Katrina’s Real Name — Global Warming

Republicans want to deny that it’s happening, but some know better than to believe their phony science and lies. All one has to do is look at the weather patterns over the past year or so and the undeniable Arctic Melting to understand that Global Warming is happening and we better do something about it before it is too late.

Ross Gelbspan, the author of ”The Heat Is On” and ”Boiling Point” tells it like it is, in his OP/ED in the Boston Globe: Katrina’s real name.

The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.

When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming.

When a severe drought in the Midwest dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record earlier this summer, the reason was global warming.

In July, when the worst drought on record triggered wildfires in Spain and Portugal and left water levels in France at their lowest in 30 years, the explanation was global warming.

When a lethal heat wave in Arizona kept temperatures above 110 degrees and killed more than 20 people in one week, the culprit was global warming.

And when the Indian city of Bombay (Mumbai) received 37 inches of rain in one day — killing 1,000 people and disrupting the lives of 20 million others — the villain was global warming.

Gelbspan explains, “As the atmosphere warms, it generates longer droughts, more-intense downpours, more-frequent heat waves, and more-severe storms.” Katrina he explains was relatively small hurricane that was supercharged ” with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Very few people equate Katrina with Global Warming, Gelspan says because “the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.”

In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign.

Big Coal and Big Oil scored big when Bush was elected in 2000 and he “subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.” And, as Gelbspan explains the media is duplicitous in the cover-up about Global Warming, as well…

When the US press has bothered to cover the subject of global warming, it has focused almost exclusively on its political and diplomatic aspects and not on what the warming is doing to our agriculture, water supplies, plant and animal life, public health, and weather.

For years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied the media to accord the same weight to a handful of global warming skeptics that it accords the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations.

Today, with the science having become even more robust — and the impacts as visible as the megastorm that covered much of the Gulf of Mexico — the press bears a share of the guilt for our self-induced destruction with the oil and coal industries.

Check out Ross Gelbspan’s “The Heat Is On”and “Boiling Point”

RELATED POST: The Ravages of Hurricane Katrina and the Global Warming Connection

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21 Responses to Katrina’s Real Name — Global Warming

  1. Ryan says:

    According to K. Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at MIT, the destruction of Katrina is due to the combination of normal hurricane cycles and massive development in hurricane-prone areas, not global warming. Full article at Salon ( http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/08/30/katrina/index.html).

    I’m no global warming denier, but blaming all ills on global warming is not going to win any converts…

  2. Ryan

    Thanks for the link on Salon. I posted this piece quoting author Ross Gelbspan for a couple of reasons.

    1) The evidence that Global Warming is affecting the weather patterns has been mounting for some time, as he points out.
    2) Ross Gelbspan, noted in his OP/ED that Big Oil and Big Coal Corporations, Bush administration and the MSM have effectively covered up scientific data that proves Global Warming is happening and it’s a problem.

    From the link you provided to Salon, Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at MIT, said regarding does Global Warming have anything to do with hurricanes in recent years: “the answer is yes and no.” (2nd paragraph)

    “In a recent paper, “Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones Over the Past 30 Years,” published in the science journal Nature, Emanuel found that as sea temperatures rise, the duration and intensity of hurricanes are going up, too.”

    Emanuel said in the Salon article that hurricanes have not neccessarily increased in number, but as Global Warming increases “expect hurricanes to get stronger.”

    Emanuel also notes that areas affected by the wrath of Katrina are more densely populated that in the past, thus more widespread destruction.

    My conclusion, reading the Salon article is that Emanuel actually backs up what Gelbspan is saying in his OP/ED: ““As the atmosphere warms, it generates longer droughts, more-intense downpours, more-frequent heat waves, and more-severe storms.”

  3. Lindata says:

    Watching a CSPAN discussion of the increased hurricane activity, I was struck by the complete denial of there being scientific evidence that our current increase is due to global warming. It appears that the increase is within the control bands expected during this time period by the overwhelming 20-30 year hurricane cycle. I have no doubt that these scientists will tell us when the activity levels exceed the expected bounds. In the meantime, do not call wolf.

  4. Lindata

    What I am reading is that it’s not that there is an increase in the amount of hurricane, but an increase in the intensity. The increased intensity is said to be caused as “the atmosphere warms”.

  5. Ryan says:

    Re: the Salon article

    I guess you can read different things from the article, and I’m not completely exonerating global warming, but I think these quotes (near the conclusion) are key:

    “To Emanuel, Katrina is not an unusual hurricane. “Not that many hurricanes get that powerful, but we’ve had hurricanes like Katrina before,” he said. “Camille was about the same strength. Andrew was about the same strength. Katrina was just unfortunate, because it happened to hit a very densely populated area.”

    And in the final paragraph,

    “Ultimately, Emanuel said, it’s not a vengeful Mother Nature but man’s politics that are to blame for the destruction. As long as people insist on erecting homes and businesses, aided by low insurance rates and business lobbyists, in vulnerable areas like the Gulf Coast, there’s little scientists can do to prevent the havoc.”

    YMMV.

    (Personally, the discussion I’d like to see is why FEMA is paying people to rebuild homes that will surely be knocked down again in the next few years.)

  6. Ryan

    I don’t disagree with Emanuel’s assertion of the cause of the destruction. However, Emanuel does back up what Gelbspan says. It’s right there in black and white. I read the entire Salon piece and it notes both.

