September 12, 2017

"Why Hurricane Irma wasn’t far worse, and how close it came to catastrophe."

That headline at The Washington Post makes me think about all the headlines, as the hurricane was approaching, about how the hurricane is worse because of climate change. If it wasn't worse, was that because the earlier talk about the effect of climate change was exaggerated?

The only mention of climate change in the article is in the blurb about the author: "Jason [Samenow] is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government."

The article is about luck and happenstance — "shifts and wobbles." And I can't help feeling suspicious that if the hurricane had bounced into more damaging locations, it would be framed in terms of climate change.

129 comments:

etbass said...

What skepticism, Althouse!

Ann Althouse said...

My skepticism is about journalism. I don't purport to understand climate science.

rhhardin said...

Wobbles in women's entertainment choices determine everything.

rhhardin said...

Hurricanes follow the routes of slave ships, picking up strength from the carbon footprints of slaves tossed overboard.

Paco Wové said...

Irma did a remarkable job threading the needle, avoiding the most built-up areas in Florida and thus depriving the media of catastrophic imagery.

That said, we haven't heard much from the Keys yet. It looks like the lower Keys (excluding Key West) took the brunt of it. It could still be pretty bad.

Jason said...

I told you!

Florida owes a debt of gratitude to that Guy who ran into the flames at Burning Man.

He took care of business.

rhhardin said...

Climate science is united by a conclusion.

Physics is united by an equation.

Pre-climate science, there was just geophysical research. You'd find physics and graphs but no conclusions.

Freder Frederson said...

If if [sic] wasn't worse, was that because the earlier talk about the effect of climate change was exaggerated?

The simple answer is no. Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. That it took a path that resulted in less damage than could have potentially occurred, does not change the power of the storm in the least.

What a ridiculous statement, even without the proofreading error.

David Begley said...

It is all about the narrative. Climate change is real. Man caused it. If we don't stop using fossil fuels immediately, we burn up. Or your kids burn up. Anyone who disagrees with this is denying scientific facts carved in stone by Newton. Deniers are deplorable idiots.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I got the sense, from Sunday forward, that the newsies were really disappointed that things weren't worse so they couldn't lambaste Trump once again. The coverage -even in the WSJ - lacked specificity and "drama". You could almost hear the reporters crying in their beer that there were no tales of woe to distribute. I mean who gives a shit about the Cubans, or even the Florida Keys, we want a devastated Miami, man!

mockturtle said...

Unfortunately, when science has its own agenda, it ceases to be science.

Laslo Spatula said...

Climate Change will result in Giant Spiders, proving the Giant Spider Movies correct.

I am Laslo.

mockturtle said...

Laslo, I think I could handle just about anything but giant spiders. Yikes!

MadisonMan said...

For a forecaster who is committed to saving lives, it's important to stress what could happen if everything bad comes together. And then hope for the best.

A good forecast for a hurricane should have a lot of qualifiers in it -- because many things that can't be simulated well can affect the strength of a storm, and its exact path.

And what was said upthread: It may be premature to say 'it wasn't that bad' before all the scenes of destruction have been surveyed.

Darrell said...

I hope Ida reforms in the Washington Post main office. And Freder is visiting that day.

Unknown said...

My skepticism is about journalism. I don't purport to understand climate science.

And language and circular logic, you know any change in climate patterns is due to climate change.

BDNYC said...

Was the lack of strong hurricanes in the previous ten years also evidence of climate change?

rhhardin said...

1935 labor day hurricane was the strongest hurricane, according to wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1935_Labor_Day_hurricane

Unknown said...

"Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic" - well, if you don't count the ones that were as strong or stronger (Allen, 1935 labor day, Gilbert, William), that's correct. Now we don't have as precise measurement of those because instruments get better, but talk of it being the strongest ever seen is really more about that the strongest since our recent implementation of new instruments....

rhhardin said...

The Japanese prefer monsters for destruction, standing in for the atomic bomb, which they're sensitive about.

rhhardin said...

It's funny until a city is destroyed.

Then it's still funny, just not around that city.

rhhardin said...

We ought to have good measurements of lowest central pressure. Even better back then because they could use real mercury.

rhhardin said...

Florida was spared landslide deaths at least.

Gahrie said...

My skepticism is about journalism. I don't purport to understand climate science.

Climate "science" is a fraud. Climate history tells you all you need to know.

Stephen said...

Given that it had among the highest sustained winds of any Atlantic hurricane, and following the extreme rains at Houston, it makes sense to talk about it in terms of climate change no matter what the ultimate US landfall looked like.

Nonapod said...

Sure, in any given event there's always a lot of ways things could've been worse. Or at least the worst possible outcome doesn't usually happen.

That said, I don't think it's a bad thing to overhype a hurricane. It's better to be overly cautious and prepare for the worst when it comes to shorter term potential natural disasters.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Why it wasn't far worse? Because they have been lying to us about climate change.

Sebastian said...

"The article is about luck and happenstance." Stuff that fails to confirm expectations: luck. Stuff that feeds confirmation bias: bound to happen.

