Weather Disasters Caused by Bad Decisions, not Global Warming or Climate Change

Dr. Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, wrote a very interesting article entitled, “Earth’s 29 Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters of 2015: 4th Most on Record” today.

What I found most interesting about is the the fact he failed to mention the root cause of the disasters.

Here are the disaster basics:

  1. The count was very confusing.  After reading the article several times, he’s not saying the losses total $29 Billion.  He’s saying there were 29 weather disasters in 2015 whose individual costs for each disaster exceeded $1 billion.
  2. By comparison, there were 24 weather disasters, on average, whose individual costs exceeded $1 billion.
  3. The U.S. had eleven of the billion-dollar weather disasters.  China came in second with a count of six.
  4. I see no mention that the costs were adjusted for inflation.  Ergo, the most recent “records” might not be records at all.
  5. The values include drought, earthquakes and fires.  For example, Indonesia suffered from drought and fires.  Romania suffered from drought.  South Africa suffered from drought.  Ethiopia?  Drought.  Malawi suffered from rain-induced flooding; Vanuatu from a Category 5 tropical cyclone (hurricane); Chile from flooding; Dominica from flooding; Botswana from flooding.

Weather is NOT the root cause of these problems.  We’ve always had weather.  It is both natural and normal.  The root cause of these problems is man, but NOT in the way the Global Warming a.k.a. Climate Change screamers would like you to believe.  We have ALWAYS had weather on this planet, and it has often been more severe than it’s been lately.  It’s been both significantly hotter as well as significantly colder than it is today.  It’s been both significantly more violent as well as significantly more sedate than it is today.  During the more sedate periods, species differentiate and variety flourishes.  During more violent periods of rapid change, only the hardiest species survive while the rest die off.  This, too, is both normal and natural.  In fact, it’s the very basis of evolution.  Scientists fret about Earth being on the brink of a sixth mass extinction without realizing this would be our sixth mass extinction, not our first.  The others occurred 439 mya, 364 mya, 251 mya, 199 mya, and 65 mya.

Their claim that it’s “mostly due to human actions,” however, is utterly preposterous.

In fact, the first such event, the Ordovician-Silurian extinction that occurred 439 million years ago (mya) was caused by “a drop in sea levels as glaciers formed followed by rising sea levels as glaciers melted” (Source).  During the event, Earth lost 25% of marine families and 60% of marine genera.  Tragic?  No!  It was both normal and natural.  Mankind wouldn’t start appearing until another 436 my later.

The second such event, the Late Deonian extinction, occurred approximately 364 mya, with suspected global cooling and glaciation of Gondwana (a former mass continent, long since subducted) causing the extinction of of many warm water marine species.

The third such event, the Permian-Triassic extinction, occurred 251 mya.  Although no direct evidence has been found, scientists believe it was the result of a comet or asteroid impact that killed 95% of all species.  Again, mankind was till 248 my down the road.

The fourth such event, the End Triassic extinction, between 199 and 214 mya, resulted from massive lava floods caused by the breakup of Pangea and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean.  As this occurred over 15 my, a relatively small number of marine families, genera, and vertebrates occurred.  Mankind was still 196 my distant.

The fifth such event, the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, occurred 65 mya as either the result or aggravation of several mile-wide asteroid impacts, including the Chicxulub crater in Yucatan.  Other scientists say it was the result of gradual climate change.  Regardless, 16% of marine families, 47% of marine genera, and 18% of vertebrate families died, including the dinosaurs.

The point is that each and every one of these events occurred entirely due to NORMAL and NATURAL change and entirely without mankind in the picture.

So what have we learned?  We’ve learned that climate change is both normal and natural.  We’ve also learned that the root cause of the dollar damage involves bad choices made by man in terms of location, building design, and forestry management, and NOT because of the normal and natural weather patterns and climate here on Earth.

