Close this search box.

Paper: ‘Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Irma To Fizzle?’

Science: Perhaps the best indication that Irma failed to live up to its billing is the fact that the broad stock indexes — including insurance companies — rallied on Monday while various construction-related stocks took it on the chin. When can we expect to see stories about how global warming deserves the credit?

There’s no question that Irma was and continues to be destructive. But there’s also no question that it was not nearly the storm it was predicted by all the experts to be.

Last week, there was talk of massive destruction across the state, with damage estimates ranging up to $200 billion. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levin called it “a nuclear hurricane.” Storm tracks last week showed Irma remaining a Category 4 hurricane for a significant portion of its trek across Florida. When Irma shifted to the west as it approached, it was described as the “worst-case scenario” for the state.

However, when Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted.

While those dire forecasts were being made, environmentalists and politicians were busy pinning the blame on global warming.

It was the same after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Houston. It’s the case whenever there is an adverse weather event. If there’s a drought, it’s because of “climate change.” If there’s flooding, climate change. Wild fires, climate change. Blizzards? Climate change.

So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better?

Even if that were true — and, for the record, we aren’t saying it is — environmentalists wouldn’t admit it, because the only thing that never, ever gets linked to climate change is good weather.

Indeed, any talk of the benefits of climate change are treated as dangerous nonsense, not because the benefits are unlikely, but because that sort of happy talk might cause people to become “complacent” about the need to fight climate change through onerous, intrusive and massively expensive government edicts.

That’s why you rarely hear about longer growing seasons that a warmer planet would produce in northern regions, which would lower food prices and reduce hunger, or the reduced number of fatalities from extreme cold, or how past periods of non-human-caused warming were ones of relative abundance.

It’s also why there’s so little research into other potential benefits of climate change, or what the relative balance between costs and benefits would be. Who is going to fund research into such things when the entire government-science-research complex is singularly devoted to proving that climate change will destroy humanity?

This one-sidedness isn’t evidence that global warming is real or inherently cataclysmic. It is, instead, evidence that global warming advocates are more interested in pushing a political agenda than actual science.

Occasionally, however, some good news slips through the climate change praetorian guard.

One was in the form of a study published by the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature in April 2016. The authors found that the weather in America had actually become increasingly pleasant over the past 40 years because of climate change — winters have been less severe while summers didn’t get much hotter.

As a result, the authors said, “80% of Americans live in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did four decades ago.”

This summer, University of York environmental professor Chris Thomas published a book, “Inheritors of the Earth”, in which he showed how global warming could be good for biodiversity, because species that need warmth would benefit while those that don’t would be largely unaffected.

Needless to say, these findings were not greeted with adulation from environmentalists.

In fact, when Rep. Lamar Smith made the case that climate change could be an overall benefit to humanity, he was mocked by Michael Mann, the climate scientists who as we noted in this space has been accused of manipulating temperature data but who is still the go-to expert for journalists. Mann told the far-left Huffington Post “it is clear” Smith is “slowly advancing through the stages of denial … having apparently now moved from ‘it’s not happening,’ to ‘ok—it’s happening, but IT WILL BE GOOD FOR US.”

Don’t expect Mann to apologize if he, not Smith, turns out to be wrong.