masthead-highres

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bugs, Songs and Global Warming

The National Center's Peyton Knight admires Barbra Streisand:
Is there no bottom to the well of the talent possessed by Barbra Streisand? The singer/actress/director/wannabe political hack is adding "weather prognosticator" to her repertoire.

Over the past weekend, Ms. Streisand declared to ABC's Diane Sawyer: "We are in a global warming emergency state and these storms are going to become more frequent, more intense."

Sounds pretty serious. What can we expect in the future, Ms. Streisand?

"There could be more droughts, dust bowls."

(You can't say she didn't warn you. )

Streisand says all these weather events can be avoided quite easily. All America has to do is cripple its economy by signing (like Europe) and adhering to (unlike Europe) the Kyoto Protocol.

According to Streisand, "I mean, for the United States not to be part of the Kyoto treaty is unforgivable."

Streisand's wisdom comes on the heels of a similar scolding from Britain's chairman of something called the "Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution," Sir John Lawton.

Sir John, a zoologist with special expertise in the population, ecology and eating habits of animals without backbones, puts a hugh priority on spreading his global warming views to physicists who dedicated careers to climate science.

Referring to Hurricane Rita before Rita's landfall, Sir John opined: "If what looks like it is going to be a horrible mess causes the extreme skeptics about climate change in the U.S. to reconsider their opinion, that would be an extremely valuable outcome."

Perhaps sobered by the prospect that Rita might -- as was considered possible at the time -- destroy a major U.S. city, Sir John took pains to be respectful of these PhDs, referring to them as "the climate loonies in the States."

Sir John, also known as a bird lover, also said of the "climate loonies": "I'd liken them to the people who denied that smoking causes lung cancer."

Thankfully, National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield stepped in yesterday to put the lie to the real climate loonies.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Mayfield explained that hurricane intensity is a matter of cyclical weather patterns, not global warming, saying "Hurricanes, and especially major hurricanes, are cyclical," said Mayfield. "We'll have a few decades of really active hurricanes, and then inactive periods, followed by active periods again."

Perhaps feeling the need to correct the budding climatologist and her ideological counterpart in the mother country, Mayfield left no doubt in his prognosis: "So I think that this activity that we're in can be explained without invoking global warming. And the bad news here is that we are in this active period, and the research meteorologists tell us that it may last another 10 or 20 years," he said.

But will the diva and the knight bachelor believe him? After all, Mayfield can't possibly know anything about the weather. His experience with bugs and high octaves is minimal. He's just a professional meteorologist.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:04 PM

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