Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Imperfect Storm

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has a roundup of links on the debate over whether hurricanes are getting "worse". James Glassman argues that the frequency of giant storms has actually been decreasing over time, based on NOAA data.

Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.

The counterargument cited is MIT researcher Kerry Emmanuel's letter in Nature.

Theory and modelling predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency, and shows no trend. Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s. This trend is due to both longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities. I find that the record of net hurricane power dissipation is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming. My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and—taking into account an increasing coastal population—a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century.

Emmanuel has an earlier version of his global warming thesis on his website entitled Anthropogenic Effects on Tropical Cyclone Activity. In that earlier paper, Emmanuel had not yet reached any definite conclusions about the effect of global warming on the frequency, energy and distribution of hurricanes.

The theory of tropical cyclones, in its present state of development, yields some useful insights into the relationship between tropical cyclone activity and climate. There is a rigorous upper limit to the intensity that hurricanes can achieve, and this limit can be easily determined from known states of the atmosphere and ocean. Elementary considerations show that this limit increases with the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, but the magnitude of the increase that would result from the present injection of anthropogenic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is unknown, owing to large uncertainties about feedbacks in the climate system. Moreover, very few storms approach their limiting intensity, and the processes responsible for keeping storm intensities below their limiting value are poorly understood and not likely to be well simulated by present GCM's. The frequency with which tropical cyclones occur is a product of the prevalence of known necessary conditions for their formation and the frequency and strength of disturbances that have the potential of initiating tropical cyclones. Neither basic theory nor numerical climate simulation is well enough advanced to predict how tropical cyclone frequency might change with changing climate, and both give conflicting results on the change of tropical cyclone frequency on doubling atmospheric. There is no physical basis, however, for claims that the total area prone to tropical cyclogenesis would increase. The new field of paleotempestology entails the use of a variety of techniques for deducing the long-term history of hurricane activity from the geological record. Pushing the record of landfalling tropical cyclones well back into prehistory, perhaps even to the last ice age, may be the key to understanding from an empirical standpoint the relationship between tropical cyclone activity and climate. We should do what we can to encourage this endeavor. 

To be perfectly fair, the letter cited in Nature does not assert that the frequency of hurricanes is increasing. Emmanuel's letter says: "work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency, and shows no trend." Emmanuel does argue that storm lifetimes and intensities has increased over time and that his data suggests it is correlated with "tropical sea surface temperature" which is in turn a function of "multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming". A New York Times article citing Emmanuel says:

In an article this month in the journal Nature, Kerry A. Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote that global warming might have already had some effect. The total power dissipated by tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic and North Pacific increased 70 to 80 percent in the last 30 years, he wrote. But even that seemingly large jump is not what has been pushing the hurricanes of the last two years, Dr. Emanuel said, adding, "What we see in the Atlantic is mostly the natural swing."

There are several issues which should be individually highlighted before considering their interaction. The first is frequency. If hurricanes are considered to be natural heat pumps and hurricane frequency is constant or declining, individual storms will logically pack more energy to pump the additional available heat. But this additional heat is apparently contributed by non-human causes: Emmanuel says, "What we see in the Atlantic is mostly the natural swing." The third factor is storm distribution and it enters the picture in two ways. The first is where storms arise and track. The second, already mentioned by Emmanuel is the "increasing coastal population" of the world. What really gets people's attentions isn't storms, but landfalling storms. The most powerful storms on record remain relatively unknown as long as they are confined to the open ocean. Wikipedia notes:

The most intense storm on record was Typhoon Tip in the northwestern Pacific Ocean in 1979, which had a minimum pressure of only 870 mb and maximum sustained windspeeds of 190 mph (305 km/h). Fortunately, it weakened before striking Japan. Tip does not, however, hold alone the record for fastest sustained winds in a cyclone; Typhoon Keith in the Pacific, and Hurricane Camille and Hurricane Allen in the North Atlantic currently share this record as well, although recorded windspeeds that fast are suspect, since most monitoring equipment is likely to be destroyed by such conditions.

How strong was Typhoon Tip? For comparison, Katrina had a central pressure of 902 mb in midocean against 870 for Tip. (The lower the windpressure the worse and remember the scale is logarithmic.) One weather site estimates that if a storm like Tip "hit south Florida directly, tropical storm force winds would be felt as far north as Charlotte, North Carolina and as far south as Merida, Mexico and Kingston, Jamaica". Katrina became the most destructive US storm in history not by virtue of its power, but by a combination of power and geographical distribution. (But not in lives lost. That dubious honor belongs to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 which killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people)

It should be pretty clear from the foregoing that Glassman's point about the decreasing frequency of hurricanes and Emmanuel's argument for their increasing power are not necessarily in conflict. They may both be true. But what of Global Warming? If, as Emmanuel himself suggests, the increased ocean heat is dominated by "the natural swing" even the most strenuous efforts at reducing the consumption of fossil fuels would bring meager results. What's left is the distribution variable. Emmanuel notes there is "an increasing coastal population", and which implies ceteris paribus, that typhoon damage will monotonically increase even if there were no additions to storm frequency or power. One of the reasons that typhoons in the northern Indian Ocean, comprising India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, and Pakistan kill the most people year after year is because of population concentrations in the low-lying coastal areas. One of the reasons Katrina was so devastating was the location of Gulf coast cities and oil rigs. This suggests that zoning and resistant architecture and contingency planning might do far more to limit disaster than immense investments in windmills or solar panels.

