unfortunately, the paper itself is not. News releases and blogs on climate "skeptic" web sites have publicized the claim from the paper’s news release that “Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming”. The paper has been published in a journal called Remote Sensing, which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published.”

Source: “Spencer's Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedback” by Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo, Skeptical Science, Aug 3, 2011

http://www.skepticalscience.com/spencers-misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback.html
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Minolta321
Photographer
02:00 AM on 08/30/2011
So you are saying that NASA has it wrong you are denouncing their science. And denouncing their Peer Review.

Denial of real science is exactly what I would expect from someone who wants to ignore science and support their global warming agenda.

It was also interesting that when NASA was forced to cough up their so called science that supported global warming they refused and acknowledged their data had serious problems and could not be used to support global warming. After years or preaching it and using bogus cooked numbers, they dumped on their own data rather than reveal it. And only at the threat of a law suit for violating the freedom of information act.

Global warming is falling apart at the seams as real science knocks it down study by study.

However, clean air and clean water is the meeting ground. It's what we can all agree with as the ultimate goal.
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Katherine Schock
Over the hill,liberal,organic gardener
09:53 PM on 08/29/2011
Thank you so much for this informative post, Mr. Otto! I hope all the members of Congress and the President are listening! For the past week, I have seen many articles on this subject and this one tops them all for information. You did good!
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Shawn Lawrence Otto
Writer, novelist, filmmaker
10:11 PM on 08/29/2011
Thank you Katherine
09:43 PM on 08/29/2011
The GOP is filled with people who are utterly clueless about ecology. In fact, most Democrats are, as well. The difference being that Democrats don't close their minds to fact that challenges their own thinking. Richard Dawkins offered an excellent response to Perry's rejection of evolution as a mere "theory." It applies, general, to the climate science skeptics, as well. One of the problems is that Republicans don't understand the meaning of the word "theory" in a scientific context. Since they think simplistically, for them "theory" means "maybe." They're hopeless, and utterly uninterested in learning anything new, much less anything that challenges their pointy-headed view of the world.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/attention-governor-perry-evolution-is-a-fact/2011/08/23/gIQAuIFUYJ_blog.html
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JEP57
To the right of Genghis Khan
09:38 PM on 08/29/2011
There will come a time when a majority of Americans will realize that "human caused" climate change/global warming theorists and advocates for action aren't really environmentalists, rather they are anti-capitalists at heart. If a scientist suddenly invented a machine that could scrub excess CO2 from the atmosphere, these same people would get irritated because there would no longer be a "crisis" and a convenient excuse for more government control over business and industry and another source for revenue.
10:16 PM on 08/29/2011
Actually, it is very "good business," to ensure that we and future generations have the resources we will need, and a clean, healthy environment in which to live.

If you kill off your customers, who will buy your products?

If the world is thrown into permanent chaos and struggle over the remains of our formerly plentiful resources, such as water--who will be able to stay in business? (Other than arms dealers and those few who will control the water/food supplies.)

It might surprise you to know that many of us who see and try to understand implications of the changing climate are from all walks of life--including the business world. Some of us think a peaceful, stable world that protects it's resources is a good world in which to do business.
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Shawn Lawrence Otto
Writer, novelist, filmmaker
10:16 PM on 08/29/2011
Personally, I like money. I have started, built and sold businesses. And if you like money you should take another look at that Munich RE chart: that is money leaving your wallet, Jep. I don't know what brand of capitalism you're talking about, but in my world that's not called a theory; that's called capital losses, that's called your premiums going up 400%, and it is to be avoided.
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zogimperator
is this microbiology?
09:08 PM on 08/29/2011
There is no convincing the refusalists. They're not even denialists at this point -- the evidence is in, it's damning, and the discussion is over. But these folks have joined hands and will sing 'Nearer, My God, To Thee" until they are at the bottom of the ocean.

Or maybe they plan to float to Galt Island on their collection of straw men?