Of course, MSM confirmation bias is no mere psychological inclination, but organized, deliberate, and ideological. This piece confirms it.

mockturtle said...

but talk of it being the strongest ever seen is really more about that the strongest since our recent implementation of new instruments....

Maybe they meant 'the strongest seen on Doppler radar'.

Quaestor said...

And I can't help feeling suspicious that if the hurricane had bounced into more damaging locations, it would be framed in terms of climate change.

That's because you are wise.

Unknown said...

I have no doubt you are correct.

-sw

Jason said...

Weird how libtards think there's never any sampling error in wind speed measurements at sea.

Quaestor said...

I don't think it's a bad thing to overhype a hurricane. It's better to be overly cautious and prepare for the worst when it comes to shorter term potential natural disasters.

Except that overhyping anything is counterproductive. We Americans are much too prone to hysteria as it is — the whole 'climate change" megillah is 50% hysteria — overhyping storms will only encourage people to disregard evacuation warnings in the future.

Rusty said...

""Why Hurricane Irma wasn’t far worse, and how close it came to catastrophe.""
Another win for Trump.

Jack Wayne said...

You may not understand warmunism but you will be made to care. Found on Drudge.

Freder Frederson said...

Except that overhyping anything is counterproductive.

How exactly was the threat of Irma "overhyped". Exact tracks, especially 3+ days out are difficult to predict. Irma went a little further west than originally predicted, but that was luck. The threat was not overhyped.

Quaestor said...

Weird how libtards think there's never any sampling error in wind speed measurements at sea.

Not weird, obvious. Admitting to sampling error undermines certainty. Uncertainty undermines elitism.

Jupiter said...

"if wasn't worse, was that because the earlier talk about the effect of climate change was exaggerated?"

No, it's because the earlier talk about the effect of climate change was an outright lie.

You may recall that the polar ice cap was supposed to be gone by now. Interesting to think, there are kids in high school who cannot recall a time when life on Earth was not going to end in about fifteen minutes.

tim in vermont said...

Look at how the models had people running from safe areas to dangerous areas, wasting resources, etc. Then ask yourself if you want to spend trillions and make plans our children will have to live with based on them when they have not yet shown any skill.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

"Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic."

Field Marshal Freder has become Meteorologist Freder.

Shut up ! he explained.

Humperdink said...

The most accurate prediction pre-landfall, was a meteorologist pointing to the low pressure system in western Georgia and the high pressure system off the Carolina coast. He said the direction of Irma was dependent of the movement of these two systems. And he didn't know where they were going.

Michael K said...

There actually is a nice story that has been ignored pretty much. Puerto Rico was not badly harmed and a sort of "cajun navy" from PR went over to St Thomas in the BVIs and brought supplies and generators to help out. I understand St Thomas was destroyed, which is a shame as it was/is a pretty town,

Quaestor said...

Exact tracks, especially 3+ days out are difficult to predict. Irma went a little further west than originally predicted, but that was luck.

It's all luck. Predictions are always a matter of odds. Irma and most storms that dominate news cycles are overhyped because confidence intervals are never revealed in the coverage. When they show a storm cone they typically show only the < 50% track. The problem is too many viewers are confused by statistics, as is Freder apparently.

Think I'll change my handle to Rotwang.

Hagar said...

Climate history tells you all you need to know.

Hmm, no, but it is where to start. The computer models hyped by the "Climate Change" warriors ignore all that we do know and have other explanations for.

MikeR said...

Meh. I think Scott Adams had the right take. There wasn't really that much about climate change from real climate scientists - as opposed to various fools in the media - because real climate scientists don't have too much to say about hurricanes yet. That's the current mainstream take on this: IPCC SREX. There may be some impact on hurricanes in the future; there hasn't been enough yet to detect.
On both sides, don't be anti-science.

sparrow said...

I wonder how much of what we think we know has been influenced by spin and hype. In this case the over reach is clearly evident, but I'd bet there are plenty of more subtle more cleverly deployed media distortions that go unexamined. Although the media has become strikingly less subtle and less effective since Trump.

Bruce Hayden said...

"He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government."

Talking about assuming the conclusion. What does a "climate change science analyst" do for a living? Fudge NOAA interpolations of temperature data? The scary thing is that we, the taxpayers, are/were paying govt workers to "prove" scientifically that we needed to have the govt spend trillions of dollars and to cede to govt control over much of the rest of the economy. Always seemed like a conflict of interest to me.

All because of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change - which is, of course, Global Cooling w/o the cooling, then Global Warmng without any real warming (except what can be explained by solar activity and exiting the Little Ice Age). So, yes, the "experts" predicted more and stronger huricanes. Didn't happen. No matter, fewer major hurricanes also proves climate change. Slick, isn't it? Whatever the weather and climate do proves the Climate Change hypothesis - which is why it isn't science, but rather religion cloaked as science. Science requires falsifiable hypotheses- which we don't have here, since anything, really, up or down, "proves" that we have Climate Change.

Mike said...

The MSM-Democrat complex is infuriatingly obtuse in their coverage of climate issues. Every sentient American who spent 5 minutes thinking about Global Warming and Irma came to the same inescapable conclusion long before the storm hit land: We haven't had a Cat4 hurricane since Katrina, so obviously global warming has not caused more storms nor increased their power.

