Already, I am hearing the expected nonsense from the pro-anthropogenic global warming believers out there. It seems that Alabama’s Governor is an outspoken critic of Obama’s reckless, self-destructive energy policy and of Cap and Trade legislation. So naturally, the first reaction from the liberal elite in the environmental movement is to look for an excuse to attack him at any cost, no matter how tasteless and vile.
Following a historic tornado outbreak that claimed more than 200 lives in Alabama alone…an event best characterized by how utterly anomalous it was (the very definition of WEATHER…not climate)…the environmental movement thinks it’s reasonable to literally blame the state’s governor. The “logic” goes: Global Warming causes more moisture and instability and leads to worse severe weather outbreaks, Global Warming is happening and that debate is over, You hicks in Alabama are in our way trying to pass draconian laws that will dominate the energy economy by government fiat in an attempt to stop Global Warming, therefore, you deserve the misery you’re getting now. It’s YOUR FAULT that 200 of your people died and damage in the tens of millions was incurred.
Firstly…people who actually understand the weather are able to recognize that anomalous individual weather events are not things whose trends can be reliably predicted with current scientific knowledge because the more anomalous an event, the fewer of them there are for us to study in the limited time of our record keeping and the more uncertain become the mechanisms that lead to them from a climate perspective. It’s unclear, for example, whether a warming planet would necessarily lead to more subtropical rainfall…many climate simulations suggest less rainfall in Alabama, not more. If there’s less rain because the storm track is further north, then there will be less severe convection as well. But even if you assume the more rain part of their theory, jsut because there is more convection, does not mean it is more likely to be severe. In fact, an actual meteorologist will tell you that seasons with copious lightning frequently are anti-correlated with tornado counts…tornado outbreaks tend to do better when the atmospheric instability can be saved for a time…bottled up and prepared for explosive release. If you release the convection more easily (more moist boundary layer, more upper level humidity, steeper lapse rates in the middle and upper atmosphere as per global warming theory)…you’ll probably get more squall lines and big clusters of thunderstorms and less individual energetic dynamic supercells…the kinds of storms that most commonly produce deadly tornadoes.
Those are just two of the many degrees of freedom in the calculation of how much tornado threat change there will be assuming a warming planet (another degree of freedom, BTW…the warming assumption)…there are many others. But even granting that they’re are 100% right on the science linking intense convection with global warming…you still cannot blame global warming for this one event…because the globe has not warmed enough yet to actually cause a big change in tornado rates and severe tornado rates. The rises in tornado reports we’ve seen have largely been linked to the heavier population of storm spotters making those reports. Even if you think this kind of thing will happen more often in the future…the future IS NOT HERE YET.
And above all else…it’s downright EVIL to look at this kind of suffering and see only hatred for the people afflicted and an opportunity to press your agenda. That’s the kind of absolutism and one-mindedness I’m dealing with in the climate science arena. But this is nothign new. Charlatans and power-hungry opportunists have, for ages, blamed the victims of weather disasters for causing them in an attempt to gain political power. THey call this sort of thing “weather cooking”…and it was responsible for witch burnings in the thousands and stories of demonic possessions galore…usually centered around class warfare conflicts or power struggles between rival political factions. Today’s demons and witches are the unbelievers in the need for vast economic reforms that produce global government under socialist (or at least very progressive) rules that favor the few over the many and claim to do the reverse.