As of this morning it looks like—perhaps—the west side of the Beltway will be spared the worst of the winds and rain from Irene, which I suppose would make sense, since I’m uber-prepared. I’ve even dug out my French press in case I have to make coffee without electricity tomorrow morning.
But there’s one deluge we knew would be unavoidable: the nonsense from the global warming nutcases that Hurricane Irene is some kind of proof of global warming. Never mind that, as we mentioned here before, storms of this kind, while exceedingly rare, are not at all unknown (see, by the way, this ABC News story of people reminiscing about the 1938 hurricane that I wrote about yesterday) and it does not appear that Irene is notably stronger than any of the previous historic storms.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Bill McKibben, the perfect embodiment of Churchill’s definition of a fanatic (“someone who can’t change their mind, and won’t change the subject”), from declaring that “Irene’s got a middle name—and it’s global warming.”
This is all too much even for Andy Revkin at the New York Times. Andy tends toward global warming alarmism, though he has ever so slightly been backing away from this, more or less since the East Anglia “Climategate” scandal broke. But above all Andy reports the issue fairly straight. (That’s one reason why a prominent climate campaigner told Revkin last year that “We can no longer trust you.”) Here’s Revkin’s blog post about this:
But McKibben’s effort to use this United States hurricane landfall as a specter of things to come in a greenhouse-heated world doesn’t mesh with the science, which shows a measurable, though subtle, trend in the opposite direction. That’s why I agree with Keith Kloor’s conclusion that this kind of rhetoric is “undermining the legitimacy” of the call to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Personally, this is why I want McKibben to keep getting arrested outside the White House protesting the Keystone pipeline, etc. Next to Al Gore, McKibben is the gift that keeps on giving.