Can we know that global warming is behind Pakistan’s and Russia’s recent catastrophes?

The short answer is “No” – but…

Yesterday in Alex Au “Yawning Bread” – very wise words from Singapore I particularly admired this:

The fact is, when it comes to knowledge, we’re always swimming in a soup of relativity and incomplete data; this is true even when it comes to scientific knowledge. The ability to deal critically with the relative and the incomplete is what makes intelligence. It is those who cannot function under these conditions and must cling to absolutes, who ultimately do not understand the world.

floodvictims_pakistan1-420x0 Climate science is one discipline where the findings are inevitably relative and incomplete, such is the complexity of the factors, not all of them certain, which shape climate. That does not invalidate the 90% certainty most reputable scientists both within and outside the climate science discipline attribute to its major findings and prognoses. That is in fact a very high degree of certainty. However, somewhat less certainty applies when commenting on a particular event such as the current floods in Pakistan, parts of India and China and the extraordinary weather seen in Russia this summer.

What is emerging, however, is that these events are linked.

The devastating Russian heatwave and Pakistan floods are caused by one unusual weather pattern – the static jet stream, meteorologists say.

The northern hemisphere jet stream, a fast-moving high-altitude air current, circles the earth from west to east. But in the past month, a "blocking event" has brought the jet stream to a halt, keeping weather patterns stationary over certain countries.

"Over Pakistan, the weather pattern is just staying with the monsoon, and the monsoon is bringing drenching rains," meteorologist Josh Fisher said.

"But this jet stream is also bringing dry air from eastern Africa right up into Russia and this continuous heatwave is allowing the wildfires to build."

Australia is not caught up in this rare phenomenon, as the southern hemisphere has a separate jet stream based around the south pole, Mr Fisher said.

The effects of the stalled jet stream across Europe and the US have been catastrophic.

In early July in the eastern states of the US and Canada, a heatwave caused numerous deaths and power cuts.

In Pakistan, about 1600 people have died since floods struck in July and early August, while about 14 million are struggling to cope with the consequences of the natural disaster, the UN and Pakistani government said.

In Russia, an unprecedented heatwave has triggered about 557 wildfires and left the capital Moscow cloaked in heavy smog. Moscow’s daily mortality rate has doubled to about 700, the city’s health department head said, with city morgues almost full.

Mr Fisher said the Rossby waves – spinning wind currents that give the jet stream its wavy form by pushing it north and south – are responsible for the stalled jet stream. The waves have been stronger this year, working against the jet stream and bringing it to a halt. This blocking pattern, while difficult to predict, usually lasts about eight to 11 days, he said.

"The one that brought the hot temperatures to the US lasted over a week, while the current one affecting Pakistan and Russia has been persisting for already around eight days and could last for a few more days."

But less is known about what triggers this abnormal activity.

Climate change has been cited as one possibility, but scientist Gerald Meehl of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado told the New Scientist magazine there was no way to test the theory, as the resolution in climate change models was too low to replicate weather patterns such as blocking events.

Another cause could be low solar activity, Mr Fisher said. Low solar activity has already been linked to an increase in cold winters in Europe, with activity on the sun declining since 1985, Professor Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading said in findings published in April…

The planet has never been as hot as it has been in the first half of this year, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a July report.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has tracked the impact of human activity on climate for the past 20 years, droughts and heatwaves likes those affecting Russia and 18 US states become longer and more intense in a warming planet.

"Whether in frequency or intensity, virtually every year has broken records, and sometimes several times in a week," said Omar Baddour, who tracks climate change for the World Meteorological Organisation.

"In Russia, the record temperature in Moscow [38.2 degrees in late July] – which had not been seen since records began 130 years ago – was broken again at the start of August. In Pakistan, the magnitude of the floods is unheard of," he said.

New Scientist has a couple of well-balanced articles on these events and their connection to, or lack of connection to, global warming: Frozen jet stream links Pakistan floods, Russian fires and Is climate change burning Russia?

Is climate change to blame?

