A Debate About ‘Hurricane Drought’ Brings Out Fine Example Of Ideology And How It Wrecks Ability To Think


Interactive Weather Satellite Imagery Viewers from NASA Earth Science Office


Major hurricane landfall drought continues: 4001 days and counting in updated Pielke graph:  I was annoyed with celebrations at the anti-global warming site, Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change and I tried warning them all that celebrating the recent brush with a very real category 3 hurricane was nothing to sneer at, and was attacked for pointing this out.  The reason I am putting up this exchange is to illustrate how finesse and nit-picking looks really, really, really nasty when one is discussing any issue.  Taking a broader view pays off greatly.  Pretending that massive hurricanes killing many just offshore to the south, isn’t something big, looks really bad.  And we escaped this ourselves due to a slight shift to the east by a major storm.


The term ‘making landfall’ is the most important part of all this. There have been hurricanes but they mostly tire themselves out on the Atlantic Ocean’s vast waters so only shipping has to cope with it. The term ‘hitting land’ has to mean something.

For example, this week we saw a good sized, nasty hurricane devastate Cuba and particularly, Haiti and it harmed the Virgin Islands, too. The fact that it skipped along just a short distance offshore of Florida, it is still ‘a major hurricane’ and I would count it as such. Do you?

  • Indeed, one should include the words ‘Hurricanes hitting the US’ and it has to clarify, not any islands or offshore entities for we happen to have these, for example, the US military base, Gitmo, was very definitely hit by this hurricane. Since it flies the American flag, I would suggest it means US territory was hit. Do we also include Hawaii and Alaska when talking about the weather?

    Absolutely! So we have to define what is the ‘US’ if we want to be honest about this matter, OK?

    • Generally, “US” in this context means the continental United States (Sometimes referred to as the lower 48) . So Hawaii and Gitmo don’t count. Alaska probably doesn’t either, though I don’t think there have been all that many Hurricanes that were still hurricanes by the time they hit Alaska, so that ones probably mostly a moot point as far a major hurricane strikes go.

    • No one is saying they aren’t major Hurricanes at one point, but it doesn’t matter, what matters based on the chart, since it’s not about that. There are other charts based on that sort of thing. It’s totally irrelevant to this discussion at hand.

      • ..We fly an American flag in China at the U.S. embassy also…So all their weather counts as American weather ? D’oh !

      • Since it flies the American flag, I would suggest it means US territory was hit.

        By a treaty signed in 1903 and reaffirmed in 1934, the U.S. recognized Cuba’s “ultimate sovereignty” over the 45-sq.-mi. enclave in Oriente province near the island’s southeast end.

        GITMO is leased for $3,386.25 per year.

        The US doesn’t own it. Your position is absurd.

      • “Since it flies the American flag, I would suggest it means US territory was hit.”

        Cubans would definitely not agree. Guantanamo is Cuban territoryleasedby the US. The whole legal basis for detaining terrorists there was that they were thennotin the US, remember?

      • Sigh. OK: let’s celebrate the fact that both Cuba and Haiti were hit by a very powerful hurricane which destroyed property, killed many people, and was extremely dangerous but hooray! It stayed slightly offshore when hitting the US causing us far fewer problems. Then you can cling to your belief that hurricanes hardly happen…except if you are one of the pieces of real estate slightly south of the US mainland. Then it is all bad luck to you all.

        Can’t you all see how this looks to outsiders? It looks really bad! Think about that.

Right now, the hurricane has come onshore in South Carolina and due to it being further north, the storm weakened as half of it passed over land while only the eye stayed offshore, so it was luckily for the people in the US living in its path, it was ‘only’ a category 2 which has 100 mph sustained winds instead of 120 mph sustained winds.  Lucky, lucky!  Not. Hurricane MATTHEW at the NOAA site:


It looks like the eye won’t enter the US though the satellite seems to show it just has in the last hour, in South Carolina  It looks more and more like the hurricane is going to merge with a smaller storm in the Atlantic and then both will probably turn and go into the same Bahama Island chain it hit earlier and then…into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico?  If so, this could cause havoc there.  We can only wait to see.



