Woo Hoo! I Hit A Nerve! November 1, 2012Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Environment, Politics, reader interaction.
Tags: climate, commenters, evidence, global warming, Mark Steyn, storm surge, weather events
I thought that rather than responding to each comment on “The Righties Just Don’t Get It”, I’d use author’s privilege to respond here. One commenter was correct to point out that the flooding in New York and elsewhere was not due to rising sea levels, but to the storm surge from the hurricane. That’s true, but even incremental rises in sea level contribute to the destructive potential of storm surges, as was seen here with Sandy and in New Orleans with Katrina. Coastal flooding is going to be a real issue in years to come, and if sea levels rise as dramatically as some climatologists predict, buying coastal real estate in Ohio might be not such a bad idea. Aside from that, the real message of Sandy is that a major consequence of global warming is a higher frequency of of severe weather events, whether winter hurricanes like Sandy or droughts like the ones that have plagued North America for the last decade.
Another commenter chastisted me for my lack of supportive evidence. The point of my piece was as opinion, but this is the blogosphere, and everyone wants links and more links (which I usually provide anyway.) I did not intend for this short essay to be a comprehensive defense of the science of global warming, but such a defense is readily available from any number of sources. If my detractors are seriously interested in the research and the data, they can look in Skeptical Science/Global Warming or Real Climate.
Another commenter compared my “magical thinking” in regard to alternative energy to the fairy-tales of religion. It’s probably the topic for a whole other essay, but briefly, if we have the technological capability to put a man on the moon and do it in less than ten years with the equipment available in the 1960′s, it’s hardly magical thinking to believe that with the same sort of committment, we can’t make the same leap with wind and solar and geothermal. What is magical thinking is to believe that we’ll have enough high-octane gasoline to fill our SUV’s forever.
Finally, another commenter took me to task for saying that Mark Steyn used the Jerry Sandusky metaphor. Fine, it wasn’t Steyn. It was one of Steyn’s cohorts at National Review Online (and that technicality was actually covered in detail in an original piece from Cory that is published elsewhere.) I’ll stand by my original contention: This in no way diminishes what a total jerk Mark Steyn is. (Again, it’s an opinion.)
Ok, let the next raft of comments commence. I’ve changed my underwear and I’m ready to go. And if there happen to be any lefties reading, you might want to chime in…although most of you might be without electricity and internet out there in Eastern liberal land.