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EDITORIAL: Frankenstorm follies

Hurricane Sandy wasn’t caused by the Industrial Revolution

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There is something about severe weather that brings out the crazy in people -- particularly the global-warming alarmists.

As soon as Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the violent weather was blamed on mankind's addiction to automobiles and the other conveniences of modern life. Nobel laureate Al Gore was among those making this connection on his blog Tuesday. "Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come," wrote the former vice president. "We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather." He's talking about petroleum products and coal, which are "dirty" because they spew carbon dioxide -- as human beings and animals do.

Other so-called experts don't agree regarding the relationship between global warming and extreme weather. The United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), not exactly a hotbed of climate change denial, concluded as much earlier this year. The IPCC's March 2012 special report on managing extreme events and disasters concluded there is "low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities." The panel attributed this to "uncertainties in the historical tropical cyclone records, the incomplete understanding of the physical mechanisms linking tropical cyclone metrics to climate change, and the degree of tropical cyclone variability." The panel added that "attribution of single extreme events to anthropogenic climate change is challenging." That is an understatement.

A 2010 study by the National Hurricane Center predicted global warming would, over time, decrease the number of tropical storms by as much as a third. The 2012 IPCC study agreed that it was "likely that the global frequency of tropical cyclones will either decrease or remain essentially unchanged" through the year 2100. If so, that would delay having to respond to the alleged challenge of warming-inspired hurricanes until at least the 157th Congress.

Purveyors of the global warming theory have had to exploit extreme weather because their doomsday predictions have failed to come true. The Arctic ice cap is still with us, and Antarctic ice is at record levels. Not one Pacific island has been submerged by rising ocean waters. Famines, floods and epidemics still occur, but not to the extent warmists prophesized. Global temperature data from the UK Met Office show that, on average, the Earth has not warmed for the last 15 years.

Hurricane Sandy has claimed dozens of lives, left millions without power and could cost billions. Climate-change hysteria may end up taking an even greater toll. Global-warming inspired automobile regulations will claim hundreds of lives by making vehicles less safe. The Environmental Protection Agency's war on coal will shut down 200 plants that produce affordable energy, increasing the likelihood of blackouts. The cost of various regulations and carbon-dioxide taxes easily reaches into the hundreds of billions. None of those sacrifices will prevent the killer storms that mankind has faced throughout history.

The Washington Times

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