Overhyped: The Human Cost of Climate Alarmism

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I do love tracing down how numbers kind of ricochet around the web. This investigation started when I ran across a book review in the South China Morning Post of a book called “Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change“, by Andrew T Guzman.

andrew t guzmanFigure 1. Andrew T. Guzman, law professor and environmental activist.

I’ll pass on linking to the book, TWDR, too wrong, don’t read. The book review quotes the obviously overheated author as saying:

Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics. The 10 warmest years since 1880 have all happened since 1998, he says, and cites an estimate that the annual global death toll already sparked by climate change is 300,000.

When I see an unsupported figure like an annual death toll of 300,000 from “climate change”, my urban legend detector starts like ringing like mad. Where have they been hiding the bodies? So I figured I’d go stalking the wild numbers, following their spoor to track them back to their native habitat.

To start the hunt, I had to track down the citation in the book itself. I found that Guzman’s book says:

“… climate change caused the annual loss of more than 150,000 lives (Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, puts the figure at 300,000)

OK, off we go on a new track. What the heck would Kofi Annan, failed UN envoy to Syria, erstwhile Secretary General of the United Nations, and permanent subject of corruption allegations, know about deaths from climate?

And really, three hundred thousand dead from climate change EVERY YEAR?. Three million dead from climate change in a decade? Wouldn’t someone have noticed the bodies piling up? But I digress … it turns out that Kofi wasn’t really the source of the numbers after all.

It turns out that Kofi has his own pet foundation, called the Global Humanitarian Foundation. Everyone should have their own foundation, they’re very useful. The Foundation can say what you want them to say. Then you can authoritatively claim the same thing … and cite your pet foundation as the authority for your statement. Because then, it’s no longer just your personal opinion, now you’re simply and impartially reporting the facts.

Further research revealed that said foundation has put out a puffed up PDF report called “The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis”. In the Executive Summary, we once again sight the spoor of the mystery number 300,000, showing we are on the right track:

The findings of the report indicate that every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion.

Further down, they show the following alarming graphic:

deaths from climate changeFigure 2. Scary graphic from the “Silent Crisis” report, showing just how silent the crisis must be, since people sure noticed the tsunami, but nobody has noticed the deaths shown in red . The tsunami happened once, and they say the deaths in red been happening every year for 25 years … riiiight …

Finally, on page 9, we find the following explanation of where they get the three hundred thousand deaths number:

This estimate is derived by attributing a 40 percent proportion of the increase in the number of weather-related disasters from 1980 to current to climate change.

Now wait just one cotton-pickin’ minute right there. They are saying that the three hundred thousand is only forty percent of the increase in people killed annually by the weather since 1980?

That’s hogwash, pure smoke. Lets start with the simple fact that there hasn’t been any increase in the number of weather disasters. We’re in a fairly long lull in hurricanes, there’s no trend in cyclones or typhoons or storms or droughts or floods … even the IPCC these days says there is no evidence of any change in extreme weather events. It’s just not happening, so the whole edifice of logic they are using collapses. Other than deaths attributable to moroons building on floodplains and barrier islands and the like, there hasn’t been any significant change in the mortality rate from weather events. That alone is enough to completely falsify their claims.

Second, if 300,000 deaths is 40% of the increase in deaths, that means that they claim that the increase in deaths from bad weather since 1980, not deaths but the increase in deaths, is 750,000 people per year … that number is simply not credible. For example, one of the largest weather disasters in the last 50 years was the 1970 Bangladesh cyclone. It killed half a million and that was global news. Even the IPCC says “The average annual number of people killed by natural disasters between 1972 and 1996 was about 123,000.” No way there has been an increase of three-quarters of a million annual deaths from weather in the last quarter century, that the weather deaths jumped like that. Someone would have noticed.

So just what is Kofi Annan’s pet foundation using as their authority for the 40% claim and the other numbers? Further reading brings us to this one (emphasis mine):

The 40 percent proportion is based on an analysis of data provided by Munich Re on the past trend of weather-related disasters, as compared to geophysical (i.e. non climate change related) disasters over time.5 It compares well to a 2009 scientific estimate of the attribution of climate change to droughts.11 It is assumed that the 40 percent increase due to climate change based on frequency of disasters can be applied as an approximation for the number of people seriously affected and deaths.

Munich Re??? They got their numbers from Munich Re? They’re trusting a dang insurance company? That’s what we find way down at the bottom of the edifice of bogus claims? An insurance company that makes more money if people are very, very afraid.

Everyone knows that fear sells insurance. Munich Re is one of the larger reinsurance companies in the world. For years it has been very active in climate alarmism, a wise business decision from its perspective. It can look like it cares about CO2, garner all kinds of green street cred, while selling more insurance by frightening people about climate. Win-win.

Nor should this be a surprise to any student of climate. Munich Re been running this same scam for years. I guess you have to be either Kofi Annan or deliberately obtuse to claim authority regarding climate, but not to have read any of the many articles pointing out that fear sells insurance and that Munich Re has been heavily into spreading climate fear for decades, and has made a tidy profit while doing so.

To summarize:

• Munich Re pulled some hugely improbable climate death numbers out of their corporate fundamental orifice, numbers that are clearly designed to help them sell insurance. They have no relationship to reality.

• These bogus numbers were then swallowed hook, line and sinker, and regurgitated in a report issued by Kofi Annan’s pet foundation.

• The report was then quoted by Kofi Annan.

• Kofi Annan was then quoted by Guzman

• Guzman was then quoted by the South China Morning Post.

And there we have the impeccable pedigree and provenance of the claim of 300,000 dead from climate change every year … garbage top to bottom.

Not the anthropogenic global warming supporters’ finest moment … and despite that, the damn 300,000 number will probably rattle around the internet for the next decade, and the book seems to be getting good reviews.

Go figure. They say a lie goes once around the web while the truth is lacing up its work boots … and even when falsified, the lie doesn’t stop circulating. But hey, better to light a candle than to complain about the darkness, so consider this my candle.

w.

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106 Responses to Overhyped: The Human Cost of Climate Alarmism

  1. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Beware of urban legends.

  2. M Simon says:

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    H. L. Mencken

    Which is why prohibitions are so popular.

    http://classicalvalues.com/2013/02/improving-on-prohibtion/

  3. Leo Morgan says:

    Willis, would you like to email Munich Re and ask for their source, and/or comment on your article?
    I’m tempted to do it myself, but you ought to have first refusal.
    Then you can add “To date Munich Re have declined to comment on the article.”
    Alternatively, it might give further fun in tracking down the source- is it to cynical to assume they got it from WWF or similar?

  4. markx says:

    When I read of absolutely deliberate, concocted elaborate, lying constructs such as this originating from the likes of Munich Re, while not actually seeing a conspiracy, I sure as hell know that every money making scammer is trying their best to make the most our of the game.

  5. markx says:

    Typo?

    “…Other than deaths attributable to moroons building on floodplains and barrier islands and the like…” = morons ?

    Or deliberate? (not bad!)

