Friday, November 2, 2012

Arguing With the Idiots

Although that was the title of a book, this has nothing to do with the book.  Instead, it's about all the idiots that decided, even before the storm wound down, that Sandy was the result of global warming.  Bloomberg's Businessweek looked like this today:
I've often thought, and stated here, that Bloomberg is the most dependable asshole in American politics.  When you need someone to do something so astoundingly stupid that even Joe "Drain Bamage" Biden thinks it's stupid, Bloomy's your boy.  Like a throwback to an insane monarch of the middle ages, or a Rasputin who gained power, he issues decrees and expects the world to jump.  Not just content to regulate salt or soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, he wants to rule everything.  Just today, the asshole "snubbed borough president Markowitz' plea to bring the National Guard to Hurricane Sandy-scarred Brooklyn".  Bloomy refused the National Guard?  Why, on God's green earth would he refuse the National Guard?
“The NYPD is the only people we want on the street with guns.”
I think I have permanent face palm.  Against this random selection of headlines from Drudge, he's going to turn down help because the National Guard are, well, highly trained soldiers?  WTF is wrong with this guy?
Drivers Waiting 6 Hours For Gas in NYC...Tempers Rise in Wake of Storm...
'Finding bodies left and right'...Restaurant, hotel prices skyrocket...
CRAIGSLIST: $15 a gallon...Utility workers pelted with eggs...
Misery...'We have nothing'...Staten Islanders Plead for Help: 'We Need Food'...
Residents Furious RED CROSS Offering Cookies & Hot Chocolate, Not Blankets Or Clothes...
Jet Fuel Supply Fast Becoming Concern At Airports...
'Please don't leave us'...
VIDEO: Stranded New Yorkers Defecating in Apartment Buildings...
An earlier Bloomberg quote is only a slightly more insane:
Silence!  In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old! 
Unfortunately, it's not just Bloomy, it's everywhere.  The allegation that "hurricanes will be stronger and more frequent" is, perhaps, the weakest link to climate change that you routinely hear of.  Gore famously said that after Katrina, but as FSU researcher Dr. Ryan Maue has demonstrated (through actual measurement), the amount of energy in all the world's cyclones has been in a decline.  This year, though, has essentially been normal, with a year to date ACE of 495 vs a normal of 500.   There is no agreement between the climate modelers and the meteorologists / atmospheric physicists who study hurricanes that "warming" will create more frequent, stronger storms.  The warmists cite higher surface temperatures, but that's stupidly simplistic.  There area many more factors at work, and systems like the El Nino/La Nina pattern (also called ENSO), the North Atlantic Decadal Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation, and still more.

Roger Pielke, a "dissenting" hurricane expert stated in the WSJ,
To put things into even starker perspective, consider that from August 1954 through August 1955, the East Coast saw three different storms make landfall—Carol, Hazel and Diane—that in 2012 each would have caused about twice as much damage as Sandy. 
Pielke goes on to point out what Ryan Maue's data says:
While it’s hardly mentioned in the media, the U.S. is currently in an extended and intense hurricane “drought.” The last Category 3 or stronger storm to make landfall was Wilma in 2005. The more than seven years since then is the longest such span in over a century.
So when someone like NY Governor Andrew Cuomo states
“There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement; that is a factual statement… Anyone who says there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns, I think is denying reality,” he said calmly.
what he's really saying is "I'm too young to remember those storms, too lazy to look up records, and I'm betting you're young and lazy, too".   Note the storms in this area between 1954 and 1960 (Source: National Hurricane Center). 

(Coincidentally, Hurricane Donna is the first storm I remember being in - I was pre-school, but I remember the rushed activity and then living on hurricane lanterns and Sterno).  

In general, people don't like too many details and they especially don't like to do any math, so it's great when some "philosopher/priest scientist", preferably with a white lab coat, tells them what to think.  Caleb Shaw, over at Watts Up With That, posts a wonderful "Reply to Hurricane Sandy Alarmists" just full of snark.  Of real interest is how he compares Sandy's record storm surge to the storm of 1821. The difference between them is that Sandy hit at peak high tide, on a full moon, while the "Great Gale of 1821" hit at low tide under a very different moon.  It can be calculated that the 11.2 feet of surge from the 1821 storm, if moved to the same tide and moon phase, would have been 19.2 feet.  Sandy was 13.82 feet.

