Home | About | Donate

Top 5 ways Man-Made Climate Change Made Hurricane Harvey Much Worse


Top 5 ways Man-Made Climate Change Made Hurricane Harvey Much Worse

Juan Cole

The images from Houston and its environs are heart-breaking and we at IC wish all those affected a speedy and safe return to normality.

Extreme weather events are associated with climate change, and whenever they occur, they raise the question of their relationship to that process.


I prefer not to read too much into any single event. On the other hand, trends are worth paying attention to:

Melting sea ice, glaciers, and permafrost.
Rising sea levels.
Prolonged droughts.
Overall warming of the climate.

With trends like those, a storm like Harvey is a blip on the radar screen compared to mass migration, crop disasters, and water wars.


I think the jig is up. Former UN officials have confirmed that “climate change/global warming/whatever” was a scam to, once again, scare people with a trumped up “crisis,” so the public would accept confiscatory taxation with the ultimate result being the destruction of the US capitalist economy - all for the worldview of liberals. With all the shenanigans with weather data that have been revealed, it has been a disheartening revelation to the American people how “scientists” have just ruined their brand in terms of reliability. As far as I’m concerned, they can just keep their scams and fake crises and try to rehabilitate their reputation.


Thank you, Mr. Cole, for explaining how human excesses are exacerbating natural events!


It appears that even without climate change this storm would have been a catastrophic disaster. It certainly cannot be blamed on climate change. However, an unknown additional amount of damage can probably be attributed to climate change. But as long as you have large populations in harms way of hurricanes and typhoons very bad things are going to happen sooner or later.


Two 10,000 year floods in the same place, two years in a row - just a coincidence, folks, nothing to do with a hotter gulf, a higher sea-level, or a wetter atmosphere. This is the cognitive dissonance so many Americans are comfortable with.

In actuality, it’s no coincidence that the white supremacists are also climate deniers. Their modus is hostility for anyone else, whether in a different place, of a different ethnicity, or from a different generation. About one-third of Americans appear to be hopelessly mired in pathetic confusion, bereft of compassion, fueled by hostility. One is tempted to plead “God have mercy on them” - but mercy is not in the cards, as the wrath they personify bounces back on them.


I am glad to see some real science making its way onto Common Dreams - in particular to see Juan Cole coming up to speed, like Naomi Klein did a number of years ago.

This is what it will take, by the look of things - a growing realization by non-scientists of the pickle we are all in.

So congrats to Juan Cole - welcome to reality - climate-style.

Next - Juan Cole - try biodiversity on for size.

Perhaps a talk with Edward O. Wilson would enable you to write an article on Mr. Wilson’s suggestion - recommendation actually, that we NEED to preserve approximately half the Earth in as wild a state as possible, interconnected as much as possible, on both land and sea, to maintain ~ 80% of the biodiversity left, which has already been greatly diminished, especially perhaps amongst the mega-fauna - i.e., the keystone species at the top of the food chain, which are looking to be just as important as the base of the food chain, which is also threatened.

For me, a geologist, the Anthropocene began when we moved out of Africa some 50,000 to 65,000 years ago, destroying much of the mega-fauna in each place we colonized. This will show up in the rock record of the future, presuming there are any geologists left - although this is admittedly an academic point.

By then we will be either extinct, drastically reduced in numbers, or merged with machines.

Unless we can turn the corner, re-contact our natural selves and the natural world, and humbly, venture further into the solar system and recover some necessary resources there - and our passion for exploration, which has always been our forte, for better or for worse.


To not believe in climate change is A Fools Errand…

"Former UN officials have confirmed that “climate change/global warming/whatever” was a scam to, once again, scare people with a trumped up “crisis,”- Now this is A real Brain Trust- What A crock of shit!!!

What with the melting poles, the rising oceans, the disappearance of coastal villages and southern islands, acidification of oceans, lakes, streams, violent weather patterns, species extinction, temperature rise, 410-ppm atmospheric conditions,prolonged droughts etc., etc., what is there NOT to believe???
There is no time left to even consider your thesis-The facts are in- Wake TFk up…


Wasn’t J Cole all for the war against Lybia? Ever since then I will not trust anything he writes.


So what you are basically saying is that a mistake in judgement in one area should negate everything else a person says or does from now on. It is disturbing to read so many on this site who insist on purity and perfection in people. We will never find such a person. Wisdom is on a continuum, like anything else. No one is totally wrong, not even Trump. No one will ever be right 100%, either, but we can learn something from anyone and everyone. Peace.


You think? I think not.


Revving and reaping the whirlwinds


One of the most obvious factors resulting in Harvey essentially parking in Texas for an extended stay, is the changes that have already occurred in the jet streams e.g., the slowing down and increasingly meandering polar vortex.

All bets are off on the behavior of future powerful storms.


Juan, why is it IMPORTANT to know about this?! This article (http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/05/abrupt-warming-how-much-and-how-fast.html), posted in May of this year, asserts:

With little or no action taken on global warming, it appears that the Anthropocene will lead to extinction of the very human beings after which the era is named, with the Anthropocene possibly running from 1950 to 2021, i.e. a mere 71 years and much too short to constitute an era. In that case a better name for the period would be the Sixth Extinction Event . . . .


Please turn off Fox News for once in your life. Or are you gaining this perspective from another source? Oh, I see the word “fake” in your comment. That’s an indicator…if I ever saw one.

Scientists have ruined their “brand?” Really? I didn’t know they had a brand.

Do you actually have something to say about the information presented by the author?


Better stop taking medicine. A scientist is probably trying to fake you out by claiming it’s a ‘treatment.’


Former UN officials, huh? LOL! Give me a break!


Why is it worse?

Larger population.
Greater infrastructure today.
More populated closer to the coast.

Gore said the US would see Katrina - sized hurricanes MORE frequent.
Harvey is the first since Katrina.
Gore is an idiot.


Crop disasters?

Worldwide crop production has NEVER been higher.

CO2 has increased productivity as plants thrive on it.

Even the rain forests have grown in size in the last 25 years.

Cold kills 180X more people than heat.

When has earth’s climate ever been static? Answer: never.


Right, you got it, more population = more CO2. More infrastructure = equals more industry to spew out more CO2.