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Houston Chronicle: Preaching Climate Alarmism Post Harvey

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 4, 2017

“Hometown hurricane expert and Ph.D. scientist Neil Frank, whose insight would normally be sought out (not just welcomed) by the Houston Chronicle, finds himself unable to even get a letter-to-the-editor published there (he tried twice several months ago, he communicated to me).”

A very unique, freak weather event poured 50 inches of rain on Houston over a several day period. Climatologist Roy Spencer likened it to the time when an ambulance carrying a man struck by lightning got struck by lightning, finishing the guy off.

What is physically possible can beat the odds, from time to time. It does not have to be God’s hand, the Devil’s paw, or fossil-fueled climate change.

Chronicle All-in

In the days and weeks after, the Houston Chronicle inundated Houstonians with biased–even angry–news reports, unsigned editorials, guest editorials, (chosen) letters-to-the-editor, and cartoons blaming man-made climate change for the severity of this event. Even the headline editors have gotten into the spew.

Vernon Loeb, the managing editor of the Houston Chronicle, pilled on, writing in the Washington Post:

And whenever it’s over, Houston should use Harvey to jump-start its transition from the country’s epicenter for oil and gas to a world capital of alternative energies. If the city can turn this devastating tragedy into an existential moment of reinvention after the storm, then a decade from now we may argue that it was worth it.

As for the nation, Americans need to understand what leading scientists have concluded even if many of our political leaders pretend it’s not true — we’ve just about blown through the Holocene epoch, when Earth emerged from the last ice age and became more comfortable for human life. Some climatologists have started to call our current age the Anthropocene, in which conditions on the planet have been dramatically altered by man. We have to take responsibility for what we’ve done, and take charge of our future.

Houstonians Counterpunch

Houstonian Charles Battig, a diligent student of the climate debate, documented the bias at the hometown paper in a September 6 post at MasterResource: “Politicizing Harvey in the Houston Chronicle.” He asked:

We will see if the Houston Chronicle will publish a rebuttal to CO2-driven Harvey as the emotionalism of climate alarmists’ ‘gotcha’ subsides. Maybe even hometown hurricane expert Neil Frank will set them straight.

No, the paper hasn’t sought out the loyal opposition. And I have a pile of articles (I take the print edition) from the last few weeks continuing the alarmist bias on this subject.

Hometown hurricane expert and Ph.D. scientist Neil Frank, whose insight would normally be sought out (not just welcomed) by the Houston Chronicle, finds himself unable to even get a letter-to-the-editor published there (he tried twice several months ago, he communicated to me).

Frank Speaks (at Watts Up With That)

What did Dr. Frank think of hurricane Harvey’s local downpour. At “Enough is Enough! Stop Hyping Harvey and Irma!” (WUWT, September 25), he made these points.

“The amount of rain in a tropical system is not related to the strength of the wind,” he explained, “it depends on the forward speed of motion.”

Before we had sophisticated numerical models to forecast the amount of rain a system would produce, we used a simple empirical equation that gave good results. Determine the forward speed of motion and divide it into 100.

If a tropical system is moving 10 mph, expect 10 inches of rain, 20 inches for a system moving 5 mph and if the forward speed is only 2 mph be prepared for 50 inches. That is exactly what happened in Harvey. The hurricane was moving around 2 mph for 3 days and a broad band of 40 to 50 inches of rain covered a large portion of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

Frank then turns to hurricane history.

  • “Harvey has been labeled the wettest hurricane in history; however, the 50 inches recorded in the hurricane is not related to global warming. The reason for the heavy rain is the hurricane stalled for 3 days and unfortunately southeast Texas is where that happened.”
  • “There are numerous examples of stalled tropical systems producing excessive rains. For example, in 1979 tropical storm Claudette stalled for 2 days and generated over 40 inches in a broad area south of downtown Houston. The 42 inches that fell in 24 hours in Alvin is the record for a 24 hour rain in the U.S. A year earlier, stalled tropical Storm Amelia produced 48 inches in central Texas. In 1967 slow moving Hurricane Beulah moved into in south Texas and generated between 30 and 40 inches inland from Brownsville.”

“If there had been a rain gauge in the area east of the Bahamas where Hurricane Jose stalled for four days, I am sure it would have recorded over 60 inches.”


The Houston Chronicle can be surnamed The New York Times of Houston. The editors (Progressive all; there are no known conservative or libertarian members on the editorial board) has had such arrogant editorials as this one on September 14: “Climate Change: Let’s Talk Openly and Honestly,” subtitled A warmer planet threatens wetter storms, higher surges and more Harveys. The verbiage miscited climate facts and got preachy:

If Houston is going to be serious about keeping our city safe from Mother Nature, then we have to make global warming part of the discussion.It will be a tough conversation. Even in the 21st century, the oil and gas industry still serves as our core economic engine. They’ve brought untold wealth and prosperity, but at the end of the day their product is responsible for carbon emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere.

The editors, if they are doing their own research and writing, are invited to study the points of Neil Frank–and Roy Spencer’s Why Houston Flooding Isn’t a Sign of Climate Change (August 30, 2017).

Rebuttals and revision are certainly in order.


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