(Speculation alert.) Environmentalists might take note of how inhabitants in the little-known Batanes Islands in the Philippines cope with typhoons. The Batanes are so small they are repeatedly struck by typhoons undiminished by the landfall effect. The inhabitants of the "typhoon islands", the Ivatans, developed a unique form of architecture that simply enabled them to ride out the storm. In other words, they used technology to adapt to the forces of nature. But they are indigenous people, so that's OK.


Blogger Albert Schwartz said...

You will notice that Emmanuel uses an ad hoc criteria to define storm strength. This allows him to use the period of 1970s to present for his time range since there probably is little data about storm strength in mid ocean before that due to lack of full ocean satellite coverage. So he starts at a period when environmentalists were warning of the coming ice age and the minimum of a normal hurricane cycle.

If you can pick your criteria and pick your period, you can probably 'prove' anything. At least his paper can serve some useful purpose when recycled as birdcage liner.

9/01/2005 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

In other words, they used technology to adapt to the forces of nature. But they are indigenous people, so that's OK.

No, it's not OK. If adapting to the forces of nature caught on, where would we all be?

(Non speculation alert). It's GWB's fault; somebody must pay.


9/01/2005 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger luminary said...

And like 911, many in the world cheer at this disaster.
Natures shock and awe.
The truth is when the next terrorist strike happens in the U.S one can take a lesson from the behavior of the looters.

'Don't make enemies with people appointed for life by the President of the United States; and don't make enemies of people who buy their ink by the gallon.' - Mark Rasch

9/01/2005 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

No scientist would write ``total power dissipated.'' Always ``total energy dissipated.''

Then you get the realization, though, that what matters is how focused the deposition of energy is, not how much there is spread out over large areas.

The energy is pretty much the same no matter what happens. It comes from the sun.

9/01/2005 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


The lower the windpressure the worse and remember the scale is logarithmic.

Are you referring to pressue measurement? The bar scale of pressure measurement is not logarithmic. The richter scale, and decibels are logarithmic but not bars.

Anyway, we are hearing quite a bit about Kyoto of late. The faith the left places in Kyoto is near religious. However, even if most of the strength of Katrina can be tied to manmade C02 emissions, what would Kyoto have done? Manmade C02 emissions have been happening for centuries. Would Kyoto have undone centuries of CO2 emissions? Nope.

9/01/2005 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...



Energy is the true measure not power.

Just to make sure everyone understands the difference. Energy is the ability to do work. Power is energy delivery per unit time. Think of using a rowing machine (or any other exercise).

You can burst and generate very high power readings. But, when your workout is done you look at the total calories expended (energy, calories are an energy measure) and are disapointed.

As Wretchard says, we have people flocking to the waterfront so therefore damage will be greater as time goes on.

9/01/2005 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Boston said...

Measuring and speculating about the source and changes in CO2 emissions et al makes for good political fodder, but until legitimate science authoritatively rules out the influence of the first source of heat in the solar system, the Sun, the rest is bullshit. You don't need a PhD to become overwhelmed by the odor being emitted from the "experts."

9/01/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

Marcus Aurelius writes:

"The faith the left places in Kyoto is near religious. However, even if most of the strength of Katrina can be tied to manmade C02 emissions, what would Kyoto have done?"

Next to nothing; it is nearly toothless.  But the failure of the world to take emissions seriously (and the US to take alternative energy seriously in Republican administrations, starting with Reagan) would have prevented a truly effective treaty.

If e.g. the WTO had included a legal requirement for a carbon tax, we might not be in a terribly different situation at the moment but we could be on a very different trend.  If the US had used gasoline taxes as a backup to CAFE regulations, demand would be lower and we might not be stretched so thin on refining capacity that storm-related refinery shutdowns would cause immediate shortages.

9/01/2005 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


I am becoming convinced there are sufficient externalities in the energy market to warrant serious societal (i.e. governmental) intervention in at least the development of a realistic alternative to our petrol based energy system.

Or perhaps we look back to the original Manhattan Project instead of creating a new one.

BTW look up to my first comment, and check out the link. It is a humorous imagining of the proper application of the Kyoto Protocols in hurricane prevention.

9/01/2005 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

During the early 180's a volcanic explosion in the South Pacific (one that made the later Krakatoa blast look small in comparison) led to terribly cold temperatures worldwide and widespread famine. 1814 became known as "Eighteen hundred and froze to death."
And the limited available data also shows that the hurricane season was probably the worst ever.
Much colder weather = Worse hurricanes?
On a personal level I have also noted that colder than normal weather in April here in Florida also seems to correlate closely with "bad" hurricane seasons - bad in the sense of impacts to land.
And I understand that until the late 1880's hurricanes used to hit the California coast just like they do in Florida.
In any case, I have come to the conclusion that we simply have to build more storm-resistant structures and utilities.

9/01/2005 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

Ocean temperatures lag the atmosphere by years.  A sudden cooling of the atmosphere (and continents) would increase temperature differences and thus the driving force of winds; more severe storms are a foreseeable outcome of this.

