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Who Links Here

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Bill Clinton: Republican Policies Contribute to Hurricanes
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:18 am

Via the AP: Clinton Links GOP Policies to More Storms

As Tropical Storm Alberto threatened to strengthen into the ninth hurricane in 22 months to affect Florida, former President Clinton predicted Monday that Republican environmental policies will lead to more severe storms.

“It is now generally recognized that while Al Gore and I were ridiculed, we were right about global warming,” Clinton said at a fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party. “It’s a serious problem. It’s going to lead to more hurricanes.”

So, if Gore had been elected in 2000 we have had less hurricanes in the last five and a half years? I think that stretches credulity a tad, don’t you think?

Further, even if we except the premise here, which is that global warming leads to more hurricanes, what in the name of Sam Hill are we supposed to do about it? Certainly there is nothing in the short-run that can be done, and it remains an open question as to the actual severity of the warming, and the degree to which it can be controlled by human action.

And don’t point to Kyoto: remember, it gave exemptions to China and India, which as has been noted, are both consuming large amounts of fossil fuels these days.

Given that we had one record year for named storms last year hardly proves a monstrous new trend. Indeed, the record that was broken was from the 1930s, so it isn’t as if we are in some unprecedented phase-especially since we now count storms we see on radar that no one would have known about decades ago.

This whole business from the former president strikes me as political pandering and scaremongering more than a serious discussion.

More than anything else, these kinds of argument drive me nuts, as it is argumentation from essentially one data point: i.e., the number of storms from last year plus the fact that we had one storm of generational proportions (Katrina). Of course, it isn’t as if such storms are a new phenomena (for example: Camille, Andrew, etc.).

Filed under: US Politics, Hurricanes | |Send TrackBack

3 Comments »

  1. So, if Gore had been elected in 2000 we have had less hurricanes in the last five and a half years? I think that stretches credulity a tad, don’t you think?

    Are you basing this interpretation on something other than the article? In his quoted comments, Clinton simply says that “It is now generally recognized that while Al Gore and I were ridiculed, we were right about global warming.”

    This is true. And it is also true that Republicans have done absolutely nothing to address the problem.

    And don’t point to Kyoto: remember, it gave exemptions to China and India, which as has been noted, are both consuming large amounts of fossil fuels these days.

    Sorry, Kyoto is extremely relevant. Blaming US inaction on the fact that China and India are exempt show a lack of coming to terms with the source of the problem. The US is not only the worlds largest polluter-it is also has a MUCH higher per capita level of emissions (20.1 metric tons vs. 1.2 for India and 2.7 for China)

    More than anything else, these kinds of argument drive me nuts, as it is argumentation from essentially one data point: i.e., the number of storms from last year plus the fact that we had one storm of generational proportions (Katrina).

    I didn’t hear Clinton’s entire speech, but the fundamental issue at hand-i.e. that climate change is a human-induced phenomena that will likely have fundamental social, economic, and ecological consequences is widely accepted by most independent climatologists.

    Bush’s idiotic “lets wait to see what science tells us” is a canard. The real question is how do we deal with risk. Answering that question requires a serious debate-one that Bush hasn’t been capable of engaging in.

    Comment by Ratoe — Tuesday, June 13, 2006 @ 9:20 am

  2. It’s generally excepted in all scientific communities with any credibility that global warming is a problem today and will continue to get worse.

    Comment by eric — Tuesday, June 13, 2006 @ 4:44 pm

  3. Dr. Taylor,

    Didn’t the Senate vote down Kyoto 99-0? Bill didn’t excercise too much leadership in that area and now, I find it humorous that he wants to jump on this blame the GOP bandwagon, on global warming.

    Not that the President has a lot of control over it, but it sounds good to the Democrats. And, it looks good on paper.

    Comment by LASunsett — Tuesday, June 13, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

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