First, let me say my heart goes out to the people of the Philippines. This was a horrific and very deadly event. And I can even understand their representative to the UN letting emotion carry the day when he said, before the UN:
“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness.
“We can fix this. We can stop this madness. Right now, right here.
Well, emotion aside, no we can’t. As Bjorn Lomborg has said any number of times, the cost of doing what those who want to “stop this madness” want done would literally end life as we know it, ruin economies and yield, at best, marginal results. Or said another way, we can’t afford their desired programs.
Then there is the reality of the day. Right now, for instance, carbon emissions in the US are at 1994 levels (and have dropped in most places around the globe due to the downturn in the global economy). Then there’s the inconvenient fact that warming around the globe has paused for ten years and some climate scientists say it may stay paused for another 2o years. And your guess is likely as good as theirs as to what the climate will do then. It is hard, in the middle of possible 30 year pause in warming, to claim a single event has been caused by … warming. But someone always will.
Finally, look on this side of the globe. Hurricanes and tornadoes are down – a lot:
Summer is almost over, and as of Tuesday morning, not a single hurricane had formed this year. Tornado activity in 2013 is also down around record low levels, while heat waves are fewer and milder than last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Meteorologists credit luck, shifts in the high-altitude jet stream, African winds and dust.
So it is possible that the “local” weather, in this case “local” is a rather relative term, in our tropics was cooler than the weather in the tropical region of the Philippines. Is that something man has control over? Or, is it something that an increasing number of scientists seem to be concluding – that various “local” climatic events have more say over our weather than does CO2?
Since I don’t accept the science is settled on this issue, I think we have a lot to still learn about our climate and how it works and what effects it. To this point, I’m not convinced that a single trace gas that, until recently science said was a lagging indicator of warming, is not the culprit that spawns super storms like Haiyan.