While it mostly missed the fall harvest, Sandy still decimated crops from Cuba to Canada, including major damage to some urban farms in New York City.
2012 has already been a rough year for farming in North America, as crops withered under record heat, drought and wildfire, while others washed away in Hurricane Isaac's torrential rains. This followed similar problems in 2011, ranging from the historic Texas drought to Mississippi River floods and Hurricane Irene.I hadn't heard of many crops being grown in the forests hit by wildfires in the 'States so far this year (mushrooms maybe?), but we'll let that one lie (appropriate word?) there, as the writer relates his tale of woe.
Despite all the recent setbacks, however, farmers were dealt yet another blow this week as Superstorm Sandy flogged and flooded a swath of crops along its 2,000-mile path. The post-tropical cyclone hit in late October, when many U.S. growers have already harvested summer produce, but it still found ways to wreak havoc.I'm learning such a lot from this article - first it's farms in the middle of forests, now it's farms hundreds of miles off the coast "along its 2,000-mile path". Isn't the 'net wonderful? The blogger even has a neat satellite pic of Sandy hitting those farms some 600 miles off the US coast.
Damage assessments remain underway in the U.S., with many areas still in disaster-relief mode. At least 70 deaths are confirmed so far, and some estimates suggest damage could reach $50 billion. Yet the overall impact on U.S. agriculture may be less severe than in the Caribbean, since the summer growing season is over in cooler climates and many farmers sped up harvesting ahead of the storm. "Sandy is a big weather story, but it's mainly a human life issue on the East Coast — no real impact on crops or harvest," John Dee of Global Weather Monitoring tells the Economic Times.That doesn't sound much like "agricultural havoc" to me - in fact the story gets thinner line-by-line.
Yet the overall impact on U.S. agriculture may be less severe than in the Caribbean, since the summer growing season is over in cooler climates and many farmers sped up harvesting ahead of the storm. "Sandy is a big weather story, but it's mainly a human life issue on the East Coast — no real impact on crops or harvest," John Dee of Global Weather Monitoring tells the Economic Times."no real impact on crops or harvest" - does that equal "agricultural havoc"? So what's the extent of the damage discovered by this intrepid seeker-after-truth?
That's not the case everywhere, though. Localized crop damage has been severe, including at some New York City outfits like Red Hook Community Farm and Battery Urban Farm, which were flooded by several feet of seawater.A couple of urban farms? That's it? What about the rest of the 2,000-mile swath from "Cuba to Canada"? Cuba took a hit, so did Haiti, and the Bahamas reported some damage. that leaves a rather big gap between those islands and New Jersey and the "Localized crop damage" at the urban farms. There's a fairly big gap between the farms in NY and Canada too. What's the real message this article is peddling?
While no one can directly link a single storm to global warming, the wild weather of 2011 and 2012 is exactly what climate models have been predicting for years: longer droughts and stronger storms. "Before, climate change was talked about as an abstraction, something that would happen in the future," Apfelbaum says. "But the changes we're experiencing now are not abstract at all. They're very real."And there we have it - US crops not "flogged and flooded" along a "2,000-mile path", not even the part of that path over the NE states, but in a few urban farms, and some other undocumented damege, and a photo which doesn't show what is claimed - it shows Sandy hundred of miles out to sea. Climate models haven't been predicting stronger storms at all - that's a lie, pure and simple. Climate models don't predict storms, they predict (or rather are claimed to predict) climate - doh! Steven Apfelbaum is an ecologist - what does he now about climate science? He has apparently been involved in "industrial projects and parks that help clients save money while increasing ecological functionality", whatever "ecological functionality" means. What does the "alternative stormwater management" he's been involved in entail exactly? Digging big holes? And no, climate change was not "talked about as an abstraction" - it's been happening since our Earth had a climate, it's happening now, and it'll continue long after our civilisation has returned to the dust from whence it came.
This article is just an excuse for presenting the "weather is climate" message at the end. As my title says "hyperbole too small a word for it" - I can't think of a single word for this kind of "journalism" - any suggestions?