One of the of the more disturbing effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, besides the flooding and the wind damage, has been rising calls for people to be jailed for the thought crime of “climate change denial.” Surely two category 4 storms making landfall inside a couple of weeks is proof enough that Global warming is real and that anyone who says otherwise should be declared enemies of the people and dealt with severely, according to the Washington Times, It turns out that the link between climate change and storms is dubious at best.

Is there a link between climate change and hurricanes?

A number of climate scientists, including retired Georgia Tech professor Judith Curry, has poured cold water on the idea that global warming caused Harvey and Irma to be as strong as they were. Besides the over decade long drought of super hurricanes that preceded the two storms, dating back to 2005’s Katrina, Curry suggests that weak wind shear had more to do with Irma than warm temperatures in the Atlantic.

Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach also tends to agree that neither Harvey not Irma was unprecedented. Irma actually ties as the seventh most powerful storm to hit the American mainland since records have been kept for over 150 years.

Harvey is 17th regarding destructive power.

NOAA tends to agree that at most it is premature to establish a link between climate change and the strength of Atlantic hurricanes or tropical cyclones.

Still, it is time to lock up climate change ‘deniers’

The science does not seem to have muted the calls for people who “deny’ climate change to be punished, even jailed.

Mark Hertsgaard published an article in “The Nation” that suggested that global warming “denial” is the equivalent of murder and should be punished as such. Brian Merchant, in a piece in the Outline, was a little less harsh. He believes that “denialism” is just gross negligence. Brad Johnson, executive director of Climate Hawks Vote, took to Twitter and demanded that public officials who express skepticism of human caused climate change should be jailed.

Why all the hysteria?

Marc Morano of Climate Depot opines that the hysteria stems from the decline of climate change as a potent issue. He said, “Activists have been frustrated with record number of polar bears, no acceleration of sea level, the Pause, no trends or declining trends in extreme weather and the public’s apathy.” In other words, the purveyors of the idea that human caused climate change is real and is a problem that needs addressing have abandoned reasoned scientific argument and have resorted to threats.