The Australian links global warming to more severe droughts.

9/01/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Anymouse said...

As a meterorologist with some background in the global warming issue...I can say that (in no particular order):
- The Arctic polar ice cap has measurably decreased (on the order of 10%) over the past 20 to 30 years.
- The Antarctic ice cap has measurably increased.
- No one has the foggiest idea how the CO2 and salinity cycle lag coefficients affect climates...or how to parameterize these in a climate model.
- the cold phase of the North Pacific Oscillation is not as cold as in the past 2(~22-25 year period)
- some "scientists" are bending the climate and observational data interpreation...ignoring the urban heat island effects in the northern hemisperic fit their political views.
- man's input to the "global warming problem" is a weak 1st order if not a 2nd order effect. Anybody that states otherwise is not telling the truth.

9/01/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger subpatre said...

The 'heat-pump' model of hurricanes; where the storm is both a product of, and a facilitating mechanism for, heat transfer is well known and proven. Though many of the precise details aren't all fully understood, the overall mechanism is.

In terms of either natural or man-made global warming, what's puzzling to me is that global temperature doesn't (in fact it cannot) make any significant difference in storm energy or storm size.

Hurricane energy is not a function of absolute temperature, but is a function of temperature difference between atmosphere and ocean. For the 'global-warming makes more energetic storms' theory to hold water [pun!], the atmospheric temperature must remain constant and the ocean temperature rise.

The explanation for artificial (and natural historic) global warming is a greenhouse effect, where atmospheric gas, vapor, and particulates trap solar energy. This effect --certainly in greenhouses-- markedly heats the atmosphere; and it heats the atmosphere more than the underlying surface.

All heat engines work on the principle of heat difference, the greater the difference, the greater the energy available in any given time. Hurricanes are no different.

I'm no climatologist, but I'm puzzled by theoretical explanations that are actually counter to what happens in the real world.

9/01/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Two things to think about:

The "experts" derive their data from two sources. One, via classic scientific observation they gather emission (CO2), climate and glacier data points from all over the world, and document correlations and patterns that exist amongst the data (though other contradictory patterns are ignored, like the fact that Antarctic ice is thickening). Though conclusions remain elusive, newspapers, prostituting scientists and political operatives distort the nature of these observations. Causal links are asserted where none are claimed or exist.

Two, warnings and predictions are derived from advanced and complicated computer models. The programs and algorithms that underlie these models are fractal or chaotic in nature, which means all results from lengthy iterations are eminently dependent on initial conditions. The problem with using these climate model prognostications as guidance is obvious: the scientist, and therefore the climate model, is working from imperfect knowledge. A small omission or error will cause a drastic departure from reality, and the number of variables that affect Earth's climate make such omissions inevitable.

Other warming explanations, like land-use or the sun, are ignored by these true believers. Information, like the great difference in warming between New York and Albany, is not discussed. "Global Warming" is bandied about even though many places on the globe are actively cooling. Debate means heresy, and heresy means persecution.

The idea that Man's Industry is ruining the world is a strong tonic and heady brew for Eco-Leftists, and their favor (and fervor) has generated an industry of its own. Interests and dedicated factions have multiplied, and, much like eugenics in the early 1900's, bad science has spawned bad politics. Warming may not be global, but its sordid advocates surely are.

That is not to say that "global warming" has been disproved; man may be every bit as consequential as the environmentalists claim. But we do not know, and the question remains: is it prudent to constrain mankind's defenses against nature in the short term on the off chance that we have anything to do with climate change in the long term?

9/01/2005 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

You can find an interesting speech by Michael Crichton, on the subject of global warming and bad politics, here.

9/01/2005 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

What I find facinating is how the left believes George Bush has evolved into a god within 5 short years.

George has used his special powers to create both global warming from scratch. He then, while on vacation mind you, creates a Cat 4 Huracane.

9/01/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger plainslow said...

If the press covers it big time, then we think it happens more. Just like bad news from Iraq makes us think we are losing.

9/01/2005 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The earth has been generally warming since the end of the "last" Ice Age. The Planet is alive, it breathes, belches and stretches. To think that people can control the rhythm of the world is akin to thinking that ticks can control a dog. Kill it perhaps, but never control it.

not being able to drive from the Airport to the Green Zone is much more telling of the situation in Iraq then the press coverage of the challenge.

While there has been considerable progress made on the ground in Iraq, there is still much to do. Critiques of both the successes and failures of US tactics must be made to successfully chart the course ahead.
Often times there are shoals in the water, that are not on the charts.
It is time to tack

9/01/2005 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This is Katrina related, so I'll post it. Strange things may be brewing in the land of multiculturalism. How the chips fall will depend on honesty--and courage--in the face of doctrine.

This is Jack Shafer from Slate (courtesy RealClearPolitics), and his point should not be dismissed out of hand:

But we aren't one united race, we aren't one united class, and Katrina didn't hit all folks equally. By failing to acknowledge upfront that black New Orleanians—and perhaps black Mississippians—suffered more from Katrina than whites, the TV talkers may escape potential accusations that they're racist. But by ignoring race and class, they boot the journalistic opportunity to bring attention to the disenfranchisement of a whole definable segment of the population. What I wouldn't pay to hear a Fox anchor ask, "Say, Bob, why are these African-Americans so poor to begin with?"

