Just a few days ago, the hurricane season of 2006 mercifully ended. We all witnessed the devastation it wreaked as storm after storm ravaged coastal cities. Veritable typhoons inflicted untold damage to our nation’s infrastructure. Gas prices soared and people lined up at shelters as if it were Black Friday at Best Buy. The Chicago Tribune’s headline on Nov. 19th told the whole story, “Hurricanes Blow Away the Experts.” Yes, all the predictions came to fruition – human-induced global warming, religiously and inseparably linked to more numerous and catastrophic hurricanes, spurred the worst hurricane season on record – or not.
After 2005’s terrifying run, every environmentalist worth his salt lectured us on two supposedly incontrovertible truths. First, more and stronger storms are inextricably tied to global warming. Second, if you thought 2005 was bad, just wait until 2006.
Scientists with baited breath practically drooled with anticipation at the thought of further confirmation of their doomsday prognostications. Back in May, hurricane experts predicted an “active” season, with 13 to 16 tropical storms, six to 10 of which would turn into hurricanes and four to six of which would be considered a major hurricane. Recently, all that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel could manage was a measly four paragraphs confirming that 2006 produced only nine storms, five hurricanes, only two of which were considered major. In other words, the 2006 season packed all the punch of the Pillsbury dough boy. You could practically see the pained expression of the editor as he approved the headline: “Reasons Why Hurricane Predictions Fell Short.”
According to the article, we were spared by a late-developing El Nino and unusual levels of dry air. What you never read was that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the findings of a study that concluded that sea temperatures in the top layers of the world’s oceans have significantly cooled in the past three years. Imagine that! Could it be that hurricane activity and global warming aren’t joined at the hip? Significant ocean cooling! Did you hear that on the 6 o’clock news? Didn’t think so.
In fact, many of the alarmists’ predictions have failed to materialize. In the late ’80s, seas were predicted to rise several feet by the end of the century. Wrong – only an inch, which for most people isn’t a lot. You may have read Julia Whitty’s recent Op-Ed in the BDN warning against not taking global warming seriously. One of the things that she’s worried about is the melting of the west Antarctic ice sheet. Never fear, Julia. The Antarctic ice sheet is actually growing in total mass and density to the tune of a .08 mm annual reduction in global sea levels.
Of course, the mainstream media has consistently and somewhat successfully brainwashed the masses into believing that not only did global warming cause last year’s vicious hurricane season, it affects every aspect of life. Hot summers? Global warming. Record-setting cold? Global warming. The Red Sox stunning collapse in August? Global warming. They’ve also invested hundreds, if not thousands of hours trying to convince you that global warming is the direct result of human activity. According to them, global (primarily American) usage of fossil fuels is the root cause of global warming.
Once again, reality doesn’t fit the doomsday mold. During the height of American industrial expansion (between the end of World War II and the mid-70s), global temperatures decreased. Just think, hundreds of coal plants pumping millions of carbon dioxide gas and other particulates into our atmosphere and the earth got colder! It got so bad that the scientists fantasized about covering the icebergs with soot to facilitate melting. Growing seasons were predicted to shrink dramatically, causing food production to suffer and leading to worldwide famine.
Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization are concerned that an anticipated decrease (yes, decrease) in air pollution might cause a marked rise in water temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. It turns out that pollutants like sulfate and even black carbon are produced by burning fossil fuels. This air pollution helps to reflect back sunlight into space. These scientists are worried that less air pollution means that sunlight could more easily reach Earth, possibly increasing global temperatures.
Reading the results inversely, these scientists are saying that increased pollution may actually inhibit global warming. And if that weren’t enough, the Seattle Times touted this headline recently: “Could pollution help cool the planet?” Notice the first three sentences: “If the sun warms the Earth too dangerously, the time may come to draw the shade. The ‘shade’ would be a layer of pollution deliberately spewed into the atmosphere to help cool the planet. This over-the-top idea comes from prominent scientists, among them a Nobel laureate.” Rumor has it that these are the same people that wanted to spread ash on the icebergs.
The bottom line is that human-induced global warming is a myth built on discredited, pseudo-scientific computer models. The earth is a big, rugged place. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. To think that puny man can annihilate the marvelous world that God created is laughable.
What will the 2007 hurricane season bring? Who knows? I, for one, am not concerned that “global warming” is going to play a part.
Doug Merrill lives on Verona Island.