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Posted by on Aug 27, 2011 in Breaking News, Science & Technology | 9 comments

The Irene Mistake

I am a climate change believer and I think that CO2 emissions are in part responsible. I also have a great deal of respect for Bill McKibben.  But this is a mistake:

Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming,” environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote Thursday night in The Daily Beast. He argued that this year’s hot Atlantic Ocean temperatures and active spree of hurricanes — coupled with droughts, floods and melting sea ice elsewhere on the globe — are “what climate change looks like in its early stages.”

Irene is a big storm but not unusual.  It’s not really all that intense.  The thing that makes it so potentially dangerous and destructive is it’s path. Blaming Irene on global climate change is wrong and will only increase skepticism even among believers.  He might be better off talking about the lack of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.  Texas could use a hurricane or two to end the severe drought it is experiencing.  The blocking high pressure area that is responsible for the drought and the lack of hurricanes is predicted by climate change models.  A hurricane like Irene – not so much.