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  1. Texas and Mississippi did very well considering what they had to contend with – Mississippi especially. Miss. deserved the hurricane however, since they have a Republican governor who disputes global warming, or so a certain Democrat contended just days after the disaster struck.

    There was a speaker on C-Span some time ago who compared when Andrew hit mostly white areas of Florida (5 day response time for the Fed) and when Katrina hit mostly black Lousiana (5 day response time for the Fed) which further argues the need for people to take some responsibility for themselves.

    Comment by VinceTN — June 12, 2006 @ 10:38 pm - June 12, 2006

  2. How well prepared are businesses for climate change? How well prepared are insurers? It’s going have a massive impact on the bottom line of insurers warns Lloyds of London in a new report. Read more at :

    Comment by Sox First — June 12, 2006 @ 11:26 pm - June 12, 2006

  3. \\\”The latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found “no significant trends” indicating changes “in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and frequency . . . over the 20th century.”\\\”

    Why don\\\’t you inform your readers that these quotes were taken from a 2001 report. A lot has happened over the last five years. As for your referring to Al Gore\\\’s \\\”junk science\\\”, just what are YOUR academic qualifications to make that judgement. Real scientists don\\\’t agree with your arrogant dismissal: .[And what are you qualifications? And Al Gore\\\’s? And as a matter of fact, many real scientists do agree with my dismissal. –GPW]

    If the future of our climate was so rosy as you suggest, then why are Insurance companies pulling back from the coasts ?

    The \\\”greenhouse effect\\\” is a proven FACT. That we are increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is a proven FACT. Even a conservative should be able to put two and two together. Whether or not there is a natural component to global warming doesn\\\’t obviate the FACT that we are adding to any effect and that effect is likely to have a non-linear response to the input variables.[Wrong, it\’\’s not a proven fact but a theory which some scientists accept and others dismiss.]

    Comment by Ian S — June 13, 2006 @ 1:47 am - June 13, 2006

  4. “Perhaps they expect this disaster to be another Katrina . . . ”

    No, Dan, you didn’t get it quite right. They HOPE this disaster to be another Katrina.

    Comment by Anthony in NYC — June 13, 2006 @ 10:51 am - June 13, 2006

  5. ….. and when the towers were hit by airplanes, it was New York’s responsibility… so it was appropriate for the president to continue reading to the class

    Comment by Uh Huh... — June 13, 2006 @ 11:11 am - June 13, 2006

  6. “what are you qualifications”

    I have a Ph.D. in engineering, a quarter century experience in industrial and university R&D and actually taught a course in environmental chemistry at a major university. I co-own a small business that develops and markets environmental instrumentation.

    “many real scientists do agree with my dismissal”

    Oh , there are a few cranks and shills for Exxon-Mobil I suppose but the VAST majority of the world’s climate scientists agree that global warming is real and human production of greenhouse gases is a major factor. Al Gore is not a scientist but he has access to the best and brightest in the field. His film, which I plan to see this weekend, has the science right and up to date according to the best authorities.

    “it\’\’s not a proven fact but a theory”

    LOL! Actually, the greenhouse effect IS a proven fact – the physical chemistry is well understood and the effect is experimentally verifiable. Plus greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in 650,000 years . As for your concept of “theory”, well, just because we have a theory of gravitation doesn’t mean you won’t fall towards the ground if you jump off your house roof.

    Dan, I’m disappointed. While I might have expected such comments from Bruce, I thought that you had a bit better grip on scientific reality.

    Comment by Ian S — June 13, 2006 @ 11:23 am - June 13, 2006

  7. The MSM is playing off of peoples fear of hurricanes, I doubt they care much beyond today’s ratings.

    As for it being the state’s responsibility, yes, that’s true. But no one has ever accused Louisiana of being competent. And it wouldn’t matter if Jeb was gov here or not, the state government here has NEVER functioned well. As a resident here, I have come to expect my local and state government to function like a herd of cats on an acid trip.

    But the Feds failed in many ways, and while I don’t blame bush for the mistakes pre-katrina, I do blame him for failing to take a leadership role when things were clearly not going well. (if he had, don’t you think the WH would have released phone records or exec orders or whatever to show he was taking charge of things in order to combat the public relations nightmare that unfolded??)

    And anyone who thinks that Texas did better at handling hurricane Rita because Texas has a republican gov. needs to re-examine history. Besides the fact that the evacuation from Houston was a complete and utter disaster, the reason Rita wasn’t as big of problem was because all the emergency agencys and orgs (public government and private groups) had been shamed by thier collective failures with Katrina, learned somewhat from those mistakes, and adapted. It had very little to do with the governor of Texas.

