New Video: Hurricane Sandy’s Double Whammy

November 5, 2012

25 Responses to “New Video: Hurricane Sandy’s Double Whammy”

  1. witsendnj Says:

    New Jersey looks like the ecopocalypse has arrived.

    It seems obvious that the sea-level rise and the size of the storm are related to the energy humans are adding to the system by burning fuel and releasing millions of tons of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases into the atmosphere. That’s high school science and as obvious as plate tectonics. Remember when that was a controversy? Or that seat belts in cars, or helmets for bikes save lives? Asking if climate change has something to do with Sandy is like asking if smoking has something to do with lung cancer. Remember when people could say with a straight face that it didn’t?

    Having said that, there is a very large story that isn’t being reported which has little to do with climate change although it derives from the same processes.

What is being ignored in this storm (and Irene as well) is the real source of the massive power outages that are so disruptive – which is all the trees that are falling on the lines. Trees didn’t used to fall with regularity on power lines – or people, cars and houses. The winds in both those storms were not extraordinary, nothing that a healthy tree shouldn’t be able to withstand.

    Why are they falling now? 

The answer is pretty obvious if you trouble to actually LOOK at them. They are all dying. Every species, every age, every location. They have obvious symptoms – broken branches, cankers, splitting bark, holes, thin crowns, early leaf drop, lack of autumn color, yellowing needles, bark covered with lichens and fungus. You can’t find a healthy tree anymore.

    So the question becomes, why are they dying? Most foresters and scientists will say, climate change and/or invasive pests. But those explanations don’t fit the empirical evidence which is that even native pests and diseases have run amuck, and even young trees grown and watered and fertilized in nurseries exhibit the identical symptoms of decline. Even annual, tropical ornamentals in enriched soil in pots that like heat, and aquatic plants in ponds have injured foliage and stunted growth.

    What do all of these plants have in common? 

The answer is, the composition of the atmosphere. Most people don’t realize it, because it’s invisible, but the background level of tropospheric ozone is inexorably increasing. Precursors from Asia travel across oceans and continents, and the persistent concentration has reached a threshold that is intolerable to the plants that absorb it when they photosynthesize. Agricultural yield and quality are reduced, and especially trees that are exposed to cumulative damage season after season are universally – around the world – in decline.

This process has been well known to foresters and agronomists for decades, and demonstrated in field observations and controlled fumigation experiments. They just don’t want to publicize it, or even admit it, because the source is the emissions from industrial civilization itself. They would rather point to drought, insects, fungus and disease EVEN THOUGH it is well known that ozone debilitates plants causing their root systems to shrink as they allocate more energy to repairing damaged foliage, rendering them more vulnerable to drought and wind…AND impinges on their natural immunity to attacks from insects, disease and fungus, which exist precisely to break down dying trees, not destroy healthy trees.

    Most of the trees that fell during Sandy were rotted inside.

    Photos here:

    • andrewfez Says:

      Seems pretty simple to me: You add more energy to the system, and that causes storms to have…….extra energy. Surprise!

      The tree situation is sort of like AIDS/HIV: A person who dies of HIV doesn’t actually die of not having an immune system. The die from common infections that their body can’t shake off, secondary to not having an immune system. But we don’t state the primary infection as a cause of death, without mentioning the secondary, HIV infection.

      Are there any good studies that correlate diminishing tree life span with O3 or NOx concentrations?

        • Kiwiiano Says:

          I suspect the kauri and cabbage trees (and macrocarpas and kiwifruit) die-offs are attributable to globalisation rather than pollution. Bacteria/fungi/viruses/insects/or any combination thereof the species are unadapted to being intoduced and creating havoc. Dutch elm disease and the latest Ash tree disease are other examples of many.
          The American problem appears to be different, whole forests of assorted species in trouble…. a big worry.

          • witsendnj Says:

            Ha Kiwiiano, as it happens I just wrote about the exact topic of invasives, specifically the fungus killing ash in England, but it applies equally to other parts of the world. Think about how utterly absurd it is, here is an excerpt from my post linked below:

            “Joan Webber, principal pathologist at Forest Research, the research agency of the UK Forestry Commission, said: ‘There have been more outbreaks of diseases in the past 10 years than we had in the whole of the last century. These organisms reinvent themselves when they move into an unknown habitat. Plants have little or no resistance to them. It can happen very quickly.’ She urged anyone going into woods to clean their boots and to ask nurseries to be more vigilant for diseases.”

            It’s important that even though the story is ostensibly about ash dieback, they are not just talking about one species but rather “a tidal wave of pathogens.” These pronouncements are INSANE. England had colonies all around the globe and has maintained a brisk trade with them for centuries. Charles Darwin, for god’s sake, brought all sorts of samples of plants back; the New World supplied Europe with shipload after shipload of lumber – they essentially denuded the great forests of the East Coast and much of it wound up in Europe; all sorts of agricultural crops have been exchanged; the extensive arboretums that are the pride of the English Isles have been abundantly planted with exotic specimens due to their mild hospitable climate from ALL OVER THE WORLD and NOW, SUDDENLY – in the “last ten years” – all hell is breaking loose because of invasive species????


          • Kiwiiano Says:

            “…suddenly in the last 10 years….”
            Unfortunately, no. All hell broke loose within a year or two of European settlers bringing invasives to NZ, as back in the late 18th century. Rats, cats and mice decimated our indigenous bird and reptile life, by the 19th century gorse, broom and lupins exploded all over the landscape and rabbits, hares, opposums, pigs, deer and goats were well-established, destroying farmland and forest. Nowadays we are battling wildling pines, Old Mans Beard, convolvulous, and a multitude of species that have no natural limiters in NZ. The kauri dieback and kiwifruit PSA, plus varroa mite are just the latest of a long line of ecological disasters.

