Thanks to global warming, expect more floods and deaths


by Sunny
11th August, 2010 at 12:01 pm    

Aid workers now say that almost 14 million people have been affected since the unusually heavy rainfall began 11 days ago in Pakistan, with at least 6 million people urgently in need of aid.

Reuters also report that the United Nations says in terms of the number of people affected and who will need short- or long-term help, the floods are worse than the 2004 tsunami, which killed 236,000 people around the Indian Ocean.

Much worse is expected to come.

Aid workers warn that the number affected could increase with water surging south into Sindh province. There are reports that 2,500 villages have already been flooded in the region.

It’s also worth repeating that this is exactly what happens when you have global warming: we will see more extreme weather conditions across the world. Reuters again:

For the current floods, rainfall of about 400 millimetres (16 inches) in mountainous areas in the far north of Pakistan and adjoining parts of Afghanistan between July 28 and 29 triggered a torrent of water down the Indus and Kabul Rivers.

“That was a record,” said Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, director-general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department. “The only explanation can be the link to climate change. Because that area very rarely receives monsoon rains,” he told Reuters, pointing to the risk of the monsoon belt shifting as well as changes in the intensity of the monsoon.

Note what a major US Department of Defense report said earlier this year:

First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that we undertake. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters.

Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.

Assessments conducted by the intelligence community indicate that climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.

We can expect much more of this – and not just in South Asia but increasingly across the Western world.


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  1. MaidMarian — on 11th August, 2010 at 1:10 pm  

    By global warming, I assume that you mean climate change and specifically the part of it that may or may not be the result of human activity?

    Presumably you have no faith in the ability of humankind to adapt?

  2. Kismet Hardy — on 11th August, 2010 at 2:24 pm  

    Can someone now please get rid of their free-loading president as he swans around the world sounding important while his people lie drowning?

  3. joe90 — on 11th August, 2010 at 3:26 pm  

    The infrastructure is very badly managed in pakistan just like other poor countries who have corrupt politicians in power. They neglect the infrastructure and other essentials and when a natural disaster strikes the people have no chance.

  4. Sunny — on 11th August, 2010 at 3:49 pm  

    Presumably you have no faith in the ability of humankind to adapt?

    Try telling that to the millions of people affected by the flooding in Pakistan and those who’ve died recently in Europe.

  5. Soso — on 11th August, 2010 at 5:05 pm  

    Actually, the lesson to be learned fomr the Pakistani floods revolves around the dearth of aid,sympathy and support coming from Muslims.

    What ever happened to that Ummah solidairy?

    The monsoons have affected India, as well, but the country has organised releif efforts, is asking for no foreign aid, and it’s trials and tribulations aren’t even in the news.

    The infrastructure is very badly managed in pakistan just like other poor countries who have corrupt politicians in power. They neglect the infrastructure and other essentials and when a natural disaster strikes the people have no chance.

    So true, and particularly obscene when one considers how much money Pakistan spends on its nuke program to the detriment of everything else.

    Pakistan’s infrastructures are poor and crumbling, but that,s primarily a result of the skewed,India-obsessed military priorities of a whole succession of islamist-oriented dictators.

  6. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2010 at 5:19 pm  

    Maid Marian @ 1:

    By global warming, I assume that you mean climate change and specifically the part of it that may or may not be the result of human activity?

    I assume you are yet another anthropogenic climate change denialist? It would be the only sort of sense anyone could make out of that sentence…

    The point about a more energetic climate system is that, whilst the trend is towards a hotter climate, it is also towards a more, shall we say, dramatic climate.

    You can expect a lot more appeals from the third world over the next few decades, as climate change starts to bite.

  7. damon — on 11th August, 2010 at 5:23 pm  

    Sounds like you read Julie Burchill today Soso.

    ”Charity: Calling rich Muslims… your number plate is up”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/julie-burchill/julie-burchill-ill-be-an-armchair-warrior-any-time-rather-than-an-armchair-appeaser-2048851.html

    If this is man made climate change, I can’t see us doing much to change it any time soon.
    Maybe all the readers of pickled politics should go and chain themselves to something and see if that helps.

  8. Bill — on 11th August, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

    You can expect a lot more appeals from the third world over the next few decades, as climate change starts to bite.

    Only from the third world? That suggests the issue with climate change is the inability of poor societies to adapt as well as advanced Western societies are able to. Hence the problem with “solutions” to climate change that will inhibit economic development.

  9. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    Bill,

    Point.

    Would it have been better if I’d gone for the full thought which was roughly:

    “The ability of the rich nations to meet the climate change issues of the poorer nations will be grossly curtailed as their resources are eaten up with their own needs to respond to climate change. We are all going to hell in a hand cart if we accept – as MaidMarian appears to do – the idiocy of doing nothing.”

    It is this use of words like, I highlight them in this extract:

    I assume that you mean climate change and specifically the part of it that may or may not be the result of human activity?

    It doesn’t matter whether MaidMarian is personally to blame or not. Though a billion or so MaidMarians will see us replaced by scryving cephelapods…

    Maybe.

    __________________________________

    What matters is doing something about it.

    Not what MaidMarian thinks. For MaidMarians’ thinking could get us all dead….

    Well, maybe not us, but future generations, etc….

    I hate loath and detest people that are:

    ________________________________________

    * homonym
    * unctuous

    * pluvial
    * antecedent

    (What’s this that has appeared here?) Try keeping up with the plot.

    ________________________________________

    supercilious about a risk to our species continued survival.

    I hope MaidMarian isn’t that stupid….

  10. MaidMarian — on 11th August, 2010 at 7:05 pm  

    douglas clark – ‘It doesn’t matter whether MaidMarian is personally to blame or not.’

    I’m quite sure that won’t stop you having a go.

    Your entire comment seems to be premised on the assumption that nothing can be done. I recommend you sign up to vhet.com if that is the case.

    Do you think that there are no steps that can be taken? You also place a heavy emphasis on, ‘the third world,’ (whatever one takes that to mean). I would suggest that the entire world, regardless of wealth, should be looking to adapt. As we have done in the past.

    I happen to think that, say, higher building standards in coastal towns will save more lives than putting windfarms at current yields off said coasts. And to save you asking, no, I don’t have any evidence. But perhaps Sunny could ask those living in mud huts.

    We, if we really wanted to get controversial, could look at populations in some countries and ask whether the infrastructures in those countries can reasonably sustain that population at this point in time.

    I’ll let you shout at me now.

  11. Kismet Hardy — on 11th August, 2010 at 7:25 pm  

    Oh the arrogance of Man. The world has been changing for as long as she’s lived and will continue to do so. People might not survive. But the world will be fine.

    Isn’t it time we all started plans to put that first McDonalds up in space?

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 11th August, 2010 at 7:46 pm  

    By the way, can I just say how fucking tasteless it is that a very real tragedy that’s effecting hundreds of thousands of people as we speak is being hijacked by the global doom mongers?

    Go to google and type in ‘great floods in history’ and you’ll get thousands of examples from The great flood of Yellow river in 2297 BC, to the great flood of Sheffield in 1947 to a million other over the centuries, to the ones that happen in places like Bangladesh pretty much every year for as far back as anyone remembers.

    Global warming, was it?

    Pfft.

  13. earwicga — on 11th August, 2010 at 11:00 pm  

    Maybe all the readers of pickled politics should go and chain themselves to something and see if that helps.

    Please do damon, and send us pics.

    Meanwhile:

    http://www.dec.org.uk/

    http://www.unicef.org.uk/give/index.asp?page=81&gclid=CIDx8rG1sqMCFQ6ElAodFgdM6A

    http://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/Pakistan_Floods.aspx?gclid=CKPpz7S1sqMCFQY9lAodEEWS6Q

  14. Sunny — on 12th August, 2010 at 6:15 am  

    damon: Maybe all the readers of pickled politics should go and chain themselves to something and see if that helps.

    If you could chain yourself to the Spiked online writers I’d be eternally grateful.

    MaidMarian: Do you think that there are no steps that can be taken? You also place a heavy emphasis on, ‘the third world,’ (whatever one takes that to mean). I would suggest that the entire world, regardless of wealth, should be looking to adapt. As we have done in the past.

    You’re right MM – and here’s a radical idea. How about investing in renewable energy that would actually reduce our carbon footprint and make this less likely?

    Or are you betting that we should carry on as before and just build better technology to save ourselves from a worse and worse climate changes? That really is boneheaded.

    Soso: What ever happened to that Ummah solidairy?

    uninformed armchair idiots like yourself and Julie Burchill aside:
    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article95470.ece

    Suddenly their religion is important is it? When Muslims talk about the ummah – dickwads like you get really annoyed and say why should Muslims only relate to each other. When some Muslims are in trouble, you can’t wait to pour scorn and say maybe other Muslims should help them.

    Idiots.

  15. Bishop Hill — on 12th August, 2010 at 8:32 am  

    It would be churlish of me not to point out the relative decline in hurricane activity.

  16. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 9:32 am  

    Kismet Hardy,

    By the way, can I just say how fucking tasteless it is that a very real tragedy that’s effecting hundreds of thousands of people as we speak is being hijacked by the global doom mongers?