Computer models of climate are not detailed enough at present to reproduce blocking events, making it impossible to say whether rising greenhouse gas concentrations makes them more likely to happen.

However, whatever the mechanism, there is a large body of evidence to suggest that climate change increases the number of heatwaves and make them longer. Since 1880 the frequency of extremely hot days has nearly tripled and the length of heatwaves across Europe has doubled. Models also predict that climate change will push up peak temperatures faster than average temperatures.

This is an example of climate change’s tendency to increase the likelihood of extreme weather events. The number of very hot days is forecast to increase fivefold by 2100. One model study has suggested that Paris, France, will seethe frequency of heatwaves grow by 31 per cent over the century, and that by 2100 they will last twice as long.

The consequences will be widespread. Agricultural yields are likely to drop, and summer death rates will rise worldwide. True, winter death rates will drop during milder winters, but this will not offset the extra summer deaths.

However, it is important to bear in mind that no single weather event can be reliably linked to climate change. "It’s a statistical tendency, a push in one direction," says Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London. The Russian heatwave might have occurred anyway, without help from greenhouse gases. All we can say for sure is that such events are more likely in a warmer world…

Climate change will continue to push temperatures upwards and make heatwaves both more frequent and more severe. Knight notes that, while western Russia has roasted in record-breaking temperatures, more easterly regions like Siberia have been subjected to continual flows of cold air and have actually been several degrees below the average temperature for the time of year (as shown in the temperature data in this graphic).

So the connection between the recent disasters and climate change is uncertain, if likely. It should also be noted that global warming blindfolders wanting to use the weather in Siberia as evidence against global warming are themselves jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

The following article may then be over-certain, even if I tend to agree with it: Climate Ostriches: Why Russia’s and Pakistan’s Extreme Weather Is About To Become the Norm.

Record-setting temperatures in Russia, floods in Pakistan: it’s tempting to categorize these as simply fluke weather events. And many media outlets are doing just that. But to do so is a disservice to the public. Acting like ostriches won’t help us solve the problem. The media should be helping to connect the dots: what seems extreme now will be tomorrow’s norm if we continue to ignore that these events are harbingers of climate change, and they’re patterns with real human consequences.

If Moscow were in the United States, it would be located somewhere just south of Juneau, Alaska. Yet since July 29, Muscovites have endured at least five days that have been hotter than the previous record of 99 degrees, set back in the 1920s. Prior to this summer, Moscow had never seen a day with triple-digit temperatures. Now, it’s seen several…

The connection between these weather events and climate change couldn’t be more unambiguous. But the mainstream media first avoided referencing climate change, when it should be the headline. CNN, for example, at first seemed to care more about the political fallout from the Russian heat wave. Instead of simply remarking how unprecedented these weather events are, outlets should be asking why they’re happening now and what it means for our future, and that means pointing readers to the many scientific studies that help contextualize this activity and show that climate destabilization will cause more extreme weather. That’s not advocacy of one viewpoint or another, it’s journalism. (Despite some encouraging signs that the media has finally begun to wake up to the relationship between this summer’s brutal weather and climate change, this report by the New York Times shows that some editors are still asleep at the wheel.)

We can keep our heads stuck in the sand and pretend what’s happening will go away. Or we can disabuse ourselves of any responsibility, just to say "I told you so." Or we can, for once, look at what’s happening now and do what’s necessary to mitigate and adapt to the forces of our changing planet.

It’s clear what our choice has to be.

On the other hand let global warming blindfolders consider this: if you are wrong then you are very very wrong — “sorry about that, Chief” won’t look too flash to our great-grandchildren in 2100. If on the other hand notice is taken of climate science’s warnings then the worst we end up with is a whole set of new technologies and new sources of energy with less dependence on coal and oil. Isn’t that in our best interests anyway?

But see also: Climate experts agree: Global warming caused Russian heat wave.

…Some scientists are now stating the obvious: Russia’s heat wave simply would not have happened without the influence of fossil fuel pollution on our atmosphere. University of Texas climate scientist Michael Tobis is “hazarding a guess” that “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change”:

But right now I feel like hazarding a guess. As far as I understand, nothing like this has happened before in Moscow … The formerly remarkable heat wave of 2001, then, is “the sort of thing we’ll see more of” with global warming. But it may turn out reasonable, in the end, to say “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change.”

