Politicizing a tragedy

Byline: | Category: Environment | Posted at: Thursday, 7 February 2008

Last Easter Sunday much of the United States suffered a record breaking severe cold snap.  When a number of us joked about how cold weather seemed to follow Al Gore wherever he went, many of his global warming adherents chastised us for confusing climate with weather.

I wonder if those same people will now take Democrat John Kerry to task for doing the same–not to mention his eagerness to politicize a tragedy.

By the way, since scientist John Kerry has concluded that global warming was responsible for this Super Tuesday’s tornado outbreak, I wonder what he thinks was the cause of this far more severe Super Outbreak I remember 34 years ago.


Record cold hits South Asia.  That is weather.  Tornado Outbreak–obviously due to a warming climate.  See the difference?




Whatever your personal weather, around the planet January 2008 was the second coldest in 15 years. The linked post, complete with graphs and everything, does not suggest that this says anything in particular about the climate or the long-term direction of local temperatures.

To me, the most interesting thing about this story is the complete absence of discussion in the mainstream media, which manages to induce a scientist or politician to blame anthropogenic global warming for any bit of idiosyncratic weather.

I’m not a GW-denier but I am a skeptic.  I’m also a statistician and I haven’t yet seen the evidence that indicates the following:

1.  The world is warming outside of normal variations

2.  Man is a significant cause of that warming

3.  On balance the effects of warming are more bad than good

4.  Man can take steps to reduce the bad effects of the warming

All four of those conditions must be true before anything we do anything has any positive effect but only the first has any evidence to support it–and even that is inconclusive.  Yet some people want to jump straight from #1 to #4.  That’s preposterous.  And it’s certainly not science.

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14 Responses to “Politicizing a tragedy”

  1. Albert Gore Says:

    This has angered me. To prove to you heretics and unbelievers once and for all that I have to power to cause tornadoes and hurricanes whenever I feel it to be politically or fiscally beneficial, I will prove my powers by briefly making the sun go away today. Cower before my awesome powers, and please, send me money.

    St. Albert Gore

    “In the year 2008 there will be two solar eclipse events. On February 7, there will be an Annular Solar Eclipse that will be visible in Antarctica, Eastern Australia, and in New Zealand.”

  2. Fresh Air Says:

    John Kerry is not an intellectual, nor a scientist–neither is Al Gore. They are both profound idiots. Tornadoes are almost unique to the United States as an important weather condition. How on earth such a localized phenomena could be tethered to so-called global warming is beyond me. Even allowing for generous levels of causation that aren’t supported by scientific data, his statement is beyond absurd.

    Sometimes I think these guys actually know how ridiculous they sound. It’s just that their pathological narcissism won’t let them keep quiet.

  3. MA in VA Says:

    One of the frustrating thing about the whole “climate change” debate is the moving scorecard. As an accountant/CPA I’m used to definitive measures and metrics in determining how a company performs. When I pick up a financial report I can read the footnotes and know whether a company uses FIFO/LIFO, how they account for pensions, how they recognize revenue, etc. In other words I understand the rules that are in effect.

    On the other hand, climate change has not defined these rules – they seem to float at will. For instance, the use of an average is, in itself, tricky. My grad school stats prof said that averages are problematic. On the one hand they are easy and understood by almost everyone. On the other hand they tell us very little. Without upper and lower limits, medians, modes, etc. we get a very limited picture of the climate. Another is the average population. I’ve read that Russia and other Eastern Bloc countries have far fewer weather stations than they had in the ’70’s and ’80’s. If so, have averages been restated to include only those continuously operating stations (kind of like “same store” sales for retail companies)?

    Definition and agreement on the measures and rules should have happened a long time ago – but that has led to a favorable position for those who wish to manipulate numbers.

  4. rjschwarz Says:

    Belief in global warming requires faith, not facts. After all it is a religion not science.

  5. Kerry Hits Bottom « Buttle’s World Says:

    […] Kerry Hits Bottom 7 February, 2008 And digs. […]

  6. LeatherPenguin » Jacques Kerry Plays the “Pay Attention to Me!” Game; Fails Miserably Says:

    […] Bob Krumm (and his commenters) also takes a swing at Kerry. Bookmark […]

  7. Jim,MtnViewCA,USA Says:

    TimBlair.net reports the story of the Iowa politico who recommends that global warming doubters should move to Australia and put their heads in the sand like ostriches…..
    It was pointed out that ostriches do NOT actually put their heads in the sand. And they are native to Africa not Australia.
    For the Left, global warming is a club to beat on the public. The Right has Islamo-fascism, which really kills people and in pretty nasty ways. The Left uses GW, which might or might not kill anyone, might or might not be amenable to changes in human behavior and might or might not be partly due to human activity.

  8. tree hugging sister Says:

    I would just suggest Dr. Kerry, AMS, read the FREAKIN’ morning paper before shooting off his mouthus giganticus.

    “…Tornadoes do happen in February, but a study by Schaefer two years ago found that winter tornadoes in parts of the South occur more frequently and are stronger when there is a La Nina, a cooling of Pacific waters that is the flip side of the better known El Nino. In 1971, a deadlier February outbreak in the Mississippi Delta killed 121 people.”

  9. barbq_ranch Says:

    Actually, I know the REAL reason for the tornadoes. It isn’t global warming or cooling, or even statistical probability. God looked down, saw that a black and a woman each have a chance to become president, and decided to send a warning on Super Tuesday. Well, it makes as much sense as most of the other stuff I have heard, and I’ll bet at least one televangelist believes it. So, instead of Global Warming, it is Global Warning. Oh what a difference a letter makes.

    PS to MA in VA, there is another inventory method you may not have heard of. In addition to FIFO and LIFO, some companies seem to use FISH. First in, still here.

  10. M Ciardi Says:

    History is a great teacher if you pay the slightest attention to it. The most severe tornado outbreak in the U.S., 1925 with 747 confirmed fatalities. The second was in 1840. In fact, of the 10 deadliest tornadoes, the most recent was 1953.

    Seems tornadoes are getting less severe, not more.

  11. Bart Says:

    #1 must be a Connecticut Yankee.

  12. ak Says:

    Many of the Al Gore devotees I work with don’t seem to know the difference between weather and climate. Last summer when we had a heat wave in July–a heat wave in July!!!–they all acted like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse were riding through town.

  13. PQ Quig Says:

    It’s obvious that the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd is intellectually and morally bankrupt. Unfortunately, the GOP’s nominee has joined that club as well. Carbon taxing the US economy into a permanent recession is on the agenda no matter which side wins.

    Don’t know much about economy
    Don’t know much meteorology
    Don’t know much about climate books
    Don’t know much of how a 10-K looks

    But I do know I need your votes
    Now you’re stuck with me, you bunch of dopes
    What a wonderful prez I will be

  14. sherlock Says:

    Why doesn’t someone with a very high profile publicly challenge these Globaloney folks to predict soem specific trends that can be measured over the course of the next few years? Yes, I know that statistically that isn’t long enough, but good statistics aren’t stopping them from taking credit for every tornado while remaining silent about the fact that this winter has been severe in very many places around the globe.