The Corner

Winds of Change

BBC News, July 30, 2007:

A new analysis of Atlantic hurricanes says their numbers have doubled over the last century. The study says that warmer sea surface temperatures and changes in wind patterns caused by climate change are fuelling much of the increase.

BBC News, May 18, 2008: 

Hurricanes and tropical storms will become less frequent by the end of the century as a result of climate change, US researchers have suggested.

But the scientists added their data also showed that there would be a “modest increase” in the intensity of these extreme weather events.

Who’s right? I have no idea, but this latest data clash is a reminder that when it comes to ‘climate change’ the best approach continues to be, well, let’s call it an environmentalism of doubt, pragmatism, skepticism, and incrementality, Lomborg, in short, not Gore. And, no, it shouldn’t include cap-and-trade.

That said, whatever their practical effects (some would be good, others not), McCain’s gestures to greenery are politically shrewd.  Environmentalism is these days not only a widely-held civic religion, but, at least amongst some folk, a religion religion. Friendly nods in its direction are therefore a good electoral move, essentially harmless, and in the finest tradition of American political pandering: the equivalent, perhaps, of just another prayer breakfast. 

As a wise man once (reportedly) said, “Paris is well worth a Mass.”

Hat-tip: An Englishman’s Castle


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