Separation of myth and reality about extreme weather events today and over the centuries
Fatal floods in Germany and Belgium brought climate change back into the headlines in time for the COP-26 climate drink festival in Glasgow. Unsurprisingly, government officials again blamed the disasters on fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and man-made climate change to divert attention from their official incompetence – like SuperStorm Sandy and recurrent forest fires.
They blame the fossil fuels that drive Europe’s economy; Build, heat and electrify houses; and power boats, ambulances, and other equipment used to rescue people, recover corpses, and restore survivors to health.
These are the same officials who could and should have prepared their communities for floods that hit Germany and Europe every few decades. But didn’t make it. They were warned days in advance of rain and flooding – and told almost exactly where and when the rains and floods would occur. But did nothing.
You should warn people – and get them out of harm’s way. But they failed to warn their citizens that they, their homes and their children would be washed away by the raging water if they did not evacuate immediately.
No wonder they want to blame man-made climate change – for almost every extreme weather event. They want to avoid accountability and protect their political and financial holdings in Climate Crisis, Inc. The last thing they want to show people is the climatic realities which would mess up their myths and scare tactics and put today’s extreme weather events into context. and prevent their components from being betrayed by future climate lies.
FLOOD are not uncommon, they are not unprecedented and they are not kind to people, civilization or nature. In fact, devastating rains and floods occur regularly, and the more concrete, asphalt and buildings we build in cities, the less drainage we have and the more flooding we get – in Europe, Houston, New York City and everywhere else.
The great Arno river flood of 1966 hit much of Florence, Italy, damaging or destroying many great works of art. The Vltava flood in 2002 left traces of flooding on buildings at a height of 3 m and 9 m above the normal waterline of the river; In 1784, 1845 and 1997 the floods in the Czech Republic were even worse.
What caused all of these floods? the deadly German floods of 1790 and 1910? the Johnstown, Ohio flood of 1889? the 1976 Big Thompson Canyon flood, which tumbled down a narrow Colorado canyon, leaving few escape routes for residents and campers? All of these floods were natural, but are today’s man-made?
HURRICANE are also common, recurring, devastating, and deadly. It’s fashionable that Harvey and Irma and other recent hurricanes attributed to fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, and us humans. But it’s ridiculous.
Between Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and Harvey and Irma in 2017, the United States experienced a 12-year severe hurricane drought: 12 years without a Category 3-5 hurricane to hit the United States. It was the longest period in recorded history that America was not hit by a major hurricane.
If we blame every modern hurricane on fossil fuel emissions, shouldn’t we also thank fossil fuel emissions for the unprecedented 12 year absence of truly deadly hurricanes? (It wouldn’t be honest science, but honest politics.) A far better approach would be to better prepare for any future attacks from Mother Nature.
US property damage in raw dollars from hurricanes has certainly increased – because more and more people are building more expensive houses on our coasts, where hurricanes strike regularly and intensely. But the death toll has fallen a lot because buildings are being built better and (unlike in Germany and Belgium lately) people are warned far enough in advance to get out of harm’s way.
The share of global property damage caused by weather-related catastrophes in global gross domestic product has also decreased significantly since 1990 for the same reasons. Deaths are also falling.
TORNADES. A graph from the Washington Post shows that violent F4 and F5 tornadoes were less common in the past 35 years than they were in the 35 years 1950-1985. What is even more amazing is that in 2018, for the first time in history, the United States was not hit by a single violent vortex. Was that because of fossil fuel emissions?
In fact, very few tornadoes compare to the horrific Gainesville, Georgia tornado of 1936, which killed 450 people – or the even more terrifying, record-breaking Tri-State Twister of 1925 Cities, killing nearly 700 people
BLIZZARDS are also common. But as predictable, almost every major winter storm today is attributed to “carbon” (CO2) emissions, and we must expect much more if we do not end fossil fuel use.
Climate fraudsters want us to forget about the Nebraska schoolchildren’s snowstorm of January 1888, when a relatively warm day with snow melting all around suddenly turned into a violent storm. In less than three hours, temperatures in the Midwest dropped from plus-35 to minus-20 and even minus-40. Winds howled from the north and brought several meters of snow with them. The storm killed approximately 500 people in several states, most of them in Nebraska. Many were children trying to get home from collapsing schoolhouses, and parents were in search of their children.
This blizzard made US and international headlines. But it was soon overshadowed by the Great Mid-Atlantic Blizzard in March 1888. This buried New York City and much of the east coast under mountains of snow and killed over 400 people. Dozens of New Yorkers weren’t found until days later when their frozen remains were excavated from massive snowdrifts.
TEMPERATURES. The beginning of the Industrial Age coincides with the end of the Little Ice Age, so for the most part the warming is natural. Climate models predict much higher temperatures than we experience. And average global temperatures have changed little since 2002, except during the El Niño events.
Humans once learned important lessons from extreme weather events. Midwestern residents invested in stronger homes and schools, developed better weather forecasts, made sure they carried winter clothing with them and their children even when the weather looked mild, and built tornado warning systems and shelters. New York City has built a subway system that allows people to travel underground, safe from the deadly cold and snow.
Too many government officials today prefer to work with activists, subsidy seekers, and media enthusiasts to blame “man-made climate change” for every disaster. They ignore their own role in property damage and death from natural disasters like SuperStorm Sandy. They pretend to be able to control the climate and the weather – while getting richer and more powerful at the same time by embracing a policy against fossil fuels.
After countless millennia of natural disasters, we are supposed to believe that extreme weather events are now man-made and that temperature fluctuations, droughts and storms are now our fault. At the most technologically advanced level of humanity in history, we are said not to be able to cope with climate and weather events, adapt or recover from them.
We cannot afford to be misled by climate scammers – who, for their own selfish reasons, claim we need to get rid of the fossil fuels that provide 80% of the energy in America and the world … and then magically Replace with expensive, intermittent weather -dependent, land-intensive and resource-hungry wind, solar and battery power.
If we are deceived, electricity prices will skyrocket, blackouts will become commonplace, our jobs will disappear, our standard of living will fall, our lives will be more at risk, our environment will be destroyed – and we will earn what we get. It is time to fully and honestly rethink “the science” behind this supposed “climate crisis”.
Paul Driessen is Senior Policy Analyst at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate change, human rights and economic development.