Decline in Violence Linked to Climate Change

Decline in Violence Linked to Climate Change
August 2, 2013

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #100

In their latest attempt to avail themselves of government funding and attain media fame, researchers at the hard-left University of California, Berkeley, claim extreme weather causes more human violence.

While many of the claims are silly on their face (I am sorry, but global warming does not cause more road rage and wife beatings) and most or all of the claims are perhaps less silly but still likely false, to the extent extreme weather events may cause human violence, global warming has reduced the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and thus the frequency and severity of any alleged violent side effects.

In the abstract of their paper, the Cal-Berkeley researchers provide subtle but telling clues indicating the increasingly political nature of government-subsidized research. The three researchers claim to apply expert principles of “archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology” in their paper. It seems rather unlikely that the three researchers, each of whom share the same limited background in economics, are expert enough in archaeology, criminology, economics, geography, history, political science, and psychology to expertly apply all of these principles in their paper.

The authors also use language loaded with self-promoting activism that is foreign to dispassionate scientific research. They subjectively describe their research as applying “the most rigorous” quantitative studies and coming up with “a remarkable convergence of results.” One might expect such self-promoting language in an Anthony Weiner press release, but certainly not in objective scientific abstracts.

Getting to the heart of the claims about climate change and human violence, the authors merely reinforce the positive benefits of our ongoing recovery from the Little Ice Age. Scientific data and evidence show the Earth’s recent warming is coinciding with a “remarkable” decline in extreme weather events. As global temperatures continue their modest rise, extreme weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, etc., are becoming less frequent and severe, while beneficial climate events such as shrinking deserts, expanding forests, improving soil moisture, record crop production, and a greening of the Earth become more prevalent.

Even if we accept for the sake of argument that drought or other negative weather events cause people to beat their wives or accost other drivers in fits of road rage, global warming is clearly reducing the frequency of such nasty personal behavior.

In one of an avalanche of media reports on the Cal-Berkeley paper, BBC News published the headline, “Rise in violence ‘linked to climate change.’” A more accurate title would be, “Decline in violence ‘linked to climate change.’”

SOURCE: Science


IN THIS ISSUE

Climate scientist Easterbrook debunks sea level claims … Antarctic sea ice extent sets several new records … Interior Secretary fires salvo at ‘deniers’ under her supervision … Most of U.S. cooler than normal in 2013; stay tuned for adjustments … Media fumbled reports of open seas at North Pole … Global warming activist groups receive millions in dark money


CLIMATE SCIENTIST EASTERBROOK DEBUNKS SEA LEVEL CLAIMS

Climate scientist Don Easterbrook published a thorough analysis of sea level changes during the past century, as well as likely sea level changes in the upcoming century. Easterbrook demonstrated alarmist predictions of several feet of imminent sea level rise are preposterous. Instead, the best scientific evidence indicates sea level will continue to modestly rise, as it did throughout the past century without catastrophic results.

SOURCE: Climate Depot


ANTARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT SETS SEVERAL NEW RECORDS

Antarctic sea ice extent has been at record levels for nine of the past 10 days, according to NOAA satellite data. The Antarctic sea ice records extend a 34-year history of gradually expanding Antarctic sea ice since satellites first began measuring sea ice in 1979.

SOURCES: Sunshine Hours and Cryosphere Today


INTERIOR SECRETARY FIRES SALVO AT ‘DENIERS’ UNDER HER SUPERVISION

Newly appointed U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell delivered an intimidating message on August 1 to global warming skeptics under her supervision. Jewell told a meeting of Interior Department employees, “I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of the Interior.” She also told her underlings that agreeing with her global warming alarmism is “a moral imperative.”

SOURCE: Bloomberg


MOST OF U.S. COOLER THAN NORMAL IN 2013; STAY TUNED FOR ADJUSTMENTS

Most of the United States was cooler than normal from January 1 through July 31 of this year, according to data compiled by the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC). Global warming activists who produce temperature reports for government agencies, however, typically add substantial warming to the temperatures recently measured by thermometers at U.S. and global temperature stations, so don’t expect government officials to acknowledge the cooling temperatures throughout the nation.

SOURCE: High Plains Regional Climate Center


MEDIA FUMBLED REPORTS OF OPEN SEAS AT NORTH POLE

Media outlets breathlessly claimed global warming caused open seas at the North Pole this week as a result of melting ice. University of Washington scientists, however, pointed out the “open sea” shown in photographs taken by cameras at a buoy near the North Pole was actually a surface pond of ice melt on top of the Arctic ice sheet. Surface ponds of ice melt are common during summer on the Arctic ice sheet, and University of Washington scientists said the pond was likely no more than two feet deep on the surface of the ice cap.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That?


GLOBAL WARMING ACTIVIST GROUPS RECEIVE MILLIONS IN DARK MONEY

Global warming activist groups receive millions of dollars each year in untraceable “dark money,” the Washington Free Beacon reports. While global warming activists frequently claim outside money motivates global warming skeptics, groups such as the Center for American Progress and Sierra Club rake in millions of dollars from dark sources, totally eclipsing skeptic funding sources.

SOURCE: Washington Free Beacon

James M. Taylor, J.D.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)