The Patriot Post® · In Brief: Climate Change Doesn't Cause All Disasters

By Political Editors ·

Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, is no stranger to the debate over climate change. Thus, it’s no surprise to see him once again address the subject in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. He more or less asks the question: Who’s to say global warming is a bad thing?

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. That old quip, often attributed to Mark Twain or his friend Charles Dudley Warner, now guides most news coverage of severe weather. The media say that natural disasters are a result of climate change and we need to adopt radical policies to combat them.

But this framing tells only a small part of what is scientifically known. Take the recent flooding in Germany and Belgium, which many, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, are blaming on climate change. Yet a new study of more than 10,000 rivers around the world shows that most rivers now flood less. What used to be a 50-year flood in the 1970s happens every 152 years today, likely due to urbanization, flood-control measures, and changes in climate.

Some rivers still flood, and reporters flock there, but more scare stories don’t mean more global flooding.

It’s not just too much water that alarmists blame on warming. It’s too little water.

Similarly, climate change is often blamed for wildfires in the U.S., but the reason for them is mostly poor forest management like failing to remove flammable undergrowth and allowing houses to be built in fire-prone areas. Despite breathless climate reporting, in 2021 the burned area to date is the fourth-lowest of the past 11 years. The area that burned in 2020 was only 11% of the area that did in the early 1900s. Contrary to climate clichés, annual global burned area has declined since 1900 and continues to fall.

There he goes, letting facts get in the way of a narrative.

Speaking of facts, it’s certainly arguable that warming is saving lives, which all but the worst ecofascists would consider a good thing.

Every death is a tragedy, yet current warming is avoiding many more tragedies.

One of the few well-documented effects of climate change is more heat waves, which have made headlines around the world this summer. But global warming also reduces cold waves, which kill many more people globally than heat waves, according to a new study in the Lancet.

According to the study, temperature increases over the past two decades in the U.S. and Canada cause about 7,200 more heat deaths a year. But the study also shows that warming prevents about 21,000 cold deaths a year. Globally, the study shows that climate change annually causes almost 120,000 additional heat deaths but avoids nearly 300,000 cold deaths.

Lomberg is no denier. He concludes, “Climate change is a real problem we should fix. But we can’t rely on apocalyptic stories when crafting policy. We must see all the data.”

Read the whole thing here.