Meteorologist Rob Carver, the Research and Development Scientist for Weather Underground, agrees. Using a statistical analysis of historical temperature records, Dr. Carver estimates that the likelihood of Moscow’s 100-degree record on July 29 is on the order of once per 1,000 years, or even less than once every 15,000 years — in other words, a vanishingly small probability. However, those tiny odds are based on the assumption that the long-term climate is stable, an assumption that is no longer true.

Like Dr. Tobis, Carver believes that manmade global warming has fundamentally altered weather patterns to produce the killer Russian heat wave. “Without contributions from anthropogenic climate change,” Carver said in an email interview with the Wonk Room, “I don’t think this event would have reached such extremes or even happened at all”…




See First 7 months of 2010 Were Hottest On Record- NASA.

27 thoughts on “Can we know that global warming is behind Pakistan’s and Russia’s recent catastrophes?

  1. In considering the issue of climate change I always return to personal experience. In the 50s I represented the Lismore HS school cadet unit at the Anzac Day dawn service. Winter uniform, greatcocat over it, thick socks, cold as buggery. It was even colder in Martin Place.

    Last time I attended a dawn service in Martin Place (2004) I wore shorts, t shirt and sandals.


  2. Unfortunately there may be places where the reverse is someone’s experience, so such anecdotal evidence doesn’t help much.

  3. “The short answer is “No” – but…”

    Can we know that global cooling is behind Eastern Russia’s recent cold weather, Antarctica’s largest ice content on record and South America’s frigid catastrophes?

    The short answer is “Yes” – but…

    See? I can be a but monkey too! You should have stopped commenting before that dash. You had the right answer, but you didn’t like it, so you added the crap after the dash.

    Dang, I hate to relate all my conversations with you to islam, but here’s a parallel to what you just did with that statement:

    Is an adult having sex with a nine year old girl wrong? Short answer “Yes” – but… The father of islam, mohammed lived in a different time where it was ok to have sex with children… etc.

  4. What part of this went over your head?

    The fact is, when it comes to knowledge, we’re always swimming in a soup of relativity and incomplete data; this is true even when it comes to scientific knowledge. The ability to deal critically with the relative and the incomplete is what makes intelligence. It is those who cannot function under these conditions and must cling to absolutes, who ultimately do not understand the world.


    And the age of the Virgin Mary was? According to many traditions between 12 and 16.

  5. First – Get over it. Antarctica has more ice than it has EVER had in recorded history. It’s a measurable and measured fact. Don’t worry, it’s as silly a barometer for things to come as is a flood in Pakistan or high temps in Russia. I was just using it to pronounce the idiocy of your ‘but’ claim that maybe a flood or high temps are proof of the mythical AGW, while cold temps are not proof that it’s a scam, which it is.

    And trusting National Geographic for ANYTHING is as silly as trusting a green or PETA. These are the people who have been saying in tv shows for 40 F#$%ING YEARS that “Sadly, encroachment on the XXXX’s environment is destroying their habitat and they will probably become extinct.” The word XXXX represents every single animal they ever have made a movie about, yet oddly none have become extinct as they predicted. National Geographic is almost as untrustworthy as an environmentalist. And we all know environmentalists are very poor predictors of the future, right?

    Back to the story at hand.

    Zero parts of it went over my head. Frankly, I completely agreed with your first very correct answer – “no”, before you tried to temper it with your feelings or emotions or whatever it is you guys call it. You had the scientific answer, and you knew it was true. I’m sad that you perverted your quite sound logic after that point. You had the answer, but you freely gave it up simply because you didn’t like the truth.

    “And the age of the Virgin Mary was? According to many traditions between 12 and 16.”

    Sadly, I have no idea, being not that religious. If she was a virgin between 12 and 16, well good for her!

  6. OK, you want something from the very best source?

    Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment
    This review draws together important information from different scientific disciplines (such as meteorology, glaciology and biology) and therefore different aspects of the global climate system.

