Did Climate Change Help Create ‘Frankenstorm’?

As the East Coast braces for a possible direct hit from Hurricane Sandy, meteorologists are closely watching the storm’s “freak” formation. They’re calling it “unprecedented and bizarre,” a “perfect storm,” and a “frankenstorm” that could cause historic storm surges, last for multiple days, and cause over a billion dollars in damage.

After hitting Jamaica and heading toward the Bahamas, experts say it’s likely that Sandy could swing into the Northeast and hit the coast somewhere between Washington, DC and Boston, impacting people all along the Atlantic seaboard. Projections for Sandy’s path are still uncertain, but models show that the threat is increasing.

A confluence of factors are coming together to make the storm unprecedented. As Sandy moves through the Atlantic, it is expected to combine with an early winter storm from the continental U.S., causing pressure to drop — potentially reaching pressure levels of a category 3 or 4 hurricane with winds over 115 miles per hour.

Brian Norcross of the Weather Channel described the storm this way on his facebook page: “This is a beyond-strange situation. It’s unprecedented and bizarre.

Another factor under consideration is climate change. Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. And like a baseball player on steroids, it’s the wrong question to ask whether a given home run is “caused” by steroids.

As Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, has writtenall superstorms “are affected by climate change”:

The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily advected onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring.

The climate change link may be more than just more precipitation. A 2010 study found “Global warming is the main cause of a significant intensification in the North Atlantic Subtropical High.”  Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman explains a possible influence:

Recent studies have shown that blocking patterns have appeared with greater frequency and intensity in recent years….

While it is not unusual to have a high pressure area near Greenland, its intensity is striking for this time of year. As Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang wrote on Wednesday, the North Atlantic Oscillation, which helps measure this blocking flow, “is forecast to be three standard deviations from the average — meaning this is an exceptional situation.”

Coastal areas may be hit with storm surges of up to 6 feet, potentially reaching the highest levels ever recorded. The storm could last as long as 4-6 days, bleeding into the election.

The storm comes at a unique time politically. In August, the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida was disrupted by strong rain and flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac. Two days later in his acceptance speech, Mitt Romney mocked President Obama’s pledge to deal with climate change and “slow the rise of the oceans” — causing uproarious laughter among delegates. And for the first time since 1988, the presidential candidates did not talk about climate change during debates — even as data shows that the U.S. is experiencing the most extreme weather ever recorded.

“The climate has shifted to a new state capable of delivering rare and unprecedented weather events,” explained meteorologist Jeff Masters earlier this year.

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51 Responses to Did Climate Change Help Create ‘Frankenstorm’?

  1. Ron Sonntag says:

    I am so, so, so tired of idiot politicians!

  2. Stuart says:

    Welcome to the new normal. I have been trying to explain to people about how the odds of extreme weather have become greater due to climate change, the baseball metaphor is excellent. Stay safe everyone.

  3. George S says:

    With rising temperature and increased sea levels, these storms will only get larger and the hurricane season will last longer.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Hurricane rains and climate change
    Hurricanes are expected to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010). This occurs since a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which can then condense into heavier rains. Furthermore, the condensation process releases heat energy (latent heat), which invigorates the storm, making its updrafts stronger and creating even more rain. We may already be seeing an increase in rainfall from hurricanes due to a warmer atmosphere. A 2010 study by Kunkel et al. “Recent increases in U.S. heavy precipitation associated with tropical cyclones”, found that although there is no evidence for a long-term increase in North American mainland land-falling tropical cyclones (which include both hurricanes and tropical storms), the number of heavy precipitation events, defined as 1-in-5-year events, more than doubled between 1994 – 2008, compared to the long-term average from 1895 – 2008.

    Sandy to feed off near-record warm waters off the mid-Atlantic coast
    During September 2012, ocean temperatures off the mid-Atlantic coast in the 5×10° latitude-longitude box between 35 – 40°N, 65 – 75° W were 2.3°F (1.3°C) above average, according to the UK Met Office. This is the 2nd greatest departure from average for ocean temperatures in this region since reliable ocean temperature measurements began over a century ago (all-time record: 2.0°C above average in September 1947.) These unusually warm waters have persisted into October, and will enable Sandy to pull more energy from the ocean than a typical October hurricanes. The warm waters will also help increase Sandy’s rains, since more water vapor will evaporate into the air from a warm ocean. I expect Sandy will dump the heaviest October rains on record over a large swath of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

  5. Theron says:

    “Normal” is an obsolete concept.