This made the pre-storm coverage extremely irritating (and generally caused everyone I know to avoid the east coast-centric news in entirety as much as possible) because every amateur ethno-meteorologist-cum-opinionater was tying the the two recent hurricanes and their ferocity directly to AGW, and the Paris Climate Accords. As if agreeing with a bunch of Euroweenies would have calmed the storm.

But the truth is now staring us in the face. If global warming is real then it is having the exact opposite effect on storms that Algore and the other envirofascists have been telling us for 20 years. Not only were they wrong, they were spectacularly 180-degrees out of phase with reality. This a lesson and a metaphor for progressivism in general, always 180-degrees out of phase with reality.

Nonapod said...

overhyping storms will only encourage people to disregard evacuation warnings in the future.

That may be true, but only if people really feel they were deliberately lied to (for ratings or whatever) and as a result took far too many expensive precautions that were ultimately unnecessary. I'm not certain if that is the case with Irma yet.

MountainMan said...

"Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic."

No, it wasn't. If measured by highest sustained wind speed, then hurricane Allen in 1980 with sustained wind speed of 190 mph is the strongest Atlantic hurricane. At 185 mph, Irma ties for second with the 1935 Labor Day storm, Gilbert (1988), and Wilma (2005).

If measured by barometric pressure, Irma does not even make the top 10. Wilma, on that measure, is the strongest at 882 hPa.

I believe Gilbert also had the greatest diameter, at over 500 miles, but I don't think reached that until it entered the Gulf of Mexico. At one point Gilbert covered almost the entire Gulf IIRC. It ended up hitting Mexico instead of the US.

Looking at all the data since we began collecting it on hurricanes around 1850 there is nothing unusual about the intensity or frequency of these hurricanes. Plus, practically nothing is known about Atlantic hurricanes before that time except anecdotal evidence. To try do draw any conclusions about climate change and hurricane frequency or intensity without examining all the data for the past 11,700 years of the holocene inter-glacial epoch is just pointless. However, the last 150 years show no trends at all.

Quaestor said...

Freder has the mentality of an EPA eco-warrior of the type who chase cancer clusters all over the map in search of carcinogens in the drinking water, the kind who can't fathom that clustering is the hallmark of randomness.

Ann Althouse said...

"What a ridiculous statement, even without the proofreading error."

How do you know I proofread? Assumptions assumptions...

sparrow said...

I expect the least detectable biases are the burying or minimizing of negative stories of those the media wants to elevate or the converse: hiding positive stories that might engender sympathy for designated targets. Before internet access it was more challengin. My Dad used to read English newspapers to get a more balanced view of US politics.

MadisonMan said...

No, it wasn't.

You're wrong. Irma was the strongest in the Atlantic. Those other storms were in the Caribbean, or in the Gulf of Mexico. You might be Pedantic and say "Well, the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are part of the Atlantic" but that's not how things are defined for tropical weather.

Quaestor said...

No, it wasn't. If measured by highest sustained wind speed, then hurricane Allen in 1980 with sustained wind speed of 190 mph is the strongest Atlantic hurricane.

Thank you, MountainMan. Unfortunately, Freder does not.

Darrell said...

Euroweenies are eyeing the $180 Billion that will be used for storm damage and lamenting that they aren't going to get their hands on any of it.

Mike said...

The simple answer is no. Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic.

Now let's take a rigorous scientific approach to examining your hypothesis. We have about 150 years of hurricane data for USA, the last 100 or so are more or less up to modern standards of measuring wind speed and rainfall. In the context of 4.5 billion-year-old planet that is about a 0.000006% sample size. So from this extremely small sample size (equal to polling 180 Americans to determine the views of the country) you state with confidence this is the "strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic" and you seriously believe that?

Takes more faith to believe the global warming bullshit than it does to believe in Jesus, and the scientific evidence for each is about equal.

sparrow said...

"Exact tracks, especially 3+ days out are difficult to predict. Irma went a little further west than originally predicted, but that was luck."

I heard (via CBS) of a European model that was outperfoming recently and had predicted the westward track. There's indication that the field is improving.

Mike said...

Given that it had among the highest sustained winds of any Atlantic hurricane, and following the extreme rains at Houston, it makes sense to talk about it in terms of climate change no matter what the ultimate US landfall looked like.

And why are these two discreet data points more important than 12 freaking YEARS without a major storm hitting land? What happened to the "more frequent" part of the equation? You just ignore the inconvenient truth of it all?

cubanbob said...

I'm a Miami resident. We got lucky. Really lucky. But a lot of people down here are amazingly stupid. The upper keys are severely damaged. Had the storm gone in the direction as predicted Miami would have devastated. Fifty miles is all it took to make the difference. As it is Cuba took the storm from a Cat 5 to a Cat 4 and that with the change of where it first made landfall is the difference between what we have and God only knows how terrible. I live on the tip of the north end of Dade County on a barrier island. With this relative "nothing" we still had nearly 4 ft of flooding and the towns entire electrical distribution is out. And just about every tree in the town is down. Amazingly they didn't fall on the roofs as far as I know. One thing stands out; the post Andrew building codes made a huge difference. Homes built to the higher wind and elevation codes rode out the storm quite well. Although I evacuated I have been told my home other than the landscaping being completely trashed is intact.

