I am totally confused why a number of skeptic sites are piling on Irene forecasters who over-estimated the storm’s destructiveness. Somehow, these sites seem to conflate alarm over Irene with alarm over global warming, and thus false Irene alarm somehow reduces the believeability of global warming forecasts.
This makes no sense. Yes, the topics are vaguely related, but the models, the prediction process, even the people involved are totally different. Heck, I heard Joe Bastardi, who I believe is a skeptic, right in there with everyone else last week warning the storm would be very, very dangerous.
The only element even marginally similar is the fact that there are strong incentives that might influence the forecasts. News and weather outlets get better ratings by creating storm hype, the old joke being that the local news station has predicted ten of the last two natural disasters. And politicians would certainly rather be caught out being too careful rather than too casual about impending storms.