What about if it hits a US Navy ship at sea? Or a private boat flagged as American, or just has an American on board? Perhaps one called the “Reductio ad Absurdum”?

Contiguous United States. Problem solved

  • Actually, hurricanes menacing shipping are extremely important things to track! And think about, too, no less. I know my caution about all the joy here that we are still free of the most dangerous levels of hurricanes is understandable, it LOOKS BAD TO OUTSIDERS who see a dangerous storm. Trust me on this.

    Finess matters! Agreeing that we had a very dangerous brush with a very dangerous storm that killed many people days earlier looks both more humane, more caring, more understanding than the grandstanding going on here. Hate me with passion, just remember: if you look heartless, you will be disliked and not followed by people outside the group here.


Later in this debate at WUWT comes this exchange:


Sorry, don’t get it. What is the point of the Pielke graph, if not to provide some demonstration of whether or not a warming planet generates more frequent and stronger storms? If that is the point, why rule out hurricanes that don’t make landfall in the contiguous US? And if that is not the point, what is? Thanks.

  • In years past there was no way to reliably count hurricanes at sea. They could only be reliably counted if they hit land. Thus, if you want a time series that extends to before satellites and radar you can only count those that hit land.

    • You are wrong. Not only could they ‘count hurricanes’ many years ago, they were most careful starting in the mid-1800’s to do so because hurricanes affect shipping tremendously and it was highest importance to track possible hurricanes at sea. Even the infamous hurricane that hit Galveston, ships at sea tracked it and tried to warn Galveston about this dangerous storm. The US has an ‘index of hurricanes’ going back to 1851. There is this gap between 1885 and 1921.


I am using these exchanges to illustrate the dangers of people being ‘ideological’.  Both left and right politics hew to being ‘group think’ which senselessly attacks anyone who cautions people about being obnoxious.  I get banned from various sites whenever I caution people about how they look to outsiders.  Since ideology and being insensitive to others is how ‘group think’ operates, the people encouraging ‘group think’ get trapped in their own ideology and can’t change direction.


There is a real danger for people stuck on some sort of ideological point of view, it can kill people, has killed people, we humans have the ability to change our minds and should change our minds as events unfold but we have this contrary system whereby we cling to various beliefs come hell or high water.  What annoys me most about the climate debates is how both sides have become very ideological and thus, illogical.  Unable to concede even one inch of ‘territory’ to the opposing side, the ‘debate’ becomes this huge python devouring the subject it is strangling.

  • No doubt that if this hurricane had hit the US mainland as a cat 4, it would have been proof of CAGW. I’m sure D Appell would have been all over Anthony had that happened. How quickly CAGW forgets that this is weather and not climate, as they have made abundantly clear. Climate is a long term change in the weather, one or two storms in 10 years doesn’t qualify as a change towards catastrophic AGW. It’s a change all right, it’s in the wrong direction for CAGW. Does that mean temperatures are actually dropping based on the lack of hurricanes or the drought in the western US ending ? Doesn’t the models show just the opposite ? And we believe the models, right ?
    If I pointed out as a skeptic that a cat 3 hurricane as something normal for that part of the world, oh horrors ! The warmist group still feels justified in calling it AGW ? If not outright, then they have certainly implied it as in the terms they were using, like ” unprecedented ” and ” never seen anything like it ” .
    Fortunately, this storm looks like it’ll turn out to sea, unlike the hurricane that buzzed up the Atlantic Coast in 1938. Providence, R.I. was under 20 feet of water. I can’t imagine how the CAGW people would spin a storm like that today. Of course, the real trouble is that if it feeds up into Pennsylvania and sits there for days feeding rivers that are a mile wide and an inch deep. ( not that has ever happened before… sarc ).
    If global warming were real, that storm wouldn’t have weakened would it ? Isn’t that the way CAGW tells the story ? So now the fan club of CAGW is waving the flag of the flooding aspect. When wasn’t tidal surge a part of hurricanes ?