  6. Jack Burton says:

    I guess this storm can be added to the last several years of unprecedented extreme weather events. Who can for get the two years running of extreme tornado outbreaks? This storm, if it develops as a worst case scenario, and this is by no means a sure thing, it will stand as one more warning that climate HAS shifted to a more unstable state.
    It will juts give more fodder to the deniers who will become more extreme and desperate in their radical agenda to prevent acknowledgement of climate warming due to fossil fuel burning. The entire process of climate change is so complex that it can cause people to tune out. But we should stick to basics when we debate this subject. The basics are the carbon cycle, the burning of fossil fuels and their release of CO2 into the atmosphere, and the simple chemistry and physics which cause less heat to radiate back to space. The basic problem is VERY simple, the results of it become complex as it effects climate.

  7. Put head in hurricane-proof vice and listen to Bastardi on Faux News try to downplay how unprecedented this storm could be. He actually admits nothing like it has ever been seen in this region but goes on to say “it should have” and that the weird thing to him is that this kind of storm hasn’t happened in the past. Ow! Ow! Ow!

    This is a new denier meme to me: “yeah it is freaking unprecedented crazy but hey it shoulda-coulda-woulda happened before.”

    What next: “Yeah this extreme weather event is totally wacky but hey look i’m lighting my hair on fire and that is caused by climate change.”

  8. Stuart says:

    About the graphic – is there a larger version? Where did it come from and what exactly does it show? Thanks.

  9. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Spot on Jack. People do understand it when it is put in those terms and you can take it at least one step further by explaining that the Earth is a system and extra energy sloshing around affects everything it comes into contact with, which is everything. As the energy builds up so the effects get bigger, ME

  10. The Oracle says:

    What effect will Hurricane Sandy (and it’s aftermath) have on voting, both in the presidential and northeastern state elections? Could this change the current dynamics of the projected electoral college count? Could Hurricane Sandy actually help Mitt Romney squeeze out a victory, if enough leaning-Obama northeastern states are devastated? Can President Obama call up the national guard in these northeastern states on election day, and even before, to facilitate voting, just in case their infrastructure is decimated, including voting locations? Just wondering.

  11. fj says:

    We Broke the Climate Silence! #powershift not great but . . . @WeArePowerShift

  12. mark E says:

    No it is just that our concept of the baseline changes

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It just goes to show just how low and ever lower the Rightwing MSM propaganda machine will descend. Having long ago expelled or selected out all decent, rational, fair-minded individuals, and replaced them with hard Right ideologues, ever eager to please their hard, hard, Right owners, the MSM has become, I believe, one of the principal engines driving us to destruction, and must be regarded nowadays as an almost unmitigated evil.

  14. Yes, the deniers are busy denying, and they always will be. But don’t be discouraged, folks. As I’ve said many times before, climate change is writing the story of climate change — no amount of denying can change the facts of physics. The U.S. population is beginning to get it, and, assuming Obama wins the election, he can probably be pushed to link climate change to his green energy agenda once again.

    It’s too bad that people have to be “hit upside the head with a 2×4” before they notice what’s going on, but so be it. Maybe a retrospective on this year’s climate events would help them gain perspective.

  15. Max1 says:

    I have an Idea…
    … Let’s have the presidential candidates debate what America should do.

    Oh, I see…
    … According to both candidates and their parties through the Commission of Presidential Debates, the topic of Global Climate Change is off topic.

  16. riverat says:

    I’m thinking it doesn’t effect the Electoral College much. The EC votes are by state and as long as Sandy doesn’t change the proportion of voters from each party who manage to vote it won’t change the Electors from that state even if there are fewer voters. The national total popular vote count doesn’t matter.

  17. Lauren Unruh says:

    Does anyone know which if any nuclear power plants might be at risk from a storm like this?

  18. Lionel A says:

    I wonder how many New Yorkers realise just how vulnerable their real estate is. Those faint of heart should not read Chapter 3 ‘The City Without Us‘ of Alan Weisman’s ‘The World Without Us‘, which title does the book a disservice for it hides the fact that this book contains many lines of argument across large time, geographic and human developmental compasses.

