Democrats conflate weather and climate change in bids for 2020 nomination

As Democrats are vying for the 2020 nomination, many of them are talking about environmental issues in a way that conflates specific storms and extreme weather events with the broader impacts of climate change.

While research has found the central part of the U.S. could see more intense heat and rain events as a result of changes to the climate, many scientists are reluctant to make immediate connections between the broader trend and specific extreme weather events. But some Democrats have made the connection between predictions of more severe weather events and the <a href="” target=”_blank”>recent flooding and tornadoes in the Midwest, especially as they campaign in crucial primary states like Iowa.

While research has found the central part of the U.S. could see more intense heat and rain events as a result of changes to the climate, many scientists say they’re reluctant to immediately point to climate change in the aftermath of a specific weather event or storm.

PHOTO: A graph in a report about attributing severe weather to climate change shows how confident researchers are about the connection to different kinds of events. National Academies of Science

A graph in a report about attributing severe weather to climate change shows how confident researchers are about the connection to different kinds of events.

President Donald Trump has often been called out for making the same error of connecting weather and climate and using that to contradict climate science, like implying that global warming could cancel out a historic cold front.

More than half of Americans said they saw climate change as responsible for the severity of hurricanes in 2017, a big increase over the prior 10 years according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Dana Fisher, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland who studies politics and climate change, said it’s not surprising Democrats are talking more about that connection as a way to distinguish themselves from Trump and make climate change a more tangible issue.

“When people go to the voting booth it’s very hard to get people to vote about polar bears and ice caps when they’re worried about child care and health care in their communities. But extreme weather actually takes climate change to the community level where people have homes,” she told ABC News.

Fisher studies the Democratic base and says climate change has been rated as a priority in recent years, so it will be a critical issue for any Democrat to win the nomination.

Multiple candidates reference extreme weather in their climate change platform and in recent weeks at least two candidates, Gov. Jay Inslee who has centered his campaign on climate change and Sen. Elizabeth Warren released videos connecting the storms and flooding in Iowa to climate change. Both messages make the statement that if the country doesn’t take some kind of action to slow the effects of climate change the community will continue to see similar storms and floods.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg has also made the connection in reference to flooding in Indiana, saying the image he thinks about with climate change is helping families in South Bend during recent floods.

Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University that studies the connection between climate change and weather events, said there is evidence that climate change is contributing to more severe storms and rain events in the midwest as warmer temperatures create more water vapor in the atmosphere.

But scientists are still cautious about connecting any specific weather event to changes in the climate and typically only make that determination after the fact.

PHOTO: Downtown Davenport, Iowa, and the surrounding area is covered by Mississippi River floodwaters, May 3, 2019.Kevin E. Schmidt/Quad City Times via AP

Downtown Davenport, Iowa, and the surrounding area is covered by Mississippi River floodwaters, May 3, 2019.

“We don’t want to attribute something to global warming unless we’re highly confident,” he told ABC News, adding “That’s because we’re looking at events that are more extreme, they’re record-breaking they’re more extreme than we have historical experience for so chance does play a role.”

Diffenbaugh said it’s important to acknowledge how climate change is influencing weather patterns so the country’s infrastructure can prepare for the potential for more frequent or more damaging storms, but that it’s also important to stick to the evidence of what we know.

“I would be comfortable standing here or there saying that we already know that events have been increasing historically in this part of the world and that objective rigorous analysis shows that global warming has increased the odds of extreme precipitation events in this region of the world, and in particular of record-breaking precipitation events in this region of the world,” he told ABC.

“And in order to understand the conditions that came together that will require specific analysis, but this is consistent with what has been occurring historically.”

While Diffenbaugh and other researchers say they are highly confident in the connection between climate change and the risk from severe storms in the central U.S., the strength of the connection to other kinds of events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires varies.

PHOTO: Damaged homes and debris mark the path of a tornado that struck Celina, Ohio, as seen from the air, May 28, 2019.Ryan Snyder/Daily Standard via AP

Damaged homes and debris mark the path of a tornado that struck Celina, Ohio, as seen from the air, May 28, 2019.

Multiple Democrats have referenced the recent tornado outbreak in the context of climate change, for example, but while research shows a connection to more intense storms it’s more difficult to find a direct connection to tornadoes.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have mentioned a connection and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who isn’t running for president but has been one of the most vocal Democrats about climate change, posted comments on her Instagram story connecting a recent tornado watch in Washington, DC to climate change. Ocasio-Cortez later posted an article and amended her statements to say that climate change does not cause tornadoes.

“Tornadoes are one of the few weather categories not proven to be impacted in some way by climate change. Heat waves, drought, and floods have a confident link. Snowstorms and hurricanes have loosely supported theories. But currently, there is no scientific evidence that climate change has an impact on severe thunderstorm and tornado frequency or intensity. Calendar and geography perhaps, but questions remain for supercell strength,” ABC News’ Chief Meteorologist Rob Marciano said.

But Fisher said it shouldn’t necessarily be up to politicians to capture all the nuances of the science in a campaign and that even if Democrats don’t capture all the details in statements connecting weather and climate they still seem to generally follow the science.

“That’s not what the president does but that’s what these people are supposed to be doing and as far as I’ve seen the Democrats are trying to make that connection and it seems like the American public is open to that.”

