It’s Global Warming, Stupid: telling it like it is in post-Sandy USA

by Gareth on November 2, 2012


Sandy was an astonishing storm1. Bloomberg Businessweek has taken the opportunity to state the obvious and create one of the great magazine covers to sell the story2. It’s worth reading the magazine’s coverage3 because the usual suspects are out there trying to deny the undeniable. Sandy was a storm made worse by the fact of climate change. We all have to live with that.

While the US mops up, and reinsurers check their cash reserves, we can be sure of one thing. The worst is yet to come — and that’s not being alarmist, just pointing out the consequences of unavoidable future warming. That’s truly alarming.

  1. See Jeff Masters for some of the reasons why. []
  2. The ageing magazine editor in me doffs his hat. []
  3. Or the parsing of it at Climate Progress. []

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

bill November 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Yep, I think we’ve reached a turning point – well, unless perhaps the US still manages to elect an AGW denier who thinks the threat of rising oceans is a joke, and wants to de-fund both FEMA and the EPA next Tuesday. If the most scientifically advanced and powerful nation on earth is still irredeemably Stupid then we might as well just get used to the Sandys, because there’ll be plenty more to come.

By the way, Benny, Makka and andy, this headline is directed straight at you. The reason that AGW hasn’t been mentioned in the US election to date is that there are so many Stupid people in the English speaking-world – such as yourselves – who have been allowed to run around off their leashes for way too long. Look where it’s got us.

Expect blowback.

Glenn Williams November 2, 2012 at 11:41 pm

A turning point? I’m not so sure Watch what happens when someone brings up Climate Change at a Mitt Romney rally earlier today. It’s like something from Gareth’s Burning World.

bill November 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

…or North Korea!

God, what a bunch of mindless droogs. Chant “yew ess ay, yew ess ay” over and over again at the top of your voice and you never have to think about anything unpleasant ever again…

Thomas November 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Once conditioned, like the Pavlovian canine to his bell, to the weekly dose of chanting “halleluiah” on Sundays – until the unpleasant reality out there recedes from perception for a couple of hours – the stage it set. Now insert any old chant and presto – all is well indeed….. surely the U.S.A is much more mighty than any old antics of nature…

FlatFish November 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Actually I am starting to become religious.

Who else can pick up a little Atlantic storm, boost it, send it up the East coast of America, get it to make a left 90 degree turn, head it towards the most affluent area within the world, right on a super high-tide, arrange for a cold front from the west, boost it again to the power of 3 multi-megaton fission bombs… right at the time of the elections of the most powerful person in the world!

What else but divine intervention??

When I was growing up we wondered whether the B-clss actor in the US president’s chair would press the wrong button (nurse or first strike). At the same time the real loopy people were saying the Russians had a weather control machine..

The good old days!

Thomas November 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Brilliant! 😉

bill November 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

And I note that namesake Mayor Bloomberg (yes, it’s his business) has also just endorsed Obama. Specifically because of AGW. Well worth reading the quotes.

That limb certain people are out on is getting more-and-more slender; and what an bunch of hangers on they’re left out there with – equal parts ridiculous and unsavoury…

Thomas November 3, 2012 at 8:38 am

A bit off topic but relevant: Kim Hill is just interviewing Victoria Collier from about the fascinating story of the US vote counting system, which is owned and operated by a couple of private corporations, Diebold one of them, which belong to the right wing corner of the right wing scene in the USA and are openly funding right wing candidates, with the vote counting software and its working known to only a very small number of people and deemed a business secret, not open to public scrutiny.

The interview will be available on Kim Hills program site on National Radio later.

bill November 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

And, by timely coincidence, right at the moment you can grab a copy of Greg Palast’s best-seller ‘Billionaires and Ballot Bandits – How to Steal and Election in 9 Easy Steps‘ for free!

This details not only how the mass-disenfranchisement was undertaken in 2000 and 2004*, but what the same gang are up to now and how the Romneys personally made out like, um, bandits via their Vulture Fund buddy literally holding the government to ransom during the auto bailouts.

Palast’s work got the worst of the Vulture’s activities made illegal in the UK in 2010 – as they should be; they are the nadir of Capitalism, or, more bluntly, simple piracy.

