You’d think that outside of a “Drill, baby, Drill!” reference Sarah Palin and anthropogenic global warming would be otherwise unrelated topics. But one thing they do have in common is the ability to be interjected into tragedies even as experts admit neither was involved in any way.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Though you can’t make a direct link between
Australia’s killer floods and climate change, they do hold a warning
for the future: Scientists predict such extreme weather events will
increase both in intensity and frequency as the planet warms.
floodwaters have swamped thousands of homes and businesses in
Queensland, leaving at least 25 people dead and dozens more missing
since late November. Rail lines and highways have been washed away in
what is shaping up to become Australia’s costliest natural disaster.
flooding follows a spate of severe natural disasters in the past year.
While the most deadly was Haiti’s earthquake, extreme weather also
killed thousands of people across the globe, including a scorching heat
wave that choked Russia in the summer and devastating floods that
engulfed more than 60,000 square miles (150,000 square kilometers) in
“The Earth is delivering a message to us. And the
message is that more extreme weather is becoming the norm rather than
the exception,” said John Magrath, a climate change researcher at
British charity Oxfam.
He said there is a misconception that
global warming only means higher temperatures. “It actually means more
energy in the climatic system, which stimulates extremes and more
chaotic behavior,” Magrath said.
La Nina? What is it? It’s a cyclical oceanic event that’s been recorded for millennia, but that’s not important right now.
The Earth delivering a message bit is a nice touch. I like the idea of non-senient object speaking to us. That’s the operating theory on Tuscon as well. A map from Palin and the Tea Party – unseen by the killer – delivered a message. And the message is that vigorous, angry political rhetoric is for the first time in American history rearing its ugly head thanks to Sarah Palin.
Therefore, even if these specific tragedies – or other events individually or collectively up to now – have nothing to do with the AGW/Palin biumverate we should heed their warnings and immediately endeavor to implement the experts’ prescriptions.
Australia’s floods, which started in late November, have been linked
to the La Nina weather phenomenon, which refers to cooler than normal
surface sea temperatures in parts of the Pacific, causing disruptions
in weather patterns. La Nina occurs naturally, and the link to climate
change remains unclear, said Omar Baddour of the World Meteorological
“But as we know, extreme events whether their cause
is due to La Nina or El Nino or other factors, will be more intense in
the era of climate change,” he added.
Reinsurer Munich Re counted
nearly 1,000 natural disasters in 2010 — nine-tenths of them
weather-related — the second highest number since 1980. The resulting
economic losses totaled $130 billion, the German company said earlier
“The high number of weather-related natural
catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different
regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate
change,” Munich Re said.
Scientists caution against drawing
conclusions about climate change from a single storm, flood, cold snap
or heat wave. Natural variability is and will always be a factor when
it comes to extreme weather.
Still, single events can be useful
in highlighting shortcomings in our preparedness for a warmer world
more prone to extremes, said Markku Rummukainen, a climate scientist at
Lund University in Sweden.
“For example, that Hurricane Katrina
hit New Orleans does not have to have anything to do with climate
change, but it revealed vulnerabilities that hadn’t been considered,”
said Rummukainen, who is also involved in drafting the next report by
the U.N.’s expert panel on climate change. “It remains to be seen what
conclusions can be drawn in Australia.”
This kills me. Katrina did not reveal vulnerabilities that hadn’t been considered. It revealed the ineptitude of the Army Corp of Engineers, State of Louisiana, and City of New Orleans. New Orleans gets hit by a hurricane every 14 years. Much like the our impending fiscal implosion, the question isn’t “if” but “when and how bad?” Drought and floods are the norm in Australia. Oddly enough, in a discernible pattern that follows the El Nino/La Nina.
Instead of Lt. Drebin standing in front of the exploding fireworks factory admonishing the people there’s nothing to see here, he telling the crowd how to cut down on carbon emissions by properly inflating their tires. Or tackling the Queen of England when he sees Sarah Palin preparing to hand her the antique Revolutionary War musket.
The thread that binds them is the neuroses of the experts and pundits. Their first instinct when confronted with a horrible, tragic yet unavoidable and completely predictable* loss of life is to use it to fight the thing that frightens them the most. Looking back from a future Waterworld/Palin inauguration speech and thinking, “I didn’t do enough to convincingly demonstrate the link between an essential trace gas and skyrocketing temperatures/politically ruin this embarrassing redneck.”
It’s nothing personal, just a template. A template that will get you 6 credit hours of math credit towards a liberal arts degree at any upstanding, top-tier private university.
(AP) — Though you can’t make a direct link between Tragic Event and Feared Outcome, they do hold a warning
for the future: Politically advantageous talking point.
Being an utterly predictable response doesn’t make it any less sickening to the large majority of Americans that don’t see politics in things over which we have no control.
* Before anyone squawks about shooting sprees not being “unavoidable and utterly predictable” through stricter laws or outright bans, take a look 50 miles south of Tucson at a country with incredibly strict gun laws where political murder is almost an every day occurrence. Different circumstances, sure, but if a person is driven to kill they will find a way.
It is a cost of our freedom. More laws won’t stop a determined killer, bans are unconstitutional. I don’t like the fact there are no easy answers, but the irrationally angry and/or otherwise deranged running amok is unavoidable and utterly predictable – guns or no guns.