    Chapter 3 describes how vulnerable to flooding Manhatten is by virtue of its geology and man altered geography where many pre-civic streams are now buried underground along similar routes now used for service tunnels and subways.

    The ever encroaching water table is only kept at bay by teams of engineers ensuring that underground waterways get cleared of rubbish such as plastic bags (plastic’s rubbish being a recurrent them later in the book) and all manner of other things carelessly disposed of by New York’s denizens.

    Other engineering teams ensure that the collection of 753 pumps keep pace with influx of water from flooding underground streams, heavy overhead rainfall and storm surges alike. If there are back-up generators then New Yorkers should hope that in the event of mains power failure that these generators are more robust than those at the Fukushima, and other, nuclear plant. The fact that much refuse washed into sewers and drains by a heavy deluge can block water courses and throttle pumps, even though fitted with filters (which can get blocked) are another cause for concern.

    Those who has been to sea as crew of a warship know only too well how important it is to keep loose articles to a minimum less the hull be breached and auxiliary pumping necessary, a task which can involve divers braving all manner of hazards to unblock filters if clogged.

    One person who has spent many years mapping Manhattan’s soft under-belly is Eric W. Sanderson, cited in Weisman’s book.

  19. gerry says:

    Ron, it’s not so much the politicians fault, they are just the puppets of their corporate masters. I still think that all elected officials should be made to wear blue or red jumpsuits with patches of various sizes to represent their corporate logos and the amount they are being bought

  20. SecularAnimist says:

    Oh, gee, thanks, Lauren.

    That was one thing I had managed not to worry about. Until now.

  21. Jim Baird says:

    A hurricane is Nature’s response to an overheating ocean.

    We would be wise to use the analogy to produce all of the renewable energy we will ever need and drawdown the ocean’s lethal potential in the process.

    Bill Gates has it half right calling for the dumping of surface heat to the depths to siphon off the hurricane’s power source. A heat pipe is the fastest and most effective way to do this and by sticking a turbine in the centre of the vapour channel you create a heat engine.

  22. richard says:

    not sure about freaky weather today but worth looking up mega droughts over the last 1000 years, now that is frightening.

  23. richard says:

    poor old US, here in the Uk our worst storm was in 1987 and before that was in 1703. You must have more CO2 in the US.

  24. Lionel A says:

    I recall working out schematics of such a heat engine during a degree course in the mid 1980s.

  25. Yes, this idea has been around for a while, along with the idea of producing thermoelectric energy by taking advantage of the considerable heat differentials between the upper and lower levels of the ocean.

    We need to think through the heat pump idea, however. Ocean currents are driven by the heat differentials, and if we were to start equalizing upper and lower strata temperatures, we could potentially raise havoc with gulf stream and other critical currents. This might be happening already due to the warming of the Arctic.

  26. Adam says:

    While I REALLY do wish the candidates would have discussed climate change during the debates because their views greatly we need to keep in mind the moderators they’re supposed to stick to the questions the moderator came up with.

  27. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Certainly sir, that must be a quip from the reunion cinema extravaganza, “Monty Python and the un-Holy Gale”?

  28. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    On the other hand oceanic stratification between warm surface layers and the colder depths is predicted to have disastrous consequences for the circulation of nutrients and hence for planktonic communities, which are a vital carbon sink, and the basis of food chains. Everything is inter-connected and we have simply smashed away so many vital structures in our greed and simple-mindedness, yet we seem to insouciantly believe that the whole edifice is still remarkably ‘resilient’. At a level below that necessary to support our civilization that is true, but smashing the complexity and diversity is a pretty dumb thing to do, as we will have to wait a million years, give or take, for things to bounce back to the situation before we came a-wrecking.

  29. Doug Bostrom says:

    See Climate Central’s surge+tide+SLR map for New Jersey:

    Surging Seas NJ

    As they say, better than 1 in 6 odds of a +2 foot event by 2020, flooding of some 60,000 homes. Those are not good odds.

  30. realoldguy says:

    What about the American Idiots who keep electing them?

