Mubarak Resigns: Is there a climate change connection?

The Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, has resigned, finally relenting to weeks of massive protests. Is he the latest casualty of climate change?

This is a provacative question, but I believe one worth discussing. Obviously, there are always many factors in a people’s uprising, the precise balance of which will always be subjective and varied from protestor to protestor. But that doesn’t mean said factors can not be isolated and examined each on their own.

Like any extreme hot weather event, it is not possible to attribute this directly to a change in global climate, but like said weather event it is possible to identify contributing global factors, increases in probabilities, consistency with expectations. Political unrest is in fact an expectation of a rapidly changing climate, at least according to the US pentagon, and the chain of circumstances is not implausible or hard to follow. Erratic local climates lead to difficulties in food production, global or otherwise, which drive up the cost of living, which causes unrest in populations. When these populations are already restless due to poor economic conditions and inadequate human rights, this can trigger violent and non-violent popular uprisings.

Joe Romm brought this connection up in relation to Egypt, and though Serious People dismissively scoff at the very idea, I think he has a legitimate point. This is not a laughable notion in the least, it is a very legitimate topic for conversation. The thread at Collide-a-scape is revealing in the lack of serious rebuttal, there is little aside from argument by ridicule.

Where is the flaw in this chain of connections: climate change -> crop failures -> rising food prices -> political upheaval?

181 thoughts on “Mubarak Resigns: Is there a climate change connection?

  1. “You want me to point to a single event and demonstrate conclusively what the influence of climate change was.”

    I’d like to ask cracker-ass whether he can prove that La Nina affected the storm and demonstrate conclusively what that effect was and its magnitude.

    cracker has this hypothesis that La Nina causes a change to the climate, but he hasn’t yet proven this case.


  2. Thank you, Chris.

    Did you notice that one of the coauthors of the second piece also coauthored the one your buddy Richard W. always referenced as “vindicating” his Tmax analysis?


  3. Mandas 149,

    All Tom did was highlight a 0.2 rise in sst and then by leap of faith claimed it was caused by CO2, he did not demonstrate conclusively CO2 to be the cause and yes if you want to be taken seriously you need to point to a single event and provide evidence that CO2 is at fault.

    I would not put money on the Tigers because they had a poor list last year and it has not improved, no model required here Mandas.

    I read the paper Mandas….well the abstract the problem is for every paper you produce there is another that suggests the opposite and that is the problem with AGW. It is an elusive beast that cannot be singled out amongst the crowd so in the end it will never be found but keep searching anyway. By the way you told me i could not rule out AGW by simply saying the 1893, 1917 and 1974 Brisbane floods were just as bad so i suggest you stop quoting storm numbers even if they were made up.

    Chris 151, Not sure i should take all the credit for the derailment but i definetly played a part along with you. Thanks for the links though.

    WOW 152, just call me ass crack and get it over with. Agreed i may not have proven my case but that is a lot more than “Its raining a lot, please,please,please let it be CO2”

    Adelaidy 150, Give it another go OK.


  4. crakar

    Quite frankly, your comments are racist, and completely unacceptable and dispicable.

    [comment remove by blog administrator]

    Apologise for your remarks right now. This is not a request – it is a demand.


  5. Coby

    I would not normally request that someone be banned, because a free exchange of ideas is important, and I don’t even usually care about insulting remarks or colourful language.

    But this time crakar has gone way beyond the pale. His raacist remarks at post #154 and #157 are completely unacceptable here or anywhere other that a KKK rally.

    He should be censured by everyone and should be required to apologise or be banned.

    Because quite frankly, if he doesn’t, I am out of here forever.


  6. Crakar wishes to characterise attributing a 0.2 degrees C increase in sea surface temperatures to global warming as a leap of faith.

    He ignores the fact that Global Sea Surface Temperatures have increased by significantly more than 0.2 degrees C since 1980, an increases not explicable by attribution to natural means alone, as shown by IPCC modelling. He further ignores the Southern Hemisphere increase of about 0.2 degrees over the same period, again not attributable to natural causes. He further ignores that these increases are straight forward predictions from well known physical laws and the known fact of increasing CO2 levels.

    Most importantly he ignores the fact that every Australian coastal station in the “High climate quality network” between Darwin and Port Macquarie (inclusive), bar six shows an decrease of diurnal temperature range of around 0.5 and 1.6 degrees C over the last century, a clear signal that an increased greenhouse effect is the major driver of temperature changes at those stations. That’s 12 out of 18 stations.

    Of the six exceptions, two (Innisfail, Port Macquarie and Maryborough) have had a decrease of over 2 degrees C, presumably due to local factors. The other three (Ayr, Gladstone, and Yamba) show a 0.1 degree increase over the century, again presumably because of local conditions.

    In all, that is very strong statistical confirmation that an enhanced greenhouse effect is warming Asutralian, and in particular Queensland coastal waters.

    Of course, this comment is probably too long for Crakar to read. After all, it is actually long enough to rebut is gish gallop of lies and mistatements. Apropos of that, he now appears to be asserting that the SOI (and index of differences in sea level pressures) is a measure of sea surface temperatures, that IR radiation has nothing to do with heat, and that CO2 absorbs and does not emit radiation.

    For any of those readers still undecided on the issue of global warming, please notice how Crakar sets up this rhetorical dichotomy. If a post is long enough to rebut his gish gallop, it is “long winded and boring”, but if it only points to facts that disprove his claims without going into details, then it is instantly dismissed as “speculation” or “a leap of faith”. This is the perfect recipe for close minded ignorance, which Crakar displays in abundance.

