Predictions and Credibility

[This first appeared on Back of the Book]

I find the current political air in Canada to be insufferably stupid. Despite there being excellent, professional journalists everywhere, there are many more time/space fillers who skew the public’s perception of what is going on and what really matters. One thing the media has been terrible at is keeping the public’s focus on a threat to Canadian civilization greater than terrorism or even drunk drivers (drunks kill more Canadians each year than Jihadists or the fabled “ecoterrorist”). That threat is climate change.

If you recall last year, the airwaves were buzzing with the ridiculous prediction from a man named Harold Camping, that the world was set to end with a cataclysmic singular event wrought by God. Anyone reading these words knows that Camping is a fraud, yet he was given plenty of air time before and after his unfounded claim.

If you recall August 2005, (who doesn’t remember details from 7 years ago, right?) the journal Nature published a letter from Kerry Emanuel, that explained how tropical cyclone damage was on a trend to claim more lives and property due in part to climate change. As recently as this year, Emanuel was part of a team of scientists who predicted increased damage to coastal cities. New York City was explicitly mentioned as “highly vulnerable”.

Let us review using photos:
This man (Harold Camping):

Predicted this:
Denver 2011From Wikipedia

This man (Kerry Emanuel):

Predicted this:

Clearly Emanuel has credibility, while Camping has none. Emanuel’s skill can guide our civilization to prepare for preventable threats to our existence. Camping’s skill is to convince people that threats are not preventable, and hope should be placed where he directs it. Who will the media and elected politicians give their attention to in the near and distant future? They can continue to give crackpots the attention they crave and need for their money gathering, or they can start planning for the future by using science and vindicated models. It’s only civilization at stake.


5 responses to “Predictions and Credibility

  1. Who owns the media? Who did 99% of the corporate media endorse last election? The Leonard Cohen lyrics- Everyone knows the dice are loaded- applies when it comes to climate change coverage. I keep bugging the local media with climate change stories and will continue. I do recommend reading Requiem for a Species.

  2. Yeah but at least they stay on topic. Threads are always hijacked in the blogosphere. I think immigration could be timed to develop new cities in good locations. I like north of the Yellowhead because of new farmland and lots of freshwater, but is only one location example. So, you’d bring in the homebuilder skills first, and then teachers, and then bankers….I don’t know the order, but immigration human capital could be made to synch up to needed skills if Canada is to grow fast. And I want it to. I want more cities. That will screw over CPC.

  3. Ahhhh 2005, I remember it well. 2005 was the date of the last major hurricane to make landfall in the US (Wilma? I think). A 2500+ day hurricane drought. A new record. Not more and more intense.

    It does seem funny to me that the posts author’s scientific knowledge of hurricanes ended with the Goracles movie An Incontinent Truth.

    In reality Kerry Emanuel now has this to say:
    -On North Atlantic hurricanes: Landfalling tropical storm and hurricane activity in the US shows no long-term increase.
    -global trends: there was no significant change in global tropical storm or hurricane numbers from 1970 to 2004, nor any significant change in hurricane numbers for any individual basin over that period
    -future activity: tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same.
    -more intense rainfall?: a detectable change in tropical-cyclone-related rainfall has not been established by existing studies.
    -What about changes in location of storm formation, storm motion, lifetime and surge?: There is no conclusive evidence that any observed changes in tropical cyclone genesis, tracks, duration and surge flooding exceed the variability expected from natural causes.

    Bottom line “we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data”

    If you search the Dr. Pielke’s web site you will also find the historic normalized US hurricane damage from 1900-2012 (Sandy included) and see that there has been 0 increase in normalized hurricane damage costs during this time.

    Then again you could pretend that ‘Exxon’ Harold has something to do with climate.

  4. Pingback: He Didn’t See It Coming | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff

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