Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Frogs in the sky, fish on the streets...mass hysteria!

President Obama from earlier today, speaking at the climate change summit in Paris (my boldface):
And so, you know, I think that as the science around climate change is more accepted, as people start realizing that even today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing -- you know, you go down to Miami and when it's flooding at high tide on a sunny day and fish are swimming through the middle of the streets, you know, that -- there's a cost to that.
Fish spilled from a truck on a road in China, not Miami
I can't believe I actually have to say this, but for anyone who is not living in South Florida, there are not fish swimming in the middle of the streets in Miami, during high tide or any other tide. There just aren't. Now, there has been at least one recent actual case of a fish being seen on a flooded street in Fort Lauderdale. For anyone who is not from the area or has not lived in South Florida, here's some shocking news: sometimes the streets flood a little. Mostly, they flood due to heavy rains and mostly, we're talking about inland streets. But streets near the ocean (or the bay), well some of them are a tad vulnerable to occasional flooding due to combinations of high tides, strong easterly winds, and rain. And by occasional, I mean a few times a year or less. Though I don't know offhand how many times in the past hundred years or so this has led to fish on the streets.

The flooding and accompanying fish detailed in the above story? Well, that happened on September 28th of this year, a notable date insofar as a "supermoon" event occurred on September 28th. Moreover, simultaneous with the supermoon, there was also a total lunar eclipse. What does that mean for us here on Earth? Simple, higher tides. Coupled with the easterly winds that were occurring on these same days (which push ocean water towards the coast), the flooding in coastal regions wasn't much of a surprise.

But that didn't stop climate change fear-mongers like Al Gore from using the event as evidence of the increased threat of climate change. I'm guessing this is where Obama got his information.

Even if this is the case, though, even if Obama or someone on his staff heard the claim first from Gore, it's not an excuse to repeat it. Exactly the opposite, in fact. If the supposition is made that flooding in South Florida is due to climate change, this needs to be investigated before being offered as a fact. Of course, Gore and then Obama went a bit farther, claiming that the flooding was significant enough to induce fish to migrate into Miami's traffic pattern (requiring some weird traffic updates on the radio and on TV, I guess), which again is just a bunch of happy horseshit, pardon my language.

And in this regard, there are a few things that are worth noting:
  1. The media is, by and large, ignoring this lie or at least trying to downplay it. Look at the piece from the Miami Herald, above. After detailing Obama's falsehood, it continues with "the claim, even if inaccurate, should not take away from the need for action in South Florida." Inaccurate? It's an outright lie. Compare the attention this has received to statements Trump has made, like his claim about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9-11. Need I say more?
  2. South Florida as a whole should be furious with the President. And this includes the people at the Miami Herald. Why? Talk about flooding and fish on the streets is not good for tourism, especially when the person doing the talking is the President of the United States and he is talking to an international audience. That's just asinine.
  3. Claims of outrageous weather-related phenomena are typically associated with doomsday prognosticators, i.e. snake oil salesmen. Whether it's frogs raining from the heavens or lakes catching on fire, these are the type of stories that are used to sway the gullible through the twin powers of fear and awe.
The last is worth considering, especially with regard to the manner in which climate change alarmists attack differing points of view. As I've noted many times previously, a good chunk of this crowd see things through a prism of religion: their positions are not based on facts but on dogma and anyone who questions that dogma is a heretic.

Having said that, many of the arguments I've seen or heard that supposedly disprove climate change or global warming are loads of crappola. One of my favorites is the one based on a solitary event or singular piece of information, such as "It's snowing here, it almost never snows this time of year, so climate change is hooey!" A more advanced version of this is "The mean world temperature decreased last year, so climate change is hooey!" Those aren't sound arguments. They really aren't. Now, if such things keep repeating themselves, year after, year, well that's a different story, isn't it? And it's a story the pro-climate change crowd is starting to face, insofar as climate model after climate model is failing to produce reliable predictions.

So where does that leave such people? Paradoxically, it appears to have left them with the same sorts of flawed arguments that they where once scoffing at and ridiculing: namely, pointing at singular events and saying "See? Climate change!" Fish swimming the streets of Miami is just such an argument. Even it it were true, it wouldn't be evidence of climate change as a matter of course. It would be nothing more than an isolated event that may or may not have a link to climate change (the particular case in Fort Lauderdale does not have such a link, as I have already explained."

For the climate change alarmists, this is not a good sign. It indicates they are running out of actual evidence at an alarming rate, which is of course highly ironic...

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