On The Global Warming In Extreme Weather And Steroids In Baseball Metaphor

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 02 Nov 2012 07:38:00 GMT

A popular metaphor for understanding how global warming pollution causes more extreme weather is how steroids created the Home Run era of modern baseball.

The metaphor usually goes: “Climate scientists compare global warming to steroids and extreme weather to home runs. While we can’t attribute any single home run to the use of steroids in baseball, we can attribute to such performance enhancing drugs the increased frequency and magnitude of long balls.”

But that’s not where the metaphor should stop.

Perhaps we can’t attribute any single home run to steroid use, but we can attribute immune system damage, liver damage, gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, ventricular thickening, premature epiphyseal fusion, and fetal disorders to steroid abuse.

The influence of manmade greenhouse gases on our climate system is systemic and cumulative. It’s not just changing the frequency of extreme weather events; it’s changing what weather is.

Frankenstorm Sandy wasn’t just a home run powered by global warming—it was a home run hit by a climate system with systemic damage caused by global warming.

Sandy-Climate Stories Overwhelmed by Question Marks

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 31 Oct 2012 00:09:00 GMT

Stories about the influence of carbon pollution on the history-making Frankenstorm Sandy have had a remarkable pattern:

Equivocation in the face of calamity will neither spur action nor better inform the public.