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Parker: This Economy Is a Gift to All Americans

Elaine Parker of Job Creators Network writes at that the rising tide of President Trump’s economic reforms is indeed lifting all boats, especially among blue-collar workers and the bottom 25 percent of wage-earners:

Some believe that President Trump’s economic reforms are only benefiting the country’s “one percent.” But in reality, the pro-growth policy agenda being pursued by the current administration is helping the Americans who need it most.

Recent data validates this claim. While wages have begun to climb across all segments of society, recent figures show that those in the bottom 25 percent of wage-earners – or Americans making roughly $20,000 or less – are experiencing the most rapid pay increases. This group has seen their paychecks swell by over four percent during the last year.

Additionally, wage growth for blue-collar workers continues to surpass the rate of their supervisors and managers month after month.

. . .

The overall unemployment rate – one of the more popular barometers of economic health – is at a five-decade low. In addition to being a figure economists repeat on television, the rock-bottom rate indicates that most people who want a job have one – a circumstance that is confirmed by recent Job Creators Network/ polling. The data reveals less than one-fifth of Americans are concerned with business layoffs in their area.


Read the rest of the piece here.

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Cricket World Cup: Australia’s Steve Smith & David Warner ‘should not be booed’

Australia have won a record five World Cups
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019
Dates: 30 May-14 July
Live coverage: Ball-by-ball commentary on Test Match Special, plus text commentary, clips and highlights on the BBC Sport website.

Australia coach Justin Langer has asked fans not to boo Steve Smith and David Warner during the World Cup.

The batsmen recently returned from year-long bans for their part in the ball-tampering scandal and were jeered throughout the warm-up victory over England in Southampton last week.

Defending champions Australia start their campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol at 13:30 BST on Saturday.

“They made a mistake and paid a big price for it,” said Langer.

“The media talk about earning respect and it’s really important that people show respect as well.”

Smith and Warner were given a hostile reception at the Hampshire Bowl, with both booed at the start of their innings and after being dismissed, while former captain Smith was also booed after making 50 and again when reaching a fine century.

Sections of the crowd chanted “cheat” at both players and fans wore costumes referencing sandpaper.

Smith and Warner, along with Cameron Bancroft, were found to have played a role in using sandpaper to tamper with the ball against South Africa in March 2018.

“After the experience of Hampshire, we have a pretty good idea what to expect – we’ve talked about it a lot and we can put strategies in place,” said Langer.

“That said, when it happens it doesn’t make it any easier. They are human beings, that’s the truth – and that’s what I find the hardest.

“I’m a dad and a lot of the time the kids see it. You feel for them personally and they are going to have to have thick skins.

“But I’d be disappointed by any player being booed at any cricket ground, regardless of what country they play for. It’s never a good look when that happens.”

Australia captain Aaron Finch confirmed Warner will play against Afghanistan after overcoming a glute injury.

One spectator, dressed as a cricket ball, threw sandpaper at Australia’s Glenn Maxwell in Southampton

Finch and Warner will open together, with Australia to choose between Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja to bat at three.

Afghanistan were thrashed by England in their second warm-up on Monday but impressed in beating Pakistan in their first warm-up earlier this month.

“They are a dangerous side – if you take your foot off the gas for a while, they will hurt you, and you still have to play at your absolute best to beat them,” said Finch.

“Winning their warm-up game against Pakistan, they played brilliantly. They have got a huge following, with support all over the world now, which is huge for cricket.”

‘Sri Lanka will be tough’

New Zealand, who were beaten by Australia in the 2015 final, begin their World Cup bid against Sri Lanka in Cardiff at 10:30 BST on Saturday.

The Black Caps have won seven of their past eight completed one-day internationals against Sri Lanka, including a 3-0 series win at home in January.

However, Kiwi captain Kane Williamson said: “I don’t know how much the past really counts as we come into a tournament.

“We know the Sri Lankan side is a little bit different to the one we played at home, but we have no doubt they’re a tough side.”

Sri Lanka are in the midst of an overhaul while New Zealand are hoping to go one better than in 2015

Following a poor run over the past two years, Sri Lanka dropped several established players for the World Cup and appointed Dimuth Karunaratne as captain after a four-year absence from the ODI side.

They are expected to struggle in the tournament and were comfortably beaten by Australia and South Africa in their two warm-up games, but Karunaratne said his side of “fresh faces” were determined to compete.

“We are trying to start again with this World Cup but we will be prepared really well,” he said.

“It’s not easy if you don’t know the players and they haven’t played a game for a long time. Even me, I came into the side after four years, so it’s not easy.

“But if you get a chance, you need to prove yourself. The new faces want to do well and they want to perform, to stay in the team – it’s a positive thing.

“In the recent past we couldn’t do much better, but we are now playing as a team.”

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11 Dead, Six Wounded in Virginia Beach Shooting

Twelve people were killed and six wounded when a gunman opened fire in a Virginia Beach municipal center on Friday.

CNN reports that earlier reports that the suspect was taken into custody have been updated to show that the suspect is dead. The deceased suspect was a “longtime public utilities employee.”

The shooting took place in Building 2 of the city’s municipal center.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) tweeted:

The Democrat and Chronicle quotes Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera saying that the shooter fired “indiscriminately” at people in the municipal building.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at

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