Marita Noon
Recommend this article

With Doha’s grim outlook, and the “disappointing” results of the Bali Action Plan, Copenhagen Accord, Cancun Agreements, and Durban Platform, why should we pay any attention to the climate change talks taking place in Doha?

Superstorm Sandy.

Think Progress’ Climate Progress site offers an overview of the “UN Climate Change Negotiations.” Within the seven pages, they claim that: “the American public’s belief in global warming has never been higher, having grown to 70 percent in September 2012. More than three-quarters of U.S. voters want elected officials to take steps to address global warming.” On page 5, it states “polls show that this past summer’s extreme weather and drought were the strongest drivers of this change in the intensity of Americans’ concerns about climate change. If these polls were run again today, after Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast, this concern would no doubt be even higher.”

Regarding the storm, von Ypersele said: Hurricane Sandy was “probably not a coincidence.” Following the superstorm, “global warming has re-emerged as an issue in Washington.” Addressing climate change, the AP said: “The issue had been virtually absent in the presidential campaigning until Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast.” The UK Guardian claims that Superstorm Sandy “put climate change back on the domestic agenda.” And, the LA Times confirms the storm’s importance in Doha: “Sandy's fresh reminder of the potential consequences of global warming has been a dominant theme in the first days of the two-week meeting.”

The climate activists in Doha acknowledge that moving forward without US participation will be difficult. European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard believes “We need the US to engage even more.” And they see Sandy as the impetus for more US involvement. Elliot Diringer, executive vice president and climate expert at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, claims that due to Sandy, “the discussion in the United States is different now, even from a month ago.”

But, was Superstorm Sandy truly an “apocalyptic vision of what climate change could look like;” a sign that “if we aren’t already, we all may soon be on the frontlines of climate change;” or was it a stroke of luck, a PR coup, for those, such as Janet Redmon, co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, who are looking to “promote the Green Climate Fund as the main channel for public finance?” The Climate Progress document calls “the financial commitments” “the most critical at this point.”

According to the AP: “Delegates in Doha will also try to finalize the rules of the Green Climate Fund, which is supposed to raise $100 billion a year by 2020. Financed by richer nations, the fund would support poorer nations in converting to cleaner energy sources and in adapting to a shifting climate that may damage people's health, agriculture and economies in general.”

I contend that Sandy provided Green Climate Fund supporters with the marketing muscle it needed to breathe life into the destined-for-failure COP 18. Even the AP piece I’ve quoted here, acknowledges that storms such as Sandy are “a rarity for the Northeast.” But are the “monster storms” and “scorching heat waves” really evidence of the “freakish weather” that “will occur more often on a warming planet?” A look at history, such as the samples below, validates my premise that they are not the result of climate change.

Yes, major hurricanes are a “rarity” for the Northeast, however between 1954 and 1955 (a time when CO2 levels were below the prescribed 350 PPM), the east coast was hit with five major hurricanes. The difference is that Sandy happened to hit the news center of the world, thus it made big news.

What about the “scorching heat waves” or “freakish weather?”

I’ve previously addressed the lack of warming over the past 16 years, but a review of temperature records (as provided by NOAA) for our fifty states brings some interesting perspective. For example, South Dakota has a high temperature record of 120 degrees F—certainly that is “scorching”—but it was set in 1936. Seventy years later, almost to the day, South Dakota, once again, hit a high of 120 F. We see similar records in Connecticut where the high is 106 F—reached in 1916 and 1995. Kansas has been as high as 121 F twice—both in July of 1936, where Maine has hit 105 F twice—both in July of 2011. Maryland’s high is 109 F—between 1898 and 1936 the state has was that hot 6 times.

And the “freakish weather?” This summer, a “fast-moving, long-lived, large, and violent thunderstorm complex” hit Washington, DC. Regarding this storm, known as a “derecho”—Spanish for straight, a fast-moving line of severe “straight-line” winds associated with a squall of violent thunderstorms—Jason Samenow, of the Washington Post’s “Capital Weather Gang,” wrote: “It raises the question about the possible role of manmade climate warming (from elevated greenhouse concentrations).” Yet, the 2012 derecho that hit DC, was really par for the course—however, like Sandy, this one happened to hit a population center filled with influencers and decision makers. Derechos are fairly common—expected throughout the Midwest and east coast, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, from one every four years to four every three years. Derechos were first recorded in 1888, based on a significant derecho event that crossed Iowa on July 31, 1877.

But, the climate alarmists can’t be bothered with facts. An article titled: “UN Climate scientist: Sandy no coincidence,” attributes the following to van Ypersele: “The scientific backing for man-made climate change is now so strong that it can be compared to the consensus behind the principles of gravity. It’s a very, very broad consensus. There are a few individuals who don't believe it, but we are talking about science and not beliefs.”

On Monday, I had lunch with 5 scientists from different disciplines: a meteorologist, a geologist, a physicist, a hydrologist, and an engineer with expertise in computer modeling. While they may have argued the finer points, each was steadfast in his conviction that climate change is not a man-made crisis. Each cited stories of confronting a climate change alarmist with the facts, only to be rebuffed—“the science is settled.” Each affirmed that true science isn’t done by consensus. A scientist welcomes the challenge—and when the science is settled (such as the principles of gravity), it stands up to the challenge.

Using fear as a motivator, the climate change talks operate from an assumed “consensus” of “a warming world is a dangerous world, with flooding of coastal cities and island nations, disruptions to agriculture and drinking water, and the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.” But as my lunch with five scientists—all just from New Mexico—represents, there is not “consensus” (even if that were how science worked). As the data I’ve cited make clear, “monster storms,” “scorching heat waves,” and “freakish weather” have happened throughout the ages (and will continue)—before the industrial revolution and before CO2 had risen to supposedly alarming levels.

So, if the globe has stopped warming and if Superstorm Sandy was really just another strong hurricane that happened to hit the most populated portion of the United States with never-before-seen consequences, what are 17,000 people doing this week in Doha, Qatar? Perhaps it is, as so many spokespersons reference, really about the Green Climate Fund, the financial commitments. Or is it, as stated in CFACT’s Doha update: “UN’s Green Climate Fund to cost you,” really a “massively wasteful UN slush fund?”

Author’s note: Special thanks to meteorologist Robert W. Endlich for the assistance with the historical data.

Recommend this article

Marita Noon

Marita Noon is Executive Director of Energy Makes America Great.