And by the looks of things, it would seem the year is bad. Really REALLY bad.
But is it?
We can’t link any individual event to global warming, but it’s a large-scale pattern that may be increasing the frequency or severity of types of events.
Nickgb creates some very compelling points in his post, I highly recommend reading all of it. And when you’re done, stop on back and see my critique.
Ok, back? Good. Let’s dig in:
Make no mistake, the past two months don’t just seem to be particularly twister-laden. This isn’t one of those situations where an increased awareness of what’s happening outside our own home states has made an average number of tornadoes appear more spectacular. In just five months, the United States has experienced more tornadoes than we often get in an entire year.
So, which is it? Is it the last 5 months or the last 2? I suspect that the author means the last 2 and is using the last 5 because that brings us all of 2011’s tornadoes. So let’s check. Using the same data that Boing Boing links to, we see that, in fact, the last 2 months DON’T seem to be particularly twister-laden. Only ONE does:
The other 4 months of 2011? Just about dead on the average. In fact, without April, 2011 is an average year. So, what we have is an above average MONTH. We do not have an above average YEAR.
We have an outlier encompassing a period of 30 days, not one of a year….or more.
Next, and what I think is the real point of nick’s post, is that the consensus among scientists is that climate change is really occurring. In fact, nick even goes so far as to say the debate is over:
But the thing is that there simply is no real debate here.
The thing is, however, that the real debate isn’t about whether climate change is upon us [I think it is] but the magnitude of that change is. And in so far as that magnitude, the debate is NOT over. And not even close to every reputable scientist agrees:
But there’s more:
In turns out that there are a significant number of scientists who feel the “science” is not yet settled.
The last point that nick tries to make is “why would these guys lie?” What would cause reasonable and reputable men and women of science take such a misguided stance?
The only way you can truly ignore climate change is to believe that all of these scientists are either very stupid or in on some grand conspiracy. Both ideas are absurd, and yet people still continue to pretend that there are two sides here.
I think nick is wrong here too. See evidence:
Newsweek, April 28, 1975
There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
In the 1970’s, folks felt that we were in the midst of a period of global cooling. Were these scientists stupid? Involved in some conspiracy?