*like the guy who was taken off the rolls for a crime he committed in 2014! Or how about guys actively serving in Iraq who are sent mail marked ‘Do Not Forward’ to their homes and then struck off the list as non-residents when the mail is returned? If you don’t know what a voter caging list is, you will! And, while we’re on the subject, have a teensy-tiny guess what colour[s] those being chucked off are…

cyclone November 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I am already religious, and am totally convinced the rapture occurred some time in George W Bush’s second term and sadly I was “Left Behind” and condemned to read comments from Andy S and other assorted deniers for 77 years – how else to explain this Kafkaesque insanity that surrounds?

Rob Taylor November 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

ROFL… repent, ye sinners, and ye will be spared the whinging of Andy S!

andyS November 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Can you please explain what I am denying? Roger Pielke jr has described this magazine cover in that the only accurate word on the cover is the word Stupid. The rest is completely unsupported by the science.

Show me some actual science to deny, thanks.

Gareth November 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

RP Jr is doing the denial tango, ignoring the obvious. His attempt to divert the mainstream just got washed away.

Thomas November 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

After shuffling his deck of denier cards, AndyS has once more picked up card one….

Show me some actual science to deny, thanks.

If the bits of reality here and there get a bit frustrating, perhaps go back to square A and deny that there is a reality at all….
Any takers to join Andy on his kindergarten merrygoaround again? Count me out.

andyS November 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

Sorry I hadn’t realized that climate scientists make their case by using reports from insurance companies.

I’ll try to pay more attention.

Thomas November 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Andy, you got it 180 degrees backwards: Insurance companies read, comprehend and use what the scientists report in the appropriate journals and reflect upon this in their own risk reports.

andyS November 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

The article from Tamino uses a graph from Munich Re.

They show the number of events. What defines an Event in insurance speak? Is it a function of cost? Is it inflation adjusted? Is it a function of human population?

It is not necessarily a function directly of weather events alone. We know, for example, that we are in a period of relatively low hurricane activity.

CTG November 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

When it says “It’s global warming, Stupid”, it was you they were talking to, Stupid.

bill November 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Munich Re compared weather-related to non-weather-related disasters. So, andy, here’s your chance: please go over and take this up with Tamino. That will bring your level of competence into the sharpest of relief, and I’m sure your endowment will fulfill the expectations of many here…

Richard Christie November 5, 2012 at 12:32 am

Andy, your avatar depicts you all alone, out in the cold.
A glimpse of self-awareness at last?

andyS November 5, 2012 at 1:13 am

“My Avatar shows me alone in the cold”

Well there was the guy with the camera, and it was a whiteout in Spring in France last April. Then NZ had 40cm at Mt Hutt yesterday, plus I was hillwalking in snow in Scotland yesterday.

Must be global warming, stupid.

andyS November 5, 2012 at 1:31 am

Maybe my personal experience of 10,000 measured earthquakes in the Christchurch region over the last two years, and the (non) response of insurance companies makes me a little sceptical of any claims (pun intended) made by them.

Ian Forrester November 5, 2012 at 4:35 am

andyS is wrong again but that is only to be expected:

We know, for example, that we are in a period of relatively low hurricane activity.

That is what happens, being wrong that is, when you look to deniers such as RPJnr for your “science”.

He is being dishonest, and I’m sure andyS knows that but pretends to ignore that fact, since RPJnr is talking about hurricanes which make US landfall, not total Atlantic basin hurricanes. If you plot the number of named storms in the Altantic Basin from 1960 to the present and do a linear least squares trend you find that hurricanes in that basin have increased from about 7 per year in 1960 to 15 in 2010.

The recent paper by Grinsted et al. ( confirms this:

we detect a statistically significant trend in the frequency of large surge events (roughly corresponding to tropical storm size) since 1923.

bill November 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Gee, andy, for some reason I can’t see your erudite rebuttals over at Tamino’s. Seems you’ve been distracted by some snowy or shaky squirrels, instead. Best keep the ADD in check, or some (not the readers who know you, certainly) might conclude that you’re all mouth and no trousers…

bill November 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm
Thomas November 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy

A very well crafted analysis by George Lakoff, Prof. of Linguistics, UC Berkeley

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