Why indeed? We need to have that discussion.

9/01/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

albert schwartz said,
"If you can pick your criteria and pick your period, you can probably 'prove' anything. At least his paper can serve some useful purpose when recycled as birdcage liner."
MIT Home to Brainless, Ignorant, Hysteric Female "Scientists," and Male Junk Science "Scientists".
We have had NO significant hurricanes in Hawaii since 1994, as I recall.
The REAL perfect storm might be the lack of MORE MILITARY PRESENCE EARILIE for lifesaving and crowd control.

9/01/2005 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


9/01/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Also see NR Corner)
After the Storm. Noonan
. Last week I said that this is the wrong time in history to move forward with the wholesale closings and consolidation of military bases throughout the U.S. Terrorism was on my mind, but the incredible tragedy on the Gulf Coast is giving us a new gulf war, one in which we must help an entire region get back on its feet after being leveled by an ancient foe, the hurricane, and what is happening there right now in New Orleans and Mississippi seems tragically illustrative of the fact that local military presence can be crucial in times of grave national emergency.
The importance of local presence is not only practical but also psychological and symbolic. As I write I am watching CNN, which is showing a truck carrying half a dozen soldiers speeding into downtown New Orleans. Good. Thugs are looting and shooting there. Local police are overwhelmed and unable to restore order, and there was Tuesday's report that some law enforcement officers had actually joined in the pillaging. At a time like this the presence of U.S. troops can make all the difference.
I hope Congress and the president are watching, and I hope what they see will have some impact on their decision about whether go forward with or rethink the base closings.

9/01/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

IF YOU LIKED... [Rich Lowry]
...the 9/11 Commission hearings, just wait until the FEMA hearings we're going to have over this...

9/01/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Kyoto I, there are more to come, was tragically flawed. Where it sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial West, it was necessary to concede the need for a complimentary increase in emissions from developing counties such as China, India, and even allowed an 11% increase from Australia. It was window dressing from the Left that created a false crisis. One could not hope to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas with this treaty, but it sought to hamstring US industries, something Europeans were all to eager to accord, even if it was to dampen there own economies. But thanks to Al Gore, who saw it as his duty to appease the greens on behalf of the US, we were swept into expectations of being a party to the agreement.

Based on most signatories to the agreements inability to meet their self imposed obligations, the treaty has failed, and while not living up to their commitments, Europeans have allowed themselves to rise to a position to criticize the US, and in particular, GWB who inherited the matter after congress overwhelmingly disapproved the treaty during the Clinton administration. Fortunately for the EU, there economies have been faltering which has improved their ability to comply.

Speaking of Europe, we can always look to our friends in Germany to give us a helping hand and sympathy when the chips are down.

Germany's environmental minister Jürgen Trittin:
“By neglecting environmental protection, America’s president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes like Katrina inflict on his country and the world’s economy. ...many Americans have long been unwilling to follow the president’s errant environmental policy. Indications are multiplying that Bush has more than Katrina’s headwind blowing in his face... . When reason finally pays a visit to climate-polluter headquarters, the international community has to be prepared to hand America a worked out proposal for the future of international climate protection. The German Government stands ready.”
(HT medienkritik.typepad)

Standby for Kyoto II.

9/01/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets to stop looting that has turned increasingly hostile as the city plunges deeper into chaos.

9/01/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Looters also chased down a state police truck full of food. The New Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and buildings for their use.

Managers at a nursing home were prepared to cope with the power outages and had enough food for days, but then the looting began. The home's bus driver was forced to surrender the vehicle to carjackers.

Bands of people drove by the nursing home, shouting to residents, "Get out!" Eighty residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were being evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

"We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's executive director. "Now we'll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot."

9/01/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

LOOTERS [Jonah Goldberg]
One point I haven't seen mentioned much is the moral hazard of not shooting -- or at least seriously clamping down on -- the worst looters (again exempting folks looking for water and medicine).

People agree to leave their homes and businesses when the government tells them to in part because they are relying on an implied contract that the state will protect their property in their absence. If that promise is worthless, a lot more people will stay behind the next time such an order is given to protect their stuff. Some of them will undoubtedly die. Others will undoubtedly shoot someone.

A second point. I saw the Lousiana Governor try to sound angry last night. She declared that what really makes her angry is that normally disasters bring out the best in people but this is bringing out the worst in some people. I can't be the only one who thought she sounded like a second grade teacher telling the kids how disappointed she was that they were misbehaving on a class trip. This woman isn't fit to carry Rudy Giuliani's (or Margaret Thatcher's) clipboard.

9/01/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger DaveK said...


The problem with your argument is that you assume the differential energy levels that drive hurricanes are proportional to the temperature differential. Unfortunately, it is primarily the energy of water vaporization and condensation that drives the beast.

And the capacity of the air to hold water vapor increases in a very non-linear manner as the temperature increases. And so, higher temperatures do result in higher-energy storms.

I'm not going to weigh in on the question of what the actual trend in tropical storms might actually be.

