At last! Alertnet brings us the news we’ve all been waiting for!
My, that dried up river channel looks pretty bad, eh?
Not to worry – this is how it looked a couple of weeks later..
Now back in the olden days when the level of our ignorance could be measured in terms of pig excrement, we would have understood from these pictures that China had had a bit of a dry spell – and that the bit of a dry spell had been followed by a bit of heavy rain that ran off the dry surface of the land to cause a bit of flooding.
We might also have believed some lunatic nonsense about flooding being caused by building on flood plains or failures of maintenance and investment. We would have quietly intoned the words ‘el Niño’ or ‘la Niña’ to explain weather that we might have thought a little unusual. ‘Nature is red in tooth and claw’ we used to say, understanding our insignificant place in the scheme of things and quietly dealing with our adversities.
How stupid were we?
Because, of course, now we know that we have an entitlement to government-approved levels of weather: it’s our right! All deviations of weather outside the government-approved norms are the acts of evil men and must be punished with tithes.
If it doesn’t rain for a couple of days, it’s a drought caused by man and it kills all the crops – farmers’ lives are ruined. If it rains for a couple of days, it’s a flood caused by man and it kills all the crops – farmers’ lives are ruined. If the sun shines warmly for a couple of days, it’s a heatwave caused by man and it kills all the crops. Not only are farmers’ lives ruined, they’re also suffering from sunstroke.
“But Time Traveller” I hear you say, “how can it be that all these things we once thought of as natural and part of life’s rich tapestry are suddenly our fault? We’re mystified.”
Well of course you are and that’s because you don’t understand science like the clever greenies do – so thank goodness for Arlertnet’s demystification news!
Stand by for the enlightenment..
Scientists tackled the highly debated, and somewhat perplexing, relationship between climate change and weather disasters at the recent launch of a U.S. magazine series on the subject, concluding that an indisputable connection exists between the two.
Indisputable eh? You’re feeling assured already aren’t you?
“The link between climate change and extreme weather is not so much theoretical as observational,” Fred Guterl, executive editor of monthly magazine Scientific American, told reporters on a conference call late last month. “It’s possible to look at this and really begin to see, in a way that you can measure, that this is not really just business as usual in terms of weather. There really is a climate signal.”
This is what we’ve been waiting for. A little less modelled theory and some proper observational science – measurements even! I can’t wait to find out about that ‘climate signal’.
Gulledge explained to journalists that much of the confusion surrounding global warming and extreme weather events – including floods, droughts and heat waves – stems from the public’s desire for definitive cause-and-effect answers and scientists’ unwillingness to provide them.
At least we now have an explanation for why climate scientists shy away from public discussion; it’s because we foolish members of the non-scientific community are constrained by our desire for proof. But why our requests for proof should cause confusion, I’m less clear about.
“The question, ‘Did climate change cause this event?’ is just a scientifically illogical question. It doesn’t comport with the definition of climate because that is an average over time,” he said.
Err… Hang on a minute!
Didn’t you say that you had a measurable, observational link between extreme weather events and climate?
And now you’re telling us that such a connection is scientifically illogical?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought the whole damned climate ‘debate’ was illogical but you lot keep telling us that floods, hot weather, drought, snow and heavy rain are the result of global warming – and I’ve promised my readers that you were going to provide a scientific explanation of why that was so.
A few paragraphs ago you said there was an indisputable link and then you said there was a climate signal to prove it – so get on and tell us about them.
Because the word “climate” refers to a mean value, one cannot draw a straight line between global warming and a certain hurricane, for instance, he explained.
No, no, we so-called deniers always told you that but you said you knew better: you remember that no-more-snow thing? How we laughed..
The paper puts it like this: if the norm used to be one hurricane per year and then after global warming started, there were two hurricanes per year, scientists cannot determine which was caused by climate change because the two are indistinguishable. The effect of climate change is the increase in the average number of hurricanes.
Blimey! You’ve got a start date for global warming? When was it then?
And on a point of order, these additional hurricanes can’t be indistinguishable; you told us they were signified by a climate signal. Such contradictions aren’t doing a lot for your promised demystification claims…
“The upshot is that one event doesn’t actually have information about climate change and vice versa,” Gulledge said. “So it becomes this question that people focus on that science fundamentally has no answer for.”
I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this. If weather events don’t contain any information about climate change, there isn’t a climate signal, is there? You’re surely not suggesting something as stupid as more hurricanes being the signal that proves climate change, are you?
But that does not mean extreme weather events in the recent past are not, at least partially, the product of global warming.
“What matters is that there is a statistical record of these events occurring with increasing frequency and/or intensity over time, that this trend is consistent with expectations from global warming, and that our understanding of climate physics indicates that this trend should continue into the future as the world continues to warm,” the report says.
Good grief, you are saying something that stupid: our models predicted more hurricanes and so more hurricanes means there’s global warming. A bit circular don’t you think?
More to the point, you’re even lying about the increased frequency of hurricanes. Don’t you have any evidence for your assertions about the indisputable connection between weather and climate?
Rather than trying to predict the details of specific catastrophic events, policymakers should collaborate with scientists to understand these evolving trends in weather patterns, which will undoubtedly play a role in future disasters as global warming continues, the researchers recommend.
I’ll take that as a ‘no’, then..
.. …as well as a demand for more taxpayers’ money to fund this level of dazzling, scientific insight.
“The signal of climate change is emerging from the noise of immense variability of weather,” Scientific American’s Carey said. “If you look at an individual event, it wasn’t caused by climate change, but the intensity, the size, whatever, was caused by climate change.”
Just savour the total imbecility contained in that last sentence…
Any cloud, any drop of rain, any ray of sunshine, any flake of snow is caused by climate change. And despite what we were promised at the outset of the Alertnet article, it’s not because of some identifiable and measurable ‘climate signal’… It’s because weather varies. And because they say so.
Are you feeling demystified?
PS If you go to the Alertnet article, you’ll get a link to the three articles in Scientific American. I couldn’t find any evidence for a climate signal there, either.