Let’s take a closer look at Indonesia:

The primary cause of Indonesia’s drought and fires was two-fold.  There’s been an increase in deforestation combined with managed forestry.  Historically, this leads to the suppression of many small natural fire events that weed out smaller growth thereby keeping the fuel for major fires to a minimum.  This type of “managed care” lead to the massive fires that raged through Yellowstone National Park in 1988.

As for disasters related to flooding, “never build on a flood plain.”  My father gave me that advice as I was seeking to buy my first house in 1994, but I first heard it from my grandfather in 1967, as my father was looking to buy his own first home.  Before buying my house, I went to the county’s land surveyor office and immediately crossed off three homes on my list because they were built on a flood plain.  We moved into one of the homes on my list that wasn’t on any flood plain, including the 500-year flood plain.  Just nine months later, the area experienced record rainfalls.  Basically, it rained nearly 24/7 for an entire month, flooding out all three of the homes I had crossed off my list.  In my home, however, we were high and dry.

Here’s another good piece of advice, dating back well over two thousand years:

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:24-27

The parable involves putting our trust in Jesus Christ, but relates to the common knowledge that building on rock is wise while building on sand is foolish.  The parable also mentions the rains, winds (hurricanes/cyclones), and flooding, the principle causes of most of the weather-related disasters in Dr. Jeff Master’s article.

The idea proposed by the GW/CC enthusiasts, that we somehow change the weather, is preposterous, insanely absurd.  In fact, even if we spent 100% of the damages on mitigating the effects weather change caused by mankind’s activities, it would have — at best — a 0.3% effect.

In order words, spend a million dollars and achieve a return of just three thousand dollars.  No matter how much one spent, you would only ever achieve a 0.3% (.003 factor) return on your investment.

That, ladies and gentlemen, would be the supreme height of arrogant, ignorant stupidity, a complete and utter waste of taxpayer dollars, not to mention the productivity of mankind in general.  Billions would die trying to pay for this insane scheme, yet that’s exactly what scientists would like you to believe is the best course of action, when in fact, it is the most absurd course of action on the planet with only one outcome that’s good for only one class of people, and that’s the trillions of dollars that would be spent lining the pockets of climate scientists.

Naturally, this brings us to my last word to the wise:  Follow the money.  In this case, it leads to the now-clear motive behind much of their finger-waggling.

So, instead of embarking on the ridiculously stupid, not to mention futile attempt to modify normal and natural climate change, let us instead do three things:

  1.  Never build on a flood plain.  If you do, have the common decency to build on pilings designed to withstand whatever a once in a 500 year flood will throw at you, and ensure the building is strong enough to withstand the winds and the rains.
  2. If you build out of primitive materials, consider using the environmentally-friendly hanok style of Korea, along with it’s sub-floor heating system known as ondol.  These homes are very sturdy, and have weathered the typhoon-ridden countries of N. and S. Korea for hundreds of years.  The round mound is another weather-proof design commonly found among peasant villages throughout N. and S. Korea.  Like geodesic domes, these designs can easily withstand very high cyclonic winds while providing good shelter against the cold and cooling against the summer heat.
  3. Stop putting out forest fires!  They are absolutely essential to controlling the undergrowth which, if left to grow in the absence of a major fire, produces enough fuel for catastrophic forest fires of the kind that burned in Indonesia.  At the very least, conduct regular, controlled burns to mimic what would occur in nature if left alone.  In a similar vein, stop deforesting large swaths of land by setting forest fires, the little known fact Dr. Jeff Masters failed to mention in his article.

Bottom line:  Mother Nature is not “steady-state.”  It never has been, and no matter how much we try, it never will be.  Instead, our Earth and its inhabitants have evolved to take care of life as we know it, even in the face of massive change.  Change is normal.  Change is natural.  What is neither normal nor natural is man coming along, being stupid by building on flood plains using stupid architecture incapable of standing up to seasonal hurricane winds while interrupting natural burn-out of undergrowth then whining about it all over mass media like blithering idiots.