    * Key findings from the review are highlighted in 85 key points

    A summary of the report’s findings are detailed in the following 10 key points:

    1. Hole in ozone layer has shielded most of Antarctica from global warming
    The ozone hole has delayed the impact of greenhouse gas increases on the climate of the continent. Consequently south polar winds (the polar vortex), have intensified and affected Antarctic weather patterns. Westerly winds over the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica have increased by around 15%. The stronger winds have effectively isolated Antarctica from the warming elsewhere on the planet. As a result during the past 30 years there has been little change in surface temperature over much of the vast Antarctic continent, although West Antarctica has warmed slightly. An important exception is the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, which has seen rapid summer warming. This warming is caused by stronger westerly winds bringing warm, wet air into the region from the ocean.

    2. Warming of the Southern Ocean will cause changes in Antarctic ecosystem
    The largest ocean current on Earth (the Antarctic Circumpolar Current) has warmed faster than the global ocean as a whole. The Southern Ocean is one of the major sinks of atmospheric CO2, but increasing westerly winds have affected the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2 by causing the upwelling of CO2 rich water. If temperatures continue to rise ‘alien’ species may migrate into the region, competing with and replacing original Antarctic inhabitants. Key species in the food chain like planktonic snails could suffer from ocean acidification. Changes in the food regime are likely to decrease the rich Antarctic seabed biodiversity.

    3. Rapid increase in plant communities across Antarctic Peninsula
    Rapid warming has been seen along the western Antarctic Peninsula, along with a switch from snowfall to rain during summer, resulting in expansion of plant, animal and microbial communities in newly available land. Humans have also inadvertently introduced ‘alien’ organisms such as grasses, flies and bacteria.

    4. Rapid ice loss in parts of the Antarctic
    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has significantly thinned particularly around the Amundsen Sea Embayment as a result of warmer ocean temperatures. Regional warming caused by intensification of the westerly winds (due to the ozone hole) is melting ice shelves along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula (e.g. Larsen B Ice Shelf). Overall, 90% of the Peninsula’s glaciers have retreated in recent decades. However, the bulk of the Antarctic ice sheet has shown little change.

    5. 10% increase in sea ice around the Antarctic
    Since 1980 there has been a 10% increase in Antarctic sea ice extent, particularly in the Ross Sea region, as a result of the stronger winds around the continent (due to the ozone hole). In contrast, regional sea ice has decreased west of the Antarctic Peninsula due to changes in local atmospheric circulation and this has also been linked with the very rapid warming seen over land on the west coast of the Peninsula.

    6. Carbon dioxide levels increasing at fastest pace in 800,000 years
    Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 are at higher levels than experienced in the last 800,000 years and are increasing at rates unlikely to have been seen in the (geologically) recent past. Antarctica was warmer in the last interglacial (130,000 years ago) and sea levels were higher, but the contribution of West Antarctica to that rise is currently unknown. Small-scale climate variability over the last 11,000 years has caused rapid ice loss, shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation and enhanced biological production, showing that Antarctica is highly sensitive to even minor climate changes. Studies of sediments under recently lost ice shelves suggest ice shelf loss in some regions is unprecedented during this time scale.

    7. Sea ice loss directly affecting krill levels and penguin colonisation
    Loss of sea ice west of the Antarctic Peninsula has caused changes in algal growth. This loss of sea ice has also caused a shift from large to smaller species. Stocks of krill have declined significantly. In some areas Adélie penguin populations have declined due to reduced sea ice and prey species (on the northern Antarctic Peninsula), but they have remained stable or increased elsewhere (Ross Sea and East Antarctica). Historical exploitation of seals and whales has changed the ecosystem, reducing scientists’ ability to fully understand the impacts of climate change on krill and other species.

