Yeah, yeah, I know. If we continue on the climate track we are on, the world as we know it is going to become unlivable in 12 minus whatever years. Billions of people are in peril as I write this. Yada Yada Yada.
But, there is that pesky data that refuses to conform to the climate alarmist narrative. The U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters International Disaster Database (OFDA/CRED EM-DAT), based in Brussels, has collected data on disasters since 1900.
Patrick J. Michaels of the Cato Institute sums it up for us in an article published in November 2014 titled “The One Statistic Climate Catastrophists Don’t Want You to Know.” Mr Michaels writes with a voice of authority, being a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He has more than 3 decades experience in environmental studies. In summary, an expert on climate.
Per Michaels, we can all agree that climate change is a constant of nature. Everyone agrees that burning fossil fuels will have some impact on our naturally variable and, at times, volatile climate. The question is how much of an impact. And the pressing question is whether it will have a catastrophic impact— one so bad it justifies severely curtailing the use of fossil fuels in first- and second-world countries, while restricting the 3 billion people in third-world countries from using fossil fuels at all for energy.
Analysing data from OFDA/CRED EM-DAT, in comparing CO2 emissions, the alleged climate change perp, to the number of climate-related deaths, which reflects actual climate danger to humans, as CO2 emissions rise, climate-related deaths plunge. Wait .. what??!! That’s right, as CO2 emissions have increased, climate related deaths have decreased. Well, that kinda deflates the alarmist balloon.
In the decade from 2004 to 2013, worldwide climate-related deaths (including droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and storms) plummeted to a level 88.6 percent below that of the peak decade, 1930 to 1939. The year 2013, with 29,404 reported deaths, had 99.4 percent fewer climate-related deaths than the historic record year of 1932, which had 5,073,283 reported deaths for the same category.
According to Michaels, climate catastrophists treat the global climate system as a stable and safe place, which we make volatile and dangerous. When, in fact, the global climate system is naturally volatile and dangerous. We make it livable through development and technology. And to do so, we need abundant, cheap, reliable, scalable power. Of viable sources, fossil fuels are the most readily available (coal, oil, natural gas), but emit CO2 when they are consumed (the vastly overrated role of CO2 in climate change is written about elsewhere in this blog). Nuclear and hydro are clearly in the mix, though nuclear does have pesky waste that needs to be safely stored away for centuries. Renewables — solar and wind — are just not capable of scaling up to generate the energy the world needs.
Why don’t the alarmists acknowledge the inverse relationship between CO2 and climate deaths? Michaels sums it up in his research: “Because the dogma that man is ruining the planet rather than improving it is a religion, a source of prestige, and a career for too many people. But for the rest of us, the statistic climate catastrophists don’t want us to know is very, very good news.”