  31. prokaryotes says:

    Both the NOAA and Air Force aircraft currently flying the storm are reporting pressure dropping, rapidly. The Air Force just took an extrapolated surface pressure reading of 955.8mb; NOAA just found 958.4. We’ll have to wait for the dropsondes to verify both sets of readings, but they’re ominous.

    The storm is getting stronger – probably feeding off of baroclinic energy again – and that’s very bad news.

    From comment #676

  32. prokaryotes says:

    You mean the growing Dust Bowlification currently developing in the southern parts of the United States. Such situations can be persistent for decades or even hundreds of years. And most data i know is pointing into severe conditions with no let down.

  33. Bernard J. says:

    Can’t argue with that Mulga.

    I’m ever-increasingly convinced that future generations will perceive this deliberate and obdurate denialism as a crime against humanity and against life on Earth.

  34. Docterry says:

    Frankenstorm is Coming!!!!

  35. Jim Baird says:

    Philip the Thermohaline problem is taken into account by using a counter-current heat transfer system that recaptures the latent heat of condensation and returns this to surface. A hurricane moves between 3 and 12 times the amount of heat as we use globally every year. It returns however the bulk of this heat back to the ocean in the rain which condenses in the clouds. A video suggesting how this might be accomplished is available at . It also takes into consideration the phytoplankton problem described below. The video is in fact a summary of a presentation I recently made to the University of British Columbia Fisheries Department in this regard.

  36. NoFltWlt says:

    Beginning with Sandy the National Weather Service should begin naming huge freak storms as James Inhofe (1..n).

  37. Hikerguy22 says:

    Jim of the weather channel said that he never thought he would never see a storm like this one. The weather channel still does not get it. These events will become more common as the climate changes.

  38. al says:

    Eventually Americans will know that the Republican party and their shills like the Heritage Foundation, Fox, and the Marshall Inst. have been lieing. If it is any consolation, they will be shunned and marginalized and replaced by the Green Party- democrats will then be the conservatives.

  39. Steve L. says:

    Yep. I’d like to see the Koch Bros. dragged before an international court of justice in The Hague myself…..along with Vlad Putin and most of the government of the “People’s Republic” of china.

  40. John Andrews says:

    Yesterday I heard a presidential candidate say that global warming was the greatest challenge we faced and that Obama’s delaying an international treaty until 2020 was irresponsible. That candidate was Jill Stein ( Looks like there is a way to vote for our survival after all.

  41. Solar Jim says:

    She is your only choice, unless you wish to vote for national suicide. The choice of the duopoly is corporatism or corporate fascism.

  42. Brian says:

    Watching New York take a beating and it is so sad. Fingers crossed that folks stay safe. Maybe this will give a wake up call or at least renew the conversation.

  43. Daniel Brown says:

    Kindly do research across several disciplines of study which afford valuable cross referencing. Sniff out those scientist & their findings that buck the prevailing agenda & connect dots where one would not readily expect them to exist.

    400 thousand ice sheet layers derived from glacier core drilling samples have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, via trapped air bubbles, that warming cycles such as we are experiencing have always taken place! Not that man is not harming his home but only an over grown ego would try and steal the show. This warming is normal when viewed over a period of four hundred thousand yrs. And Earth is not the only planet under going changes.

    Furthermore, CO2 makes up a small part of the total amount of greenhouse gases on top of which the total amount of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere is itself not a large percent. You can have your argument that we are polluting land/air/sea however, be not deceived that we puny humans have orchestrated this event.

  44. Brian says:

    BTW- if you are interested, I have a blog post on being pragmatic about climate change that was already scheduled to publish this morning. It is up now if you are interested. Let me know what you think.

  45. A. May says:

    You’re assuming US Elections are actually free and fair. They are not.

  46. Dan Smith says:

    Sorry to say, Daniel, but we are having a significant effect on climate because the planet is overpopulated and we keep emitting ever more greenhouse gases. The very ice core samples you reference show that the PPM of CO2 have never been at this level for hundreds of thousands of years, certainly not since life as we know it existed on the planet. (See James Hansen’s research on 350 PPM as the reliable standard for life as we know it – we are now pushing 400). It is true that climate shifts back and forth over geologic time, but we are making it spike dramatically and irreversibly. That’s why we need another way of living on and with the planet. Your conception of humanity’s role on the planet was true when our population and footprint were relatively insignificant. That is not the case anymore.

