The Corner

Crying Apocalypse

The FT’s Simon Kuper is clear that man-made climate change is a fact — no ‘denier’ he — so these comments in an article by him in the paper’s weekend edition are worth noting:

Every time a disaster strikes, some environmentalists blame it on climate change. “It’s been such a part of the narrative of the public and political debate, particularly after Hurricane Katrina,” Roger Pielke Jr, an expert on the politics of climate change at the University of Colorado, told me. “You see the Pakistani floods or even the snowstorm over Paris, and people trot out the connection to climate change.”

The poster for Al Gore’s environmentalist film An Inconvenient Truth shows a tropical cyclone coming out of a power plant’s smokestack. The Stern report on climate change also said greenhouse gases were increasing the losses from disasters. But nothing in the scientific literature indicates that this is true. A host of recent peer-reviewed studies agree: there’s no evidence that climate change has increased the damage from natural disasters. Most likely, climate change will make disasters worse some day, but not yet.

Laurens Bouwer, of Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit, has recently reviewed 22 “disaster loss studies” and concludes: “Anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters.” Eric Neumayer and Fabian Barthel of the London School of Economics found likewise in their recent “global analysis” of natural disasters. Meanwhile, in his book The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming, Pielke writes that there’s no upward trend in the landfalls of tropical cyclones. Even floods in Brisbane aren’t getting worse – just check out the city’s 19th-century floods. Pielke says the consensus of peer-reviewed research on this point – that climate change is not yet worsening disasters – is as strong as any consensus in climate science.

That the constant attempts to link today’s disasters to climate change rank somewhere between a politician’s proclamation of ‘crisis’ and a preacher’s announcement of the End Times says nothing one way or the other about the underlying scientific case for anthropogenic climate change, but it does say a great deal about those who make such links — none of it good.   

Read the whole thing.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More