Enjoy it while you can. I have no way of knowing if it will stay that way.Yesterday I was sure the German media were gearing up for yet another assault on science, getting ready to turn the US tornadoes into a Katrina-type event.
For example on Friday NDR public radio linked the tornadoes to man-made climate change. And there were some other similar reports from the fringes. Expecting to see more stories on tornadoes due to climate change today, I’m a bit astonished that I can’t find much in the mainstream media – amazing.
Some reports – from the fringes
Some kooky websites, like the one I mentioned yesterday, or klimaretter (“climate saviour”), who rarely bother checking scientific data and history, have chimed in. Klimaretter here for example wrote:
More than 130 tornadoes swept across the USA South and triggered the worst tornado catastrophe in decades.”
Here the author tries to make it sound like an event of Biblical proportions. Then he continues on the cause of the tornadoes:
Climatologists warn that global warming will lead to significantly more frequent and extreme weather events like heavy rains, powerful storms or droughts. This is physically based on the fact that warmer air has considerably more energy and water than cooler air.”
Another example of kooky science comes from geographer Jürgen Schönstein here at scienceblogs, who partly blames the death toll on the South’s faith in God (and Roy Spencer?), writing:
And I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain, uncontemplated and fatalistic religiousness played a role, which I observed the most often in the American South: It’s God’s will – if HE wants, then he’ll protect his sheep, and if not, then it is no use resisting His will. And whoever nurtured doubt in (climate) science from the highest positions in the USA certainly did not help to overcome this situation…”
And, though saying no one can be certain about the cause, he writes:
Still I’ll wager that we will be seeing more and more such killer storms in the USA in the coming years.”
Keep up the faith Jürgen (and keep ignoring the data).
Unlike these few nutty reports by outlets desperate for anything and everything, the mainstream media on the other hand has been remarkably SILENT. Maybe we ought not hold our breaths – that may change. The “climate masterminds” at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are likely concocting new tales for the media. Maybe the hysteria will break out in earnest tomorrow.
But it could also be that the media and charlatan scientists have grown much more cautious with their dubious claims, which in the past have been increasingly and deservedly attacked and ridiculed by a growing number of science and social blogs and sites, e.g. here, here, here, here, here, or here. Maybe they are finding out that all their fear-mongering has been backfiring in their faces lately.
All is quiet in the mainstream media this morning
Germany’s flagship ARD television reported on the tornado in an amazingly balanced way. In its news video here the report attributes the cause of the tornadoes as follows:
Meteorologists are searching for the reason behind the scale and strength of the tornado series. On thing is clear: the weather phenomena La Nina, cold stable winds over moist cold air provided the ideal conditions for creating tornadoes.”
So tornadoes are fuelled by La Ninas (cold) and not global warming. We’ve all seen the charts- tornadoes and accumulated cyclone energy have been trending downwards for decades, and appear to be linked more to oceanic cycles.
Der Spiegel reported on the tornadoes, but did not mention anything about climate change. I found nothing much at the FAZ, Focus, Süddeutsche, and others. A Google search also produced very little.
Is this the calm before the hysteria?