by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As Hurricane Ian hit Florida, Michael Mann of the infamous “hockey stick” global warming graph, and Susan Joy Hassol, publisher of Climate Communication’s “Quick Facts,” which are devoted to explaining extreme weather events as anthropogenic catastrophes, rushed an op-ed piece into print. Their opinion piece, published in The Guardian and predictably entitled, “Hurricane Ian Is No Anomaly,” blamed global warming. Mann and Hassol editorialized:
“Climate change once seemed a distant threat. No more. We now know its face, and all too well. We see it in every hurricane, torrential rainstorm, flood, heatwave, wildfire, and drought. It’s even detectable in our daily weather. Climate disruption has changed the background conditions in which all weather occurs: the oceans and air are warmer, there’s more water vapor in the atmosphere and sea levels are higher. Hurricane Ian is the latest example.”
Mann and Hassol argued that “the storms of the past five years—Harvey, Maria, Florence, Michael, Ida, and Ian—aren’t natural disasters as much as human-made disasters whose amplified ferocity is fueled by the continued burning of fossil fuels and the increase in heat-trapping carbon pollution, a planet-warming ‘greenhouse gas.’”
As Green New Deal Neo-Marxist dogma, the Mann-Hassol argument is ideologically compelling. Yet the historical record of hurricanes hitting Florida does not establish that Earth is experiencing a unique “pattern of stronger hurricanes, typhoons, and superstorms” because CO2 emitted by burning hydrocarbon fuels since the Industrial Revolution has caused “the oceans to set record levels of warmth.”
Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, has documented that the mainstream media reliably jumped on Hurricane Ian to play their role as the climate hysterics’ echo chamber. The Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and ABC News all ran stories claiming hurricane frequency is on the rise, and that climate change is rapidly fueling super hurricanes.