Black Swan Landing In The American Consciousness

Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0
Black Swan in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Lloyd recently pointed out a New York Times writer venturing onto the thin ice that separates reality from Fox News-induced hallucination, asking: Is The Extreme Weather This Year Due To Climate Change? The subjective answer of course is 'yes.'

A Times-story expressed concern is that good metrics correlating climate and weather extremes may never be developed, as Republicans are busy cutting grants that support the scientists who would examine the linkage. I doubt that it matters much, however. Increasingly common Black Swan Events of extreme weather are too painful to forget, even if one is totally immersed in talk radio anger.

Breaking the grip of anti-science propaganda.
Remember these?


  • Hundreds of highly damaging tornadoes in the space of a week.

  • Late summer hurricane in Vermont.

  • Half-foot of snow on the green leaves of early October, tearing branches from ancient trees.

  • Epic drought killing millions of trees in Texas.

Wikipedia provides a nice analogy for other extreme non-weather events.
Black swan events were characterized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2007 book (revised and completed in 2010), The Black Swan. Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as "black swans"—undirected and unpredicted. He gives the rise of the Internet, the personal computer, World War I, and the September 11 attacks as examples of Black Swan Events

More non-weather Black Swan Events seem feasible - almost predetermined depending on what data you look at. Examples.

  • Major social uprisings in China & also Russia.

  • War with Iran and social disorganization in other major oil producing nations causing a drastic spike in oil prices

  • Extreme spring and summer floods threaten US nuclear plants

  • Total collapse of agriculture across major portions of the US southern plains, due to continued drought.

  • Unexpected rise of a moderate, conservative political party in the USA leads Republicans to seek a return to science and logic.

How long can news media continue with the charade, pretending that severe and shocking extreme weather events were 'unforeseen' and just something to shrug at rather than prepare for more of.

Tags: Global Climate Change

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