    Urban Dictionary: moroon
    n., constructed using the words moron and baboon. Used mainly for brutish persons, boors who aren’t too clever either. moron baboon idiot tard retard stupid silly clumsy

  6. The US federal government is quickly forcing itself into the insurance industry, so don’t think for a moment this is capitalism gone amok. It’s a government planned joining and corruption of capitalism. That’s different. Companies used to have some pride and decency, now they sign off with their overlords for guaranteed monopolies. This new aggressive government move is more in the style of Hitler’s than Stalin’s or Mao’s. It’s just a lot nicer, at least so far.

    And most people think it’s just fine. They’re impressed by the promise of social engineering. A tiny bit of history would be in order here.

    Yep, this moronic book will be applauded; it’s because of this kind of thinking we are in huge trouble; and the shakedown ain’t going to be a man-caused earthquake.

    Keep lighting the candles, y’all.

  7. “This estimate is derived by attributing a 40 percent proportion of the increase in the number of weather-related disasters from 1980 to current to climate change.”

    Wait… I’ve heard this one before.

    “Nonstatistical estimate based on unHappy Thoughts.”
    http://www.indiegogo.com/genderneutralkittenfund?a=775991

  8. Gene Selkov says:

    I confirm Munich Re doing this for decades. The first ever time I read about this (then) new line of business was in one of the issues of the Unscientific Unamerican in the early 1980s. The Unscientific then summarily alluded to “some German underwriters” refusing to insure fossil-burning businesses against weather-related events on the grounds that such events were self-inflicted rather than accidental.

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    So, they are off by 300,000 (or 315,000 according to the red bar). What’s a tiny 3 and a few zeros among friends. Of course, not being a friend of big insurance, the UN, the IPCC, and nonsense – you had to check it out.

    Well done!

  10. Al Gore says:

    Well the RE Munich creative claim is more UNEP/UNFCCC conform than the scientific facts?

  11. Paul Schnurr says:

    “…the 40 percent increase due to climate change based on frequency of disasters can be applied as an approximation for the number of people seriously affected and deaths.”

    This statement has no meaning because “seriously affected” is not defined.
    “Deaths” could be a very small number and the remaining increase of those “seriously affected” could mean anxiety attacks as far as one can tell.

  12. Blade says:

    “Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics. The 10 warmest years since 1880 have all happened since 1998, he says, and cites an estimate that the annual global death toll already sparked by climate change is 300,000.”

    Breaking News: the 10 warmest hours in the past day have occurred since sunrise.

    It’s as simple as that really. These AGW hoaxsters are all either evil or ignorant, crooks or kooks. Which category any particular one of them fall into is the only real question.

  13. Caleb says:

    RE: Leo Morgan says:
    February 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    If you ask, Munich Re will cite Andrew T. Guzman as their sourse. Full cycle!

  14. Sparks says:

    Human population is between 4 and 5.5 billion. The higher population statistic is from the UN, the last time I had this argument, figures from Wikipedia got changed (higher). When you produce so-called facts make sure you can back them up. Or do what Willis is doing, explore them.
    Where is the existent?

    There is no argument, Human population is extremely low in fact; it statistically shouldn’t exist, the big picture and what it’s all about is; we need a large human population to naturally survive. We have a whole universe to explore.

    This is what we have.
    Statistics aggravated by politics, and advice from civil servants.

  15. The report wasn’t written by The Global Humanitarian Foundation. It was written for them, by a New York PR firm called Dalberg Associates. Check out some of the references. One of the claims was based on an article in the British Independent newspaper, which itself quoted a risk management company, which was quoted as saying they knew nothing about climate change.
    The GHF was wound up a couple of years ago. They produced this report, a news item about activists in Africa with pictures of teenagers in green shirts (the Greenshirts – original, eh?) and then died of ridicule.

  16. markpro3ger says:

    2 typos:

    You accidentally said “300 million” rather than “300 thousand”

    [fixed, thanks]

    You said “moroons” instead of “morons.”

    [deliberate. -w.]

    Great article as is always the case from you!

  17. It can look like it cares about CO2, garner all kinds of green street cred, while selling more insurance by frightening people about climate. Win-win.

    The scam is they can jack up rates, because current and future climate risks are rising.

    The source is probably a number an actuary plugged into a spreadsheet modelling insurance profitability.

    The sources I have seen all show steadily declining weather related risks and mortality all across the world. In the insurance world, in which I worked briefly, declining risks = declining rates = declining profitability.

  18. Sparks says:

    Sorry our elitist rulers civil servants.

  19. James Allison says:

    TWDR?
    I did try looking it up. Terminal Weather Doppler Radar, Trade Winds Double Rocker, The Watch Dawg Report…..

  20. HenryP says:

    Don’t know how they figured out it is (still) getting warmer,
    when over the last ! 12 years (which includes one full solar cycle)
    most data sets, including my own, shows it has been cooling.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/to:2014/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/to:2014/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/to:2014/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/to:2014/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/to:2014/plot/rss/from:2002/to:2014/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2002/to:2014/plot/gistemp/from:2002/to:2014/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2014/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2014/trend
    My data sets suggest this cooling will last until ca.2038
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

    God is great. He will not allow this world to overheat. Have a nice cooling off period!!

  21. Mike McMillan says:

    Good sleuthing.

  22. Willis Eschenbach says:

    markx says:
    February 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Typo?

    “…Other than deaths attributable to moroons building on floodplains and barrier islands and the like…” = morons ?

    Or deliberate? (not bad!)

    Urban Dictionary: moroon
    n., constructed using the words moron and baboon. Used mainly for brutish persons, boors who aren’t too clever either. moron baboon idiot tard retard stupid silly clumsy

    Definitely deliberate. I had “idiots” in there first, then changed it (over the objections of my spell-check) to moroons, made up on the spot. I was unaware of the urban dictionary definition. Given that the territory I thought was virgin is already staked out, as you indicate above, I think I’ll use “a bunch of maroons” in future instead, I like that better.

    w.

  23. Willis Eschenbach says:

    James Allison says:
    February 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    TWDR?
    I did try looking it up. Terminal Weather Doppler Radar, Trade Winds Double Rocker, The Watch Dawg Report…..

    Examination of the text reveals (emphasis new):

    I’ll pass on linking to the book, TWDR, too wrong, don’t read.

    And don’t worry, I’ve been that blind many times myself …

    w.

  24. James Allison says:

    Bang head on table…..

  25. Lew Skannen says:

    I love taking independent unbiased advice from reputable sources like Munich Re who obviously have nothing to gain by ramping up fear for events which they do not believe will ever happen.
    I also asked my local aardvark salesman whether he thought that his animals would be a good investment. He said he thoroughly recommended them and would be able to find some to sell to me. I am so glad I asked, otherwise I would never have known!

  26. viejecita says:

    Dear Mr Willis Eschenbach
    I loved this piece, and am going to send it to all friends I can think about.
    And this is NOT a tale about your adventures, your gorgeous ex-fiancée, or anything like it.
    You are just Great at writing about the truth. All kinds of truth.
    Now, let us wait for what the “purists” have to say.
    As for myself, I just say
    ¡¡¡ Bravo de Nuevo !!!

