A sober, fact-based analysis from researchers has debunked hysterical reactions to recent devastating hurricanes that sought to attribute these phenomena to man-made global warming.
“Man-made warming did not cause Harvey and Irma,” writes economist and environmental expert Nicolas Loris. “As carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions have increased, there have been no trends in global tropical cycle landfalls.”
In fact, prior to Harvey and Irma, the United States “was in a 12-year hurricane drought,” he wrote. “More importantly, the average number of hurricanes per decade reaching landfall in the U.S. has fallen over the past 160 years.”
Loris’ analysis, unlike much of the media panic surrounding recent storms, is based on mainstream science, available to anyone willing to look for it.
In its most recent scientific assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that no “robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes … have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin,” and that there are “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency,” Loris observes.
Even the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has promoted the idea of global warming, said that it is “premature to conclude that human activities – and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming – have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.”
Loris notes that even more moderate claims, such as the idea that global warming didn’t “cause” Harvey and Irma but “supercharged” them because of higher air moisture have likewise turned out to be false.
University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass studied precipitation levels in the Gulf and found that there is “no evidence” that global warming is influencing Texas coastal precipitation in the long term and “little evidence” that warmer than normal temperatures had any real impact on the precipitation intensity from this storm, Loris wrote.
Along with the paucity of evidence that manmade global warming is having any real effect on weather patterns, Loris also comments on the flip-side of the question, namely what we could do to prevent it if we wanted to.
The policies that tax or regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are “costly non-solutions,” Loris wrote. “The U.S. could slap a $40 tax on all carbon dioxide emissions, and the ‘climate benefits’ would be hardly noticeable. By the year 2100, the averted warming would be less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius, and the averted sea level rise would be less than 2 centimeters.”
While benefits from such programs would be negligible, the costs would be “staggering,” Loris observes.
“Because carbon dioxide-emitting conventional fuels meet 80 percent of America’s energy needs, the tax would harm families multiple times over as energy is a necessary component for almost everything we make and do,” he writes. “Between now and 2035, the country would experience an average employment shortfall of 400,000 lost jobs, a total loss of income exceeding $20,000 for a family of four, and a $2.5 trillion hit to the overall economy.”
In other words, President Trump was right.
In his June 1 Rose Garden address, the President explained his reasons for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, noting its insignificant benefits and enormous disadvantages for the American people.
“The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” Trump said, while leaving American workers and taxpayers “to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”
Compliance with the terms of the Climate Accord, Trump noted, could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025—including 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs—according to the National Economic Research Associates.
Meanwhile, even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100, Trump added.
In blunt language, the President said that this agreement “is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”
In his report, Loris concludes that the political opportunism of the moment is distracting Americans from what is important: helping the people in Houston, Florida and the islands.
“Policymakers should focus on improving natural disaster response, resilience and preparedness. Blaming man-made climate change on Harvey and Irma is truly denying the data,” he said.
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