More Hurricanes, Please!

In Al Gore's Oscar- and Nobel Prize-winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth, he makes (among other things) the assertion that Hurricane Katrina was in part caused by human-induced global warming.

Al's famous graph of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere shows a nice smooth upward trend, as does its accompanying graph of global temperatures.  Hurricanes form in warm waters, and gain energy from heat.  Therefore, global warming will cause more hurricanes, and of increased intensity, causing untold destruction to low-lying and coastal areas - as in Katrina.  Indeed, the official poster for the movie shows a monster hurricane swirling out of a polluting smokestack.

So, we can expect monster hurricane strikes on the United States to become a regular event, eh?  Let's take a look at the record.  Here we see... almost the exact opposite.  Hurricane activity clearly reached a peak in the 40s, and has gone generally down from there.  2005 represented a spike, followed by a trough in 2006.  Although the 2007 hurricane season is not yet over, it certainly hasn't been a very active one either.

In fact, the lack of hurricanes is causing significant problems.  The USDA's Drought Map shows Exceptional Drought - the highest category - over a tremendous swath of the Southeast, surrounded by large areas of Extreme and Severe drought.  Including all the various drought notations, the entire Southeastern region is in drought, except for a small chunk of Georgia and Florida.  Atlanta now has less than three month's supply of water left.  Georgia as a whole as received only just over half the average rainfall at this point in the year - not even nine inches.

Which is just about what you get from... one hurricane!  If we had been receiving hurricanes on schedule, we would not be having a drought. Al Gore's prediction has been entirely wrong, so much so that farmers on TV have been heard almost wishing that a hurricane would come their way.  Time to fire up the SUV for a nice long drive?

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Environment.
Reader Comments

Al Gore is a politician. Al Gore lied.  Are we surprised?  What would be surprising would be if Al Gore had won a Nobel prize for telling the truth.

October 30, 2007 11:43 AM

This one is right on the money.  The truth is that regardless of the way the weather patterns change, those in the 'global warming' crowd will spin it in their direction.

October 30, 2007 11:46 AM

Yeah, let's all cast our blame on Gore, who actually is trying to do something for someone else - even at his own expense.  Gore did not start hugging trees after it became popular.  He LED the movement and has been pushing from behind for the past two decades.  It's only recently that he's suceeded.  What does it harm Americans, the richest and freest people on the planet, to go above and beyond for the environment - even IF it all turns out to be hype?  Where's the harm?

October 30, 2007 5:02 PM

Ed said "The truth is that regardless of the way the weather patterns change, those in the 'global warming' crowd will spin it in their direction".

Right on the money.  That really says it all.

You guys should start a special section that just focuses on debunking global warming.  There are plenty of stories constantly surfacing on the issue from one place or another.  I really love the article you had about Greenpeace and the trees awhile back, here:

Greenpeace was trying to push for using less trees and other earth-icans were pushing back because using trees is better than letting them rot.


October 30, 2007 5:18 PM

Whenever I hear about global warming, I think about the global cooling craze in the 70s (wikipedia has a good overview: It's rather hilarious to see the swing back and forth between "OMG the sky is falling because of global cooling" and "ZOMG the sky is falling because of global warming."

November 2, 2007 12:35 PM

You have to understand the academic food chain.  Academics live on research grants.  If they can't bring in research money, they have to teach, which is less interesting and doesn't get them honor among their peers.  So they apply for research grants.

Research money is given out by "peer review" committees.  Like all committees, peer review committees have agendas.  In the current climate, nobody who denies global warming will get funded, that's how committees keep their peers in line.

We see this in astronomy.  For nearly a century, astronomers have believed in "red shift," a theory that says the redder a star looks the faster it's moving away.  A notable astronomer had a theory that red shift was wrong.  After he published a paper or two, he lost his telescope time so that he could no longer go after evidence to prove or disprove his theory.  His peers stopped talking about his ideas.

Academics switched from global cooling to global warming because there was no money in global cooling.  If funding switches again, so will they.

It's all about money.  Form follows finance.

November 2, 2007 1:07 PM
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