In its dramatic coverage of Hurricane Harvey, mainstream-media figures repeatedly have asserted that human-caused global warming, or “climate change” as it now is dubbed, is responsible for the scale of devastation seen along the Texas coast.
But a leading critic of the climate-change movement says science tells a very different story – that cooling is playing a key role.
Since Friday, record amounts of rainfall have inundated the Houston area, flooding countless homes and roads and forcing thousands of rescues of stranded residents by emergency responders and area residents. More than 50 inches of rain has been reported at some stations.
But as the media share the dramatic stories of rescue and loss, they are also suggesting human activity played a role in the severity of the storm.
“What is the role of man-made climate change in disasters like this one?” asked CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
CNN political contributor Ron Brownstein was even more assertive.
“There is no doubt that climate change, particularly because of the warming of the ocean waters and the gulf waters, makes storms like this more common,” said Brownstein.
CNN anchor John Berman cited climate change in an interview with former National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read.
“One of the thing we’ve [learned] from scientists over the last 10 years is that climate change does impact the intensity of many of the storms that we see,” said Berman.
Read did not agree.
“I probably wouldn’t attribute what we’re looking at here. This is not an uncommon occurrence,” said Read.
So did human activity play a role in the misery being inflicted upon Texas?
“Man-made climate change is not occurring. There’s no evidence for that whatsoever, and climate changes all the time naturally,” said Tim Ball, a former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg and the author of “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.”
He says partisans are cherry-picking information to advance a narrative.
“They’re taking things out of context. You’re looking at one event. When you look at the long-term history of hurricanes and severe weather events, this is well within the normal variability and nothing unusual at all,” said Ball, who posits that government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, are using Harvey to further a political agenda.
Hear the interview:
“NOAA especially, and the media amplifying it, are doing everything to hype these things because they want to push this whole human-caused global warming agenda,” said Ball.
Even worse, Ball says anyone with the temerity to dispute the government and media line is targeted for ridicule and humiliation.
“To try and get to the truth and to calm things down is almost impossible. If you dare to even question any of this, it’s, ‘Oh, you don’t care about the people that are drowning or the loss of life and so on. How dare you say that?’ This is what’s going on. You’re immediately bullied into silence if you dare to try to bring some semblance of reason and evidence and facts to the issue,” said Ball.
So what accounts for the record rainfall, topping more than 50 inches in Texas? And why did the storm linger on the coast for days? Ball says it’s actually just the opposite of what the climate-change activists would have people believe.
“The reason it parked itself day after day is because the world is cooling down and the cold air is pushing down from the north. If you look at the weather maps, you’ll see that there were two high-pressure ridges to the northwest of where the hurricane would normally go inland, and they were preventing it from moving inland. So it’s actually global cooling that’s causing the problem,” said Ball.
He says tropical storms and hurricanes typically lose steam very quickly once they hit land, but Harvey stopped at the worst possible place.
“With Harvey, that’s not fully happening. Half of it is over the land, and half is over the water. So it’s continuing to pick up some of the moisture, and that’s feeding the steady rainfalls that are associated with it,” said Ball.
While Harvey’s rainfall totals are the worst on record, Ball says that’s no reason to jump to conclusions about human activity playing a role.
“Has this happened before? Of course. It’s just that it hasn’t happened as far as I know in the modern record of hurricane events. To understand the meteorology of it and to say that this would have occurred in the past is perfectly reasonable,” said Ball.
However, experts who agree that humans do play a role in the changing climate say the volatility and severity of events such as Harvey are proof of their conclusions.
Ball says it’s just the opposite.
“The increased variability of weather, that is what you get when the world starts to cool down. The cold air starts pushing farther south. That’s what’s caused the problems with Harvey, and what it does is amplify the variability of the weather and the climate, and that’s what we’re seeing happening,” said Ball.
Ball points to the track record of climate scientists.
“The fact is, all the predictions of temperature that have been made since 1990 have been wrong. If your forecasts are wrong, your science is wrong,” said Ball.
He sees a new British study concluding 2016 is the warmest year on record as an attempt to keep the political narrative in place in spite of the science.
“They cooked the data to show this. There is a warm patch down in the southeast of England right now, but the rest of England is below normal temperatures. So it’s this cherry-picking of data and selectivity of data to push the agenda you’ve sold to the public,” said Ball.
He says the politicians pushing the climate-change agenda are too far down the road to turn around now.
“As a bureaucrat, you don’t want to come out and say to the politicians who put their political lives on the line with this, ‘Hey, what I told you was wrong.’ That ain’t going to happen. This is the difficulty. When you get it in a bureaucracy, it takes on a life of its own,” said Ball.
Ball says the cooler the earth becomes in the coming years, the more the public will see the truth in the climate debate.
“There will be a continued attempt to keep it going, but the evidence for cooling will continue to grow. Gradually, people will start to realize that they’ve been fooled by it,” said Ball.