Just my $.02

9/01/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Right, doug
We need to keep our military fat and bloated, in a condition that a 13% deployment of the Force is "Stretching" it.
Lean Mean Green Fighting Machine
A vision unfulfilled, lost to featherbedding, pork feeding and now, the weather.

The LA governor has not yet mobilized her State's National Guard. (Bill Kristol, Fox News).

It is not a lack of Military Bases that is the challenge in NO. It is the lack of LOCAL and STATE leadership.

It was well known the NO could flood. That they are so ill prepared is not the Federals fault.
Nor should the US Military be a First Responder.

If the LA Governor declares Martial Law, then we'd need the Military, not 'til then. Then her National Guard units should
'Lead the Way'

9/01/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mouse: NUKE Germany!
Mullahs’ Best Friend.
. Schroeder’s appeasement has brought Iran closer to the bomb.

9/01/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

No leader home, evidently, 'Rat.

9/01/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bush Caused Global Warming, Which Caused the Hurricane.
Bush Allowed Chaos in NO, regardless of what 'Rat says!
Impeach Bushitler!

9/01/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Like some aggressive pagan sect, the environmentalists insist we must bow down before whatever phenomenon or shrine they have declared sacred this week.

9/01/2005 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did the Ivatans have to deal with WATER, ie Storm Surge, etc, or "just" wind?

9/01/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Bush did it.

"In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.
" Sydney Blumenthal
Spiegel Online

9/01/2005 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Congress has the Power of the Purse
Bush has NEVER vetoed a Bill, spending or otherwise.

9/01/2005 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Katrina Devastation Called 'Overwhelming'.

The media will always support whatever analysis leads to soap opera.(AND anti Bush - doug)

The governor will always support whatever leads to money.
vs. the american idea :
You have a million people , they will help each other.

"At first light, the devastation is greater than our worst fears. It's just totally overwhelming,"

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said
the morning after Katrina howled ashore with winds of 145 mph and engulfed thousands of homes in one of the most punishing storms on record in the United States.
. RH Hardin

9/01/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sid Viciously Returns.
Damn - I saw something better than 'Rat, even, but don't remember where.
144 million allocated to NO as I recall, tho.

9/01/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

I called for this a couple days ago, and am pleased to forward the news here.

The military's plans to assist with recovery efforts don't involve a large-scale shifting of U.S. troops from Afghanistan or Iraq, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command said Thursday.
But the Pentagon is looking at ways to bring home from the war zones individual service members whose families suffered from the hurricane and need their help, said Lt. Col. Trey Cate, based in Qatar.

more here:

9/01/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Disastrous Faith.
A belief system sticking blame on Bush.
Environmentalists need their own book of Job.
.Jonah Goldberg:

9/01/2005 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

if you read the first line in the second paragraph at W's link you would not have to ask our benevolent host such a question.

"... Sometimes, giant tidal waves accompany the typhoon. Crashing over the coastline, they destroy concrete seawalls. ..."

9/01/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

as to the frequency of the hurricanes.... from what I understand there was in the past a high pressure system southeast of the bahamas which used to turn the hurricanes northerly so they went up the gulf stream before they could enter the carribbean or continue west to the US atlantic coast.

that high pressure system is no longer in effect so the hurricanes spawned off the coast of africa--just keep barreling westward.

9/01/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eighty percent of the city remained underwater, and looting grew more rampant. Gunfire crackled as looters roamed the streets.
Mayor Ray Nagin:
"We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and other people dead in attics, he said.
Asked how many, he replied, "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

That would make Katrina the nation's deadliest hurricane since 1900, when a storm in Galveston, Texas, killed 6,000 to 12,000.

Nagin's chilling words came as officials drew up plans to evacuate some 100,000 people left in the city and abandon the Big Easy for up to four months.
There will be a "total evacuation of the city. We have to," the mayor said. "The city will not be functional for three to four months.

9/01/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You mean read, like,

9/01/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Besides, you didn't read the link 'til I asked!

9/01/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

JPod responds to 'Rat,
"It's as though the feds expect every city and locality to act with the efficicency of New York and D.C. on 9/11, and that's simply not the right way to be thinking."

9/01/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

e-mail to Lowry:
We're talking death on a massive scale, and within 2 minutes he's thanking Texas for housing refugees (way to perpetuate that "I'm all about Texas" stereotype).

And don't get me started about how the first image of Bush coming back to Washington as thousands have died in a tragedy was him walking down the stairs of Air Force One with Barney tucked under his arm…

I love President Bush, but that was a pathetic performance and I agree with what Byron wrote about his vacation.
And I'm with you: Bring in the troops. Lead! Don't tell me that the federal government will be working "with" state and local governments. Has he watched how incompetent Blanco is?
You have to take "your" team into account, 'Rat:
If I was Guv, would you leave it up to me to lead?
(maybe the self-depracation defense squad)

9/01/2005 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Thanks, annoy mouse. In case no one heard him, I'll repeat it:

As a meterorologist with some background in the global warming issue...I can say that (in no particular order):
- The Arctic polar ice cap has measurably decreased (on the order of 10%) over the past 20 to 30 years.
- The Antarctic ice cap has measurably increased.
- No one has the foggiest idea how the CO2 and salinity cycle lag coefficients affect climates...or how to parameterize these in a climate model.
- the cold phase of the North Pacific Oscillation is not as cold as in the past 2(~22-25 year period)
- some "scientists" are bending the climate and observational data interpreation...ignoring the urban heat island effects in the northern hemisperic fit their political views.
- man's input to the "global warming problem" is a weak 1st order if not a 2nd order effect. Anybody that states otherwise is not telling the truth.

