The New Global Warming Pariahs - Pushing Adaptation and Land Use Changes

<p>Is CO2 buildup responsible for the enormous hurricane damage, or is it overdevelopment? Should we be spending so much attempting to reduce carbon emissions, or could it be better spent reducing problems that will be exacerbated by global warming?</p>
March 29, 2008, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Roger A. Pielke Jr., an environmental policy expert at the University of Colorado at Boulder, published an analysis "last month in the journal Natural Hazards Review, that is part of a controversial movement that argues global warming over the rest of this century will play a much smaller role in unleashing planetary havoc than most scientists think."

"Pielke acknowledges that there are enormous political hurdles to overcome with his strategy, and he recognizes that his views have made him and like-minded researchers the new pariahs of global warming."

"The radical middle -- that's how we talk about ourselves," said Daniel Sarewitz, a public policy expert at Arizona State University who has collaborated with Pielke on climate policy studies."

Hurricane analysis is used as an example of their perspective on global warming.

"Pielke's new analysis considered 207 hurricanes that hit the United States between 1900 and 2005. He looked at their strength and course and then overlaid them on a modern map that included all development over the years.

He found that the most devastating storm, had it occurred today, would be the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, popularly known as the Big Blow. Its path through the now heavily developed southern tip of Florida would have caused $157 billion in damage, followed by Katrina, whose toll was $81 billion. Six of the top 10 most damaging storms occurred before 1945."

Thanks to Jennifer Alverson

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Published on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 in The Los Angeles Times
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