Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Here Comes the Flood

In today's Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens announces that the science behind AGW has been "discredited." Here's one of his pieces of evidence:

Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.
In the imagined absence of "sound science," AGW must naturally be a) a commie plot; and b) a new, "virtue-centric" religion with -- horror of horrors -- a tendency towards self-denial. In other words, these eco-theo-communists figure that climate alarmism will convince us to wear hair shirts (or, if you prefer, hemp panties) in order to punish ourselves for the crimson sins of capitalism.

By an odd coincidence, today's WSJ also has an article on the insurance industry's response to climate change, which includes this passage:
"Losses from hurricanes and tropical storms have risen along with sea temperatures," says Eberhard Faust, a climate scientist at Munich Re. "This is [the assumption] from where all the modelers start."

That sea-surface temperatures are rising is no longer much in dispute. There is also near-consensus that rising temperatures are linked to greater hurricane activity
As the article points out, insurers are not exactly disinterested observers:
[T]he industry managed to realize huge profits in recent years -- despite record damages from back-to-back hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
Still, it'd be a bit of a stretch to call them anti-capitalists or worshippers of Gaia. As usual, denialists like Stephens tend not to notice "alarmism" unless they can blame it on the cartoon leftists who infest their heads like animated bacteria in a sinus-pain commercial.

My favorite part comes towards the end. Climate alarmists, Stephens muses, say that coastal areas will be inundated by rising seas. Say, wasn't there something like that in teh Bible?
Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature.
All the pieces are falling into place! The Good Book told us of a worldwide flood that wiped out everyone but Noah and Co. And then, a few short years later, a bunch of climatologists started claiming that certain areas of the world's coastlines might end up being partially or completely submerged. It's totally, like, the exact same thing, almost.

If that analogy isn't forced enough for you, try this one on for size:
Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.
Yea, verily! Consider this pitiless meditation on sin and death:
Demand for low-carbon, high-efficiency products will spur innovation, making U.S. products more competitive on international markets. Carbon emissions will plummet as energy efficiency and renewable energies grow rapidly. Black soot, mercury, and other fossil fuel emissions will decline. A brighter, cleaner future, with energy independence, is possible.
As you can see, Michael Wigglesworth had nothing on Hansen.

In other scientific news: Is summer hotter than winter? Views differ!

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