Hurricane Irma is a terrible force of nature. It could be the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, which means it could be one of the strongest forces of nature Planet Earth has produced. And the media wants you to know two things:
(1) If you live in Florida or the gulf, this monster is probably headed directly at your house; and
(2) Mankind is responsible for this.
Irma’s eye made landfall over the small island of Barbuda, where hurricanes and Atlantic storms are a way of life. In nearby Antigua, residents got a side swipe from Irma.
In Florida, people are freaking out.
— Erica Simon (@EricaOnABC13) September 6, 2017
They’ve got plenty of reason for concern…this morning’s official storm track has Irma turning north into south Florida early Monday morning.
But the level of hysteria, and the media’s own infotainment treatment of it, along with the smug “we told you so” attitude of those who believe that somehow Earth could be tamed into producing smaller storms…or that Earth wouldn’t produce such large storms if humans did things differently.
Those who firmly believe in the “climate science” numbers supporting anthropomorphic climate change are so emotionally invested in the numbers that some are rooting for the storm. Others are pretending to be scientists, leading to ridiculous exchanges like the one below.
Ryan Maue is in fact bona fide a hurricane scientist. Kurt Eichenwald is an editor for Vanity Fair and an MSNBC contributor. “I’ll show you the science paper on it” is about as absurd as me (with zero medical training) telling a heart surgeon that he’s doing a mitral valve repair wrong, and I can show him the “science paper” on it that I found with Google.
That is the point here: everyone in the media is suddenly an expert, declaring fact and denouncing fiction, when we need to be respecting nature’s power, not trying to explain why driving a Ford F-150 caused it.
A fake Irma track showing the storm heading for Houston went viral Monday, causing renewed panic in the storm-devastated region. Now people in Jacksonville are emptying stores of bottled water.
Certainly, people should be prepared. But NHC forecasts and probabilities do not support the level of hysteria the media is conveying. Jacksonville has a 6 percent chance of winds 64 mph or more by Monday. It has a 26 percent chance of winds over 34 mph. That’s gusty, but not catastrophic.
Orlando, Miami, and Fort Myers have under 20 percent chance of winds over 64 mph for Monday. These forecasts are updated at least twice a day, and that’s what should guide us, not the hype.
They’ve called Rush Limbaugh a “hurricane truther” or “hurricane denier” because he pointed out on his show that local TV and national media both have a vested interest in making the storms worse than they are, and ensuring maximum concern by local residents.
(1) It’s good for business for local stores when everyone runs to buy water, and other staple items. (In Middle Georgia, if there’s a hint of a snowflake, the stores sell out of milk, bread and toilet paper–I’m serious.)
(2) Anthropomorphic climate change believers get to crow about how they’re right, and everyone else is wrong, and this prediction was made 15 years ago. (Except that they also predicted 20 years ago that most of Florida would be under water by now, and that hasn’t happened.)
Let me just put it this way. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast map, the track, which was released at 11 a.m. puts the Sunday target exactly where I told my buddies on Saturday and Friday night that it was gonna go, while the models all had it turning north up to North Carolina and Washington, D.C., and the Northeastern coast. That was just one data point that I kept looking at that told me where I thought this thing was gonna go.
They call Limbaugh “out of his mind” because of this. Two more observations.
(1) Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. He admits it freely. He is a radio host who speaks his mind, based on his own experience and claims no special expertise.
(2) The people who call him “out of his mind” also have the same level of non-expertise and access to the same data as Rush Limbaugh, yet Rush’s conclusions fit the forecast better than theirs.
Irma is a dangerous storm. The best advice is to go to the NHC website and look at what the NOAA professionals, who do this day-in-day-out for a living, think will happen. Actually read the forecasts. Then prepare based on fact, not hysteria.
Also realize that most people know jack squat about how hurricanes form, and what causes ocean temperatures to be 1.7 degrees higher on a certain spot than “normal.” If you think that it’s very simple to find a “science paper” linking your F-150, or cow flatulence, to deep ocean temperatures, you are woefully gullible.
The faces you see on television are paid to entertain you and make you feel like they should be trusted. They are reading a script, and most of the time, they don’t know any more than you do.
In fact, you may know more than they do.