Anyone who didn't heed the mandatory evacuation order is a moron. I understand the sick and elderly and those people should make plans to have booked space in special facilities for them but the others are frankly too stupid to breath. Fifty miles north and east and a lot of ocean side buildings would have been gone from the storm surge.

With storms even with a lot of distance the bands can be hellish. I own a condo on the barrier island just south of my house and that building had flooding up to the second floor of the garage which is at ground level. And that building is 85 miles from Key Largo.

Anyone down here that can afford to upgrade their home but hasn't deserves to get the beating nature hands out. Those that don't heed the warnings deserves their fate. Winning a lottery doesn't make on a financial genius. Just lucky. It's good to be lucky. Better to be lucky and smart.

sparrow said...

Something noted from this quote:

"He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science ..."


In my field and most scientific fields I'm aware of, a Masters is inadequate to be considered expert. Generally that what you get if you fail your PhD prelims.

Quaestor said...

We have about 150 years of hurricane data for USA, the last 100 or so are more or less up to modern standards of measuring wind speed and rainfall.

It's worse than that. Prior to post-WWII era, we have virtually no data about the origins of storms. During the war, the Allies invented many of the techniques we use today, especially instrument equipped weather planes which overfly the storm while gathering data. Many storms reach their peak while still at sea. Prior to about 65 years ago, we knew very little about hurricanes until they came within range of land-based weather stations.

MadisonMan said...

I heard (via CBS) of a European model that was outperfoming recently and had predicted the westward track

To be clear: The ECMWF ("European Model") track was generally farther west than the track from the GFS (the Global model run by the US). But -- and this is an important but -- it also had a shifting track with successive model runs. That is, 4 or 5 days out, the EC model also had a storm path through eastern FL (a track that would have been disastrous for Miami up to Daytona). Also -- neither model consistently had the interaction with Cuba that occurred.

My recollection is that the actual EC shift to up the west coast of FL occurred with the 1200 UTC model run on September 7th.

Robert Cook said...

"Unfortunately, when science has its own agenda, it ceases to be science."

Unfortunately, when fossil fuel producers have an agenda, science is traduced.

sparrow said...

Thanks for the clarification MadisonMan

Freder Frederson said...

you state with confidence this is the "strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic" and you seriously believe that?

If I said "the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic" you might have a point. But I specifically included "seen" so I wouldn't have to address stupid gotchas like this. (And of course I could point out that the Atlantic Ocean hasn't been around for the entire history of the earth, but that would be equally as stupid as your comment).

I don't know why I bother to be so precise when a bunch of you (you, Michael K, and baywa or whatever his name is are among the worst offenders) are just going to read what you want anyway.

rcocean said...

I'm going to miss all those reporters standing out in the rain, telling us that its raining.

Mike said...

If I said "the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic" you might have a point. But I specifically included "seen" so I wouldn't have to address stupid gotchas like this. (And of course I could point out that the Atlantic Ocean hasn't been around for the entire history of the earth, but that would be equally as stupid as your comment).

Oh I forgot you were omniscient, Freder! Now tell the truth, you don't KNOW what has or has not been observed in the Atlantic and your weasel wording still doesn't pass the smell test. There is no basis for stating this is the strongest storm "seen" and your assertion doesn't make it so. This is basic logic, not a stupid "gotcha" at all. How much of the last 4.5 billion years are you claiming to have witnessed? And how much of the Atlantic can you observe from your perch on high?

MadisonMan said...

In my field and most scientific fields I'm aware of, a Masters is inadequate to be considered expert. Generally that what you get if you fail your PhD prelims.

That's ungenerous. At the UW-Madison, there are plenty of people who pursue "only" a Master's. You can either do a thesis or non-thesis Masters, and then decide to go for the PhD. (Non-thesis Masters typically don't go on, but if they can find a Professor to sponsor them, certainly they can try) Some people -- not many -- will go directly to PhD and skip the Masters. People who fail the Qualifier for the PhD usually already have a Masters degree. That's been my experience -- I think it's how it works in most Atmospheric Science / Meteorology departments in the US, too.

The biggest Hurricane expert at the UW: No PhD.

Jeff H said...

Everything is about climate change--until it isn't, and suddenly it's completley irrelevant and not worthy of our notice.

Larry J said...

Hurricane forecasters use computer models. So do climate scientists. However, there's a world of difference between the two types of models. Those hurricane models are the result of many years of hard work by serious computer and meteorological experts. They’ve studied hurricane movements based on real world data and refined their models based on new data as it becomes available. Despite all of this intellectual rigor, effort, and expense, the hurricane models have trouble pinpointing where any given hurricane will go more than a few days in advance.

The climate models have none of this intellectual rigor. They aren’t validated against real world data. They aren’t even able to start from a known set of climatic conditions in the past and "predict" the world’s current climatic conditions. There is virtually no comparison between the hurricane modeling software and the climate models when it comes to validity, quality, or rigor. And yet, we're to believe the models' forecasts of what the Earth's climate decades from now.

sparrow said...

