And, of course, this was inevitable: a sideshow of unfounded speculation that killer tornadoes are the result of supposed climate change. NBC weatherman Al Roker was one of the first cluckers out of the box to mention climate change, according to The Daily Caller. Perhaps Mr. Roker and other climate crusaders could lend some of their credibility to doomsdayologist Harold Camping. After all, he, too, dabbles in very much the same "science."If this is the Daily Caller article to which Scaife's braintrust is referring, they didn't even get it right. No where in there does it say that Roker was one of the first to mention climate change. But this is what The Daily Caller says Roker says:
On Monday’s “Martin Bashir Show” program on MSNBC, “Today” weatherman Al Roker had a theory on what’s behind the weather. Broadcasting live from the site of St. John’s Hospital in Joplin that took a hard hit from Sunday’s weather, Roker assessed the tornado that hit Joplin to be on the top-end of the Fujita Scale.Unfortunately for Scaife's braintrust, the speculation isn't unfounded. Take a look at this from 2007:
“Well you know the National Weather Service is probably on the ground now and they will assess the damage,” Roker said. “Some people are saying an EF3. I would put this probably between an EF4 and EF5, which is the top of the Fujita Scale.”
Roker also offered a theory on why tornadoes are seemingly touching down in more urban areas as of late. His answer: Climate change.
Previous climate model studies have shown that heavy rainstorms will be more common in a warmer climate, but few global models have attempted to simulate the strength of updrafts in these storms. The model developed at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies by researchers Tony Del Genio, Mao-Sung Yao, and Jeff Jonas is the first to successfully simulate the observed difference in strength between land and ocean storms and is the first to estimate how the strength will change in a warming climate, including "severe thunderstorms" that also occur with significant wind shear and produce damaging winds at the ground.On the other hand, it'll take decades of data to conclude whether the current season of bad weather is an anomaly or a trend. But as Bryan Walsh at Time.com writes:
This information can be derived from the temperatures and humidities predicted by a climate computer model, according to the new study published on August 17 in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters. It predicts that in a warmer climate, stronger and more severe storms can be expected, but with fewer storms overall.
But guess what? It doesn't matter. We already know more than enough about climate change to fear it. We know enough to embark on the long-term changes to our energy economy needed to reduce carbon emissions and blunt the impact of what no less than the Department of Defense has called a major threat to national security.Did you know that? Did you know that the Department of Defense has called climate change a threat to national security? I do.
The braintrust obviously doesn't. For the scientifically ignorant braintrust, it's on as solid ground as Harold Camping's conclusion that the world was going to end on May 21.
We can, perhaps, forgive the good Reverend for allowing his faith to shred his rational thinking. When I think of Reverend Camping I wonder whether Abul'-Ala' al-Ma'arri was on to something. We are, after all, a nation where a quarter of us don't believe in the science of evolution, so how small a jump is it for a fringe to count the begats to "establish" the beginning of the world and that to "establish" the date of The Flood and then from that to "establish" the end of the world?
Not much. Obviously.
But for a "news" source (even one as tenuously connected to the news as Scaife's op-ed braintrust) to equate such real science as climate change with such drivel as Camping's end-that-wasn't is just beyond stupid.
Even for them.