  47. Ron: There is no way to tell whether or not Sandy or any other single storm is the result of climate change. What we can say now, however, is that Sandy is unprecedented in power, scope, & destruction, and is the type of storm that we may expect to experience more of due to climate change.

    Sandy has given us a taste of what is yet to come. Climate change is not something in our future. It is here and now. Somehow, we must get the attention of decision makers & force them, if necessary, to take appropriate action.

  48. PART 1 OF 2

    Gov. Romney also said at the RNC:
    “God bless Neil Armstrong….And I don’t doubt…that Neil Armstrong’s spirit is still with us…when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American.”

    I also heard Romney say:

    “By the way, they do not call it America warming, they call it GLOBAL warming. So the idea of America spending massive amounts, trillions of dollars to…stop global warming is not a great idea. It loses jobs for Americans and ultimately it won’t be successful, because industries that are energy intensive will just get up and go somewhere else. …My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet….to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course…”

    See video at:

    So Romney is saying we shouldn’t solve GW because it’s only a GLOBAL problem & not an American one! Memo to Mitt: America really IS part of the Globe!

    Gee, is this the same Romney who said: “when the world needs someone to do the really big stuff, you need an American”!?

    Sen. Inhofe(Rep-OK) (who receives campaign money from oil companies) thinks GW is a “hoax”. I disagree, but even if that were true, then replacing oil & gas with clean energy would still be a good thing.

    “Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported the 1st solar cell…that has an…efficiency greater than 100% when photoexcited with photons…”

    The efficiency reached a peak value of 114%

    PART 2 OF 2
    Work of Natl Renewable Energy Lab
    “….marks a promising step toward developing…Solar Cells…that will be competitive with, or perhaps less costly than, energy from fossil or nuclear fuels.”

    “Solar Cell with 114% External Quantum Efficiency”
    Dec 20, 2011 By Zachary Shahan

    Until now, the industry standard for solar cells is 15 to 20% efficiency (8/12/12 NYT Mag). If we could boost that to say, oh, I don’t know, 114%, wouldn’t that be a good thing to do?

    “The research was supported by the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics,…funded by the Dept of Energy (DOE)…fabrication of [these] Quantum Dot Solar Cells is also amenable to inexpensive, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing.”

    It appears these 114% solar cells are to the current cells as integrated circuits are to vacuum tubes!

    “Cui Bono” is Latin for “who benefits”? Who benefits if ALL solar cells are painted as no good by shouting “Solyndra”? It’s the industry known as O-I-L.

    And it was funded by the Dept. of Energy! I thought Govt. couldn’t do anything right! Wasn’t Energy one of the Depts. that Texas Gov. Perry was going to eliminate? I can’t remember all the Depts. he wanted to get rid of—but neither could he.

    Do you think West Nile Virus is bad? Why has America been invaded by a tropical disease like West Nile? Could it be due to GW?

    Do you think the Midwest drought and the Frankenstorm were bad? If we elect Romney we will really be toast.

  49. Daniel :
    While it’s true that CO2 only comprises 3.8% of our air, I don’t think you’d want to drink water that was 3.8% arsenic.

    It has been proven that, if there was ZERO CO2 in the air, the Average Global Temp would not be the present one of about 58 Degrees Fahrenheit, it would be about zero! So we DO need a certain amount of CO2 to make the planet livable.

    What is amazing is that many people do not think that adding MORE of what has made the planet warm, will NOT make it even WARMER, AS Burton Richter, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics has said.

  50. A recent NY Times article said our ability to track such storms could be in danger by 2017, due to our dying satellite fleet. (

    Popular Science Magazine (March 2011) had an article (“Who Killed the Deep Space Climate Observatory (Satellite)?”) See:

    The text in quotes is from the article.

    The Satellite, known as DSCOVR, “would travel a full million miles from Earth to a gravity-neutral spot known as the L1 Lagrangian point, where it would remain fixed in place, facing the sunlit half of our planet. It would stream back to NASA video of our spherical home, and the footage would be broadcast continuously over the Web… it would do something that scientists are still unable to do today: directly and continuously monitor the Earth’s albedo, or the amount of solar energy that our planet reflects into space versus the amount it absorbs.”

