Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Hurricane Hogwash

Leonard Gilroy
May 30, 2005, 9:53am

Now that summer is upon us, hurricane season is ramping up, as well as the predictable hysteria about global warming's influence. After the quadruple pounding that Florida recieved last year, it didn't take long for the Chicken Little crowd to start crowing that climate change MUST be responsible for the increasing hurricane frequency, despite a mountain of scientific evidence to the contrary. So the ever-helpful Reuters, apparently interested in getting a jump start on the inevitable hurricane hysteria, runs this piece on the global warming/hurricanes debate: See my post from earlier this year on Chris Landsea's resignation from IPCC. I was frankly surprised to see that he got a prominent voice in this article, given the pro-enviro bent of the mainstream media. In fact, the article gave much more ink to the skeptical argument, which is a refreshing change from standard climate reporting. But the author couldn't resist the ubiquitous shot at the Prez: Hmmmm. Let's is certainly true that enviros are dismayed by practically everything Bush has done, but were they not also dismayed when the U.S. Senate rejected Kyoto by a devastating 95-0 margin in 1997 during the Clinton administration (here's a refresher)? It's funny how history gets constantly rewritten amid the passions and vitriol of the politics du jour. Back to the hurricane story, I'm going to place my bets now. I'm betting (solely on gut instinct) on a normal hurricane season in which we'll hear barely a whimper on the global warming issue. But if I'm wrong and we have another whopper of a season, then I'm betting that we get the first Chicken Little, enviro-hysteria article within 36 hours of the second landfall. But of course, there is a third would be just priceless if we had a below-average hurricane season and then started seeing articles about how global warming was the cause of the lack of hurricanes. Given the abrupt switch from fears of global cooling to global warming in the late 1970's, this idea isn't that far fetched.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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