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DAVID BLACKMON: Should We Believe The Media Hype Linking Hurricane Idalia To Climate Change?


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David Blackmon David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
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Hurricane Idalia left a path of destruction across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina this week. It was a big, impactful, dangerous storm that has negatively impacted thousands of lives, like so many big and powerful storms that have made landfall in the United States.

That said, as most of the legacy media continues to inundate Americans with all manner of hype and efforts to link Idalia to climate change, it also should be noted that there is nothing unprecedented or even all that unusual about this storm. It’s a big one for sure, but so were Hurricanes Harvey and Ike and Rita and Katrina and Ivan and many more storms that came before it.

One report on Twitter/X posted Wednesday by meteorologist Phillip Klotzbach says, “For the first time since 1950, the Atlantic has two 110+ mph #hurricanes in August simultaneously (#Franklin and #Idalia).” In response, another Twitter user noted 71% of industrial age human-caused CO2 emissions have taken place during the period between 1950 and today.

Yet we are asked by our government to accept the notion that human CO2 emissions are the major cause of climate change, and climate change is supposedly creating increasingly powerful and more frequent storms. None of that science is supported logically or factually by that look back at history.

A look even further back through hurricane history reminds us that the Great Galveston Storm of 1900 remains the deadliest weather-related catastrophe in U.S. history. The 1900 storm inundated the entire extent of Galveston Island, bringing with it a 15-foot storm surge, taking the lives of an estimated 6,000 to 12,000 souls. Notably, that is the same level of surge created by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Visitors to Galveston can still observe the high water marks the storm left on buildings that survived the horrible storm. It is fair to note here that, again according to scientists, the 1900 storm took place prior to more than 95% of CO2 emissions from the industrial era had come about. According to official data kept by NOAA, atmospheric concentration of CO2 in 1900 was about 295 ppm compared to about 420 ppm today.

Courtesy of NOAA

Courtesy of NOAA

Well, what about hurricane strength and frequency, then? Data since 1851 kept by the U.S. National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane center shows no discernible upwards trend in either category over time. Indeed, the period from 1851 through 1900 was more active in terms of the number of hurricane strikes on the U.S. mainland than were the 50 years from 1971 through 2020.

In terms of intensity of the storms, the decade from 1941 through 1950 produced 10 landfalls by category 3 or higher storms, compared to just 4 such landfalls across the most recent decade of 2011 through 2020. In fact, that most recent decade produced the fewest intense storms on record since 1901 through 1910.

These are not opinions, but simple, undisputed facts that are easily found by any curious person with access to a computer who knows how to conduct an Internet search. Do any of these facts mean that the scientists and media hype surrounding hurricanes and climate change are wrong? Not necessarily.

But they do mean that the reality we are able to actually observe is not in any real way conforming to the output of computer models the scientists invariably rely upon as the basis for their pronouncements that are eagerly parroted by cooperative, incurious media platforms.

Until such observations begin conforming to all the hype and fright rhetoric coming from the likes of Al Gore, John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, a major portion of our population will remain skeptical that we are being told the truth about any of this. Americans are funny that way.

David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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