Climate of fear

Remember how in the months following Hurricane Katrina we began to hear dire warnings of what was to come in 2006? Here is a sampling of what was being reported at the time:

From USA Today:

For this year’s storm season, which lasts six months and promises to be active, the corps will not be able to upgrade the 181 miles of levees that remained intact during Katrina.

From CBC News:

This year’s north Atlantic hurricane season will be “very active,” spawning eight to 10 hurricanes, the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

From the New York Times:

Many experts view this hurricane season, which begins on June 1, with trepidation, and hope that the system is not put to a test like Hurricane Katrina before further improvements can be made.

From The Christian Science Monitor

With meteorologists predicting another severe round of hurricanes this summer, the US Army Corps of Engineers is hastily working to finish repairs to the New Orleans’ levee system by June 1 – the official start of hurricane season – calling the end product “stronger and better than before.”

From TerraDaily:

With the new hurricane season opening on June 1, experts predicted last week that as many as 16 named tropical storms could form this year, possibly six of them rising to Category 3 hurricane strength or higher.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the dikes intended to protect low-lying New Orleans from floods, has failed to meet its self-imposed June 1 deadline to bring the levee system back up to pre-Katrina levels.

The media here was using one of their favorite tactics – creating drama by combining elements of two different stories. It’s boring to simply say the Corps of Engineers is working hard to repair the levees in New Orleans. But throw in some of the “expert” forecasts of the coming hurricane season and suddenly you can write THIS juicy headline: “Time Running Out as Workers Desperately Scramble to Fix New Orleans Levees: Hurricane Experts Predict Another Active Season“. See how it works? Neato!

Now, let’s contrast that to what they were saying in late 2006 as the hurricane season was wrapping up:

From CNN:

Defying predictions, the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season ended with a whimper rather than a bang on Thursday, without a single hurricane hitting U.S. shores.

From LiveScience:

MIAMI (AP) — The mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season draws to a close Thursday without a single hurricane striking the United States — a stark contrast to the record-breaking 2005 season that killed more than 1,500 people and left thousands homeless along the Gulf Coast.

Nine named storms and five hurricanes formed this season, and just two of the hurricanes were considered major. That is considered a near-normal season — and well short of the rough season government scientists had forecast.

I would bring you more excerpts but they are much harder to find than the gloom-and-doom examples which preceded them. Stories where nothing happens just aren’t very interesting.

So what happened to all the hurricanes? Why were the experts wrong this time? Well, maybe it’s because they are pretty much wrong ALL the time. On Friday, the AP ran a revealing story which almost reads as a confession of their industry’s hunger for hype”

Each April, weather wizard William Gray emerges from his burrow deep in the Rocky Mountains to offer his forecast for the six-month hurricane season that starts June 1. And the news media are there, breathlessly awaiting his every word.

It’s a lot like Groundhog Day — and the results are worth just about as much.

“The hairs on the back of my neck don’t stand up,” ho-hums Craig Fugate, director of emergency management for Florida, the state that got raked by four hurricanes — three of them “major” — in 2004. When it comes to preparing, he says, these long-range forecasts “are not useful at all.”

So why run these stories at all if the predictions are usually incorrect? Because, the mainstream media doesn’t care if it’s correct — so long as the story fit’s into their doomsday template.

But a bigger question comes to mind if I may shift the topic a little… if the experts are wrong about what will happen in a few months, how can we believe them when they tell us what will happen in the next several years? Every day we are warned of the impending catastrophic effects that man-made global warming will bring to pass. But what makes these experts any more accurate about this than when they are predicting hurricanes?

An editorial by Steven Milloy that ran on FOXNews a couple of years back posed the same question:

Despite the vast collective expertise of NOAA scientists, immense quantities of atmospheric and oceanic data, and unprecedented computing power, NOAA failed miserably in predicting weather events a mere six months into the future – and reiterated those same ill-conceived predictions at mid-season.

Yet global warming alarmists, including those at NOAA, expect us to unthinkingly buy into their dire forecasts of global warming – predictions that extend 100 years or more into the future. Forecasting global climate change decades into the future can only be described as orders of magnitude more complex than forecasting an imminent, six month-long hurricane season.

Very good points. Those of you who have bought into this “debate is over” propaganda from Al Gore and other global warming advocates might want to sincerely ponder this. We are making laws, treaties and dramatic lifestyle changes based upon the predictions of the same experts who have trouble telling you whether it will rain on your cookout tomorrow afternoon. Maybe it’s time for more of us to step out of the growing chorus of doomsday voices and really examine the song that is being sung.

Granted it won’t be easy for you if you do. It has become very fashionable to ride the global warming bandwagon – so fashionable that it revived the career of a washed up ex-presidential candidate and turned him into a rock star overnight. If it’s the approval of your peers that you desire, global warming is a sure thing. Try ridiculing someone who is skeptical of man-made climate change and you’re certain to get some appreciative pats on the back. It’s hip to hang with this crowd.

But a much more useful endeavor would be to drum up the courage to seriously question what is being fed to you by pundits, politicians, celebrities and the status quo of climate experts. NOT necessarily reject it outright… just question it. Because whatever ends up being done about global warning will be very difficult to undo. Whatever personal freedoms are taken from you as the result of an environmental law or treaty will probably be forever gone even if the data they were based upon is later found to be faulty. Once a government takes power from you they are generally not so keen on giving it back. So it’s worth it to start thinking for yourself on this issue. And as you see from the hurricane stories above, the media isn’t going to be a whole lotta help…

This much is certain – regardless of which side turns out to be right the world will look a lot different ten or twenty years from now than it does today. Either the global warming alarmists will be right, which I guess means the Statue of Liberty will be underwater. OR the skeptics will be right in which case the statue will still be there but the liberty will be gone. The weather is changing folks…


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