Archive

ShareThis Page
Climate change or canard? | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

Climate change or canard?

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:00 p.m
Harvey58824jpg079911
Houston police officers patrol among floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Wednesday in Kingwood, Texas. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Those who warn of impending cataclysmic events from man-made climate change dilute their case, and sink their credibility, when they use a devastating disaster like Hurricane Harvey as incontrovertible proof of worsening weather conditions.

That’s not science. It’s political opportunism, which in this case exploits a horrendous natural disaster.

Nevertheless, “it was clear that climate change played a role in worsening the storm,” according to InsideClimate News. Humans “must stop adding to the damage,” tweeted billionaire and NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer.

At least Penn State professor Michael Mann tempered his response: “(W)e can’t say that Hurricane Harvey was caused by climate change. But it was certainly worsened by it.”

Really? It had been 12 years (a record, according to The Washington Times) since a hurricane with the force of Harvey made U.S. landfall. And as professor Roger Pielke Jr. from the University of Colorado Center for Science & Technology Policy Research notes, there were 14 Category 4 or greater hurricanes that made U.S. landfall from 1926 to 1969 — but only four from 1970 to 2017.

Devastating as Harvey is, it was not unprecedented. It tied for 14th among the worst U.S. hurricanes since 1851, says climatologist Judith Curry. “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on,” she adds.

Indeed, such sensationalism is a poor substitute for factual climate science.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.