    Francisco Valero was the physicist NASA chose to design DSCOVR. “In 2004, when Ukraine offered to send DSCOVR to L1 on a Ukrainian rocket—for FREE—Valero lobbied NASA to accept.”

    “The satellite was built, the launch was free, and what did NASA say? The launch wouldn’t be safe for the satellite.” He shook his head in disdain. “I tell you, I lose sleep thinking about this stuff.” Much of Valero’s career focused on the effects that human activity can have on the Earth’s albedo, and when the opportunity to lead DSCOVR arose, he immediately recognized its potential.

    “With low-Earth-orbiting satellites, you can’t get that,” he said. “It’s like you’re reading a book with only one letter on each page. You can’t get the whole story.”

    “But in 2001, just a few months after the Bush’s inauguration, DSCOVR’s launch plan was quietly put on hold. “We were preparing to transport it to the launch site when we heard,” (another satellite worker) said. Instead, they wheeled the $100-
    million satellite into storage….”

    “It has never become entirely clear why the satellite had ended up here (in storage). In his 2009 book “Our Choice”, Al Gore wrote, “The Bush Cheney administration canceled the launch within days of taking office on January 20, 2001, and forced NASA to put the satellite into storage.” Warren Wiscombe, a senior physical scientist at NASA, blames a Bush-era “hostility” to earth science at NASA. “As to who ordered the axing of the mission,” he says, “we’ll never know, but the word we got was that Dick Cheney was behind it.”

    “Dick Armey, then a Republican congressman from Texas, said of the satellite, “This idea supposedly came from a dream. Well, I once dreamed I caught a 10-foot bass. But I didn’t call up the Fish and Wildlife Service and ask them to spend $30 million to make sure it happened.” (That is what Dick Armey felt about Gore’s warning us about Global Warming, that it was just something he “dreamed up”.)

    “Despite the protests of independent scientists (including Paul Crutzen, an atmospheric chemist and Nobel Laureate who wrote in a 2006 letter that “it would be a major waste of scientific effort and opportunity to discard such a meaningful mission”), NASA delayed the launch indefinitely.”

    Apparently, the Bush Administration just did not like the DSCOVR satellite since it was first proposed by Al Gore and they feared that the satellite would find more proof of man-made Global Warming. And we know how bad that would be for Halliburton and the oil Industry!

    So what’s keeping President Obama from launching DSCVR? I DON’T KNOW!

    If we continue to add CO2 to our atmosphere (up from 280 Parts Per million (PPM) in 1780 to 392 PPM in 2011) then our planet will warm up.

    Let’s try the low-tech option—do nothing. By 2020 (or sooner) we will not need satellites to tell us something is wrong. Of course, by then it will probably too late to do anything.

    Of course, it is hard for many people to directly connect “The Frankenstorm” to Global Warming. But the prospect of these 3 storms converging reminds me of the scenario in the book “The Coming Global Superstorm” (by Art Bell and Whitley Streiber) (Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, 1999 & 2004). In “Global Superstorm”, the authors describe 3 storms converging on a Global scale, hence the name Global Superstorm, which will make Frankenstorm seem tiny in comparison.

    Streiber states in the 2004 Afterword that increased melting of ice will make the Gulf Stream fail. “…a new climate will unfold. It will not be anywhere as congenial to human life as our current climate”…. “The worst of it is that this could happen at any time. After it happens, those who ignored the danger but were in a position to do something to help will be counted among the most evil human beings who have ever walked the earth. They will be responsible not only for the death of billions, but for causing modern civilization—the best, freest, and most valuable civilization that mankind has ever created— to pass into history.”

  51. Jeffrey Herman says:

    Overpopulation!!! That’s the driving force behind global warming. Why is that so hard to get? The population of the planet reached three billion in 1960. This year we surpassed seven billion, burning up about 100 million barrels of oil a day.
    Can we stop population growth? Good luck. So we’re relegated to argue over the symtoms of the locamotive behind the energy crisis.
    It’s the elephant in the room that nobody can see, much less the politicians who are exorting us to consume more. It’s good for the economy, bad for the Earth and the human race – and for all the other animals we share this planet with.