Decoupling Katrina and climate change
Based on his (and his colleagues’) research, here’s what Roger Pielke Jr. thinks:
1. Anthropogenic climate change is real.
2. Greenhouse gas reductions make good policy sense.
3. But there is no evidence that energy policies focused on climate change can be an effective tool of disaster mitigation.
4. There is currently no evidence that allows us to attribute to human-caused climate change any part of the decades-long trend of a rising toll of disasters, a record which is dominated by floods and storms.
5. More people are beginning to conduct research in this area and perhaps future research results will tell a different story, but 1-4 above are what can be said today and supported by scientific research.
6. Given the state of the literature, this should not be a controversial conclusion.
7. There are better justifications for GHG reductions than disasters, and there are far better options available to policy makers than energy policies to make a material difference in future impacts of climate and weather extremes.
The reception he’s gotten for this line of thinking from climate scientists has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic.