Ascribing this or that weather event (hurricane, tornado, tsunami etc.) to a clearly defined set of direct causes seems to be a lost cause. Were it not for the numbers of individuals so persuaded, we might long ago have ceased to regard the fragmentary and contradictory “evidence” as too inconclusive for serious consideration.
Our commentary on this subject will be brief however before moving on, we would remind our readers of the following points – which we hold to be self evident:
weather is not climate and even a few decades of greater or lesser weather activity do not “prove” either camp's climate assertions.
pollution is not climate. Pollution should be minimized and attenuated as a matter of practice. Humankind has made considerable progress in that regard. (see Lake Erie history for starters).
Cold is much more debilitating than heat and has demonstrably greater danger for human survival. (see notes on Carboniferous Period)
The earth seems to be cooling – not getting hotter – at this time. At some point that will change or reverse. Maybe we will have twenty foot ferns again.
Does citation of these obvious truths make us "deniers"? Not necessarily, and in fact we remain 'agnostic" (leaning toward AGW disbelief) on this issue. In our opinion too many loose ends exist to make current AGW theory highly plausible.
The reader can review this subject within World Disaster Report archives and do some personal investigation. Enjoy the journey.
Graph note: since no weather stations were operating during this time, this data was extrapolated from fragmentary evidence in the fossil record. the more extrapolation is used, the more opportunity for error is present.
Plant life was much more abundant during the hotter Carboniferous period - an ice age followed
West Virginia today is mostly an erosional plateau carved up into steep ridges and narrow valleys, but 300 million years ago, during the Carboniferous Period, it was part of a vast equatorial coastal swamp extending many hundreds of miles and barely rising above sea level. This steamy, tropical quagmire served as the nursery for Earth's first primitive forests, comprised of giant lycopods, ferns, and seed ferns.
North America was located along Earth's equator then, courtesy of the forces of continental drift. The hot and humid climate of the Middle Carboniferous Period was accompanied by an explosion of terrestrial plant life. However by the Late Carboniferous Period Earth's climate had become increasingly cooler and drier. By the beginning of the Permian Period average global temperatures declined by about 10° C.
Why must we, as in previous ages, continue to try to suggest that humans may have been a contributing element in major destructive weather events? If it were really possible for humans to be a contributor to severe weather or worsening climate, would it not also be logical to believe that humans might also be a contributing element to spells of good weather or favorable climate change?
The longest recorded period of no major (Cat 3, 4, 5) hurricane landfalls in the US has occurred during the last seven years (2006 to 2012). We have also had 20 fewer major US hurricane landfall events in the last 47 year period (1966 to 2012) than we had during the earlier 47 year (1919 to 1965) period. And this decrease in landfalling major hurricanes occurred during the time of rising CO2 levels. If humans could really influence destructive climate-weather events like Sandy, should they not also be able to take some credit for influencing the recent decades of reduced number of US landfalling major hurricanes? Landfalling US major hurricanes are known to cause about 80-85 percent of all normalized US landfalling tropical cyclone destruction.