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Culture, Science & Faith

Global Warming Is Killing Everyone

Democrat Don Beyer is the latest to fudge the facts to serve the narrative.

Jordan Candler · Mar. 25, 2015

Climate change, formerly known as global warming, often takes center stage for Democrats. That’s not true of the electorate, but Democrats are undeterred. What is astonishing is the degree to which Democrats will mislead their constituents to grab the reins of power in Washington, DC.

Take newly elected Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who wooed voters by pledging to address man-made global warming with initiatives like cap and trade. On Feb. 4, Beyer wrote on his website, “In all, extreme weather events triggered over $110 billion in losses and almost 7,000 fatalities” in 2014. He reiterated that claim a month later in the Falls Church News-Press, in which he repeated, “More than 7,000 Americans lost their lives to climate change-fueled events last year.”

That’s pretty startling. And egregiously wrong. After Beyer’s assertion received backlash, spokesman Thomas Scanlon attempted to clear the air. “That number should be globally, not just in the United States,” he told PolitiFact. “We made an error in editing this column.”

Even still, the claim is deceptive. The statistic (which was actually 7,700) was derived from Germany-based insurer Munich RE, which tallies “global natural loss events.” According to researcher Peter Hoeppe, “We do not have the ability to identify the direct impact of global warming on fatalities caused by natural catastrophes, other than to say any fatality caused by the earthquake peril are not due to global warming.”

On that note, PolitiFact writes, “Of the 7,700 deaths, Munich RE estimated 850 were caused by earthquakes. The remaining 6,850 deaths, the company wrote, were caused by ‘weather-related’ events.”

But the evidence to back Beyer’s claim is essentially nonexistent. Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller notes, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself says there’s ‘limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.’” Moreover, Bastasch adds, “Not only has weather not been getting more ‘extreme’ in the last century, mankind’s ability to withstand extreme weather events has increased globally. The International Disaster Database reports that more than 3.5 million people were killed by natural disasters in the early 1930s when the world population was about half what it is today. Fast forward to 2014 and only 7,700 people worldwide were killed by natural disasters (which includes earthquakes), according to Munich Re.”

Any loss of life is a tragic part of the human condition, but 7,000 individuals is a far cry from 3.5 million. We should be thankful for the protection we have today, largely driven by fossil fuels and other economic development in the face of ecofascist opposition. But advancing the climate agenda requires alarmism.

One final note: Beyer made a career owning and operating Volvo, Land Rover, Kia, Volkswagen and Subaru dealerships. If he sincerely believes that alleviating “the harmful consequences of global climate change is the existential crisis of our generation,” as he so adamantly professes, perhaps he should start by shuttering his fossil fuel-burning, CO2-belching businesses.

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