    Comment by NOLAGayGuy — June 13, 2006 @ 11:43 am - June 13, 2006

  8. Dan, good post. You’re on target 1000% about the lack of locals taking a collective responsibility for what happened in NO and to contrast that with Florida is compelling.

    We had years of corruption in NO in hurricane disaster prevention and mitigation, no constructive local leadership while buses rested unused and seniors suffocated in their rooms, no attempt to forcibly evacuate those able bodied unwilling to move because of potential poaching and pillaging opportunties post-hurricane, police in lawless chaos unfit to serve and a nattering chorus of racists playing out the race card for the Chocolate City in the delta. No local responsibility there –the contrast with Floridian communities is starkly reassuring.

    Just like Michigan’s own Governor Good Smile Granholm is doing with the horrible ecnomic situation here, Lousiana politicians and MSM found it a useful controversy to point to Washington as the font of all problems. “Geo Bush is to blame for Michigan’s economic woes”. So was the mantra from and about NO.

    No personal responsibility at the local level.

    The reelection of Nagin confirms that personal responsibility is not a value held in high esteem by NO voters, citizens. Every federal dime spent there is an utter waste of taxpayer money.

    Good post, Dan.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 13, 2006 @ 11:47 am - June 13, 2006

  9. Ian S, I’m surprised that you once again missed nearly the entire thrust of the post when you launched into a specious defense that the greenhouse effect caused intense tropical storms.

    As a self-professed engineer, you know what happens to indefensible positions –they fail. Anyone who argues that greenhouse effect caused intense tropical storms like Katrina is smoking dope. They need to put down the joint and get back to the drafting table.

    There are lots of reputable, mid-level scientists who rightly question if the greenhouse effect is causing all the collary problems that the alarmist, liberal climatologists would like to ascribe to the phenomenon.

    Like the Right who argue high gas prices are due to liberal, eco-terrorist successes in stopping new petrol refining facilities or new nuclear power plants… or that the liberal, eco-terrorist success at thwarting limited forestry operations on public lands in California and elsewhere led to the intense accumulation of dried brush and debris, leading to wild fires of historic size and consequence… it’s all about taking a problem and looking for a way to lay out blame on your political adversaries. darwin would be ashamed of those Birkenstock-clad, unbathed climatologists of today.

    Greenhouse effect goes nicely with the Chicken Little mentality of the liberal climatologist community in the US. Al Gore IS THE Chicken Little without the feathers or cute tail. Not to see his pronouncements on this subject as Junk Science is to admit your propensity to worship him rather than think. He could have spoken about the threat to the UN’s future and you’d be there in line, buying that ticket too.

    Should we be concerned about what we release into the air? Sure.

    Should we end our dependance on automobiles in order to clean up the Earth’s atmosphere? Hell no.

    Head off to liberal Canada and close their nickel smelting operations first… then come on back and work on the greenhouse effect. Right now, the Clean Air Act is already costing us boo-koo bucks at the pump and threatens to trigger inflation.

    Thank you climatologists and liberal eco-hawks. And Ian S: Think before worship. It works in religion; it works in politics, too.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 13, 2006 @ 12:48 pm - June 13, 2006

  10. This post is somewhat convoluted, but, here goes.

    A Former President Clinton has even joined the chorus hyperventilating over the hurricane, using the occasion of Alberto’s approach to tell a Florida audience….

    According to, Alberto is not currently, and has never been a hurricane since it has been tracked For a storm to be classified as a hurricane, it has to have, at a minimum, sustained winds of 75 mph, and Alberto never reached that.

    B That Democrat is just recycling his erstwhile Vice President’s junk science. The latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found “no significant trends” indicating changes “in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and frequency . . . over the 20th century.”

    I’m a little surprised at the link in the above-quoted portion to an article from TechCentralStation instead of directly to source material from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. TCS is well-known as being an “AstroTurf” operation founded by James Glassman. James Glassman was one of the co-authors of the book Dow 35,000. After that book was derided (the Dow never got anywhere close to 35,000), he formed TCS to publish what were basically public relation articles on behalf of various ones of his clients. Every time I read an article from TCS, I try to figure out what company client that was published for.

    Let’s look at some of the points made in the linked-to article.

    (1) (using the same numbering as in the article), it is impossible to figure out the point being made, because the link in the article doesn’t point to the paper that is identified at the end of the paragraph. An incidence of bait&switch?

    (2) The TCS article suggests that the glaciers on Kilimanjaro have been retreating over the last 100 years due to decreases in precipitation, not because of global warming, and he cites papers (no links) that so indicate. I suppose that it is possible, but it would seem to conflict with indications in the paper that he links to in (4) that rainfall has increased, not decreased during the same time period. That suggests a contradiction.

