Cyclone Yasi Proves Only That we Panic too Fast

Posted on Sat 02/05/2011 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

IT HADN’T even hit yet, and already a gibbering horde was shrieking that Cyclone Yasi proved we’d warmed the world.

There was Christine Milne, of course, deputy leader of the Greens, the most deceitful party to shame Parliament. How fast she flapped up the microphones to crow: “It is a tragedy of climate change.”

Then there was ABC Melbourne 774 host Jon Faine, snapping that sceptics should finally “join the dots”, and inviting alarmist scientist Graeme Pearman to say we’d never had such cyclones before.

Oh, and here comes John Hewson, the former Liberal leader and sniffer of business opportunities, saying warmists had predicted “more frequent cyclones” and “that’s what we’re seeing”.

John, give up the green, mate. The colour doesn’t suit and that market’s set to tank.

Add to them the Gillard Government’s warming guru, Professor Ross Garnaut (actually an economist), who groaned that “a warming climate does lead to intensification of these sorts of extreme climatic events that we’ve seen in Queensland”, and “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Wrong, Ross. We have actually seen all this before, and worse. Nothing new here at all, expect this shameless scare-mongering.

But the trouble is that we no longer remember our past, and that’s what the warmists are exploiting: our deep forgetting.

Take Channel 10 host George Negus, who told viewers this week that with an “apocalyptic” cyclone and floods in Queensland, and blizzards in the US, our climate had gone “haywire”.

How easily even Negus, who has reported so much history, can forget.

George, you were born in 1942. In that year, Europe had its worst winter of the century, actually a godsend since it stalled Hitler’s invasion of Russia.

That same year a cyclone and huge rain wiped out the rice harvest in Bengal, triggering a famine in which more than a million people died. Drought in China took a million more, while an astonishing month of tornadoes in the United States killed 152 people.

Now that’s a climate gone haywire – or would have seemed then if scary videos of every blizzard, storm, dustbowl, emaciated child or tornado around the world could have been instantly beamed into televisions in every horrified Australian home as they are today.

Incidentally, note also how lethal natural disasters were in those poorer days, when one crop failure could spell death for already beggared millions, and a roar of wind could flatten street after street of gimcrack housing.

Although warmists now sow panic about the natural disasters they claim threaten us, we’ve actually never been better protected from them. See how few Queenslanders were even injured by the “apocalyptic” Cyclone Yasi.

What’s more, despite years of alleged warming by man, our cyclones still aren’t record-breakers and nor are our floods.

So before we all get stampeded by the panic merchants to buy whatever they’re selling – a tax, a carbon credit, ratings, votes, salvation – please consider the following eight inconvenient truths.

THE La Nina change in ocean patterns drove down global temperatures last month to just below the long-term average, according to the satellite measurements taken by America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

LA NINA events have historically brought us more cyclones and rain, and we were already due for more super cyclones anyway, after an unusually quiet period, says cyclone expert Professor Jonathan Nott, of James Cook University.

THE Bureau of Meteorology notes a decline in the frequency of Australian cyclones since 1970, and predicts fewer still, saying “there has been a growing number of studies that indicate a consistent signal of fewer tropical cyclones globally in a warmer climate”.

QUEENSLAND had worse cyclones and floods a century ago, before any possibility of man-made warning. Brisbane’s biggest flood was actually in 1893. Cyclone Yasi’s central pressure of 922hPa is still not as low as the 914hPa of Cyclone Mahina, which killed more than 400 Queenslanders in 1899.

IN 1918, Queensland had two huge cyclones in a single year, each of which killed more people than have died in all Queensland’s natural disasters this year, despite our much greater population. Cyclone Tracy in 1974 destroyed Darwin and killed 71 people.

TOTAL hurricane and cyclone energy around the world has fallen over the past 15 years, according to the data of Dr Ryan Maue of Florida State University.

THERE has been no statistically significant warming of the oceans since 2003, according to a recent study by physicists Robert Knox and David Douglass, of the University of Rochester, published in the International Journal of Geosciences.

WE have had costlier natural disasters than the recent Queensland floods, as measured by insurable losses, including the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy (1974) and the Newcastle earthquake (1989), according to catastrophe risk scientist Ryan Crompton of Macquarie University.

What does all this tell us?

Only that we’ve seen nothing in Queensland this year that we haven’t seen before, and we’re surviving these disasters better than ever.

So where’s the proof that Yasi shows we’re heating the planet, and are in greater danger than ever?

Why this shameful panic?

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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