BY BEN PILE
WRITER AND RESEARCHER
Extreme weather is less of a threat than it ever has been.
of the 30 most deadly hurricanes to land in the US since 1850, just four occurred in the past half century. If Harvey is what ‘climate change looks like’, it looks a lot safer than the weather prior to global warming.
No matter what putative experts claim, the simple meteorological fact of the matter is that the number of hurricanes of all categories making landfall on the US has fallen.
More importantly, the human cost of all forms of extreme weather – including hurricanes – has dropped even more sharply, in the US and across the world. Whereas in the 1920s, extreme weather caused the deaths of 485,000 people per year worldwide, by the 2000s this figure had fallen to 35,000. Taking into account global population increases, this means that extreme weather caused 241 deaths per million people in the 1920s, compared with just five per million in the 2000s. Extreme weather really is not the threat greens crack it up to be.
The disparity between the world as greens see it and how it is in reality is huge. No evidence exists to say that global warming has put contemporary American lives at greater risk than those of their predecessors. There are theoretical claims that climate change ought to increase risks of extreme weather. But because extreme weather events are rare, observational statistics of weather events and their human impact do not yet bear out the theory.
Moreover, lacking a sense of proportion, greens seem incapable of understanding the difference between an increased risk of hurricanes and a catastrophic end to civilisation. Consensus science estimates the likely increase in hurricane intensity will be just two to 10 per cent by 2100 – an outcome that doesn’t match up to green hype for 2017, let alone a century into the future. But point out the difference between alarmist claims and the science or facts, and greens will accuse you of climate denial.
Environmentalism is the looming disaster, not the return of hurricanes.