Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Weather on Steroids

Last week we had a hurricane. You may have read about it.

As I write this we are experiencing a major nor'easter which is bringing rain and high winds to the mid-Atlantic and New England coast, and snow only a few miles inland from us.

Is this all caused by global warming?

If you ask the experts this question they will confuse you with by telling you that it is the wrong question, or by telling you that all weather events are affected to some extent by climate change, or that you are misunderstanding the difference between "direct causation" and "systemic causation".

Hmmm. What the hell does all that mean?

The answer I like best is the analogy to baseball that one expert drew. I like sporting analogies. They make things simple for a simple-minded fellow like me. This expert said...

"We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.”

Seems like the weather hit a grand slam last week and another home run this week.

Are we in for a record-breaking season?

Is this the new normal?

Are storms and floods and hurricanes going to cause even more devastation along our coast in future years?

And, if so, what are the implications for how we rebuild from last week's mess?

And how bad do things need to become before a consensus emerges in this country that we have to get serious about dealing with climate change?


Pat said...

Be safe. With the politicians done for this election season, that at least should lessen the wind velocity somewhat.

Anonymous said...

We need to deal with climate change. In NZL the previous government developed a good solution with an Emissions Trading Scheme however the current pro farming and climate change denial government has recently passed a bill which weakens it to the point where it is a bureaucratic waste of money.

Tillerman said...

Totally agree Louis. The issue was hardly mentioned at all in the recent US presidential election - apart from some sneering from Romney that President Obama had "promised to slow the rise of the oceans." It seems to be one of those political issues that nobody wants to tackle head on.

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