One of left-wing climate alarmists’ lamest propaganda tactics is to hype every large storm or weather-related natural disaster that comes along as a preventable byproduct of human activity pumping dangerous carbon emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. Because hurricanes and floods were positively unheard of before the Industrial Revolution!
It was always nonsense, and now a new report puts in perspective just how nonsensical it is. The Daily Caller reports that according to one pretty reliable metric of the toll natural disasters take on society — the financial costs of the damage done by such disasters — there’s no reason to think our weather is getting more destructive.
University of Colorado researcher Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr has taken a look at the numbers, and what he found was that, after accounting for inflation and the economy’s growth over the years, these costs have been decreasing rather than increasing since 1990:
The global economy has grown since the 1990s. Hurricane Harvey, for example, was the costliest natural disaster of 2017, inflicting $85 billion when it struck in late August. Harvey dumped record rainfall for several days over the greater Houston area.
But Harvey’s price tag would have been much smaller had it hit in, say, 1960 when Houston’s population was 60 percent less than it is today. Fewer buildings, roads and infrastructure mean the same storm can do less damage.
That’s not all, though, Pielke has noted that even without development, inflation also makes it seem like there are more $1 billion disasters today than there were in past decades. We’ve also gotten better at detecting extreme weather, including through the use of satellites.
At his blog Climate Fix, Pielke links the relevant data and sums up his takeaway:
The most important caveat: don’t use disasters to argue about trends in climate. Use climate data. Duh. (Pielke 2015 below has an accessible summary of IPCC conclusions on trends in weather extremes. See also IPCC SREX and AR5 .) Trends in the incidence of extreme weather help to explain this graph as the world has experienced a long stretch of good fortune (see Pielke 2017, linked below).
This isn’t the only hit the Left’s climate alarmism has taken this week. As TFPP reported on Friday, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s data indicates that there has been no meaningful rise in global ocean temperatures over the course of the last half century:
“The most important measurement of global warming is in the oceans,” professor of thermal sciences Dr. John Abraham wrote. “In fact, ‘global warming’ is really ‘ocean warming.’”
The new study reveals how much and how fast this “ocean warming” is occurring. The truth is far less dramatic than we’ve been led to believe.
Ocean temperatures, according to the study, have risen about 0.1 degree Celsius over the last five decades. Compare this uptake to periods of warming in the past, and the argument that man-made global warming is destroying the world’s oceans begins to fall apart.
Gee, it’s no wonder that liberals want to declare the debate over and demonize anyone who disagrees with them as “deniers.” An open discussion of the actual evidence would make it far more difficult to scare voters into adopting the policies they want.