So, from these premises one can extrapolate conclusion blaming the Republicans for failure to pork-barrel sufficiently and for refusing to bend over for Kyoto?

I don't think so. Kyotos will come, Kyotos will go, no sane American president or Congress will ever sign on...not then, not now, not ever.

Suurrre...let's give China a break so she can "catch up."

The Kyoto Treaty comes with its own barf bags. Recyclable, though.

9/01/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Science" in the Great North East.
Has global warming increased the frequency of hurricanes? One of the nation's foremost hurricane experts, William Gray, points out that if global warming is at work, cyclones should be increasing not just in the Atlantic but elsewhere, in the West Pacific, East Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.
. They aren't.
The number of cyclones per year worldwide fluctuates pretty steadily between 80 and 100. There's actually been a small overall decline in tropical cyclones since 1995, and Atlantic hurricanes declined from 1970 to 1994, even as the globe was heating up.

It seems that Atlantic hurricanes come in spurts, The late 1920s through the 1960s were active; the 1970s to early 1990s quiet; and since 1995 — as anyone living in Florida or Gulfport, Miss., can tell you — seems to be another active phase.

An article in Nature — after questionable jiggering with the historical wind data — argues that hurricanes have doubled in strength because of global warming. Climatologist Patrick Michaels counters that if hurricanes had doubled in their power it would be obvious to everyone and there would be no need to write controversial papers about it.

Indeed, if you adjust for population growth and skyrocketing property values, hurricanes don't appear to be any more destructive today.
None of this data matters particularly, since proponents of global warming will continue to link warming with hurricanes _____Lowry____

9/01/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey ~D, that's not an
annoy Mouse,
ANY mouse!

9/01/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and often 'Rat is Mickey Mouse,
but that's another story.

9/01/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wikipedia has some nice details on Led Zepplin's Album: Stairway to Heaven--the last song of which was "When the Levee Breaks".


"When The Levee Breaks"

If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break, [X2]
When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay.

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan, [X2]
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.

Don't it make you feel bad
When you're tryin' to find your way home,
You don't know which way to go?
If you're goin' down South
They go no work to do,
If you don't know about Chicago.

Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,
When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.

All last night sat on the levee and moaned, [X2]
Thinkin' about me baby and my happy home.
Going, going to Chicago... Going to Chicago... Sorry but I can't take you...
Going down... going down now... going down....

9/01/2005 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Posted at FR
"Louisiana 1927" by Randy Newman

What has happened down here is the winds have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it starts to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day
The River rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river has busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

President Coolidge come down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame
what the river has done
to this poor cracker's land"

Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

9/01/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Avoiding universalism's fatal embrace .
With the ascendancy of universalist liberalism as a compulsory ethical model, there are plenty of injurious preconceptions to choose from. No one harpoons them better than biologist Garrett Hardin.

Much of Hardin's work advances the thesis that universalism is an inherently flawed, even suicidal, ethical system. It compels those deceived by its siren song to sacrifice self and group interests for the benefit of mankind as a whole. Yet it is practiced widely only by Western peoples - who are thereby impaired in competing with those whose loyalty remains closer to home. Universalism harms those we care about most - our own friends, relatives and kinsmen. It benefits those who are, at best, indifferent to our beliefs - and, at worst, utterly contemptuous of them.

Hardin has a warning for those whose actions are guided by such beliefs: "Noble intentions are a poor excuse for stupid action. Man is the only species that calls some suicidal actions 'noble.' The rest of creation knows better."
To Hardin's words, we would add: The penalty for those who fail to grasp nature's realities is the same as it is in the animal kingdom - disappearance.

9/01/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

doug-- my bad. Thank you for bringing it to my deficit-ridden attention.

ANY mouse: my apologies.

ANNOY mouse: where are you? Lordy, I hope not on the Gulf Coast.

9/01/2005 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

From Cicero at WOC:

If people only want this disaster to oscillate with their pet political beefs, then what the heck, I'll join in the charade: I blame bin Laden. I blame terrorists. I blame Palestinians who claim nationality without responsibility. I blame an intransigent, smug and weak Europe. I blame a thoroughly corrupt UN. I blame Katrina's wrath on anyone or anything that unnecessarily taxes our nation's resources, diverting our wealth away from maintaining our own infrastructure. By all means, lets all point fingers now.

This in response to the poisonous meme that our fight against terrorism, specifically Bush's war in Iraq, has cost us New Orleans. Yes, by all means, bring on the debate.

9/01/2005 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The rodents will play while W the cat is away.

ANYmouse is the meterorologist.

ANNOYmouse is the un-appologist caterwalling Kyoto.

9/01/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Um, go fill up.

The mgr. of the station I just filled at (for 2.79, from 2.69 last pm) just added 10 cents and said more increase is expected before days end. Said places in Georgia are over 6.00 and many are out.

