This is the actual headline up on Grist.com right now:
2011 climate disasters cost a record $265 billion
And the first paragraph:
Politicians might not believe in climate change, but insurance companies do. They track disasters, and it turns out that disasters just in the first six months of this year already cost the world more than any other year of disasters on record.
And then it gets really, really funny (emphasis mine):
The price tag for 2011 disasters reached $265 billion. Most of that cost ($210 billion) came from the tsunami in Japan. But earthquakes in New Zealand, tornadoes in the United States and flooding in Australia also contributed. Before 2011, the record-holding year for costliest disasters ever was 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina devastated the southeastern U.S. coast.
I’m no Nobel Prize winner like Al Gore, but I’m pretty sure that plate tectonics, and the earthquake and tsunami said plate tectonics caused in Japan — is not a phenomenon controlled by the climate.
So, we’re at $55 billion for the year. Not so bad.
UPDATE: From the comments:
Indeed, according to the original article, the NZ earthquake accounts for $20B.
And now we’re at $35B.