Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Extreme weather and Climate Change predictions: the true connection


No matter where you stand on whether recent extreme weather events are caused by Climate Change, these stories are not going away. They are not going away because even if it is very difficult to pin point a direct cause and effect relationship between this extreme event and another one, overall we know Climate Change studies predict extreme weather events. Overall, our climate is warming up because of the fossil fuels we have put into the atmosphere since the early 1800’s. And, in all probability insurance rates are going to go up on property and anything else insurance is connected to because, deniers’ enthusiasm or not, the reality is that insurance rates will go up as the likelihood of more expensive disasters goes up.

Extreme weather events--snow storms, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes—will always make it to the front page of the news—no matter how dysfunctional and anti-science media’s backers remain. It may take awhile for various media outlets to connect the dots between extreme events and Climate Change, but it will eventually be common to do so because reality is on the side of the view that our atmosphere is warming up because we are burning fossil fuels and the predictions that there are more extreme events are coming true. This becomes more evident every day.

Amid Tornado Cleanup, Worship in Indiana Town At least 38 people were killed, state emergency officials said Sunday, as the deadly storms blew across the Midwest and South late last week, spawning dozens of tornadoes that destroyed buildings, knocked down power lines and tossed around vehicles. Officials said 12 deaths were reported in southeastern Indiana with an additional 21 deaths in neighboring Kentucky. The size of the storm and the region affected made it difficult for officials to assess the full extent of the damage. (March 4, 2012) The New York Times

If you are in any way responsible for protecting the public during extreme weather events you are going to have to do more planning for the increasingly likeliness of extreme weather because you cannot be caught off guard. You will need to anticipate the possibility of more extreme events following each other and that means setting aside more public funds—regardless of public pushback.

Eventually, fortifying our public health and our various water, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructures will have to be addressed—no matter how grey the area that connects a single extreme weather event to Climate Change.

There are a lot of reasons why this issue will be fought vigorously, even if it doesn’t’ make it to this year’s presidential elections. Those who wish to see extreme events as merely a normal shift in weather patterns will want their ideology preserved where the ‘least government is the best.’ That view will be severely challenged as the public demands that they are protected by their government.

Admittedly, there’s a sizable portion of the public who hasn’t thought about Climate Change and refuses to delve into the matter much. But the public does realize that things are changing right in front of them and that is more likely to change their view of Climate Change:

Poll: Americans' belief in global warming rises with thermometer | HeraldNet.com - Nation/World WASHINGTON -- Americans' belief in global warming is on the rise, along with temperatures and surprising weather changes, according to a new university poll. The survey by the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College says 62 percent of those asked last December think the Earth is getting warmer. That's up from 55 percent in the spring of that year and 58 percent in December 2010. It's the highest proportion in two years. (February 29, 2012) Everett and Snohomish County news from The Herald | HeraldNet.com

The connection between Climate Change and extreme weather events around the world therefore isn’t just a scientific one. As the reality of Climate Change confronts us in our daily lives the true connection between extreme weather events and Climate Change will become clearer: We must plan our future based on the preponderance of evidence not an ideology that doesn’t fit reality.

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