    You will also notice that Crakar does not explain how the PDO and La Nina effect rainfall in Australia. Doing so would require reference to warm sea surface temperatures, which would give the game away. Not only does he rely in staccato lies and mistatements, piling up falsehoods to fast to be refuted (a gish gallop); but he carefully relies on keeping thinking at the shallowest possible level – because if you actually stop and think, he is undone. His intellectual construct refutes itself.


  7. Mandas,

    I agree completely with your sentiments about Crakar. I am ashamed for Australia that he is one of our residents, and can console myself only in that it is demographically unavoidable that even the best of nations should contain some of the worst of people. However, it may not an available option for Coby to simply ban Crakar, so please do not make your threat to leave unconditional. I agree, however, that to the extent that Crakar should be made persona non grata, he should be.


  8. You will also notice that Tom blames AGW on higher food prices which contributed to Egyptian revolts but fails to even mention that India has produced a record high grain crop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  9. crakar


    I have two aboriginals in my workteam, and both of them are far better human beings than you. I work with aboriginal communities on a regular basis, and every single one of them have far more integrity and sense of community that you have ever or will ever possess.

    For our American friends, ask yourself this. If someone had posted on this blog a remark that said, “all niggers are thieves”, what do you think would happen to the person who posted it? Because that is EXACTLY what crakar just said about aboriginals. And then he has the unmittigated gall to try and justify his remarks with that moronic post #164, where he takes the actions of some individuals and tries to extrapolate them to an entire race of people.


    My promise stands – both of them.


  10. Crakar has noticed that there is predicted to be a record wheat crop in India when it is harvested over March, April and May. This predicted record is expected to increase wheat production by 0.8 million tonnes of wheat, compared to the estimated 3.6 million tonnes of wheat lost in western Europe, let alone the 18 million lost in Russia and other large losses in CIS countries.

    What surprises me, however, is not that Crakar just grabs any factoid that might appear to support his case without actually checking even the relative proportion of the different effects. That is after all, par for the course. Rather, it is that he is now invoking backward causation in time. Apparently wheat harvests three months after the event are now supposed to be relevant to events in Egypt, so long as they are not caused by GW; while events that preceded events in Egypt by months, or were concurrent, are deemed irrelevant if GW can be seen to be their cause.

    Crakar’s reasoning now depends not only on factual errors, inconsistency and innumeracy, but now also on magical thinking. Next he’ll be telling us the Egyptians are revolting because they did not use the proper rituals to bring in the cargo.


  11. Coby, is it possible to increase the number of links before the spam filter cracks down above two?

    [sorry, I can’t control that, and though I can whitelist people, it doesn’t have any effect I can discern. Even my comments get caught for three links. An email may get my attention sooner, especially on busy threads…coby]


  12. This is too absurd to really happen, but I wonder if Adelady could show up and video this and Coby could post it as a lead in to its own thread: “Fight Night with Crakar and Mandas”


  13. Post #164 looks like it’s come straight out of the BNP* handbook** – the only thing missing is the exhortation for them to go back where they came from, oh wait…

    *BNP = British National Party – google them.

    **a few cherrypicked examples used to bolster a faith (now, where have I seen that before?) and as an excuse for bigotry.


  14. Oh dear. Sort of amusing in that completely barmy surreal way that erupts on here from time to time.

    Unfortunately, =using crakar’s logic= I couldn’t possibly be anywhere near men, especially outside a pub. I spent several quaking years in my 20s with a man bearing that unmistakable aura of boozy, incipient violence. Plainly, on that crakar-logical basis =all= men cannot be trusted to restrain violent impulses when I’m around so I’d have to stay away, even from men I might like to meet. (My husband is merely the exception that proves the rule – or some such nonsense.)

    Honestly crakar. I’m starting to think you’re one of those people who’d prefer to be clever or have an argument or be ‘different’ or something … rather than be right. This one is too much, way too much.


  15. Wow. How unpleasant.

    crakar refuses to apologise, but he says he is leaving. Whatever happens, that kind of racism is not acceptable anywhere.

    My apologies to innocent bystanders for the spectacle and also for the deleting of comments, something that goes against the spirit of internet discussions IMO, but it was the lesser of evils in this instance.

    What a good night to have insomnia…


  16. “He ignores the fact that Global Sea Surface Temperatures have increased by significantly more than 0.2 degrees C since 1980, an increases not explicable by attribution to natural means alone, as shown by IPCC modelling”

    And, moreover, not proved incorrect by any other method.

    Just in case there are some idiots who think that computer modelling MUST be wrong. For some reason, they’re not ready to do the maths by hand…


  17. I would warn people that, just like there was a crackar12 before cracar24, we’re probably going to see a crackar25 turn up any day now…

    He may or may not have a capital letter.


  18. coby: “My apologies … for the deleting of comments, something that goes against the spirit of internet discussions IMO, but it was the lesser of evils in this instance.”

    Most definitely called for in this instance. Naked bigotry with no relation to either the subject of the original post or the direction discussions had turned. Disappointing to read and deservedly deleted.

    It should be noted though that mandas’s deleted posts consisted of him calling crakar out nothing more nefarious than that.

    [Further on this, I don’t want the fact that some of mandas’ comments were also removed to leave the impression this was a “two sides to that story” moment, it was not. But however justified he may have felt in his tone and intent, I am not interesting in being called to Australia to testify on my role as host and enabler in an assault (or worse!) trial – coby]


  19. coby

    Please allow me to apologise for some of my comments – to you and to everyone.

    I went a little over the top and I should not have abused your hospitality the way I did.

    My apologies to you and to everyone else here.


  20. Tom

    A way around the 3 link spam filter problem is to change some of your hyperlinks into text. Just remove the http:\www. from the front of the link.

    We can still follow the link ok by cutting and pasting the text.


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