    8. Antarctica predicted to warm by around 3°C over this century
    Over this century the ozone hole is expected to heal, allowing the full effects of greenhouse gas increases to be felt across the Antarctic. Models suggest that the net effect will be continued slow strengthening of winds across the Southern Ocean, while sea ice will decrease by a third, resulting in increased phytoplankton productivity. The predicted warming of about 3°C across the continent is not enough to melt the main ice sheet and an increase in snowfall there should offset sea level rise by a few centimetres.

    9. West Antarctic ice loss could contribute to 1.4 m sea level rise
    Loss of ice from the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to contribute some tens of centimetres to global sea level by 2100. This will contribute to a projected total sea level rise of up to 1.4 metres (and possibly higher) by 2100.

    10. Improved modelling of polar processes required for accurate predictions
    Climate variability in the Polar Regions is larger than in other parts of the world, yet these remote regions are sparsely sampled. These areas need to be monitored in much greater detail in order to detect change, to improve understanding of the processes at work, and to distinguish between natural climate variability and variability caused by human influences. A detailed understanding of past climate is also crucial for understanding this distinction, as is a significant refinement of currently crude climate models.

    Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is the main body dealing with the international co-ordination of scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Formed with 12 member countries in 1958 to continue activities begun during the International Geophysical Year of 1957 – 58, it is an interdisciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and now has 35 Member countries. SCAR played a leading role in the recently completed International Polar Year (2007 – 2008).

    British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a component of the Natural Environment Research Council, delivers world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that underpins a productive economy and contributes to a sustainable world. Its numerous national and international collaborations, leadership role in Antarctic affairs and excellent infrastructure help ensure that the UK maintains a world leading position. BAS has over 450 staff and operates five research stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctica.

  7. Did you read the New Scientist articles?

    Unlike you, I don’t read such things from the starting point that AGW must be a scam because it hurts my preconceived ideas about how the world (or business) should work.

  8. At least they admit the truth in #5. Sheesh. Even your non-scientific mind must see the problem in the study you linked. We all know that lack of ozone means more ultra-violet light hits the Earth.

    Here’s something you may not know: All forms of light that hit the Earth are either grabbed by plants, converted to electricity by solar panels, or CONVERTED TO HEAT on the Earth’s surface.

    Therefore, a lack in the UV blocking ozone layer = an increase in heat. Yet the link you provided says that the lack of a UV bouncer/dispersant has a cooling effect? Frankly, I don’t know what to say to convince you, considering you believe such a silly concept. More light doe NOT equal lower temps, even in the Antarctic. Or anywhere. You understand this, don’t you?

    I kind of feel like this exemplifies the problem we’ve been having discussing AGW. Here’s my thesis: AGW alarmists don’t understand science.

  9. I’m intrigued if I misread it as you say. You say it explains why extra UV energy hitting Antarctica has a cooling effect. Where? The idea makes no sense to me, but I certainly could be wrong. I’d love to hear the theory.

    “Unlike you, I don’t read such things from the starting point that AGW must be a scam because it hurts my preconceived ideas about how the world (or business) should work.”

    Me neither. I read things from the starting point of ‘any armageddon theory an environmentalist or scientist says must be in error because historically they always are’. I can see how you might misunderstand my thinking though.

    To belabor the point: Remember when everyone died from radiation emanating from nuclear power plants? Then we all died from swine flu in 1976, then again in 2009? Then we ran out of oxygen because Brazil cut its rain forest, and all died? Then we died from the end of the ozone layer? I think the ebola virus killed us all too. We also all died from acid rain. We ran out of food when the ocean was overfished. No more fish were in the ocean, so we all starved to death. Remember when everyone died from SARS?

    Remember when the environmentalists said that if a single species became extinct, the ecosystem of an area would be destroyed? And then when we killed off all of the buffalo and wolves in America, the ecology went bad and all Americans died? Remember? Remember when the government declared polar bears an endangered species, even though there are more polar bears than ever before in recorded history? At least we didn’t all die because of that one though :).

    So yeah, I do have a well-founded mistrust of two groups of people. I’m still interested in the theory of how adding extra UV energy to the south pole decreases the temps though. Maybe they finally got one right! I doubt it though. This one defies the basic thermo laws.