    (3) The so-called “hockey stick,” deprecated by the TCS article, does indeed appear to be real. Graphs of temperatures since year 1000 is depicted at (I suppose that even non-scientists can read and understand graphs.) The so-called “hockey-stick” is shown in black at the right of the large graph on that page, which pretty much indicates a relatively large increase in temperature since around 1900. As is indicated at the key at the end of the page, the colored graphs are various reconstructions of temperatures based on various climatological models. Regarding the reconstructions, there is some slight divergence (particularly of the blue-green line) prior to 1900, but they generally all show the “medieval warm period” and the “little ice age” mentioned in the TCS article. The interesting thing is that, since 1900, the temperatures indicated by all of the climatological models tend to converge. Accordingly, the “hockey-stick” appears to be real.

    (4) While the linked to paper (if accurate–it’s not from an IPCC web site) does indeed indicate the particular facts that were cited in the paragraph regarding storm activity (see the second section Some important aspects of climate appear not to have changed), the paper also indicates that there are some fairly disturbing trends (see the first section Changes have also occurred in other important aspects of climate and the graphs to the right).

    (5) The TCS author states sea level has been rising at a rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past 8,000 years; the IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.”. Well, OK, a half-way decent point. But it ignores the (apparent) fact that global warming that can be correlated to human activity has been occurring over the last 8000 years. How Did Humans First Alter Global Climate?; March 2005; Scientific American Magazine; by William F. Ruddiman. The correlation is not an indication of causation, but there is an interesting relationship.

    BTW, the author of the TCS article does not seem to indicate whether there might be a bit of a time lag between the “hockey-stick” increase in temperature and the time that an “acceleration” in the rate of sea level rise might be observed.

    (6) This is the only paragraph of the article that makes sense.

    Global warming is real. The only issue is the extent to which human activity is causing it, and it seems to be fairly clear that a not-insignificant portion of it is man-made.

    C The younger Bush is now “regularly consulted by governors on how to handle natural disasters and emergencies.” My guess is that Louisiana’s Governor was not one of those governors who sought their Florida counterpart’s advice.

    Why am I not surprised that you would feel a need to praise the Republican Jeb Bush and denigrate the Democrat from Louisiana? I doubt very seriously that Jeb would be able to help much in the connection with the NOLA flooding, unless there are signficantly-sized cities in Florida below sea level.

    Comment by raj — June 13, 2006 @ 2:02 pm - June 13, 2006

  11. We now know that the media exaggerated the horrors after Katrina while downplaying the failures of local and state officials in order to craft a story of the president’s incompetence. There is no doubt the president (and his team) made a number of mistakes; his public relations effort was particularly ham-handed. But, his mistakes were not nearly as grave as the media’s narrative suggests.

    Its statements like these that qualify Gaypatriot (the website) as a member of my “tinfoil-hat wearing” list.

    New Orleans, as a city, ceased to exist in the wake of Katrina. When is the last time that you can remember when an entire city of millions had to be completely evacuated? Yet somehow, we are to chalk it all up to just being an anti-Bush media conspiracy? And that the “major mistake” of the White House was a bad PR campaign? Talk about Bush-derangement syndrome! It doesn’t get more obvious than that.

    And with their praise of Jeb Bush, its clear that they are angling him for a Whitehouse run in 2008. What is this? If first, or second, you don’t succeed, try another Bush again? The third Bush is the charm? Thats fine for an Imperial Dynasty, but we elect Presidents, we don’t enthrone them. We don’t need another “But I’m the decider!” go-to guy. No more men on horseback to save the day thank you very much.

    The GP’s and the GOP for that matter, need to dump this non-conservative loser before he permanently destroys any possibility of the Republican party regaining any semblance of credibility or appearance of competence in governing.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — June 13, 2006 @ 2:07 pm - June 13, 2006

  12. #9: “you launched into a specious defense that the greenhouse effect caused intense tropical storms”

    That’s because the latest scientific evidence suggests that global warming will result in increased hurricane intensity and that we may already be seeing the effects

    “Not to see his pronouncements on this subject as Junk Science is to admit your propensity to worship him rather than think. ”

    Gore has the world scientific community on his side. You have a couple of Exxon-Mobil shills on yours. The conservative propensity for swallowing wacky pseudoscience be it young earth creationism or global warming denial never ceases to amaze me.