    • Correct, the warmists would have been crowing about a big hurricane. But the contrary is also true: this site must be careful about celebrating very, very close misses whereby hurricanes kill people and destroy property in the US but the eye doesn’t pass over a city. This looks bad, it looks like you all are cynical, cold people who don’t care. It is a publicity disaster, in short. Be reasonable: we just had a very, very close scrape with a very dangerous hurricane. We were very lucky that a cold front shoved the eye barely offshore.


Using the excuse that the past didn’t keep perfect track of hurricanes, dooms the very arguments used by anti-global warmists that they have better ‘science’.  Explaining to outsiders that we had ‘imperfect records’ in the past means we don’t know how many hurricanes happened in the past but this begs to differ over this topic due to the fact that hurricanes that made LANDFALL were all very much recorded because governments had to track these going back to the old Spanish Empire days, for example.  So we can use these records for our own understanding.


And the key here is, the US gets hit much less often than the Caribbean.  So to understand ‘climate’ rather than US weather, we need to have a very careful statistical system for describing stuff.  For example, the gigantic disastrous storm, Super Storm Sandy, didn’t have lots of high hurricane winds, it just was a massive mess.  I lived in it and watched in amazement as we got over 12 inches of rain and the flooding was terrible.  At WUWT, whenever that storm is mentioned, the crew there crows that it wasn’t a ‘real hurricane’ and they don’t notice that no one calls it a ‘hurricane’ but it was very much one of the more dangerous storms to hit the East Coast and did extensive damage.


The human desperation to cling to an ideology is a fascinating topic.  We are quite capable of not seeing reality, look at our Real Rulers. They live in La-La-Land and even with many warnings on the horizon, cannot see what is coming next.  It is just amazing.  Blindness to the future is a common human condition.  As for climate: the past is the future.


Claims that the future will be different from the past requires great levels of proof.  I am assuming, since the planet has been generally cooling down since the Minoan Warm Period, we are still in the mysterious ‘Ice Age Cycle’ and have not escaped it at all so far.  Our leaders who wrote the latest global warming rules are determined to carry out their destruction of Western Civilization which is why they are simultaneously bringing in millions of aliens to overrun things with people who are hostile to liberalism and liberals are doing this which is why I say, humans are insane!


They really can’t think things through very well.  The detachment from reality is severe.  The mysterious ways the human brain operates is a fascinating topic and one little understood even as scientists have throughly mapped out the human brain and just the information surrounding how sex hormones affect human brains is full of dangers that cause ideological freezes of the human mind, the brain and the mind are two quite different entities!


And our minds operate on our emotions which is why irrationality takes over ideology every time, it doesn’t matter what system of ideology it is, what it does the to mind is amazing and pretty thorough.  It leads to literal blindness to dangers, for example, which is why politicians love tapping into this to drive people into dying for ridiculous wars like WWI and WWII, just for example.  Shocking, deadly and destructive: many ideologies end up doing exactly that.


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2 responses to “A Debate About ‘Hurricane Drought’ Brings Out Fine Example Of Ideology And How It Wrecks Ability To Think

  1. e sutton

    Good points about the human brain. I have often wondered about the inability of humans to foresee patterns into the future and rely more on emotions or religious beliefs, as in, ¨God/Allah will fix all this. Don´t worry, be happy.”

    My own family has a history of suffering from depression. Could it be that depression is what overrides the ideological tendencies of the human brain, perhaps ¨protecting them¨ from seeing reality?

  2. Jim R

    While Global Warming may, or may not, be something to worry about, we definitely have a Global Idiocracy.

    The science is pretty definite, but the effects were poorly predicted, and it’s not unreasonable to expect that current predictions will be wrong in the future. Including, but not limited to, predictions of a glaciation event.

    But the fact remains, we got one lousy hurricane making landfall this year. A cat-3 storm, perhaps. And only about ten years ago, we had a veritable parade of hurricanes marching across the Atlantic. So maybe the “Greenhouse Effect” isn’t so horrible after all…

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