9/01/2005 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Unstoppable force
By Donald Lambro
September 1, 2005
Washington Times

While gloomy armchair analysts here spoke of the obstacles to come and gave a million reasons for failure, Mr. Bush this week spoke of his reasons for "optimism about Iraq because first of all I believe deep in everybody's soul is the desire to be free."
Indeed, we have good reasons to be even more optimistic about Iraq's future now because the draft constitution, whatever its inadequacies, will be approved overwhelmingly next month, clearing the way for election of a constitutional government on Dec. 15. Who says the constitution will be approved? None other than key Sunni leaders themselves.
Ghazi Yawar Ghazi Yawar, highest-ranked Sunni Arab in Iraq's provisional government, said Monday, whatever the opposition, it would not prevent adoption of the governing document.
Two-thirds of all voters would be needed in at least three provinces to defeat the constitution and that won't happen in the current environment. "I think it will be extremely hard to defeat," Mr. Yawar said. "That's why I think we [the Sunnis] have to aim at the next elections. Whoever feels grievance now has to work harder in order to be in" the new government.

9/01/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Martial law declaredLocal television stations report that Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes are all now under martial law, allowing the military to assume control over civilian forces.
. Permalink

9/01/2005 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger PSP Blog said...

Internet rallies for storm relief
Worried relatives have turned to the web in their desperate search for friends and relatives missing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Secret information on find a business. Yes, info on find a business.

Be sure and visit our site

9/01/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder if maybe the Corps of Engineers in Retrospect could have brought in concrete barriers and sandbags w/massive helicopter lift instead of trying to barge in?
ie, back when breaks were first discovered and not that large.

9/01/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

well i for one am a singularly ashamed brit. normally for any disaster event no matter how trivial there is an immediate call for aid, every tv station posting details of where one can deposit cash, etc. yet since this story broke in all its' horror i have yet to see or hear one call to donate. it's the lack of asking that's weird. i mean, if it was a single parent one-legged dyslexic lesbian aborigine with a housing problem we'd have appeals from every newspaper in the uk. for our best friends and allies who plucked our, and europe's, chestnuts from the fires....zilch. as i started this rant i finish: i am ashamed. though not surprised.

9/01/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Laura at Dummocrats ( claims all sorts of sandbagging and levee repair material was in staging locations ready to go (BTW Laura had a house somewhere in New Orleans). Just that personal were too busy working on rescue operations to do the work that needed to be done.

I think again, Laura (or maybe Paul at Wizbang another NO resident who didn't leave) said the Mayor was mad and there was talk of too many chefs in the kitchen.

I am somewhat skeptical of the claim made above, but not a lot.

9/01/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics for "Ol' Man River" which Paul Robeson sang.

There's an ol' man called de Mississippi;
That's the ol' man that I want to be!
What does he care if the world's got troubles?
What does he care if the land ain't free..

Ol' Man River,
That Ol' Man River
He mus' know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.

He don't plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along

You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' an' racked wid pain -
Tote that barge, lift that bale
Get a little drunk and
You lands in jail...

I gets weary and sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin'
And scared of dyin'
And Ol' Man River,
He just keeps rollin' along

Listen to Ol' Man River

9/01/2005 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

(Reba Mcentire › Old Man River(ronny scaife, danny hogan)

Cool breeze on the river
Ripples to the shore
Wash away my troubles
To the sea forever more
Wind and willows whisper
Sadness is the sound
Tell the tale of my wants
Happy world that’s falling down
Old man I might be going where you’re bound

Old man river
I’ve come to talk again
Yes I know you’re tired
Cause your journey never ends
He’s just like you
He’s moving all the time
And I think he’s moving me out of his mind

I want to travel with you
In your deep and nimble soul
That’s the only way to make it
Peaceful like before

We used to touch at midnight
But now I feel he’s gone
Even though he’s lying next to me I feel alone
Oh man it looks like I’m to travel alone

Repeat chorus x2

9/01/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

It may just be that people think that America is so powerful that we can handle it ourselves. Which is mostly true, but it is nice to know people are thinking of us, in this time of death and pain for so many.

Prayers are always appreciated.

It makes me also appreciate the one advantage of living in Northern California in the belly of the beast, the most wonderful weather in the world, (with the occasional minor earthmoving event).

One thing i haven't seen anyone note; other cities in North America are in danger of larger catastrophes than New Orleans. These include:
Seattle, Portland and Vancouver B.C. from expected 9.0 + Cascadia earthquake. (last in 1700)

Los Angeles area, from a magnitude 8 on the San Andreas, or a 7 that hits the fault that runs through downtown. Also, the San Francisco Bay area, and San Diego from earthquakes from the same San Andreas fault system.

Salt Lake City, from a magnitude 7 earthquake on the Wasatch fault that runs through town.

St. Louis and Memphis from an magnitude 8 earthquake on the New Madrid.

Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, Dallas metroplex, Omaha, etc. from mile wide F5 Tornado smashing through downtown.

Honolulu, from the east end of Hawaii falling off.

Corpus Cristi, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Washington, Baltimore, New York, Boston, etc. from direct hit by category 5 hurricane.

These are 33 of the 60 biggest American cities that could have several thousand deaths from a natural disaster.

Considering two of the rest are Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are already uninhabitable each January, and another three are Las Vegas and Phoenix/Mesa, too hot to live if the a/c goes out, this leaves the cultural meccas of; Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee & Columbus.