OK MadisonMan I'll bow to your knowledge on the subject. That's why I mentioned "my field" I'm a biologist and if you only have a Masters you're not at all competitive, but maybe that's just degree inflation.

sparrow said...

FWIW when I got my Master's I found I was less employable than I would have been with just a BS, so a terminal degree was necessary.

jaydub said...

Does this mean that Gaia is not really punishing us for electing Trump? Or, does it mean that Gaia spared the most populous areas BECAUSE we elected Trump? I'm confused. Is there a leftist out there who can interpret Gaia's intentions in terms we troglodytes can understand? Anybody? Jennifer Lawrence? Kirk Cameron? Al Gore? Bueler?

jaydub said...

Is this hurricane relationship to AGW determined by an on/off switch? Was the switch on in 2005 but off for the next 12 years? If it's back on now, will it be off for 12 years again next year? Anyone? Bueler?

dbp said...

What I find weird is how many scientists and reporters confidently say that global warming is causing more hurricanes.

Don't they know that we can check how many Hurricanes have hit the USA since 1850? NOAA

If there is a trend, it is a slightly declining one.

If we are certain that there has been warming since 1850, then the hypothesis, that warming causes more of this kind of storm, must be thrown-out.

I think there are better hypotheses that predict fewer hurricanes associated with more AGW, but I have a theory about theories. Alarmists will always push whichever one either proves AGW and/or predicts harmful outcomes. Assuming it is intentional, it is short-sighted: Every time they predict things which turn out opposite of what they predicted, they weaken respect for the scientific community.

Rabel said...

Sorry that I can't back this up with a link or direct quote but I was watching The Weather Channel Sunday as Irma was seeming to turn East after crossing the Keys and Rick Knabb, the guy with glasses who was their lead anchor for most of their coverage and was Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami from 2012-2017, made a shocking statement about the purpose of NHC's forecasting.

In trying to explain or excuse the inaccuracy of those forecasts he said that we had to consider their primary purpose. It was, he said, not to provide facts to the public but, rather, it was to manipulate the public for their own good. I was amazed that he slipped up and told the truth.

Michael K said...

" Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic."

Maybe Meteorologist Freder can explain to us where hurricanes start. At least in the northern hemisphere. And western hemisphere.

How about it Freder ?

Here's a hint.

Michael K said...

"you, Michael K, and baywa or whatever his name is are among the worst offenders"

Yes, we are shameless disagreers with Field Marshal Freder.

jaydub said...

"Exact tracks, especially 3+ days out are difficult to predict. Irma went a little further west than originally predicted, but that was luck."

Does this mean that the high pressure system to the West had nothing to do with the fact that the storm did not turn earlier? Did it have anything to do with the storm turning at all. Is the fact that a hurricane has never been known to cross a cold front have anything to do with it turning or was it just luck? Anyone? Bueler? Freder?

jaydub said...

It's comical to me how every climate alarmist is adament that the AGW science is settled even though the models cannot predict the warming/cooling based on observed temperatures, but acknowledgess the hurricane models to be unreliable because they can't accurately predict a systems ulitmate track. Neither type model (AGW or hurrican) has all the correct variables or their interactions accounted for. This isn't science, it's magic.

sparrow said...

Imperfection and trail and error is Science: it's the claims of consensus and certainty that are not.

buwaya said...

Freder -

"and baywa or whatever his name is"

Bu-wa-ya - buwaya - is my nom de guerre.
It means "crocodile" in pretty much every Austronesian language, pronounced about the same way, though spellings vary across languages, and over time as well.

Buwaya - Tagalog and most Philippine languages today.
Buaya - Bahasa (Indonesian) and Malay in general.

n.n said...

Irma was such a letdown. Where She was supposed to roar and put the fear of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming into the serfs' hearts, She instead whimpered and betrayed the Profits and prophecy.

n.n said...

WaPo either has a morbid fascination or a sadistic streak. The reason there wasn't a catastrophe is two-fold. One, Mother Nature denies human prophecies of quasi-scientific events, past, present, and future. Two, humans have improved their ability to address a known and recurring risk.

buwaya said...

"Unfortunately, when fossil fuel producers have an agenda, science is traduced."

There is a strange assumption hiding here - that fossil fuel producers have some economic power that their opponents do not. In fact the modern world does not hand the bulk of its cash and influence to producers of anything physical, but to the manipulators of symbols.

You can analyze this however you like - market capitalization, cash reserves/retained earnings, outstanding debt (ability to finance), etc. There is vastly more money in these "soft" enterprises than in even the petroleum business. And as for coal, it is in comparison a bunch of mom&pop businesses.

tim in vermont said...

What's funny is that the number of landfalling hurricanes in the US shows no change in trends, and that's one measures that goes back a way and is hard to adjust to 'increase its accuracy.'

Rusty said...

It's kind of sad really. Despite all the pandering to the climate, it steadfastly refuses to work for the democrats.

buwaya said...