  10. Apparently the effect of loss of stratospheric ozone leads to cooling of the stratosphere which alters the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode which produces localised warming. Do you mean Jerry Falwell’s thermodynamic laws? Give it up, Kev, it’ll make you blind!

  11. Russia is climate! Heh.

    Martin, your comment makes sense. If the UV was not absorbed by the stratosphere, then it would hit the ground and be absorbed or reflected there. This would indeed lead to localized warming. Sadly, or happily, depending on whether you want the Earth to boil or not, the ground is not warming. Quite the opposite. It’s cooling, which is why there is more ice down there than ever before in recorded history.

    It’s a good theory. It just doesn’t occur in real life for some reason. I suspect it’s because the ozone layer really hasn’t changed in Antarctica for a few centuries, making calculations based upon the changes irrelevant. But I can’t prove it, so we’ll just have to continue to wonder why a seemingly sound theory doesn’t work in practice.

    Jerry Falwell has thermodynamic laws!?

  12. Interesting article: “Stefan Rahmstorf is Professor of physics of the oceans at Potsdam University, and a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change.”

    This cluster of record-breaking events could be merely an streak of bad luck. But that is extremely unlikely. This is far more likely to be the result of a warming climate – a consequence of this decade being, worldwide, the hottest for a thousand years.

    All weather is driven by energy, and the sun ultimately provides this energy. But the biggest change in Earth’s energy budget by far over the past hundred years is due to the accumulation in our atmosphere of greenhouse gases, which limit the exit of heat into space. Owing to fossil-fuel emissions, there is now one-third more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than at any time in at least a million years, as the latest ice drilling in Antarctica has revealed.

    The changes in the planet’s energy budget caused by solar variations are at least ten times smaller in comparison. And they go in the wrong direction: in recent years, the sun has been at its dimmest since satellite measurements began in the 1970’s. So, when unprecedented extreme weather events occur, the prime suspect is naturally the biggest atmospheric change that has happened over the past hundred years – one that has been caused by human emissions.

    The fact that heatwaves like the one in Russia become more frequent and extreme in a warmer world is easy to understand. Extreme rainfall events will also become more frequent and intense in a warmer climate, owing to another simple fact of physics: warm air can hold more moisture. For each degree celsius of warming, 7% more water is available to rain down from saturated air masses. Drought risk also increases with warming: even where rainfall does not decline, increased evaporation dries out the soils.

    The carbon-dioxide effect can also change the preferred patterns of atmospheric circulation, which can exacerbate extremes of heat, drought, or rainfall in some regions, while reducing them in others. The problem is that a reduction in those extremes to which we are already well-adapted provides only modest benefits, whereas the new extremes to which we are not adapted can be devastating, as recent events in Pakistan show.

    The events of this summer show how vulnerable our societies are to weather-related extremes. But what we see now is happening after only 0.8C of global warming. With swift and decisive action, we can still limit global warming to a total of 2C or a bit less. Even that much warming would require a massive effort to adapt to weather extremes and rising sea levels, which needs to start now.

    With weak action, like that promised by governments in Copenhagen last December, we will be on course for 3-4C of global warming. This is bound to outstrip the ability of many societies and ecosystems to adapt. And, with no action at all, the planet could even heat up by 5-7C by the end of this century – and more thereafter. Knowingly marching down that road would be insane.

    We must face the facts: our emissions of greenhouse gases probably are at least partly to blame for this summer of extremes. Clinging to the hope that it is all chance, and all natural, seems naive. Let us hope that this summer of extremes is a last-minute wake-up call to policy makers, the corporate world, and citizens alike.

  13. The changes in the planet’s energy budget caused by solar variations are at least ten times smaller in comparison. And they go in the wrong direction: in recent years, the sun has been at its dimmest since satellite measurements began in the 1970′s[sic].

    Look, I’m preaching to the deaf here, so I’ll shut up after this. But I hope you can realize that even this tossed off statement is misleading. As we know, temps on Mars and Jupiter have risen over the last few decades. The cause is known to be that the sun is putting out more radiation. But that bit of info lends itself to the conclusion opposite of what the guy wants to believe, so he just ignored it.

