Magic Beans as climate policy, United in (Bad) Science, Pakistan's floods, a new talk, recommended readings and goals of the week!
The North American Monsoon of 2022 has favored my part of New Mexico (Santa Fe) with mucho rain. No floods just lots of wild flowers and green where it is usually brown. Of course all the news reporting is that we are still in a historic drought (we are I guess) and the worst is yet to come.....some day.
Come on over and visit some time. Great fishing and hunting as well as bird watching with plenty of pseudo fine dining.
Re Pakistan floods: I am not smart enough to interpret the associated graph, but there is certainly a preponderance of reporting that the monsoon season was early, heavier and temporally condensed this year; the timing corresponded with glacier melt--which is occurring, by some reporting, up to 10 times greater than the averages. This merging of high meltwater and the timing of higher than average monsoons seem to be the factors driving the floods. It seems clear that conditions on the ground: deforestation, human crowding into flood-prone areas, etc are also significant contributing factors. A quick read of the WWA report suggests it is fact based. For the record: the Guardian headline was:- Pakistan floods ‘made up to 50% worse by global heating’, and the attribution to the WWA report was: “Climate change could have increased the most intense rainfall over a short period in the worst affected areas by about 50%,” going on to quote the uncertainties in the report.
PS. Sorry for the rant!
"Magic beans," indeed. More like smokin' bad weed!
While it may be useful to talk about how scientists should be advising decision-makers, it ultimately is mis-attribution [pun intended] of the real problem: the lack of leadership throughout the Western world. Facts don't matter; science doesn't matter. All that matters are social media and the polls. Will I take heat if I decide X? Then I won't. Will the trolls come out in force if I look for compromise? Then I'll turn my eyes away even from the other side's good ideas. Will my standing in the polls nosedive if - like Bastiat's good economist - I take action that will be negative in the short term, but ultimately be positive? Then I'll sit on my hands.
We certainly need leaders who will listen, and people who will talk sense to them. But most importantly, we need leaders who will lead - make those hard decisions, take those tough actions. The best advice in the world is meaningless if the decison-maker is too cowardly to take it. And, sadly, we seem to have substituted cautious cowardice for leadership in our political arenas, in our university administrations; in fact, in all too many of our public institutions.
This is a good post, and I like your "magic beans" analogy. However, I have two comments. First the link to the PDF file of your CICERO talk did not work for me, sending me instead to the CRED homepage.
Second, and I apologize for this nit-pick, but your graph is incomplete. It lacks a label for the ordinate. While one could infer from the title that is it showing "weather and climate disasters" versus year, it is unclear here how weather relates to climate. My understanding is that climate is an average of weather. Does the graph show this average?
Where can I go to gain a better understanding of the supporting data for this graph? I am curious about how they define "disaster." I live in the midwest, where drought has been prevalent for much of the past decade. Is "drought" the disaster, or is the lowered crop expectations/harvests the disaster. There have been times when yields have been great in spite of heat or absence of precip.
There seems to be a typo in line 11 of the section United in Bad Science.
This link to the BBC seems more balanced on the Pakistan floods.