Top ten publicly traded companies by market cap, end of 2Q 2107
In billions of $USD

Apple 749
Alphabet Inc. (Google) 629
Microsoft 529
Amazon.com 466
Berkshire Hathaway 419
Johnson & Johnson 357
Facebook 357
Alibaba Group (China) 356
Tencent (China) 345
ExxonMobil 342

And the largest US coal producer, Peabody Energy, market cap was $2.3 B on June 30 2017

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Does this mean that Gaia is not really punishing us for electing Trump? Or, does it mean that Gaia spared the most populous areas BECAUSE we elected Trump? I'm confused. Is there a leftist out there who can interpret Gaia's intentions in terms we troglodytes can understand? Anybody? Jennifer Lawrence? Kirk Cameron? Al Gore? Bueler?

According to Hillary, Gaia colluded with Trump and the Russians to save Mar-a-Lago.

readering said...

I think analysis coming from the Leeward Islands is rather different. Irma was a terrible storm, but most of South Florida (besides Keys) lucky with its path.

Jill P McMahon said...

Physics doesn't care whay anyone believes. Floridians were pretty lucky this time.

coloradowellington said...

"And I can’t help feeling suspicious ..."

Ann, it's interesting I have the same feelings.

I also suspect that looters breaking into abandoned homes are there to steal stuff.

Freder Frederson said...

Top ten publicly traded companies by market cap, end of 2Q 2107
In billions of $USD


And of those top ten, which reasonably has a dog in the fight on global warming? As far as I can tell, only Exxon Mobil (unless you believe that Apple and Google are so hellbent on creating electric cars that they are willing to invest in global warming alarmism).

Freder Frederson said...

Maybe Meteorologist Freder can explain to us where hurricanes start. At least in the northern hemisphere. And western hemisphere.

I don't know what you are getting at here. That all North Western hurricanes are "Atlantic Hurricanes"?

Wrong.

buwaya said...

"And of those top ten, which reasonably has a dog in the fight on global warming?"

All of them. Global Warming is just a McGuffin to justify phasing out a way of life. They are fundamentally opposed to an industrial economy in the US. They want to virtualize life to the extent they can, as they make money on that.

Freder Frederson said...

All of them. Global Warming is just a McGuffin to justify phasing out a way of life.

Can you provide some information (i.e., facts) on how much the top nine spend on funding climate research.

Or, are you as usual, full of shit?

buwaya said...

Freder,

ALL institutional "climate research" is in the hands of governments or government grant-funded universities and ALL of it is pushing the same line.

That which is not pushing the "global warming" agenda is unfunded or self funded, like "Watts Up With That", with only few exceptions like Dr. Currie.

And most of what these companies are doing is forcing the policy through their supply chains - i.e., spending a lot of money.

http://mashable.com/2014/09/22/apple-ceo-tim-cook-details-companys-views-actions-on-global-warming/#x9Rt5.MEUaqB

buwaya said...

In fact, for all the sussurus about petroleum companies funding anti-global warming PR, I have yet to see any evidence of this. There are no anti-anti-global warming ad buys out there even in internet-land. Would Alphabet (Google) even permit such an ad?

Everything anti-consensus is in the nature of a guerrilla effort, unfunded or funded (marginally) only by individuals. Go ask Anthony Watts where he gets his money.

Michael K said...

Freder is slowly morphing into Ritmo.

"I don't know what you are getting at here. That all North Western hurricanes are "Atlantic Hurricanes"?

Wrong."

Not Mexican west coast hurricanes. All Gulf hurricanes begin in the Atlantic near the equator,

Freder Frederson said...

In fact, for all the sussurus about petroleum companies funding anti-global warming PR, I have yet to see any evidence of this.

Which of course begs the question, if global warming is bullshit and without scientific basis, why aren't the oil companies fighting tooth and nail to debunk fake science that threatens their very existence?

Look how much the tobacco companies spend to dispute the health dangers of cigarettes. Hell, the CEO's of big tobacco were even willing to perjure themselves in front of Congress and claim they didn't believe cigarettes cause cancer.

Michael K said...

Are there any left wingers that are not angry at the rest of us ?

Michael K said...

"why aren't the oil companies fighting tooth and nail to debunk fake science that threatens their very existence? "

They are figuring out how to make money from it and avoid the mistakes of the tobacco companies.

They also know that petroleum is an essential resource while tobacco was not.

Birkel said...

Hurricane models predicting a path three days from now: not so good.
CAGW models predicting precise increases in sea levels 100 years from now: accurate to two places past the decimal point.

Cognitive dissonance should hurt, like a shock collar for logic, so trained seals like Freder Frederson turn away from the pain caused by stupid.

Birkel said...

Mars, Inc.

Quote:
NEW YORK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Candy manufacturer Mars Inc is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions and address other sustainability issues across its supply chain in a bid to help meet goals from the Paris climate agreement.

Mars is one of a number of U.S. firms, including Walmart Stores Inc and Apple Inc, that have committed to curbing climate change even as sentiment on the issue shifts in Washington. U.S. corporations including Home Depot Inc and General Mills are now major users of renewable energy like solar and wind.

