Bloomberg Businessweek: IT”S GLOBAL WARMING, STUPID

November 1, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek: IT”S GLOBAL WARMING, STUPID.

And since the cover apparently wasn’t ptovocative enough, the magazine’s editor said on Twitter: “Our cover story this week may generate controversy, but only among the stupid.”

Meanwhile, who wrote this? (Answer to come later in the day): (Blogger’s note: There’s more below — you have to click on the link!)

NEW YORK—Following Hurricane Sandy’s destructive tear through the Northeast this week, the nation’s 300 million citizens looked upon the trail of devastation and fully realized, for the first time, that this is just going to be something that happens from now on.

Gradually comprehending that this sort of thing is now just a fact of life, citizens all across America stared blankly at images of destroyed homes, major cities paralyzed by flooding, and ravaged communities covered in debris, and finally acknowledged that this, apparently, is now a regular part of the human experience.

“Oh, I see—this is just going to be how it is from here on out,” said New York City resident Brian Marcello, coming to terms with the fact that an immense storm that cripples mass transit systems and knocks out power for millions in the nation’s largest metropolitan area can no longer be regarded as an isolated, freak incident, and will henceforth be just a normal thing that happens. “Hugely destructive weather events are going to keep happening, and they are going to get worse and worse, and living through them is something that will be a part of all our lives from now on, whether we like it or not.”

Bloomberg Businessweek:

Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.

Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it: At least 40 U.S. deaths. Economic losses expected to climb as high as $50 billion. Eight million homes without power. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. More than 15,000 flights grounded. Factories, stores, and hospitals shut. Lower Manhattan dark, silent, and underwater.

An unscientific survey of the social networking literature on Sandy reveals an illuminating tweet (you read that correctly) from Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. On Oct. 29, Foley thumbed thusly: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change? Yes. Fueled by many factors. Is storm stronger because of climate change? Yes.” Eric Pooley, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (and former deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek), offers a baseball analogy: “We can’t say that steroids caused any one home run by Barry Bonds, but steroids sure helped him hit more and hit them farther. Now we have weather on steroids.”

In an Oct. 30 blog post, Mark Fischetti of Scientific American took a spin through Ph.D.-land and found more and more credentialed experts willing to shrug off the climate caveats. The broadening consensus: “Climate change amps up other basic factors that contribute to big storms. For example, the oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms. And the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture, which is drawn into storms and is then dumped on us.” Even those of us who are science-phobic can get the gist of that.

Sandy featured a scary extra twist implicating climate change. An Atlantic hurricane moving up the East Coast crashed into cold air dipping south from Canada. The collision supercharged the storm’s energy level and extended its geographical reach. Pushing that cold air south was an atmospheric pattern, known as a blocking high, above the Arctic Ocean. Climate scientists Charles Greene and Bruce Monger of Cornell University, writing earlier this year in Oceanography, provided evidence that Arctic icemelts linked to global warming contribute to the very atmospheric pattern that sent the frigid burst down across Canada and the eastern U.S.

And as far as big Energy is concerned, you’ll just have to adapt.




9 Responses to “Bloomberg Businessweek: IT”S GLOBAL WARMING, STUPID”

  1. mrsircharles Says:

    “weather on steroids” says it in one.

  2. uknowispeaksense Says:

    “Our cover story this week may generate controversy, but only among the stupid.”

    Quote of the year. The denier blogs are already comparing wind speeds of Sandy with other storms, pointing and asking readers to notice that it’s not the biggest around. So it seems cherrypicking data is reduced to this. They aren’t even trying to appear clever anymore.

  3. Lee Pillow Says:

    “Largest gale force wind field ever recorded in an Atlantic Hurricane”…

    Shove that quote down the Denier’s throats. Let them yell about the hurricanes of the 50s and 60s. Nothing in our recorded past demonstrates storms and winds quite on this scale, even those the strongest gusts were just Cat 2.

    In about 40 years, this will happen again, and it’s going to be a Cat 4, with another foot of sea level rise to pile on top.

  4. andrewfez Says:

    When folks tied to the business community (which pretty much runs the U.S.) are conceding to reality, then hope for a less carbon-intensive world still remains.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: