This is an excellent tweet thread:
"Was it caused by climate change?" is the most common question when we hear about an extreme event. But when it comes to hurricanes, that's the wrong question. The right one is, "how much worse did climate change make it?" (thread)
— Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe) August 31, 2019
It reminds me of rant I blurt out from time to time, which I will now write down, and link to when the topic comes up instead of repeating myself:
The changed climate is like a cruise ship, and we’re all on board whether we like it or not.
When you look at someone puking, you can ask “Are they puking because they’re on a cruise ship, or just puking for some other reason?” And, sure, who can say how cause leads to effect, but whatever is causing them to puke, the conditions arose on the ship, and the ship certainly isn’t helping.
“Would those people over there be dancing if they weren’t on a cruise ship?” you might ask, or, “Would that person be drinking a Mai Tai? There are Mai Tais on dry land, after all.” And yes there are. But come on.
Same goes for climate. When there’s a heat wave or a hurricane, or any other weather event, it’s all happening in a changed climate, and heat from greenhouse emissions helped create the conditions that made it possible. It might be something that could have happened anyway, just like the puking guy could have puked onshore, but it’s well past the time when that kind of nitpicking is helpful.