-------------------

Let's score this argument:
Buwaya the crocodile: 1
Freder the SJWarrior: 0

Mr. Fabulous said...

(World Famous Lurker says...)

Freder, search engines are your friend. They help prevent you looking like a stooge for the green lobby and the far left. Those other companies in buwaya's (AKA The Crocodile!) top 10 list, probably excluding the Chinese ones, have a heavy investment in the green narrative. They are saving the planet, don't you know?

I did a single search inquiry to look at one company - Google - and found that they've committed themselves to be 100% powered by renewables, and are investing at least $2.5 Billion US in the green energy sector. Go here: https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//green/pdf/google-2016-environmental-report.pdf

So you could have easily found examples to answer your own question: "And of those top ten, which reasonably has a dog in the fight on global warming?" I only looked at one of the Google/Alphabet Inc. results, but even without leaving the search results page I saw other hits referring to Microsoft and Apple's large green investments. So your answer is: Pretty much all of them. You could have answered this yourself if you had bothered to look.

And another thing - As a long time reader but rare commentator on this blog - you obviously don't have the experience and perspective that a long life has given both Michael K and The Crocodile! Their life experience offers value to the readers of this blog's comment section. Yours - not so much. We know, because they've shared some of it with us, their life stories involve personal learning experiences that those who are willing can benefit from. You, Freder, on the other hand, share nothing but leftist talking points, snide comments, your worthless opinions and invective against your betters. Try to up your game a bit, please.

Robert Cook said...

"why aren't the oil companies fighting tooth and nail to debunk fake science that threatens their very existence?"

Because they funded climate change research going back decades and they privately acknowledge climate change is real and is being greatly influenced by human activity.

As with the tobacco companies before they, they deny and dissemble about what they know is true in order to protect their own profit-seeking behavior.

Earnest Prole said...

Climate-change activists apparently have no idea how much damage they do to their cause by attempting to tie their cause to individual weather events. A dozen years ago the New York Times reliably told us that hurricanes and tornadoes would be coming fast and furious now that George Bush had heated up the world, and the frequency of hurricanes and tornadoes promptly dropped to a hundred-year low. Smart people (i.e. Times readers) have ideology to cover for their cognitive dissonance, but not ordinary people, who quite reasonably conclude that climate scientists and journalists have no idea what they're talking about.

Dave in Tucson said...

@Althouse wrote:
> My skepticism is about journalism

Oh, it's very easy to understand. If something can be spun to support AGW, that's climate. If not, it's just weather.

A a parting point, I'll leave you with a link to this Instapundit post from a couple days ago.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya asserts: All of them. Global Warming is just a McGuffin to justify phasing out a way of life. They are fundamentally opposed to an industrial economy in the US. They want to virtualize life to the extent they can, as they make money on that.

I'm doing my best to influence my children and grandchildren to consider reality over virtual reality, though it's not easy to pry them away from their phones. We are becoming an unproductive society in the fields of art, literature, music and even manufacturing. Technology has supplanted our creativity and is rendering us useless. Technology is good but, like television a few generations ago, it makes us less involved with reality and possibly less intelligent.

Michael K said...

I would let up a bit on Freder. I tease him but he seems an honest leftist who just is not cynical enough.

The "green" companies have a pipeline into the Treasury which is bulging as they suck out as fast as the "climate Scientists" do with their grants,

Elon Musk has been a champion but I'm sure Exxon has the straw deep into the money supply, too.

There have been great scams in history. The Tulip Mania was small compared to Phlogiston, which held science back for a century,

It's a little like the scene in "Bull Durham" where Kevin Costner tells the young pitcher, "You've got to get your cliches ready."

The real Greenies are basically the communists dressed for a new party,

What they dont understand is that there is not a "pile of money" waiting for the lefties to take it home.

"The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs" is about Capitalism.

Jim at said...

"Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. "

No. It wasn't.

There have been several stronger - in both millibars and wind speed - than Irma. Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, for one.

See. It's even basic facts like this which prevent ANY serious discussion with the left about climate and its changes. You simply ignore or lie about the freaking FACTS.

jaydub said...

I don't understand all this speculation about Florida being lucky. Maybe they were fortunate that the right atmospheric and oceanagraphic conditions existed to steer the hurricane to the location they did, but luck implies some serendipity in this process when there is none. Every single hurricane with similar characteristics and influenced by the same outside forces at the same times would have performed exactly the same. This is physics, and has nothing to do with a roll of the dice. The problems associated with accurately predicting the path and severity of storms is similar to the problems associated with accurately predicting global temperatures at the end of the century, only hurricane prediction is an order of magnitude less uncertain because we are able to observe and measure storms and then refine the models.

