Conservatives are told over and over again that weather doesn’t equal climate.
Whenever there are record cold temperatures and someone cracks wise about global warming on Twitter, they’re excoriated by pretty much everyone with that liberal blue wave emoji next to their Twitter name.
After all, as the blue wave brigade says, one weather event doesn’t disprove the idea that the climate — the overall sum of all weather events throughout the globe, as well as how it changes — is warming.
This is actually a fair argument; there are other ways to talk about “climate change” that don’t involve singular weather events, which don’t prove much.
However, if singular weather events don’t disprove climate change, they don’t prove it either.
Someone should tell this to the author of the Green New Deal.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used Hurricane Dorian as proof that not only is climate change making hurricanes stronger, but also that climate change hits “vulnerable communities first.”
This is what climate change looks like: it hits vulnerable communities first.
I can already hear climate deniers screeching: “It’s always been like this! You’re dim,” etc.
No. This is about science & leadership. We either decarbonize&cut emissions, or we don’t & let people die. https://t.co/paUHKAp03e
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 3, 2019
“This is what climate change looks like: it hits vulnerable communities first,” she wrote.
“I can already hear climate deniers screeching: ‘It’s always been like this! You’re dim,’ etc.
“No. This is about science & leadership. We either decarbonize&cut emissions, or we don’t & let people die,” she concluded.
Ah yes. The old “people-will-die” canard. That can be used in any argument — and unfortunately is with great frequency these days, at least when it comes to the left.
I’ve always found it interesting that the left likes talking about strengthening or more frequent hurricanes as evidence of climate change. That’s because it’s not just those wacky climate deniers who say there’s not enough evidence for it.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also says the same thing.
A NOAA report on the matter, last revised in August, says that current data on the matter is “not reliable for trend calculations, until they have been further assessed for data homogeneity problems, such as those due to changing observing practices.”
“In the Atlantic, it is premature to conclude that human activities — and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming — have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity,” the report states.
While the NOAA says that Atlantic storms “show a pronounced upward trend” over the period from 1876 to present, it notes that much of the modeling from before the days of satellites and radar relied on reports from shipping traffic.
“However, the density of reporting ship traffic over the Atlantic was relatively sparse during the early decades of this record, such that if storms from the modern era (post 1965) had hypothetically occurred during those earlier decades, a substantial number of storms would likely not have been directly observed by the ship-based ‘observing network of opportunity,'” the NOAA’s report reads.
“We find that, after adjusting for such an estimated number of missing storms, there remains just a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. Statistical tests indicate that this trend is not significantly distinguishable from zero.
“In addition, Landsea et al. (2010) note that the rising trend in Atlantic tropical storm counts is almost entirely due to increases in short-duration (<2 day) storms alone. Such short-lived storms were particularly likely to have been overlooked in the earlier parts of the record, as they would have had less opportunity for chance encounters with ship traffic,” they note.
As for the fact that Dorian struck the “vulnerable” Bahamas, that’s indeed a tragedy. But had it struck the wealthier parts of Florida — like Palm Beach, which was within the “cone of uncertainty” — would that have made it better?
If you’re a former prime minister of Canada, maybe. Most people would say no, even though the Bahamas may have fewer resources to deal with the tragedy than Florida would have.
But that’s not what AOC would say. Climate change causes more powerful hurricanes and apparently goes directly for vulnerable communities. (Remember, she didn’t say it hit those communities hardest, merely that it hit them first. Apparently hurricanes and climate change both have agency.) There’s little evidence for the first proposition. As for the second, it’s prima facie absurd.
Remember, this is the congresswoman who wants to remake the U.S. economy — indeed, its whole society — in the name of fighting climate change.
The Green New Deal may not be a major threat to us anymore, given it’s stalled in Congress and is unlikely to get through no matter what happens in 2020.
That being said, what is a threat is that someone so ignorant is one of the most influential Democrats in the entire House caucus.
She’s not the only person you’re going to see making the connection between climate change and hurricanes, mind you, especially since Hurricane Dorian is trending on social media and it’s a good way to get some retweets.
If this is what “science & leadership” looks like on the other side of the aisle, God help us.
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