“Climate porn” Reply


By Tom Quiner

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I’m a climate-change agnostic.

Al Gore irritated me with his pronouncement a decade ago that “the debate is over.” Yes, the “inventor of the internet,” this man with an ego that just won’t quit, intoned to scientists around the world that there is no need to do further research. “His” scientists had conclusively proven that man-made global warming was going to wreak havoc on mankind.

The debate was over.

The solution? More liberal policies, giving more government control over our lives, from the type of light bulbs we use down to the type of gas we pump into our cars. Of course, draconian new carbon taxes were necessary, lowering our standard of living even more.

If anyone disagrees, then you are a neanderthal, a flat-earther, a “climate-denier”! In other words, Gore and his global-warming compatriot, Barack Obama, suggest that you are a stupid fool if you disagree with liberal elites on this issue.

And then something happened. Climate data stopped cooperating. Disagreements arose among scientists on whether the earth was really warming. Without skipping a beat, the terms of the debate were redefined. The crisis was no longer called “global warming.” Now it’s called “climate-change,” a much broader term that can encompass about anything. To climate agnostics like me, climate-change has become more theology and less science.

Enter Nate Silver into the debate.

Mr. Silver is a statistician with an impressive track-record of using numbers to predict the future. A Democrat, he predicted both of Barack Obama’s victories with amazing accuracy. Even more, he predicted the results of Congressional races better than anyone else on the scene.

He has used his statistical renown to spawn a new website, FiveThirtyEight, which utilizes an approach called “data journalism,” a far-cry from the “advocacy journalism”  (aka biased journalism) of the mainstream media.

Mr. Silver’s science journalist, Roger Pielke Jr., is less enamored with the claims of the global-warming climate control crowd than the mainstream media, characterizing it as “climate porn:”

“When you read that the cost of disasters is increasing, it’s tempting to think that it must be because more storms are happening. They’re not. All the apocalyptic “climate porn” in your Facebook feed is solely a function of perception.

In reality, the numbers reflect more damage from catastrophes because the world is getting wealthier. We’re seeing ever-larger losses simply because we have more to lose — when an earthquake or flood occurs, more stuff gets damaged.

And no matter what President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron say, recent costly disasters are not part of a trend driven by climate change. The data available so far strongly shows they’re just evidence of human vulnerability in the face of periodic extremes.”

Global warming Climate Change advocates maintain that natural disasters are on the rise because of man-made climate change. Mr. Pielke says scientists increasingly disagree:

“To identify changes in extreme weather, it’s best to look at the statistics of extreme weather. Fortunately, scientists have invested a lot of effort into looking at data on extreme weather events, and recently summarized their findings in a major United Nations climate report, the fifth in a series dating back to 1990.

That report concluded that there’s little evidence of a spike in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes. There have been more heat waves and intense precipitation, but these phenomena are not significant drivers of disaster costs.

In fact, today’s climate models suggest that future changes in extremes that cause the most damage won’t be detectable in the statistics of weather (or damage) for many decades.”

So be careful.

Don’t spend too much surfing the web for climate porn. It’s not good for your common sense.

 

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