  27. Steven Mosher says:

    maroon is staked out as well. When I read moroon, I thought you were alluding to bugs bunny usage of the term maroon. Dont ask me why I remember bugs as the source of this

  28. Willis Eschenbach says:

    viejecita says:
    February 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Dear Mr Willis Eschenbach
    I loved this piece, and am going to send it to all friends I can think about.

    Ay, mi jovencita, siempre me das honor …

    Salud y pesetas, my dear, y lo usual demás …

    w.

  29. thojak says:

    Well done Willis, thanks!
    Also please be reminded, that Munich Re is one of the major contributor (money) to the PIK (Potsdamer Institut f. Klimaforschung) where the ueberalarmist of all times, Prof. Schellenhuber, is the big boss. The prof is also the man behind the ‘max 2 C’-dogma-BS…
    Go figure!
    Brgds from Sweden/TJ

  30. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    February 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    maroon is staked out as well. When I read moroon, I thought you were alluding to bugs bunny usage of the term maroon. Dont ask me why I remember bugs as the source of this

    That’s great, Steven, thanks. I love it, I am sooo stealing it.

    w.

  31. Sparks says:

    To quote bugs bunny “What a maroon, what an “ignoramus” or ‘ig-nor-ra-ma-gus’ for comic effect.

  32. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Pedantic quibble:
    “Urban legend” should be urban myth. The exploits of Sergeant York http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_C._York are legendary. The exploits of Hercules are mythical.

  33. Hari Seldon says:

    No I believe every word of it., and if anything its a major underestimate. Global warming has caused more deaths than anything we have seen on the planet so far. Think of all the children dying because they don’t have electricity for water pumps or desalination systems. Think of the use of food for cars. Think of the forests denuded of wood so people can cook food. Think of the increase in world population because people are kept in the ‘dark ages’

    The lack of electricity and the introduction of biofuels has killed billions, and has caused more political instability than anything else I can think of.

    Global Warming is indeed the scourge of mankind.

  34. Sparks says:

    Cough, Yosemite Sam! Sounds like an infestation going on here.

  35. Other_Andy says:

    thojak says:

    “Go figure!”

    The whole CAGW swindle is one big incestuous scam.

  36. Peter Miller says:

    In the same vein, “but 97% of ‘climate scientists’ believe…………………………”

  37. Joseph Adam-Smith says:

    So Orwellian – the way to control people is to put them in a permanent state of fear. And the peoples fall for it, hook, line and sinker

  38. Keitho says:

    Read Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” it is a real eye opener.

  39. Me says:

    Mosher played that bugs bunny usage of the term maroon well. Just saying.

  40. Brent Walker says:

    Munich Re also provided people to the IPCC to help with the statistics and modelling.

  41. Sean says:

    When I read your title, the human cost of climate alarmism, I was not expecting an article tracking down an “urban legend” number. Rather, I was expecting an article that looked at the human toll of climate alarmism policies. The most prominent one that came to mind was the famine in the horn of Africa in 2008. Relief organizations had barely enough resources to supply a subsistence level of food when the US switch to biofuel ethanol from MTBE caused a doubling in the price of grains. Newspaper articles expected more than 100,000 to starve at the ime. Then there is the Arab Spring, it supposedly was sparked by very high wheat prices a couple years back that had again was influenced by high biofuel demand for grains. Finally, some parts of Europe had had a couple of very harsh winters which have come at a time when “green” energy policies were pushing fuel and electricity prices higher. How many have died because they did not afford adequate heat or nourishment? I suspect the human toll of “green” policies worldwide, particularly amount the world’s most impoverished, would dwarf Kofi Annan’s 300K figure.

  42. MangoChutney says:

    the more you look at Munich Re and the 300K figure, the more you realise it’s the same figure that crops up again and again – deaths from obesity in america, famine in ethiopia, general disasters per annum, etc etc etc

  43. David Chappell says:

    The South China Morning Post (my local paper) is firmly in the alarmist camp and frequently prints the most arrant nonsense of the subject of climate change. In taking the alarmist view, the SCMP is regrettably not alone in Hong Kong from the administration (that likes to call itself a government) downwards. I despair that there seem to be so few people with any critical facility here. I tried to add a link to this piece in the comments to the “review” to add some balance but, alas, comments are closed!

  44. Robert A. Taylor says:

    At Steven Mosher says:
    February 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Bugs Bunny’s use of “maroon”. Is that the origin of R. K. Maroon and Maroon Cartoons in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”?

  45. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Robert A. Taylor says:
    February 17, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Pedantic quibble:
    “Urban legend” should be urban myth. The exploits of Sergeant York http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_C._York are legendary. The exploits of Hercules are mythical.

    Dang, you pedantical guys really do like to swim upriver, don’t you?

    Words get used the way they get used, regardless of the dictionary meaning. In addition, when used in conjunction with other words as in “urban legend”, or “space opera” for a cheap science fiction movie, they often are being used in a looser, more metaphorical sense. No one expects the fat lady to sing in a space opera, yet we know what that means.

    Finally, “urban legend” approaches being what is called a “term of art”, a word which has a specialized meaning within a particular discipline. These are never required to have any connection with their normal meaning. For instance, in accounting, “credit” and “debit” are terms of art that are used in a different sense than their everyday meaning.

    So “urban legend” is both immutable and unchangeable common usage, and perfectly proper usage at that.

    More poetry, less pedantry, that’s my motto …

    w.

  46. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Me says:
    February 17, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Mosher played that bugs bunny usage of the term maroon well. Just saying.

    It was a freakin’ stunning work of conceptual art, I laughed my AO.

    w.

  47. berniel says:

    A bit of history of insurance involvement: in his much overlooked account of the early days of treaty talks and IPCC, jeremy leggett of Greenpeace describes how he worked very hard to get the insurance industry involved. He spent much energy lobbying them in the early 1990s. He could not understand their reluctance! It was (i think) at CoP1 in Berlin that he finally managed to get them to make a joint statement…but then they did not stay for the conference! They soon came ’round. More in ‘carbon wars’ by J Leggett.

  48. berniel says:

    A bit of history of insurance industry involvement: in his much overlooked account of the early days of treaty talks and IPCC, jeremy leggett of Greenpeace describes how he worked very hard to get the insurance industry involved. He spent much energy lobbying them in the early 1990s. He could not understand their reluctance! It was (i think) at CoP1 in Berlin that he finally managed to get them to make a joint statement…but then they did not stay for the conference! They soon came ’round. More in ‘carbon wars’ by J Leggett.

  49. What Munich Re and subsequent sources don’t mention is how much less deaths there are from global warming/change/catastrophes…
    Each extreme hot weather event causes some more mortality. So does each extreme cold snap. But there are differences: a cold event causes about 10 times more premature deseased than a hot snap.
    Not only that, a hot period is followed by a period with less than usual mortality, probably caused by humans which should have been death a few weeks later anyway. A cold period is not followed by a calmer period.

