Chasing Weather Disasters

By Keith Kloor
Sep 24, 2009 7:33 PMNov 20, 2019 5:51 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

If there's a major flood in the headlines, you can bet Joe Romm is on the scene, milking the drama and tragedy for all it's worth. Does it matter that he's not even consistent? Here's how he first classifies the Georgia flooding:

I have called this type of rapid deluge, "global warming type" record rainfull."

A few sentences later comes the hedge:

And no, far be it from me to say that current flooding is caused directly by global warming.

Romm has a well-documented record of seizing on individual weather disasters to trumpet his narrative. He's smart enough to know this is dubious (hence his conflation and inconsistency), so it's more likely the habit derives from cyncial calculation that such disasters are among the best ways to dramatize the global warming debate. In that light, Romm and his choir would do well to pay attention to this observation made recently on Dot Earth, by the other side:

From a political standpoint (as opposed to science), climate skeptics are most successful when they merely point out the behavior and motivations of climate zealots.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.