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The End Of Road For Climate Looting

Russian heat and droughts and fire? Maybe it’s global warming. Pakistani (and Kashmiri) floods? Maybe it’s global warming.

Or maybe not.

Likewise for the European heatwave of 2003, and pretty much any flood or drought Revkin, Romm and friends have ever been able to hear about in the news. Expect the law of diminishing returns to kick in quickly.

Now, wouldn’t it make more sense to finally abandon the rather unpleasant rushing after the latest tragedies in the hope of being able to blame them on (anthropogenic) global warming? Rather than behaving like “climate looters”, it would be far more effective for AGW believers to figure out where in the world a “climate signal” might be materialising (eg where trends in disasters are present or on the edge of being detectable), in order to concentrate minds on forecasting what if anything might happen in those specific places also with the goal of pushing adaptation projects forward.

This is not all too different from what vulcanologists already do. And it looks like a good litmus test to tell scavengers from the rest.

0 replies on “The End Of Road For Climate Looting”

Telling scavengers from the rest is precisely what we’re not supposed to do. It started with a WHO report ascribing 150,000 deaths a year to global warming, continued with Kofi Annan’s now defunct Global Humanitarian Forum report upping it to 300,000. The Pakistani floods and Russian heatwave came only after the tsunami and Haitian and Chinese earthquakes, which have blurred the message terribly.
Someone should have a look at the IPCC chapter on the 2003 European heatwave. A quick glance suggests:
1) Most of the references are not peer reviewed (which is fair enough, given that it was a political and medical problem, rather than a scientific one).
2) References in English were chosen in preference to those in the languages of the countries concerned (which is fair enough, given that the IPCC editors were unpaid volunteers)
3) The basic data is all over the place. There are huge discrepancies in ascribed mortalities between the Wikipaedia articles in English, French, and Italian, with the French and Italian governments both making major revisions to the official death tolls long after the event.

# “…..the IPCC editors were unpaid volunteers”.

Unpaid volunteers? IPCC contributors are all well paid public servants, or employees of State financed institutions and international organisations.

Yes, but they weren’t paid for their work on the IPCC reports. Richard Lindzen noted back in 1992 at
that few US university professors would take up the work, because of the time commitments required. This left the job to civil servants with job security, and the highly motivated, for whatever reason. It’s difficult to think of a worse way of getting a professional, dispassionate report.

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