    I also agree, people should look at rebuilding there. But, I live in earthquake country and mudslide country and people lose their homes and rebuild in the same place.

  7. Ryan

    Also note that gelbspan wasn’t talking about the destruction caused by Katrina, he was talking about the effects of Global Warming and the massive cover up on scientific evidence by Big Oil, Big Coal, the Bush administration and the MSM.

    Again, Emanuel admits that atmospheric warming is a contributing cause to the strength of the storm, but blames the wide-spread destruction on the increased population in the area.

    Frankly, both Gelbspan’s piece and the Salon piece have merit.

  8. Ron Chusid says:

    I’m not sure that we have a definitive answer as to whether Katrina can be blamed on global warming. On a related topic, here’s another article out which does show deleterous effects on the environment from human activity, an increase in the size of the ozone hole:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4197566.stm

  9. Thanks Ron. I just posted another piece on this and included your link!

  10. Necromancer says:

    Ever met Ross Gelbspan? I have. He’s about as credible on Global Warming (or climate change, or whatever you like to call it) as George Bush, only doesn’t dress as well. Yes, this is all ad hominem, but really, I’ve met/worked with the dude, and he’s a jerkass.

  11. Necromancer

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Lindata says:

    http://www.pewclimate.org/hurricanes.cfm

    “Will global warming create more hurricanes in the future?

    Just about everyone is now aware of climate change, so people are much more likely to make a connection between weather events and the climate. When an extreme weather event occurs, it is not unusual for people to ask if it is the result of global warming. Because of the link between higher ocean temperatures and hurricanes, there is speculation that hurricanes will increase in frequency or intensity in a warmer world, with higher wind speeds and greater precipitation. We have more confidence in the link between global warming and increased intensity and precipitation than in increased frequency. However, higher ocean temperatures also appear to influence the track of hurricanes, increasing the likelihood of hurricanes tracking through the Caribbean or making landfall on the U.S. east coast. Our ability to predict the potential response of hurricanes to global warming is very limited, so there is little that can be said with confidence at the moment.”

  13. Sirkowski says:

    Re: the Salon article

    Global warming ain’t the cause here, period.

  14. Lindata

    Thanks for the link and info!

  15. African Moonbat says:

    In The middle ages vinyards and malaria were found in England. Greenland was named Greenland because large parts of it were green. In the 16th century there was global cooling, and the period was known as the little ice age. In about 1860 global warming started and the montane glaciers around the world started to retreat from the levels that they had built over the past 300 years. In the late 1940s the earth started cooling and by the 1970s people were speculating about a coming ice age. By the mid 1980s it became apparant that the earth was warming again.

    My point is that throughout its existance the Earth has warmed and cooled at various times, and this will carry on for the remainder of the Earths existance, and there is nothing people can do about it but adapt. Blaming others for Mother Natures whims is a pointless excercise. What is worrying is the increasing body of evidence that indicates that cold periods follow periods of global warming with startling rapidity. It will be interesting to see how this teeming human population of this planet adapts to that scenario.

  16. African Moonbat

    There will also be warming and cooling trends in the Earth’s atmosphere. That does not discount the solid evidence that over the years we have contributed to massive polluting of the atmosphere which has done considerable damage to the ozone layer and is now contributing to a warming trend that is affecting the voracity of storm systems.

    No one is blaming Mother Natures whims, we’re simply saying that on a whole we have contributed to Global Warming and changes can be made to lessen the effects of pollution in the US and globally.

  17. Necromancer says:

    So, anyone ever heard about solar causes for global warming? Sounds like an industry cover-up, but solar physicists take it quite seriously, and one has to wonder why climatologists models fail to take in the *source* of the energy in the equation. Oh, and I got this by watching Discovery Channel.

  18. Necromancer

    I don’t have cable. Do you have any links? Thanks.

  19. Necromancer says:

    No Cable? Try google.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=climate+forcing+solar

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=solar+cycle+global+warming

    you can find arguments about it to make your head spin like a force 5.

    I’d just like to say, at this point, that I don’t believe in man-made global warming, but I also don’t disbelieve it. I feel that cranks like Gelbspan and evil jerks like the corporations want to call a scientific question while the scientists are still very much trying to work it out amongst themselves. I went to a VERY liberal Uni, and was surprised when my Berkeley-trained, sandal-wearing, soy-eating environmental geology professor expressed serious doubts about the theory. So, I remain neutral, and I still think Gelbspan is a jerk.

  20. Necromancer says:

    Oh damn, I forgot to mention what the geology professor had to say about the weather incident correlations with increased C02 production: The studies use damage, adn with increased population of the coastlines, that would create a false correlation.

  21. Necromancer says:

    Oh bloody heck. Now I see that Pam is conflating the Ozone layer with climate change. the Ozone layer is all about CFCs and HCFCs which actually have negative radiative forcing (they cool the atmosphere) and nothing ‘tal to do with climate change. They are also covered by the Montreal protocol (use google you silly boogers), and basically illegal. Climate Change, the proposed man-made variety, is all about chemicals with positive radiative forcing, specifically methane (cow farts and swamp gas, for example) and C02, which is a by-product of a burning stuff. Don’t confuse the issues, makes you look silly at parties.