Monday, 29 October 2012

Frankenstorm: Has Climate Change Created A Monster?

National Public Radio (US)

It was not a good year for people, weather and climate. The winter was strangely warm in many places and the summer ridiculously hot. As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or even extraordinary drought many folksnaturally wondered, "Is this climate change?"  Full story here.
Sandy wrecks havoc in southern Ontario. (CBC photo)
PLT: Below is a comment I prepared for a blog published by Andrew Revkin of, wait for this, the prestigious New York Times. While he may fall short of an outright "denier," he is what I am calling "a sower of seeds of doubt." In one of his latest posts,  Revkin opines that any suggestion that climate change is behind Hurricane Sandy is, in effect, too simplistic! 
"Andrew...
You must be aware by now that, in several cases, many leading climatologists are already dropping the old proviso that "You can't tie any given extreme weather event to climate change." This, I believe, is the case with the severe drought and wildfires in the US midwest just this past summer and the droughts in Texas, Russia and Australia before that. They are now saying, flat out, that climate change played a role in these terrible events. 

So, on whose or what authority do you now base your conclusion that this is "too simple a conclusion?" While the jury may be still out on Sandy, the fact remains it is massive and unique in that 3 storm systems may yet merge into something unprecedented and terrible. 

If my own senses were telling me that the world was not unfolding in accordance with what the science of climate change has been telling us for decades, I might be a skeptic too. But IT IS! It IS unfolding as the science has been warning for so long. There is simply too much evidence of an increasingly hostile, storm-ravaged world to arrive at any other conclusion. I believe it's called common sense. Planting even more seeds of doubt is not helpful.

As a journalist myself, I have reached this sad conclusion over the years: climate denial is not consistent with good journalism. Thanks."

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