    Climate alarmists really annoy me. I’m going to go idle my car for a few hours for vengeance.

  14. Quite the opposite, Neil. Anyway, I’m sick of talking about imaginary problems like AGW on my last day off for a month. Let’s talk about a REAL problem. Yes, I’m talking about hippies.

    Do you guys have a lot of hippies down under? Ever since you posted those photos of Walla Walla Bing Bong (I forget the town’s actual name), there’s been some buzz in the house about making the great nation of Australia our next big vacation destination in 7 months. I’m the sole dissenter because of the 17 hr flight and the possibility that Australia is hippieland.

    I will accept the 17 hour flight, but not the hippies. I’m assuming that the ‘Green Party’ really means the ‘Hippie Party’. That would make Australia ~10% hippies. Can you confirm or deny my theory? Thanks in advance!

  15. Awful. Terrible catastrophes of nature occur yearly at some point on the globe. I agree that nature, if left to her own devices, kinda sucks. I’m curious though – what did you infer from that video?

    – Nature is cruel and must be controlled?
    – This kind of disaster happens pretty much every year somewhere in the world ever since history was documented?
    – Worshiping islam causes floods?
    – Hippies did it?

    All good answers, but I think only the first two are correct. I’m guessing that you chose to think inside the box and blame evil life-giving carbon dioxide though. If only we all turned the thermostat down one degree in winter and up one degree in summer, those floods would have never happened, right?

    Heh. This is not exactly the first time that southeastern Asia has had a devastating flood or drought. As the population continues to grow, sadly, so will the devastation. Blaming CO2 certainly isn’t helping anyone.

    • Pakistan is not in South-East Asia. Aside from that, just give up, Kevin. I am totally anti-denialist — with very good reason too. Before two generations have passed denialists will be universally cursed for their short-sightedness, selfishness, poor science and obfuscation. They do not have a case.

      Interestingly, four out of the five power brokers now deciding who should govern Australia are climate change believers, or at least cautious about the sceptics.

  16. I realize that you are a true believer, as evidenced by your recent plethora of suggestions that weather is climate (whenever weather is hot or deadly, of course – when it’s cool or friendly, it’s still just weather to you).

    I disagree with your hypothesis. Instead, I think that before two generations have passed, the players in the AGW scam will be completely forgotten, just like every other environmental alarmist theory’s players have been forgotten. You don’t seem to realize that these ‘WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE BECAUSE OF MAN’S SELFISHNESS’ theories occur every decade or two. Despite the fact that they are always wrong, there is apparently a sucker born every minute who will buy into them when they are regurgitated with a new veneer slapped on.

  17. One major difference between this and earlier “scares” is that the earlier ones rarely attracted the support of the peak scientific organisations and the world’s most eminent scientists, the exception being the relationship of CFC use with the thinning of the ozone layer.

  18. Good news for Aussies!

    “Record snowfalls in Victoria’s alps have set the scene for some magnificent spring skiing. In Victoria’s largest ski resort, Falls Creek, 54cm of snow has fallen in the past 24 hours, taking accumulated snowfall to 226cm this month – the best since 1992. ”

    Sadly, this phenomenon does not support the theory of global warming, so it’s just ‘weather’. But it got pretty hot in central Russia this summer. So that one’s not weather, it’s climate change!

  19. Greater precipitation is consistent with global warming, not to mention we are in a La Nina at the moment.

  20. Yes, I know. Drought is consistent with global warming. Floods are consistent with global warming. Cold weather is even consistent with global warming. Increased hurricane activity is consistent with global warming. Decreased hurricane activity is consistent with global warming. The store down the street closing is consistent with global warming. Waking up late for work is consistent with global warming.

    The sycophants have gone to great lengths to make sure the religion of AGW cannot be disproven. Thank God some of us can see through the sham.

  21. I never said global warming CAUSED the Pakistan floods; I merely made the perfectly reasonable point that under a global warming scenario such things, especially when so unusual, may be expected to happen more often. IF they do you will start looking more and more asinine.

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