    As increasing temperatures statistically should give less cold snaps and more hot periods, the average mortality only gets better…

    See: http://www.bmj.com/content/321/7262/670

  50. Bair Polaire says:

    Munich Re is financing studies in co-operation with Germany’s most important (and most alarmist) Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) for one simple reason: Normally they used to make risk assessments on the basis of averages from past years. For a while now they were trying to change this. Now they base their premiums on “scientific predictions”.

    Is a general reassessment of the risk necessary?
    Jeworrek: There is no doubt that hurricane exposure has increased significantly. We must therefore continue the process of factoring this increased exposure into risk management and risk models. Many models are based on retrospective analyses. However, recent climate research indicates that exposure can no longer be presented in terms of a long-term average but must be calculated on a prospective basis. Even if the necessary improvements are made, modelling capabilities will still be subject to uncertainties, and companies will have to make allowance for these uncertainties by taking a conservative view in their risk management.

    Dr. Torsten Jeworrek is Member of the Board of Management responsible for Corporate Underwriting/Global Clients at Munich Re.

    http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/archive/opinion_we_need_to_reassess_the_risk/default.aspx

    More here:
    http://notrickszone.com/2012/10/19/the-local-munich-re-profiteering-from-climate-change-scare-stories-based-on-quasi-scientific-reports/

  51. Mindert Eiting says:

    Thanks, Willis, for this look into the charlatan’s kitchen. Here is a favorite recipe. You have to start with a bogus claim and publish that in an obscure journal or newspaper without peer review, say Bogus-1. You should publish at the same time a more exaggerated claim in another obscure journal, say Bogus-2. Your successor should publish in a more serious journal about a related subject. For example, he or she should write ‘each year an animal species goes extinct’, referring to some source, and ‘it was also found that each decade 300.000 people die because of climate change’, referring to Bogus-1. Because the reviewer is an animal specialist, he will not check or comment on the latter source. We have Bogus-3 and the news can spread. Other authors will write about those 300.000, referring to Bogus-3, and make that estimate sound by saying that a more serious number can be found in Bogus-2, which nobody will check. It’s as easy as cooking potatoes.

  52. Crabby says:

    There is just so much FEAR going on here. Now I, for one, have some types of fear. Fear of God for instance. If you have that, you are ready for any other type of fear the world can throw at you! You realise the response/counter-response of the skeptics/believers is just another set of Lies to suck people in with by the Rulers of this World. I also fear for the World after what is going to happen actually happens.

    The debt of every country is like a millstone and we’re getting closer to the water (to drown in). No-one will be able to bail out the debts of every country on earth! That is the real fear no-one should ignore. Use the fear it creates to drive a real Fear of the Lord and maybe you’ll be ultimately Saved. Better get Spirit-Filled (The Holy Spirit) People.

  53. londo says:

    Have to quote John Shelby Spong, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6I5VSZVqc)

    “Religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in the guilt producing control business”

    And further into the interview,

    “… and so they create this fiery place which quite literary has scared the hell out of a lot of people”

    Just remove “..ligion” from from the first quote and you’ve got it.

  54. Chris Wright says:

    A beautiful piece of sleuthing by Willis. Many thanks.

    As Hari Seldon pointed out, global warming really is a catastrophe for mankind. But it’s not the climate that’s the problem, in fact the mild 20th century warming has almost certainly been of great benefit to mankind. The problem is caused by government policies based on bad and sometimes fraudulent science. It is pushing up the price of energy in a world that desperately needs abundant and cheap energy, particularly the developing world. Switching cereal production to biofuels is one of the most outrageous examples. Almost literally food is being taken from empty stomachs in order to feed empty gas tanks.

    I can’t help thinking that Willis’ investigation is incomplete, however. It seems clear that the fantasy figure of 300,000 comes from Munich Re. So, exactly how did an organisation with an obvious and huge vested interest arrive at this figure? Has Munich published the actual study together with the data they based it on?
    Chris

  55. Bernal says:

    Munich Re is just doing what it is supposed to be doing. We have allowed gov’t to choose winners and losers. They are maximizing profits. I don’t think it would be very good for your career in the insurance business to call BS on climate change.

  56. viejecita says:

    Sean 1’59
    Great post. I hope your idea gets lots and lots of followers to confirm the data. And that the media publish all.

  57. Rob Potter says:

    Sean,

    While I agree with your sentiment, we should avoid the same kind of exagerration or our claims will be dismissed. MBTE replacement with ethanol accounts for very little ethanol use. It was the 10% renewables mandate which made ethanol from corn (and/ biodiesel from oil crops) so profitable that farmers began growing for fuel not food. Also, this did not “cause a doubling of grain prices” – there were many causes for food price increases in recent years and some of the blame can certainly be placed on diversion to fuel, but much more distress was caused by supply issues related to export bans and other government interventions. Corn exports from the US barely altered even though something like 20% of corn went into ethanol in some years – farmers have simply been growing a lot more corn!

    Global warming policies certainly hurt people, but let us try to avoid the same kind of hyperbole as the Munich Re’s of this world.

  58. Jimbo says:

    Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics. The 10 warmest years since 1880 have all happened since 1998, he says, and cites an estimate that the annual global death toll already sparked by climate change is 300,000.

    This claim immediately made me feel sorry for the still missing 50 million climate refugees. This was a prediction whose time was up and some investigative journalist decided to dig and lo and behold most of the areas predicted to produce refugees…………had growing populations.

    Guzman probably doesn’t realise that the world has been on a general warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid to late 1800s.

  59. Mike M says:

    It’s obvious to me that the 300 thousand bodies ended up in the same place the 50 million climate refugees went.

  60. harrywr2 says:

    It’s not just ‘fear’ that drives insurance companies to overinflate claims of disaster.

    Assets helds as reserves against future losses are generatlly considered ‘non taxable’.

    I.E. Normal business

    10,000 in income – 8,000 in expenses = 2,000 taxable income

    Insurance company

    10,000 in income – 8,000 in expenses – 2,0000 in ‘expected’ future losses = 0 taxable income.

  61. Andy Wilkins says:

    Willis,
    This is the kind of writing I like to see from you – a searing critique of some alarmist rubbish that needs exposing for the twaddle it really is.
    In future, whenever the ridiculous 300,000 number is quoted by alarmists in the blogosphere (which I’m sure they will, just like the ridiculous 97% stat they love quoting) I will be posting a link to this outstanding article of yours.

    Best wishes,
    Andy

  62. starzmom says:

    This reference sourcing is pretty common in academic literature as well. Law review articles for example. I crusaded against it at my law school to no avail. One legal climate change author cited 4 different sources for sentences saying essentially the same thing 4 different times, and all went back to the same insurance paper. That had to do with the increasing prevalence of forest fires being attributable to increasing global warming. (And he’s a chaired professor at a major law school.)

  63. Jimbo says:

    I wonder why Munich Re is one of the many profits of doom [no typo].

    Munich Re self-exposes their scam with no shame. Follow the fear and money trail.
    http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/default.aspx

    19 October 2012
    ‘The Local’: Munich RE “Profiteering From Climate Change Scare Stories Based On Quasi Scientific Reports”……

    The PIK and Munich RE working hand-in-hand……..

    Warren Buffet and the Munich RE…………….
    Notrickszone

  64. chris y says:

    The book review states-

    “Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics.”

    Statistician William Briggs states why this sentence destroys the book’s ability to prove anything-

    “If you need statistics to prove something, and you have no proof except statistical proof, then what you have proved probably isn’t true. Statistical evidence is the lowest form of evidence there is. What a depressing conclusion.”

    William Briggs, statistician, October 5, 2011

  65. Chuck L says:

    Steven Mosher says:

    February 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    maroon is staked out as well. When I read moroon, I thought you were alluding to bugs bunny usage of the term maroon. Dont ask me why I remember bugs as the source of this

    OK Mosher, all is forgiven. Anyone who is a Bugs Bunny fan is all right by me!

  66. DirkH says:

    “Not the anthropogenic global warming supporters’ finest moment ”

    The warmist movement is a global machine churning out lies to prod the working population into feeding them. Whether the lies is produced through a chain of four citations or through 100,000 iterations of a formula in a computer is irrelevant. The lie has been produced, the global media controlled by the warmists will amplify it, and the worlds working population will continue to feed the warmists.

    Until the economy collapses from the weight of the ever growing parasite.

  67. WillR says:

    Today The Star is offering proof of migration due to Climate Chage. Here is their proof…

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/02/16/climate_change_forcing_thousands_in_bangladesh_into_slums_of_dhaka.html

    She is a climate change refugee.

    Climate change is expected to trigger a migration like no other.

    Experts expect about 250 million people worldwide to move by 2050. Of those, 20 million to 30 million climate change refugees are expected to be in Bangladesh, likely the largest number from one place.

    As extreme weather, floods and drought force them to flee their homes, most will head to the capital.

    They have said it’s so… Is that not proof enough? Who could me more reliable than our Toronto paper know affectionately as “The red Star”. Someone like me may say they made a statement with no proof… others may be less forgiving.

  68. Robert of Ottawa says:

    The old principal Habeus Corpus applies to all such numerical claims – where are all the dead bodies?

  69. Jimbo says:

    One thing’s for sure, people and wildlife are certainly dying from climate change ‘prevention’ policies.

    Food to fuel in Africa lead by British firms in a new style land grab.

    A toxic lake in Mongolia due to dirty mining for rare Earth metals used in wind turbines poisons farmers and children.

    Massive deforestation in Indonesia and other countries to grow palm oil and releasing toxic, life threatening ozone pollution and more more co2 into the atmosphere.

    Higher energy bills, partly due to tackling climate change kills up to 200 elderly every day in UK winter.

    UK unprepared with grit for harsh winters in the past due to Met Office alarmism which lead to unnecessary deaths and so on……………………………..

    The list of criminal negligence, alarmist and greed has certainly killed people. Now, I wonder weather [no typo] we have a figure for the number of deaths caused worldwide by climate change policies?

    Having stoked up the global warming alarm, the likes of the World Bank, Guardian, UN etc. now express their concerns about people and the environment caused by the very same alarmism they espouse so strongly. In years to come we really do need an international court to look into these crimes against humanity and the environment.

  70. Craig Loehle says:

    Munich Re states “an approximation for the number of people seriously affected and deaths.”–this is SERIOUSLY AFFECTED and deaths. What does “seriously affected” mean? If they did not drown from nonexistent sea level rise, is this counting droughts that hurt crops as seriously affecting people? oh, wait, no trend in droughts. If I recall correctly, the Munich Re figures are actually based on all disasters, mixing earthquakes in to get the high numbers. And they forget to count rising population and more people living where hurricanes hit, as Pielke points out. And then the “seriously affected” part is dropped and they are all deaths. It is a pea under the shell game. It is like the derivation of some figures for “rape” where the initial survey counted unwanted attention, dirty jokes in your presence, and having your bottom pinched as “assault” and then the stat became “sexual assault” which then became rape, with a figure of something like 2/3 of women have been “raped”. It is like Alice in Wonderland use of language.

  71. Bill_W says:

    From Mango Chutney:

    “Pielke Jr demolished the claim a few years back (2009)
    http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2009w21/msg00262.html
    http://www.financialpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=6cb93722-f73a-4115-8583-9fd11db8b38e
    MangoChutney says:
    February 17, 2013 at 2:06 am
    More here:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.cz/2009/06/ghf-responds.html

    good comment at #4″

    To save people the time of reading it, the 2nd link and comment 4 point out that the way this other group says they got the 315,000 number was to add 4% of the deaths from malaria, diarrheal, and other tropical diseases to about 15,000 estimated from weather related increases. Then when commenter 4 looked it up, the numbers cited by this group and their sources varied by a factor of roughly 2 (or 3?) in death estimates. Malaria was either 900,000 a year or 1.5 million. And total tropical disease deaths (paraphrasing here) were like 2.2 to 2.5 million in their sources but 7.5 million was the number they used to multiply by 4% to get 300,000. So even if you add the 2.5 million to the 1.5 million it is 4 million, not 7.5 million. I can’t remember if the 2.5 million included malaria or was only for diarrheal, but either way, once again it shows the numbers are guesses based on over-estimations and extrapolations. And all simply assume that if the numbers went up you could just blame it on something they call global warming or climate change. You will have to click on the links to get the actual numbers but this gives you an idea of the contents.

  72. Mike Wallace says:

    Munich Re is 10% owned by Berkshire Hathaway – Warren Buffet. It is very profitable.

  73. jorgekafkazar says:

    Guzman anchors his doom-laden case in statistics. The 10 warmest years since 1880 have all happened since 1998, he says, and cites an estimate that the annual global death toll already sparked by climate change is 300,000.

    Guzman anchors his case in P.O.O.M.A. numbers. (“preliminary order-of-magnitude approximations”)

  74. Jimbo says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    February 17, 2013 at 3:15 am

    What Munich Re and subsequent sources don’t mention is how much less deaths there are from global warming/change/catastrophes…

    Good point. AGW is supposed to make itself felt greatest in norther higher latitudes.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/23/new-peer-reviewed-study-global-warming-lowers-death-rates/
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-009-9774-0

  75. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D. says:

    Thanks, Willis – good stuff.

    Just FYI, you’ve stumbled across something that’s been going on in the background – an attempt (ex post facto) to turn AGW into the biggest insurance scam in history. (They didn’t “create” AGW, but they’re trying to ride it.)

    I realized this by accident more than five years back. I had been asked to write some rather anodyne pieces (for online publication) on what you find when you apply statistical analyses to temperature data (it’s interesting what happens when you start to group data in the proper statistical way – by standard deviation). I found myself under a sudden, vitriolic, and downright-threatening attack by some lunatic who did the whole nine yards – including screaming that I was an “anti-science zealot.”

    That was interesting, being an engineering Ph.D. and being called that. When a few of us looked into the identity of the assailant, it turns out that he’s activist environmental lawyer who had worked in the insurance industry.