          • rayduray Says:


            I’m very much appreciating your contribution here. It’s an education for me. I see that NZ has been quite well assaulted over the centuries:


            One of my favorite authors, David Quammen wrote an essay a while back that seems applicable, particularly to Auckland, called “A Planet Of Weeds”.


            Quammen is an optimist. He’s certain that 10 million years after homo sapiens dies out that there will again be magnificent forests with wondrous creatures wandering the planet.

          • Kiwiiano Says:

            There was an intriguing TV series shown here a few months back “Life after Man” (?) devoted to just that subject. It demonstrated just how rapidly all evidence of our presence would disappear, judging by the speed with which some Rust Belt cities are crumbling or the vulnerability of cities like London if infrastructure isn’t strictly maintained. On the changes in plant life they prognosticated the cresent from Maryland to Texas being totally overrun by a Japanese vine. They envisaged it building up to a thick layer that is horribly flammable in the autumn….all it would take is a stray lightning strike and “The South will burn again.”

            In NZ I suspect Old Mans Beard could have the same effect judging by the extent that it is burying the forest on the hills around Dunedin.

          • rayduray Says:

            Hi Kiwilano,

            Thanks for the pleasant back-and-forth. Kudzu [ ] is a serious pest plant in the Southern U.S. as you say. Out here in the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA) we have several others. English Ivy was introduced as an ornamental. Now it is subject to massive eradication campaigns. Similarly, Scottish Broom was introduced as dunes stabilization tool and it took off like mad. Further east where I live in the High Desert we’ve had the Russian Thistle invading since the 19th Century. The new curse up this way is knapweed, another weedy invasive that out-competes that nutritious native grasses and is the bane of pastoralists and cattle ranchers.

            Heck, we’ve even got a popular song about Russian Thistle:

    • Kiwiiano Says:

      Odd…. I’ve checked a variety of trees, native and introduced, young and old, here in NZ and there doesn’t appear to be any pattern of disease or decay that can’t be attributed to the extraordinary rate that trees grow here. Is it a North American phenomenon? You have a lot more gas-guzzling vehicles there.

      • witsendnj Says:

        Right but the difference is that now EVERY species of tree is dying. So in the past certainly, invasive species transmitted by humans decimated certain native populations. The difference is now that suddenly, EVERY species of tree is dying, which have been exposed to alien imports for centuries.

        Please explain that as traveling pathogens. The pathogens have long since been imported.

  2. rayduray Says:

    Thanks Peter, I’ve purloined your most excellent video and passed it along here:


    I’ve also passed along your Hurricane Sandy item to a number of interested friends. Good job on a bad situation.

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    I see you got good mileage out of the State Farm ad. It fooled me at 1s as I thought it was just a YouTube intro ad.

    Aside from the damage that freak storms can cause to cities and human habitation, I think a greater concern is the potential impact of weird weather on crops.

    I doubt that many of the staple crops can cope with rapidly shifting patterns of heat, flooding, storms, snow, etc.

    I guess hydroponic gardening will take off in a big way in the next 5-10 yrs.

  4. rayduray Says:

    Amazing image of ice halos ascribed to Hurricane Sandy’s effect on cirrus clouds above a NASA facility in Alabama:

    [Scroll to the second news item.]

  5. Jean Mcmahon Says:

    Thanks for the great video..Okla is still in a really BAD drought…My beautiful Oaks had a canker which a person at Oklahoma State Univ exten service said was from the effects of the drought 2 years ago..So I will have to go bankrupt watering 5 acres of trees..Media just cheerfullyreports the nice warm Oct/Nov weather

    • rayduray Says:


      I hateto be the bearer of bad news, but your trees are not the only ones in trouble these days. Here’s someone who lives in New Jersey documenting the distress of the local trees there.

      • witsendnj Says:

        Ha, thanks Rayduray. In the east they tell us trees are dying because it’s too wet! Anything other than the poisonous fumes we are spewing into the air.

        • rayduray Says:

          Hi Gail,

          Out here in the West we have our own curse to bear when it comes to tree die-off. The mountain bark beetle has been ravaging forests from Colorado to the Yukon now that we don’t get any severely cold winters any longer. It’s going to be a whole new world in a few decades.

          In a “look on the bright side from the tree’s perspective” article, OPB tells us that trees are thriving in formerly high meadows:

          Gail, do you think I went over the line with this comment to a certifiable idiot on the OPB page?

          COMMENT: Doc3 • 2 days ago

          Global warm has to be blamed on the Sun. The climate change hokum is not selling anymore.

          REPLY: RayDuray Doc3 • 3 minutes ago


          You lost? Unlike you, there are intelligent people here. Your breed of evangelical inbred six-toed lunatics are elsewhere. Mostly anointing the feet of your new white Messiah, Mitt Romney while they share superstitions and half-baked lies with each other for comfort as we approach the Rapture. You really do need to get out more often. You are going batshit crazy in your batcave.


  6. iheartunity Says:

    well done, peter. well done. I will repost your video on my blog in a few days.

  7. […] within was exhibited this past weekend between Mayor Bloomberg and the survivors of the recent apocalyptic manifestation of human-induced climate change. Apparently the New York climate refugees […]

  8. […] Sinclair of ClimateCrocks blogsite recently posted this video.  Watch it and ask yourself how much longer the leader of the most powerful nation in the world can sit on the […]

  9. […] activist websites continue to post climate change alarmist nonsense in Sandy’s wake. See examples here, here and here. And they call themselves realists. They must think Salvador Dali’s paintings were […]

  10. […] activist websites continue to post climate change alarmist nonsense in Sandy’s wake. See examples here, here and here. And they call themselves realists. They must think Salvador Dali’s paintings were […]

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