It’s been a bad month or so for ignominious ends in unusually hot and sticky conditions : drunk Russians drowning as they try to cool off from a once-in-a-thousand-year heatwave centred on Moscow; hundreds of Chinese swept away; a Darwin award surely going to the man who died whilst participating in the World Sauna Championships, thousands of Pakistanis snatched by flood waters, and then there’s poor Matthew Simmons, leader of the Peak Oilers, bursting his aorta in a private spa :-
“AUGUST 9, 2010 : Without Matt Simmons: Has Peak Oil, Well, Peaked? : By Michael Corkery : Matt Simmons, the maverick investment banker who championed the concept of peak oil, died of a heart attack in a hot tub in Maine. He was 67. Simmons is best known for raising the alarm, in books, in lectures, television interviews and to anyone who would listen, that the world’s oil reserves had peaked. The concept of “peak oil” wasn’t new when Simmons wrote Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, in 2005. In fact, peak oil was first posited by a geophysicist named M. King Hubbert in the 1950s who predicted that world oil supply would peak in 1995. But Simmons helped to being the theory to the mass media, after traveling to Saudi Arabia in 2003 to research that nation’s secretive data on oil reserves, or the amount of oil able to be pumped out of the ground. His book became an instant classic among conspiracy theorists…”
Hey ! Don’t disrespect the dead ! He made a very valid contribution to the world’s understanding that the Fossil Fuel free ride won’t last forever, and is, in fact, stopping short as I write…
Thing is, the Oil and Gas establishment has had a very hard time accepting what Matt Simmons had to say – treating him as some kind of fringe madman. There’s none so deaf as those whose internal narrative and business model won’t let them hear :-
As for the Russian heatwave and wildfire, and the forest fires going on in Canada, and the heatwave in Turkey, and the flash floods in Europe and the massive emergency disaster floods ongoing on Pakistan and China and, well…apparently we’re not allowed to say “we told you this kind of thing would happen – it’s the extreme weather events we’ve been predicting will come with Climate Change”, because James Delingpole says we can’t :-
“The BBC: still biased : By James Delingpole : August 9th, 2010…It seems that in the world of BBC news reportage there is the right kind of climate change and the wrong kind. The right kind is the sort where listeners’/viewers’ minds can instantly make the connection with CAGW [Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming]. (As Any Questions phone-in guests very quickly did with the Pakistani flooding and the Ukrainian fires: these were the result of man-made CO2 emissions, no question, apparently). The wrong kind is the type they’ve been experiencing in South America recently (and before that Mongolia) where the freakish cold (which has caused fish and even crocodiles to die) is hard to reconcile with the idea of a dangerously warming planet, and therefore unsuitable for BBC news’s proselytising narrative…”
So, to contradict James Delingpole, I will draw your attention (all of you) to something of what the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report has to say on the matter of extreme weather events. No, the world’s meteorologists and climatologists do not ignore super-cold weather events. Yes, some freakishly cold events are expected as the Climate patterns change :-
Check out the super-cold never-before-recorded grid cells here, marked with hyphens (or dashes) :-
What do we make of this unusually hot year so far ? Is this the beginning of Hell on some parts of Earth ?
To prevent increasingly wild weather, we need to change. Will the falling supply of readily available, high quality hydrocarbons provide the easy-to-follow exit signpost to a Low Carbon Energy future ?
Just the thing Matt Simmons was working on when he met his untimely end :-
“Rockland, Maine (August 9, 2010) — Matthew R. Simmons, founder of the Ocean Energy Research Institute in Rockland, Maine, passed away suddenly on Sunday. He is survived by his wife, Ellen, and their five daughters. Mr. Simmons was also former chairman of Simmons & Company International. Details of the services are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Ocean Energy Research Institute.”
Goodnight, Matt. Rest in peace.