    Comment by ian S — June 13, 2006 @ 2:25 pm - June 13, 2006

  13. ian, so we’ll see this year if the hurricane season is as bad as last. Alberto seems to have hit land with a (relative) whimper — and not the force of some of last year’s storms — but the season is still young. You keep repeating your claim that Gore has he scientific community on his side — while a couple of Exxon-Mobil shills on the other. That is just a left-wing propaganda line, demonstably not true, unless you dismiss a vast number of serious scientists as a couple of shills. (But, that seems to be the left-wing way–label your opponents so you can dismiss their ideas.) To be sure, there are scientists on Gore’s side, but overall scientists have not reached a consensus on his theories.

    Gryph, in #11, it seems you put tin-foil hats on truth-tellers. What is wrong with the paragraph you quote? I fault the president for his mistakes and note as well the failures of local officials. Numerous reports have since come out, many in the media outlets leveling the worst of the allegations, reporting how the MSM exaggerated the horrors.

    Furthermore, I did not say that the major mistake was a bad PR campaign, but merely related the it was “particularly ham-handed.”

    As to the evacuation of a major city, well, when was the last time a hurricane of this force did so much damage to a a major city? Hmm. Galveston back in 1900, much, much smaller than New Orleans, with deaths many (many) times those of the Crescent City. Was it the president’s fault the hurricane required the evacuation of this city? (Guess people are not blaming him for forces of nature — didn’t know he was that powerful.) As to that evacuation, that was the responsibility of the local government who didn’t even mobilize the buses it had to get its own citizens out.

    Where is it clear that I’m angling Jeb for ’08? I’m just reporting his successes not positioning his for future endeavors. (As I’ve said before on this blog, Rudy’s my man for ’08.) Indeed, in the very article I link to describe those successes, he makes clear that he’s not running for President.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — June 13, 2006 @ 2:57 pm - June 13, 2006

  14. #13 GayPatriotWest — June 13, 2006 @ 2:57 pm – June 13, 2006

    As to the evacuation of a major city, well, when was the last time a hurricane of this force did so much damage to a a major city?

    Of what possible relevance does this question have to do with the issue of global warming? The issue of “damage to a major city” is one of the path of the hurricane–among other issues, of course, such as the strength of the city’s defenses–in NOLA’s case, the levees–against affects of the portion of the storm that hits it. If no major city is in the direct path of a hurricane, damage will be less than than otherwise. Which should be obvious.

    Since you say you’re from Cincinnati, I’m surprised that you do not recall Hurricane Camille of 1969. It hit the Gulf coast primarily in Mississippi River to the east of Louisiana, went up the Mississippi River all the way to the middle of Kentucky, went east all the way through Virginia and out to sea again. Why do I mention Cincinnati? I was living there at the time. The remnants of Camille spawned several tornados that went through the northern Cincinnati suburbs, which almost destroyed our house. Pictures of some of the devastation along the Gulf coast and a map of the path of Camille are available at HURRICANE CAMILLE – August 17, 1969

    Regarding Ian’s earlier point, I’m surprised that people appear to be be unaware that the number and power of hurricanes that are spawned in the Atlantic are very much related to the temperature of the water in the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf. Hurricanes get much of their energy from the water. It strains credulity to believe that increased global warming of the atmosphere will not also result in increased temperature of the water with obvious consequences.

    Comment by raj — June 13, 2006 @ 3:44 pm - June 13, 2006

  15. Raj, well, like I said in my prior comment, let’s see how this hurricane season plays out, if it’s as bad as last year, then I’ll look more seriously at your theories.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — June 13, 2006 @ 3:53 pm - June 13, 2006

  16. Hurricanes are nature’s way of dealing with those who are stupid enough to live in their path.

    Comment by rightwingprof — June 13, 2006 @ 5:01 pm - June 13, 2006

  17. #14: “Hurricanes get much of their energy from the water.”

    Which is why Alberto is not amounting to much – the Gulf is still warming up this season. Also recall that Katrina was only a category 1 hurricane when it entered the Gulf. Within 48 hours, it was a category 5. Here’s a nice image showing its itensity as a function of its path.

    Here’s an Oct, 2005 article on the role of higher sea surface temperatures in determining storm intensity.

    “sea surface temperatures in the Gulf reached a record 0.8°C above normal compared to previous years”

    Comment by ian S — June 13, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - June 13, 2006

  18. Gramps writes: “New Orleans, as a city, ceased to exist in the wake of Katrina.”

    Right Gramps. That’s why they had a police dept in chaos unable to counter simple, random sniper fire from looters… oh wait, the NO Police were the looters in some cases.

    That’s why nagin referred to the city as a Chocolate City. That’s why we’re pouring over $13b in federal taxpayer dollars into the city.

    That’s why there were elections recently.

    Right, the city ceased to exist. Nice drama Gramps but wrong, wrong, wrong again.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — June 14, 2006 @ 5:05 pm - June 14, 2006

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