Consider, for storm models we basically know what the relevant variables are and how they generally react, yet every model places different weights on the variables and assumes different interactions among them and at different times, hence produces differing results. With AGW, no one even knows what all the variables are, let alone whether they are independent or interactive let alone how to use them in a model. Plus, there is no real time method of observing model performance, hence refining AGW models based on observed feedback. All of those AGW models are based on theory, presumption and inaccurate or conditioned data and their results appear to be largely random unless the output is forced. In other words, AGW models don't work because they are based on vaporware and bogus data. I'm not a climate scientist, but I do understand how models are developed and managed and I am absolutely certain that if you tell me you just know we are going to go from point A today to point B in 100 years but can't describe the mechanism for making that journey, you're just a bull shitter. We have a plethora of them is climate science and will so long as there are gullible, uncritical thinkers for climate institutes, corporations and governments to fleece. We don't have nearly so many in meteorology because when their predictive mechanisms don't work everyone ends up in waist deep water when they were supposed to be dry, i.e., you don't have to wait 100 years to get some feedback. Yet people who want to hang a meteorologist for a less than satisfactory prediction that was produced by a functional model will still eagerly accept as the Gospel scientifically unsubstantiated, baseless bullshit from a so-called climate scientist because reasons? Is a puzzlement!

Howard said...

This post is trolling for anti-science and anti-elite

Nathan Bissonette said...

Rush Limbaugh, a week before landfall, deplored media-inspired panic and wondered whether the climate change narrative formed part of their motivation. Almost sounds as if you're beginning to think about agreeing with him.

n.n said...

It wasn't worse, because, one, Mother Nature doesn't bow to the prophecies of mortal gods, and, two, because people who recognize their dignity and value do not wait for the appearance of mortal gods, before they help themselves, their family, their neighbors, and even strangers. Also, the chaotic adjustments that have a clear correlation with Mother Nature's fitness function (e.g. risk management).

Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...
This post is trolling for anti-science and anti-elite


Howard his his ear to the ground for trolling.

gg6 said...

Somehow it strikes me that the story here is less about the 'climate change' yadda yadda than it is yet again about the age old desire by the Media for 'bad news' - in their dark little hearts and ambitions, the worse it is for'Us', the better it is for them.
So....we go thru the same old progression "OMG, the is the worst ____ever! We''re all going to die - but we will report it all LIVE!!"
Then, in the not so deadly aftermath, they go to post-prognostication: "Only Luck saved us this time, so next time will catch you even more cynical and unaware, you fools!"

MadisonMan said...

"Irma was the strongest storm ever seen in the Atlantic. "

No. It wasn't.

There have been several stronger - in both millibars and wind speed - than Irma. Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, for one.

See. It's even basic facts like this which prevent ANY serious discussion with the left about climate and its changes. You simply ignore or lie about the freaking FACTS.

You people are driving me crazy. Listen carefully.

Irma was the strongest storm in the Atlantic.

Gilbert, Wilma, Allen -- these storms were stronger than Irma -- and they were not in the Atlantic! They were either in the Caribbean or in the Gulf of Mexico (or both!!) For Tropical Cyclones -- those entities are separate basins.

If you're going to complain about people not getting basic facts right, at least be correct. Otherwise you just sound silly.

P.S. Strongest Hurricane ever: Patricia! I prefer ranking via central pressure FWIW.

wareagle69 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wareagle69 said...

Let's look at Harvey and Irma. Earlier in the week of August 20th forecasters predicted that Harvey would remain a tropical storm with fairly minimal, if any, impact on Texas. As the week went on, the forecast changed considerably. On Thursday Aug. 24th, after crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, it rapidly intensified to a Cat 4 and we know the rest of the story.
Quite a difference between "expert" predictions versus actual events in the span of less than a week.

As late as 2 days before Florida landfall, Irma was going to go up Florida's east coast through Miami. That didn't happen. It continued to move west and went up the west coast of Florida.

What's my point? It is hard to predict how major natural events are going to actually unfold. In the past 3 weeks "experts" missed in their predictions of 2 major hurricanes.

Given these very recent examples, as well as numerous other incorrect forecasts and predictions regarding weather that happen constantly, why in the world would a logical person believe that supposed "climate scientists" can accurately predict what is going to happen 20, 30, 40 years into the future?

When they can start to get what's going to happen next week right 95% of the time, maybe I'll take another look at what they say will happen decades into the future. In the meantime, not so much

MadisonMan said...

And now we have people confusing initial value problems and radiative balance problems.

(sigh)

HT said...

...makes me think about all the headlines, as the hurricane was approaching, about how the hurricane is worse because of climate change.

?

The hurricane devastated islands to the east. What's all this talk about?? The hurricane was terrible. To state the obvious, whenever a hurricane hangs over land (Cuba), it weakens. Then it hit Florida. That's one reason it did not live up to the overhype, in addition (possibly) to a change in track.

This hurricane hit land (just not necessarily American land) as a category 5.

HT said...

When I think of the reasons behind overhype of the storm, I tend now to think in terms of journalism and more in terms of crowds. There are more people covering things, more opportunity for large-scale group think, which is something that often happens IMO at the Capital Weather Gang, who can also do a great job.

HT said...

I tend now to think less in terms of journalism and more in terms of crowds.

TML said...

People don't "love science." They love the appearance of science that will help effect their preferred policy outcomes. Simple as that.

readering said...

Authorities estimate 85% of homes in Florida Keys destroyed. It was a big storm.

Bad Lieutenant said...

They're all big storms when you're in them. It's more a question of how smack in the bullseye the Keys were. Key West is fine.