When speaking about how we must all do what we can to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, someone helpfully tries to remind Mr Romney of his former position, saying what about the climate, that's what caused this monstrous storm, but you can see in this video how Mr Romney is completely lost for words. It's as if he never said what he said nine years ago, and he smiles in an effort to hide his embarrassment, knowing he must've said something but he can't quite recall what it was.
More lies below the curly thing.
This is what he once said about coal, way back in 2003 when he was governor of Massachusetts and was standing in front of a coal plant, because that's the kind of things governors do. They stand in front of things whilst the cameras stand in front of them, filming them as they say things like
I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that plant kills peopleBut back to today's speech, what's just as interesting as Romney's own response to his romnesia is the way the audience comes to his rescue and starts chanting, proving at least that they remember what country they're in. It's almost like they don't want him to remember what he said about coal. They don't want to hear that coal kills people, and they certainly don't want to read
They don't want to be told that we can do something now that will help our future selves, our children and our grandchildren. That would give them a responsibility to actually do something, to take personal responsibility and care not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren and for everyone else's children and grandchildren. When the course you have to take is a tough one that requires effort and sacrifice, perhaps the sacrifice of some cherished beliefs such as the belief that private enterprise is the best and only solution to every problem, it's so much easier to say no, there's nothing that can be done and perhaps also there's nothing that needs to be done. The future can sort itself out so let's not even bother thinking about it, let's just focus on the next four years and on making ourselves a bit richer.
So then the question is whether Hurricane Sandy was caused by climate change or made stronger by climate change or made more likely by climate change, which is in fact three questions, but if you're one of those people who likes consistency between the start and end of a sentence then you've come to the wrong place. Of course there are a number of factors that go into creating any storm so you can't say that any single thing caused it, the world's more complicated than that. Here's what Scientific American has to say referring to the way journalists will usually point out that any single weather event cannot be entirely blamed on climate change:
Scientists have long taken a similarly cautious stance, but more are starting to drop the caveat and link climate change directly to intense storms and other extreme weather events, such as the warm 2012 winter in the eastern U.S. and the frigid one in Europe at the same time. They are emboldened because researchers have gotten very good in the past decade at determining what affects the variables that create big storms. Hurricane Sandy got large because it wandered north along the U.S. coast, where ocean water is still warm this time of year, pumping energy into the swirling system. But it got even larger when a cold Jet Stream made a sharp dip southward from Canada down into the eastern U.S. The cold air, positioned against warm Atlantic air, added energy to the atmosphere and therefore to Sandy, just as it moved into that region, expanding the storm even further.It goes on to explain how recent research has shown that what sent the Jet Stream southward was down to atmospheric conditions in the North Atlantic and southern Arctic related to the high level of summer Arctic sea ice melt, and in September of this year Arctic sea ice melted to its lowest level ever recorded.
Add to that the warmer oceans and the warmer atmosphere, one that can hold more moisture, and you have a pretty undeniable recipe for Frankenstorms or whatever you want to call them, though of course the fact that something is undeniable doesn't mean that people won't try to deny it. Some people just love a challenge, and for them the more undeniable it is the better. And one of the most effective forms of denial, used for years by the tobacco industry, is to create the impression of uncertainty, and what better way to do that than to be uncertain about what you actually think.
On 3rd June 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire, Romney said
I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer.... and that humans contribute to that.Four months later, in Pittsburgh, he said
My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet.And then, in Virginia on 1st November 2012, when asked "What about climate? That's what caused this monster storm", Romney smiled awkwardly and said nothing.