    Just think about how AGW can be a godsend (?!) for the insurance industry – you can both raise premiums due to “increased projected risk” (and pocket the excessive profits (!?) when they don’t happen), *and* you can offload the payment of claims to other third parties as being culpable (as opposed to having to pay claims due to a force majeure, such as a major storm).

    A couple of examples alone make this clear. Post-Katrina, a lawsuit was filed in the Gulf Coast region, trying to assign the Katrina damages to various producers of hydrocarbon fuels; I don’t know if the suit is still going on, but it surprisingly wasn’t thrown out immediately. And in Australia, property insurers have already raised premiums on coastal properties based solely on alleged “AGW” risks. Those are just two examples.

    (BTW, one thing I learned from the ravings of my semi-deranged assailant is that the AGW-insurance folks seem to look to Prof. Emanuel of MIT as their guru. He’s now known to not be a disinterested party. I’ll stop there.)

  76. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Today, 17 February, is Willis’ birthday. I am choosing to write a bit about him. Today is also Gary Bohanan’s birthday. (They don’t know each other to my knowledge.) Gary was born the year before Willis. These two men have many years and are wise in my experience, and both have one characteristic that I admire. Both are as open and honest in their person as anyone I’ve ever known anything about, and both are totally committed to honesty and truth. To me, that is as high praise as I can raise, and I thank them both for enriching my life.
    After the summer of 2012, Willis posted very sparsely at WattsUpWithThat until after the first of this year. I noticed. I suspect I was not alone. I missed his insights regarding facts and life.
    Now that Willis has found time to write the stories so many of us here at WUWT encouraged him to write, I notice a few naysayers. What’s up with that? I for one thank Willis for his writing and his insights. Time is not free, nor unlimited, and I appreciate the effort expended and given to us.
    Another attribute Gary B. has with Willis is intelligence and insight. There is too little of it in the world today; I think it worth acclaim when it shows up. The time to read something Willis wrote is always worthwhile and invariably enriching. Didn’t Galileo say (approximately), “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him”? I apply that to what I read, and with Willis, even if what he wrote has nothing to do with what I thought when I started, I still find a wealth of useful information and insight that I can apply, hopeful to be a better person, and hopefully to pass forward in helping someone else.
    With regard to running a blog, I am trying, as can be seen by the fact I reblogged this post to mine. I have only one objective in my blog, and that is to record whatever I think worth recording, for whatever reason. I would post a lot more if I reprioritized my time, but with my crew, well, I’ll keep the family as top priority as well as I am able.
    Anthony has a different objective, but not by a lot. Mostly, Anthony’s posting decisions have proven to be worthwhile for millions of online viewers. That is an accomplishment! Anthony has consistently made decisions that millions of readers have approved of, and proven by the page views.
    Anthony has chosen to include Willis as an author, moderator, and driver of WUWT, and it seems obvious to me that this was another of Anthony’s wise decisions with regard to WUWT. I am glad of it, and I thank him and Willis for it. I also note that Willis has never chosen to try to set up his own blog (that I have discovered). I see that also as a wise decision, but mostly, it is Willis’ decision. He can, and should, do as he pleases. I applaud his decisions as I have seen them. While I hold Willis with exceptional esteem, I view the other contributors here at WUWT as worthy of my time, and I thank Anthony for hosting them—all of them. The only complaint I ever have pass through my mind related to WUWT is the fact that I seldom have the time to take it all in! I am glad of the cornucopia of styles, subjects, perspectives, and information at WUWT, and I make it a point to visit as often as practical.
    For this particular post of Willis’, well, it is another example of Willis’ razor-sharp insight, showing readily how easy it is for people to lie, and how easy it is falsify a lie, at least if you put forth the effort and do a little research. Thanks for the data point, Willis, and happy birthday.

  77. Blarney says:

    Willis, as others have pointed out, that 300k figure doesn’t come from Munich Re but from WHO’s “Global Burden of Disease” report, that calculates a 4% increase of the current annual death toll in the poorest areas of the planet, primarily due to the increase in average temperatures and its consequences on infectious illnesses.
    The point here in my opinion is not the number per se, but the two little details which are usually not left unmentioned: that is “increase” and “4%”. This means that 96% of the deaths caused by infectious diseases in the poorest countries have nothing to with climate change, but – surprise!- with poverty. Now, since GDP and CO2 emissions are highly correlated, it turns out that any increase in CO2 emissions (leaving aside possible catastrophic consequences of climate change, which have nothing to do with the 300k figure) is extremely likely to vastly REDUCE the death toll of infectious diseases. Which should be obvious from the start to any rational person.

  78. Jeff Norman says:

    Willis,

    You missed a bit of fun in regards to the original graphic which indicates that the annual average number of deaths between 2004 and 2008 of the Indian Ocean tsunami was 225,000 people. This suggests that the 2004 tsunami killed a total of 1,125,000 people between 2004 and 2008.

    According to the GLOBOCAN, cancer fact sheet, there were 458,000 deaths attributed to breast cancer in 2008 which suggests a decreasing trend based on the graphic, which is good news (unless of course these deaths are now being attributed to GW/CC/EW).

  79. climatebeagle says:

    Interesting, a while back I tried to track down the source for the number of dead due to the 2003 Russian heatwave, and ended up at Munich Re. Munich Re did explain the process for calculating the number, comparison of death rates for Moscow and surroundings before and during the heatwave, but not the raw figures. When I looked it seemed I could never access the Russian web-site that held the raw figures.

  80. Jeff Norman says:

    Willis,

    And another thing, in 2003, 14,802 mostly elderly people died when a heat wave hit France and thousands of vulnerable people were left to fend for themselves. This was big NEWS with allegations made at GW/CC/EW. Since then there have not been any similar stories except for the misguided few who link earthquakes and tsunamis to GW/CC/EW. One would think that there would have to be given the 300,000 annual deaths being bandied about.

    And regarding the disease deaths being attributed to GW/CC/EW, does this include the subsequent deaths resulting from the breakdown in infrastructures after the 2004 tsunami?

  81. HaroldW says:

    Willis –
    I note that “The average annual number of people killed by natural disasters between 1972 and 1996 was about 123,000″ which you quote from IPCC TAR WG2 Chapter 9.5, is not sourced there. Even that figure seemed high to me for weather-related events — perhaps it included earthquakes or other non-climatic categories? So I went to the International Disaster Database and did some research. For 1972-1996, the total disaster death toll comes to about 2.5 million by their reckoning, or 100,000 per year. The top contributors are:
    Drought 675K
    “Complex disasters” 610 K
    Earthquake 490K
    Storm 257K
    Flood 139K
    Epidemic 112K
    Transport accident 95K

    So that clearly the 100K per year already includes non-climate events.

    [The "Complex disasters" is for N. Korea, 1995, and appears to be the flood & subsequent famine. Wikipedia: "The major issues created by the flood were not only the destruction of crop lands and harvests, but also the loss of emergency grain reserves, as much of it was stored underground." The majority of the death toll was from famine, not flood, and it may well have exceeded 1 million and perhaps 2. I'd attribute the majority to the government and not to Nature, but I accept that this is not likely to be agreed by all. So leave the figure as stated.]

