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HURRICANES AS HARBINGERS September 23, 2005

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
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First came Katrina, with devastating consequence, albeit indirect. Now there is Rita. What do they signify?

Jeremy Rifken, writing in The Guardian, declares the answer:

And, as more and more people begin to wonder what’s happening to the weather, it seems that all of official Washington is holding its breath, lest the dirty little secret gets out: that Katrina and Rita are the entropy bill for increasing CO2 emissions and global warming. The scientists have been warning us about this for years. They said to keep our eyes on the Caribbean, where the dramatic effects of climate change are first likely to show up in the form of more severe and even catastrophic hurricanes.

But then scientists have been warning about the link between smoking and cancer, and people keep on smoking. Still we might expect governments to be more rational, responsible and better informed. If global warming can be confirmed, or even strongly suspected, there is no alternative by to change to a non-carbon economy.

The potential and present effects are not merely over there, they are here as well, as The Sydney Morning Herald reminded us this morning.

24/09/2004Tim Flannery takes an extreme view. Mankind is, he says, on the edge of an abyss. Do nothing and the collapse of civilization is invitable. Hello! Is anybody listening?
25/09/2005The Minneapolis Star Tribune, via Common Dreams News Center, observes that climate scientists are agreed on the implications of the melting of the ice caps, notes this process is well underway, and concludes that action in terms of reducing greenhouse gases should be taken.
28/09/2005 – Metereologist William Kinnimonth is critical of Tim Flannery in The Sydney Morning Herald. He says:

Climate is a complex system for exchange and transport of energy, to balance the excess solar radiation of the tropics and the deficit over polar regions. Existing computer models are not able to adequately replicate these essential energy processes, raising serious doubt over their ability to predict future climate.
Our future is one where we will have to adapt to a naturally changing climate. It is a delusion that dangerous climate events are new and will be averted by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Australia suffered for nearly a decade as prolonged drought affected eastern parts leading up to and following Federation. The record daytime temperatures in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney occurred during a heatwave in January 1939. Our climate is naturally variable and the extremes have always been dangerous.

It is presumably not a delusion that the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exceed anything experienced in human history. No mention of the melting ice caps.

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