Climate Activist: Deaths from Hurricanes Are ‘Lower than Ever’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Well-known climate activist Michael Shellenberger reported Thursday that hurricanes are not increasing in frequency and “deaths from natural disasters are at their lowest point in 120 years.”

Contrary to the fabricated hype from climate change alarmists, Mr. Shellenberger — a Time magazine Hero of the Environment and winner of the 2008 Green Book Award — writes in Forbes that “hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters aren’t getting worse. They’re getting better. Much better.”

Deaths from extreme weather have declined by a remarkable 90 percent over the last century, Shellenberger observes, despite the fact that the global population nearly quadrupled during this period and the global temperature rose by 1.3 degrees centigrade.

Among others, Shellenberger cites a new review published in a leading scientific journal, in which Professor Roger Pielke notes that not even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a reversal in the long-term trend of declining deaths, even if temperatures should rise another three degrees or more.

“If you read IPCC reports, there’s no hint that we will be overwhelmed and incapable of responding,” Pielke writes. “Even under the most extreme scenarios of climate change, future disasters will look a lot like today’s.”

In sum, Shellenberger refutes apocalyptic threats from climate alarmists by enumerating simple statistical facts.

Hurricanes are not becoming more frequent; deaths from natural disasters are at an all-time low; there is no scientific basis for claims that climate change will increase disaster deaths.

Shellenberger does acknowledge that the price tag for disaster relief is rising, but this is due to greater wealth and more expensive structures, not worse weather or climate change.

Once again citing Professor Pielke, Shellenberger notes there is “little evidence to support claims that any part of the overall increase in global economic losses documented on climate time scales is attributable to human-caused changes in climate.”

Last June, Shellenberger caused a stir when he issued a public apology on behalf of climate scientists and environmentalists for the groundless panic caused over the fabricated horrors of global warming.

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, “I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years,” he wrote.

As an Expert Reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public,” Shellenberger wrote.

In his essay, Shellenberger enumerated 12 climate myths that have been inculcated into the modern psyche, but which have no basis in scientific fact.

“Humans are not causing a ‘sixth mass extinction,’” he wrote; the Amazon “is not ‘the lungs of the world,’” and climate change “is not making natural disasters worse.”

“Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003,” he noted, and the amount of land we currently use for meat “has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska.”

“Carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for decades and peaked in Britain, Germany and France in the mid-seventies,” he added, furnishing a vital piece of information for those who would place the blame for air pollution and carbon emissions on the backs of wealthy nations.

Seeing how terrified and completely misguided people have become about the reality of climate change, Shellenberger issued an extended formal apology for environmentalist “fear-mongering” in the form of a bookApocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.


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