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Climate change or canard? |

Climate change or canard?

| Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:00 p.m
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.

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