    Only a denialist tit would write that.

  17. MaidMarian — on 12th August, 2010 at 9:40 am  

    Sunny – ‘If you could chain yourself to the Spiked online writers I’d be eternally grateful.’

    If you want to chain yourself to the greatest threat facing the environment today, I suggest chaining yourself to some anti-nuclear protesters.

    ‘Or are you betting that we should carry on as before and just build better technology to save ourselves from a worse and worse climate changes?’

    You are putting words into my mouth. What I am saying is that adaptation, for my money will save more lives than technology. Don’t get me wrong, if salving guilt is the agenda, then windmills are just the job. No doubt renewables have their place. In 50 years I would hope that petrol-engined cars will be curiosity pieces in museums. It’s just that I take the view that saving lives is more important than feeling good.

    ‘That really is boneheaded.’

    No it is not and your comment reeks of the messianic and intolerant streak inherent in today’s environmentalism. Note for example how douglas clark uses the loaded term, ‘denial,’ with its holocaust connotations to abuse and silence those who disagree.

  18. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 9:50 am  

    Bishop Hill.

    It would be equally churlish of me not to point your good self to this:

    Hurricanes site:http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/

    Where do you get your information from?

    I suspect it is from God….

    A busted flush, my friend. If I may say so….

  19. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 10:02 am  

    MaidMarian,

    You are, accept it, a climate change denialist. Your comment @ 17 simply confirms your position.

    No it is not and your comment reeks of the messianic and intolerant streak inherent in today’s environmentalism. Note for example how douglas clark uses the loaded term, ‘denial,’ with its holocaust connotations to abuse and silence those who disagree.

    Really?

    I use the word ‘denial’ and you assume it has all sorts of other connotations?

    I think you are an an idiot, in the sense that you are a denialist of climate change.

    I have no view on your thoughts on the Holocaust.

    Get a grip.

  20. MaidMarian — on 12th August, 2010 at 10:22 am  

    douglas clark – And I love you too.

  21. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 11:10 am  

    MaidMarian,

    I am quite fond of our little spats on this internet thingy.

    So.

    I quite like you too.

    Unfortunately my ‘love’ is heterosexual, and despite your moniker I assume you are a man :-(

  22. Kismet Hardy — on 12th August, 2010 at 11:48 am  

    Douglas darling, no one is denying the climate is changing. Just pointing out the childishly obvious fact that it always has and always will and to think reusing a tesco bag and casting a b-movie cross at cans of hairspray will save the world is at best naive, at worst pompous holier-than-thou gobblegook. But I’m sure that doesn’t change the fact that you’re quite probably very cuddly in bed

  23. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 12:05 pm  

    Kismet Hardy,

    Nope, I am a living skeleton…

    Anyway, you are sort of right to introduce the issue of pretendy environmentalism to the debate. It is that ‘feel good’ factor that I abhor in the Greenies. Unless and until we deal with CO2 emmissions we are farting against the thunder.

    On the subject of farting, perhaps banning the consumption of sauerkraut would be a good starting place? My guilt for global warming, and my guilt for being an anti social person is all down to sauerkraut.

    Maybe.

  24. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 12:25 pm  

    Kismet Hardy (continued),

    You say:

    Douglas darling, no one is denying the climate is changing. Just pointing out the childishly obvious fact that it always has and always will….

    Well, that is true enough, if you go for geological time scales or summat. We are creatures of oxygen, and that didn’t exist in the Earth’s atmosphere originally, did it?

    We are not exactly stuck for an example of what happens when there is a runaway greenhouse effect are we?

    Look one planet inwards of our goldilocks zone and you’ll see what can happen.

    Anyway, it is completely ludicrous to be taking a risk, least that’s what I think most economists and other climate change denialists are doing.

    I have posted this before, perhaps you’d like to watch it this time?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ&feature=player_embedded#!

    Some 7.5 million folk have watched it!

    An inescapable conclusion, Kismet Hardy. Well, they must all be wrong!

  25. Soso — on 12th August, 2010 at 2:36 pm  

    Suddenly their religion is important is it? When Muslims talk about the ummah – dickwads like you get really annoyed and say why should Muslims only relate to each other. When some Muslims are in trouble, you can’t wait to pour scorn and say maybe other Muslims should help them.

    Muslims are notoriously insensitve and uncaring when it comes to the tragic plights of their co-relionists.

    However,there IS money for the families of suicide bombers, and so those Pakistanis looking for Arab aid have only to designate a sibling “shaheed”, detonate them among a group of non-Muslims ( hindus and Jews bring maximum profits), and then wait for the funds to pour in.

    Pakistan’s infrastructures ( and everything else!), as any fool knows, have been sacrificed in order to subsidise the country’s nuke program and thereby sustain the country’s one overriding pre-occupation and principle raison d’être; insane, psychopathic hatred of Hindus and India.

    Oh! Does enriched plutonium float?
    And can a centrifuge feed a family of twelve?

    Global warming has sweet dick to do with any of this, but is does provide a handy and timely excuse for Pakistan’s corrupt elite to hide their gross mismanagement of what little assets the country ever had.

  26. Kismet Hardy — on 12th August, 2010 at 3:05 pm  

    I like what soso said.

    Douglas, I watched the link. If it doesn’t happen = great. If it does = we’re all screwed. Well, I kinda got that. Just don’t believe human beings can do what we think we can when mother nature wants to flip out. If humans were more green and were careful not to use disposable nappies before the Younger Dryas 11,000 years ago, it still would’ve happened. Just saying ordinary people, who certainly shouldn’t use the world as our toilet, shouldn’t be made to feel bad or taxed to high heaven over something that ain’t our fault.

  27. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2010 at 3:40 pm  

    Kismet Hardy,

    Err…

    Did I post the wrong video or summat?

    No, no I didn’t.

    The point that the guy is making, and I am astonished you missed it, is that the precautionary principle applies. Seems pretty self evident to me.

    You really don’t know whether climate change would have happened, with or without our intervention. You are just making stuff up to suit your agenda.

    There is an enormous amount of evidence to suggest that the climate change we are living through right now is anthropogenic in cause and effect. Sticking your fingers in your ears and singing ‘Nah, nah, nah nah’ ain’t going to save your kids, or your kids kids from your disasterous nihilism. What a wonderful legacy…

    Not.

  28. Bill — on 12th August, 2010 at 4:47 pm  

    It would be equally churlish of me not to point your good self to this:

    Hurricanes site:http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/

    Where do you get your information from?

    Well, I was curious about that as well, so I followed your respective links and it seems he gets his information from academics at a respected university and you get yours from a blog.

    Have I missed something?

  29. damon — on 12th August, 2010 at 4:53 pm  

    When did man made climate change begin in earnest?
    I seem to have missed when it started. It must have been in the 1970s or something. It can’t have been as early as the 1940s can it? If it was then we are truely screwed and nothing we can do will stop it.

    I say this because of Sunny saying this:

    We can expect much more of this – and not just in South Asia but increasingly across the Western world.

    Which implies that the flooding in Pakistan and the fires in Russia are because of man made climate change, and that it wouldn’t have happened like this before we ”messed up the balance of the planet”.

    Just like we were warned about all those years ago in the Koyaanisqatsi film.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PirH8PADDgQ&feature=related

    If this has happened already (in so few years) when we are just at the beginning of proper world development consumption and growth, then nothing we do is going to make much difference. If the world’s balance is that delicate, then cutting back here and there will make no difference whatsoever – and that is the reason why those ”just do it” climate activists are just plain annoying. It’s the smugness of them.

    And well said Kismet Hardy and MaidMarian.

  30. Desi Italiana — on 12th August, 2010 at 6:01 pm  

    Not sure if the ice island “4 times the size of Manhattan” that has recently broken off is directly related to climate change, but:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/world/europe/12iceberg.html?hpw

  31. Tom Johnson — on 13th August, 2010 at 1:54 am  

    @6

    ‘over the next few decades, as climate change starts to bite’

    What a ridiculous comment. Given that the earth’s climate changes in the next few decades the change certainly won’t be enough to bite.

    Anyway answer me this, have you given any money to the Pakistanis? Be honest.

  32. Soso — on 13th August, 2010 at 1:13 pm  

    Only ONE MUslim majority country ( kuwait) out of a total of 57 has offered any aid whatsoever to Pakistan. Almost all of the aid is being provide by the ‘impure’.

    However, The Taliban are saying they’ll confiscate any Kuffur aid and prevent it being given to refugees because foreigners intoduce “unislamic” things. ‘Tis far more important to hate than to eat.

    Like I said in my first comment, “Ummah solidarity” is nothing but a myth. The saudis and others are just sweash in cash, but they couldn’t care less about millions of pakistani Muslims facing difficulties that will end up killing 10s of 1000s, if not more.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/10/pakistan-flood-international-aid

  33. me — on 18th August, 2010 at 1:29 am  

    soso
    “Only ONE MUslim majority country ( kuwait) out of a total of 57 has offered any aid whatsoever to Pakistan. Almost all of the aid is being provide by the ‘impure’.”

    retard
    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article104110.ece
    and this ignores all the Muslim charities collecting for Pakistan

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