Chicago is the biggest City not on the list, with Philly, San Antonio & Austin the remaining top 20 cities.
(populations based on 2000 census)

It's impossible to eliminate risk from natural hazards without major dislocation to the midwest, (outside the Tornado belt). I've ignored flooding, fires, freezing, or asteroid hits. So it could be worse.

9/01/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

Re: Old Man River,
I love that song.

I have a videotape of the 30's movie the song is from. Have you ever seen it? Wonderful visuals accompany the song.

9/01/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger david bennett said...

For the record the UK has offered aid as have several dozen countries including france, Russia and Venezuela. Secretary Rice says such aid will be accepted.

Leftist and enviromentalist claims of the greenhouse effect are reasons why they continue to marginalize themselves and rightists who focus on them as the nation's main danger concentrate on a straw man to keep away serious debate.

There are several important and igly facts here:

- New Orleans had been identified as one of the top 3 danger points for natural disasters. Funds to rectify the situation were dramatically cut. Whether or not the efforts would have mattered much does not change the matter or priorities. Certainly other alternatives to raising funds could have been found such as reducing farm subsidies to Clinton levels or reducing pork in the energy or transportation bills. Choices were made in priorities, they blew up. Leaders are responsible. They pay.

- Indications are that despite nearly 4 years of claims and the reduction of Fema and replacement of it's experts with politically correct appointess the emergency response capacity of this nation is not what we want and expect it to be.

So there is going to be and needs to be, a bloddy debate. It will be partisan and Bush deserves to pay because this happened on his watch. The fact that historically government has often chosen the wrong priorities does not mean the process can't be improve, it has been at times. The fact that emergency responses have been clumsy before does not change the fact that in this case it was well below potential and needs to be reformed.

This has occured under a president who claimed that his administration made such things a higher priority than before. If things blow up, he eats the blame just like in Iraq. We have had a completely Republican government for several years now. It made these choices.

9/01/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Please check out the latest thread, The Imperfect Storm 2, with new data from the Scientific American, specifically an article from 2001 predicting exactly what happened. The underlying reason is land use.

9/01/2005 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

He does, after all, talk directly to God.

9/01/2005 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Mr. Bennet,

A quote from the Scientific American article:

"Since the late 1980s Louisiana's senators have made various pleas to Congress to fund massive remedial work. But they were not backed by a unified voice. L.S.U. had its surge models, and the Corps had others. Despite agreement on general solutions, competition abounded as to whose specific projects would be most effective. The Corps sometimes painted academics' cries about disaster as veiled pitches for research money. Academia occasionally retorted that the Corps's solution to everything was to bulldoze more dirt and pour more concrete, without scientific rationale. Meanwhile oystermen and shrimpers complained that the proposals from both the scientists and the engineers would ruin their fishing grounds."

9/01/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

That’s brilliant David, everything was just peaches til GWB came to office, and now we have global warming and hurricanes. Al Gore would have kept all of this from happening.

9/01/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger T J Olson said...

Annoy Mouse said...
Bush did it.
"In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.
" Sydney Blumenthal
Spiegel Online

- - - - - - - --

Yes, FEMA director Mike Brown says, they took this challenge as their model and practiced their response only last year.

As for Army Corps plans, Bush cut merely plans - not projects. The Corps has called for increasing levee protection of NO since 1965 - plenty of time for even lots of Dem admins to dole the pork out. But does ol' docs in my pants Blumenthal trash previous presidents fecklessness? No.

The real questions are about communication, local coordination (stymied by corrupt NO pols, perhaps?) and the failure to rush levee repair. Did saving hundreds of lives Tuesday ultimately cost thousands of deaths and billions of more bucks in the end?

Was there, in short, a serious managerial failure?
Here's where the real post-emergency issues lie.

9/01/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cyrus said...

There has been unusual natural calamities/events in past couple of years. Last year was the huge Tsunami caused by giant earthquake which, new reasearch says, even affected Atlantic sea. Then there has been an increasing number of earthquakes in the ring of fire. The volcano in Oregon spewed out smoke. Floods in Europe and now the hurricane in the Gulf. There is something happening to mother Earth.

9/02/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Since levee songs are being posted, my favorite is The Levee from Johnny Lang (Wander this World):

I have been to memphis but i couldn't find no peace
My soul is feeling restless and i need some relief
I'm heading for the delta, see what i can find
I know the river holds the answers that'll ease my worried mind

Take me down to the levee where the women sing
Lay me down like an angel with a broken wing
Take me down to the levee where the river flows

Gon' throw my blues off the levee and let them go

Well, i have been to natchez, been down to baton rouge
But the delta keeps on callin' me no matter what i do



I'm drivin' through the darkness, down highway 61
Heading for the crossroads like the ones before me done

9/03/2005 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

now that i have seen the photo of the school buses, I must ask the Mayor of NO, Just when are you going to GET YOUR ASS in gear and DRIVE a freakin bus you lazy bastard....

9/04/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Berenguer said...

Hi, Fellow!I like your blog!
I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
the information you have posted here.
I have a pet center
site. It pretty much covers pet center related subjects.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Best regards!

6/09/2006 01:19:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Powered by Blogger