Sandy was a Cat 1 storm.  It just happened to hit at a bad time and in a bad place.  Weather happens.  Look - there's real suffering going on up there - witness that stack of headlines from Drudge, and the apparently true story about out of state utility companies coming up to help restore power and being sent home if they were non-union.  I don't want to minimize that.  But using that suffering for political gain by blaming everything on "global warming" so you can extort more money out of people is just plain wrong. 


  1. I think Donna is the first one I remember, too.
    Sean Hannity was really on a tear today about how unprepared and dependent the Big City people have become.
    NOBODY had any bottled water stored at home.
    NOBODY had any food stored at home.
    They ALL expected Big Gubmint to come and save them.
    And then he tore into 0bama and Mayor Looneyberg for allowing their good old boy, union cronies to turn away obviously qualified tradesmen who came up to help restore the electricity.
    AND for allowing the NY Marathon (which I just read minutes ago they canceled) to go ahead.
    Plenty of bottled water for the runners, but if you live there, too bad.
    As bad and wacky as things get out here in Kaliforniastan, I than God I'm about as far away from NYC as I can get in the CONUS!

  2. I lived on Long Island, in Setauket, NY, back when Donna came through. In Port Jefferson, where there was a harbor with a lot of boats, quite a few of them ended up several blocks downtown from the harbor during/after Donna. We were without power for about a week, IIRC. My father flew for the Sperry Gyroscope Flight Test Division at the time, out at the old MacArthur Field, and it was "our turn" to use one of the seven or eight diesel generators that the company owned, so we had electricity to run our well pump, oil furnace, hot water etc.

    We lived in Lake Ronkonkoma (again on Long Island, NY) when Carol came through. I think Carol left us without power for just a couple of days, but I remember we didn't have a generator that time.

    I'd much rather deal with hurricanes than earthquakes, though. Never lived through any big ones when I lived in San Diego, but one quake that happened offshore of Eureka, CA moved a five hundred gallon diesel tank I had about five feet away from its original position - and I lived about ninety (90) miles inland from there as the crow flies. Hurricanes you can prepare for. In a big quake, all you can do is bend over and KYA. I don't care for tornados, for the same reason, but again, they are easier to protect yourself from.

  3. Growing up in Illinois, I went through my share of bad thunderstorms and tornadoes.
    When I moved out here to Kalifornia, one of my new friends had done his advanced training at Chanute AFB in Rantoul. He was a Kalifornia native, and said he'd take an earthquake over a tornado ANY time!
    Guess it's all a question of what you grew up with.

  4. I have a friend who moved here from El Lay about 15 years ago. For the first several years, every little tropical storm would get him and his wife almost sick from anxiety. We would ask them "you're used to earthquakes and a tropical storm bothers you?". Perspective, I guess. After the 2004 storms, they're a lot less anxious.

    Hurricanes are good disasters for the lazy man, so I like them. There's no need to go get in line for plywood for your shutters, canned food or bottled water or any of it. All of it is stuff you can prepare for months or years in advance. Yeah, you have to go put up the shutters and do some stuff in advance of the storm, but you sure don't need to be in line at stores. Or in line at a FEMA tractor trailer afterwards.

    Last time we put the shutters up for a storm my total storm prep took half an hour. While my neighbors were going to stores, I was popping a cold one with my feet up sitting in the Lazy Boy.

  5. Amen. Hard to prep for an earthquake, beyond planning what table you are going to crawl under. G-d forbid you are on a bridge or an overpass - or under either one - when an earthquake hits.

    Even tornados give you a little warning. I much prefer hurricanes - just not when I'm living on a sailboat, although that is no longer an issue.

    Where we are currently living, the only real worry I have is Yellowstone. If the "super-volcano" that is reputed to reside beneath the park ever goes off, we might have some problems here in southwestern Montana ;-)

    1. If (when) that sucker goes, I don't think I'll need cable news to tell me it blew from here in Florida. Although we're about the only spot in the Conus that doesn't seem to get a lot of ash in the models.