    Including their categories for Complex Disasters, Drought, Storm, Flood, Extreme temperature, and Wildfire, I get a total of 1.7 million deaths over the period 1972-1996, or about 68K per year. Excluding the Complex Disaster category, 43K per year. Not 123K per year.

    Nothing like inflating 123K/year to an increase of 750K/year, though.

  82. Gail Combs says:

    Sean says: @ February 17, 2013 at 1:59 am
    ….. I suspect the human toll of “green” policies worldwide, particularly amount the world’s most impoverished, would dwarf Kofi Annan’s 300K figure.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You beat me to it. The famine deaths are very hard to get a handle on since there were a number of factors and even the number of deaths are hard to track down.
    “We Made a Devil’s Bargain”: Fmr. President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies that Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming

    How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis

    Fuel Povery deaths are a bit easier
    Climate Change Challenge dot ORG:
    24,650 people over 65 died in 2005/2006. During that period 2.5 million households were in fuel poverty. There is a danger that with fuel poverty levels rising to 5.5 million in 2007 this figure could seriously increase especially if there is a Flu epidemic such as the one in 1999/2000 where there were approximately 59,000 excess winter deaths.

    The Independent:
    UK Feb 2012: Some 7,800 people die during winter because they can’t afford to heat their homes properly, says fuel poverty expert Professor Christine Liddell of the University of Ulster. That works out at 65 deaths a day.

    The Register
    … WWF – endorsed by no less a body than the European Space Agency – has stated that economic growth should be abandoned, that citizens of the world’s wealthy nations should prepare for poverty and that all the human race’s energy should be produced as renewable electricity within 38 years from now.

    The Mirror
    UK – As energy prices go through the roof, shocking figures reveal one in four families has been plunged into fuel poverty.

    The data from the following report, Fuel Poverty in Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Spain – relation to grid charging and renewable energy, is probably OK, the conclusions are not. It is the typical CYA document. The factors conspicuous by their absence are:
    1. The higher rate of inflation in the UK and Spain link
    For the USA it was 1.74 % in December 2012, the UK was 2.73 % and Spain was 3.00%. Euro Area Inflation Rate Down to 2.0 Percent in January 2013

    2. Export of jobs due to high energy costs.
    EU Unemployment Rate Hits Historic High… the euro zone hit a record high of 11.8 percent in November, [for spain and Greece it is over 25%] ..Unemployment for workers under 25 is now closer to 60 percent than 50 percent in Spain and Greece…

    3. Loss of value of old age pensions. Pensions attack: institutionalised looting: …changed the basis on which pensions are calculated, by moving from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Prices Index, an EU model that ignores key British economic indicators such as mortgage payments… the fact that it gives them an easy way to devalue pensions. The net result is to reduce the value of pensions by around 1 per cent a year and to cut pensions benefits by £84 billion over the next 15 years. This will contribute to a poverty-ridden elderly working class….
    PRUDENTIAL:EU ruling ‘will devalue pensions’

    Fuel Poverty in Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Spain – relation to grid charging and renewable energy by Xero Energy Ltd

    Overall the analysis found that EWD rates were higher in countries with milder winters, reflecting again a north-south split in the data. Again, of the northern European countries
    shown, the UK fares the worst with a higher EWD rate than Germany or Denmark.

    [graph shows Germany ~ 11%, Denmark ~ 12%, the UK ~ 17% and Spain at ~ 21%

    The dance around the real cause GC]

    Summary
    A general conclusion is that there appears to be no association between a country’s renewable
    energy penetration level, and the incidence of fuel poverty….

    There is no clear relationship between fuel poverty and energy prices from the above…..

    Cross-country comparisons suggest that low energy prices are not a necessary pre-requisite
    for tackling fuel poverty. Other countries, with consistently higher energy prices than the
    UK, have consistently lower levels of fuel poverty…..

    Targeted taxation on energy to fund long-term improvements need not exacerbate fuel
    poverty if it is carefully designed….

    Key points are:
    • Higher energy prices do not need to be a driver for increasing fuel poverty levels but will
    in general be a contributing factor.

    • The UK in particular focuses on low capital solutions for provision of heat but focuses
    less on longer term measures such as housing quality.

    • Vulnerable customers in the North of Scotland cannot access the cheapest available prices
    on the market. This should be a point of enquiry with energy companies and Ofgem.

  83. kencoffman says:

    The funny thing is, there is no lack of real threats we could spend our money fighting–where few would object. For example, who here would complain about spending a few odd billion on improving our knowledge about all the debris floating in space and figuring out how to deflect the big ones?

  84. DaveG says:

    Thank you Willis.
    Obama has given the alarmist their 2nd wind, they are in full battle cry. The EU has just announced the slow death nail for Europe’s economy by stating a full 20% of the EU budget will be pissed away on Green energy projects. Governments around the western world are in full suicide mode while the citizens are losing faith in the face of ever increasing food, energy and living cost on top of BS and lies. Incomes for most people are on a slide. Unemployment is rampant in the west. The next few years are going to be very interesting times and the progressives don’t give a dam about the cliff they are driving us towards!

  85. Mike (from the high desert of Western Nevada) says:

    Speaking of Northern higher latitudes; a lot of tourists from those areas spend time in sub-tropical
    climates like Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Seychelles etc. It is not much of a pivot to include all these vacationers in the millions of climate emigrants. Beefing up the cause while causing more air pollution. Sort of a win win by lose lose scenario.Anything for the cause.

  86. Jimbo says:

    Expect more corpses showing up in your area soon. 100 million by 2030 if we don’t act now. :-(

    “Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/26/climate-change-deaths_n_1915365.html?utm_hp_ref=green

  87. John F. Hultquist says:

    kencoffman says: “For example”

    The take-away from this past week’s cosmic visitors might be that it is almost impossible to see the one aimed directly at you, and the others don’t matter. As for “a few odd billion,” well, why not? The UN can ask its members with excess cash to fund this. The USA will have to set this one out, however.

  88. Kitefreak says:

    “Where have they been hiding the bodies?”…..

    Exactly. Where are the refugees? This same crap gets repeated on BBC Radio Scotland occasionally, regularly (I listen to it on the way to work and sometimes I shout back loudly at the radio). They have some Greeny Weeny on, citing BS figures like these. Climate refugees – give me a break! I can’t remember exactly, but I think the guy they had on this time said X number of people had already died as a result of climate change. Like Willis said: show me the bodies. Prime time radio from the state broadcaster. Go figure.

  89. manicbeancounter says:

    As Willis has shown, the only environmental bit about the 300,000 deaths per year is in the recycling somebody else’s garbage.
    In a similar spirit of recycling, I have updated an posting I made in August 2009 looking at the issue – 300,000+ per annum dead due to Climate Change?. This includes a number of references, for more of the backstory, along with the earlier claimed 141,000 deaths a year claimed in 2002 by the World Health Organisation.

