Bias, ignorance and reality: Refusal to own up to the distortions of climate science is a costly mistake. By Richard W. Rahn
Excerpt: The rains have returned to California, and the six-year drought appears to be largely over. We have heard countless assertions from journalists and politicians, ignorant of the weather history of California and the other western states, that the drought was a result of global warming. In the January edition of Scientific American, there is a well-told story “California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe” by B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkley. She notes: “Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California every 100 to 200 years. The only megaflood to strike the American West in recent history occurred during the winter of 1861-62. California bore the brunt of the damage. This disaster turned enormous regions of the state into inland seas for months, and took thousands of human lives. The costs were devastating: One quarter of California’s economy was destroyed, forcing the state into bankruptcy.” The floods followed “two exceptionally dry decades.” People are endlessly surprised by some unusual weather, geological, political or economic event, often with the erroneous assumption that such a thing has never happened before.