Sandy shouldn't be used as an excuse to reshape the economy just so more wealthy people can protect their beach homes. Other rational voices point out that the Atlantic is in a warming cycle while the Pacific is in a cooling pattern. This will reverse in short order and unleash other weather trends, which no doubt will also be blamed on climate change due to perceived assaults on the environment.
A rise in sea levels — which has occurred since the dawn of time — obviously puts coastal areas at more risk from storm surges. Shrinking sea levels would put $2 million beachfront homes farther from the surf. A rational approach would include not rewarding people who live too close to the shore, which we do when we help them cover their losses.
Couldn't that approach be used against tornado-prone Oklahoma? We think not. The chance of any tornado, much less an EF5, hitting any particular spot in this state is remote. The chances of a hurricane hitting the Outer Banks is much higher. Still, people should be allowed to live near a beach if they're willing to take the risk.
Pielke notes that the deadly 2011 tornado outbreaks, also linked by some to climate change, were comparable only to those of 1953 and 1964, but “such tornado impacts were far more common in the first half of the 20th century.” That would be the half when the population was much lower and far fewer cars and trucks were overheating the air.
Our conclusions about global warming may generate controversy, but only among those easily swayed by the well-financed climate change lobby. Unlike Bloomberg, we won't insult them by calling them stupid.