Isabel and Global Warming

As Isabel swept through the Eastern seaboard whipping up a broad swath of destruction, environmentalists just couldn’t contain themselves, seizing on yet another opportunity to advance highly questionable–if not outright silly–theories about the “linkage” between global warming and extreme weather events.

Though it offered some qualified statements–“Although it is impossible to say that any individual storm is caused by global warming”–Worldwatch Institute breezily vitiated them by citing “clear connections” between Isabel and global warming. “Heat in the atmosphere is the fuel that leads to stormy weather,” the Institute wrote in a Sept. 16 press release, “and meteorological studies indicate that rising temperatures will tend to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme storms, particularly the violent thunderstorms that occur in some parts of the world.”

The Institute, in predictable fashion, said further that man-made greenhouse gases are a major cause of global warming, and that as temperatures rise, so too will the frequency and severity of hurricanes. (Absurdly, the Institute says the solution to this is…the Kyoto Protocol.)

FACT: This ‘SUVs-release-CO2-causing-global-warming-causing-hurricanes’ syllogism is patently false. Even the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a bountiful source of the alarmists most absurd contentions, says that, “Overall, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense, through the 20th century.” And since 2000, reams of scientific research have confirmed the IPCC’s findings.

Dr. David Legates, an expert hydrology researcher, said this before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on March 13, 2002: “Clearly, claims that anthropogenic global warming will lead to more occurrences of droughts, floods, and storms are wildly exaggerated.”

What about the supposed heightened severity of storms and hurricanes, caused by global warming? According to the American Insurance Association, “The real problem is the tremendous growth in population, homes, commercial development in the most hurricane-prone regions of the United States, especially Florida and other states along the Southeast and Gulf coasts.”