  90. rogerknights says:

    Hey Willis, regarding your “terms of art,” usage expert Bill Walsh called them “time-honored rhetorical figures.” Here’s his amusing passage on the topic:

    When Martha Stewart’s name was mentioned in an insider-trading scandal and Stewart moved to the business section [of the newspaper Walsh copy-edits] from what used to be called the “women’s pages,” writers got creative in describing to readers who might not be familiar with Stewart what exactly she does for a living. Domestic diva was one popular description.

    The we-take-everything-literally brigade doesn’t take anything lightly, and this was no exception. Stewart, it turns out, is not “(n.) a leading woman singer, especially in grand opera.”

    Where do I begin to argue with that logic?

    In other news, Aretha Franklin is neither the queen of soul nor any other form of royalty. Babe Ruth, likewise, may have had plenty of swat, but he was no sultan—that is, “(n.) a Muslim ruler.” Ted Williams, a splendid splinter?—uh-uh. He was no more made of wood than Mike Tyson was made of iron.

    Bill Walsh, The Elephants of Style, p. 173

  91. anarchist hate machine says:

    They may very well be correct about the amount of lives that were/will be lost from climate change; due to the amount of poverty that climate change policies cause.

  92. PaulH says:

    So (one time) mortal enemies Big Green and Big (Insurance) Business team up. Naturally it follows that this new collaboration will have to target a new, common enemy – and that would be the common populous.

  93. Coldish says:

    Re Bill_W, Feb 17, 6.43:
    One of your sources seems to be suggesting that malaria is a ‘tropical’ disease. Well, it is but only in the sense that, one could say that humans are a tropical species. Some humans live in the tropics and some malaria cases occur there. However neither humans nor malaria require a tropical climate. Both require fresh water for survival; malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes which require standing fresh water to reproduce; to transmit the disease the mosquitoes also have to be carrying the malaria parasite. Such an environment can and does occur in any climatic zone except those where water is permanently frozen or absent through aridity. The incidence of the disease is unaffected by local or global warming or cooling. So figures for deaths, illness or losses related to climate change should omit malaria.

  94. Annie says:

    Jimbo @ 6:26 am:

    The crimes against humanity performed in the cause of “tackling Climate Change” are of a piece with the incredible fuss being made here in the UK and the EU over the horsemeat scandal and the apparent lack of any action being taken to bring criminal charges against those responsible for the disgraceful neglect of thousands of NHS patients.

    The world is completely skewed in its priorities.

  95. jon shively says:

    Willis:

    Great piece of detective work! It reminds me of the evaluation of IPCC AR 4 fake references that were not peers reviewed sources. The evaluation and comments here got me to thinking who are the major benefactors of the hype about AGW? Besides Al Gore, there are many who perceive that they will benefit if global warming is caused by man’s effect on the atmosphere. The key for all the benefactors is to spread the unfounded idea that the populace has reason to fear the effects of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Without fear of a warming climate, a 0.3 degree Celsius increase in the average temperature of planet would not seem worrisome particularly since the planet has been warming since the 1880’s and that it was warm enough at one time for the Vikings to inhabit and farm Greenland.
    If you were part of any of the institutions below, would you speak up against international and federal governmental claims, including the president, that global warming is a very serious problem and that the effects on climate are catastrophic? Fear mongering is far more effective for getting a populace and aligned groups to demand that something be done before it is too late than by announcing that the average temperature will increase by 0.3 0C by 2020. Fear strengthens group think! Here is my general list of benefactors from fear. I bet you can add to it.

    1. The federal government agencies and regulators
    2. The democratic party and its elected politicians
    3. The mainstream press and media industries
    4. The home and business insurance industries
    5. The alternate energy industries
    6. The biofuels industries
    7. The automotive industry, especially GM and Toyota
    8. The Institutions of high learning with significant research activities
    9. The film industry
    10. The natural gas industry
    11. The major farms and farming industries
    12. The United Nations
    13. The public utilities
    14. The weather predicting institutions
    15. The Carbon traders and investors
    16. The investment and banking industries
    17. Energy and climate research institutions
    18. Professional research societies and organizations
    19. Progressive and environmental political institutions
    20. Environmental public relations institutions
    21. Unfriendly nations and associated political organizations
    22. Environmental political action committees

    As a result each and all of them have become advocates for controlling CO2 emissions to prevent a catastrophic climate change on the planet whether is true or not. It doesn’t really matter politically. They all believe that they will benefit financially too. Why else would we need a carbon tax but to share the wealth with all these benefactors?
    If these institutions and organizations are the proponents for the fear of climate change, who are the antagonists?
    1. The mainstream energy industries, coal, nuclear, natural gas(?) and oil
    2. The middleclass taxpayers
    3. Small companies
    As a result there is no real opposition to the fear of catastrophic climate change. The mainstream energy industries have no credibility because they are the primary cause of the fear of CO2 and are competitors. The other two groups have no power with which to fight back. Who is left to defend them? There are a few conservative media sources, a few conservative political groups and a few conservative internet BLOGS that have been attempting to shine light on the truth but who live precariously knowing that by federal fiat they could be silenced.
    Willis it is mandatory that we each, along with you, light a little candle because there isn’t anyone else to light up a truth for ourselves and for our children and friends to see. More importantly we need to move our candles out into the areas of darkness where we all live.

  96. Manfred says:

    Brent Walker says:
    February 17, 2013 at 1:56 am
    Munich Re also provided people to the IPCC to help with the statistics and modelling.
    ——————————————

    Sad and true.

    IPCC nominates lead authors for the next assessment reportTwo Munich Re employees are among the experts nominated to be lead authors for the IPCC’s next assessment report, due to be completed in 2014. Dr. Eberhard Faust and four other scientists will be lead authors of the chapter on the economic impacts of climate change. Dr. Sandra Schuster, together with five other scientists, will be lead author of the chapter on impacts in Australasia. The lead authors and coordinating lead authors are responsible for different chapters in the IPCC’s assessment report, which is subject to peer reviews to ensure scientific quality standards are maintained. Nominated authors (individuals, not institutions) are chosen on account of their specialist knowledge.

    Eberhard Faust, a geoecologist, has worked in Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research since 2004. Sandra Schuster is a meteorologist who has been working in the field of natural hazard risk research at Munich Re, Sydney, since 2006

  97. Kajajuk says:

    Pandering for profit!

  98. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Well it’s awfully late, and I was surprised at your responding to something I almost didn’t do because it was off topic, but:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 17, 2013 at 2:37 am
    Robert A. Taylor says:
    February 17, 2013 at 12:28 am
    Pedantic quibble: ∙ ∙ ∙

    Dang, you pedantical guys really do like to swim upriver, don’t you?
    Words get used the way they get used, regardless of the dictionary meaning. ∙ ∙ ∙

    Understood and agreed. Words mean whatever the current usage is. If a word, phrase, clause, whatever is understood properly by the intended audience it is correctly used. As I said, it was a pedantic quibble. Some examples:
    “fulsome”: originally fully, then oily, extravagant, and insincere; now going back to the original meaning. I’m rarely sure immediately which way it is being used.
    “awful”: originally full of awe; now horrid.
    “directly”: originally immediately, now in a short while.
    “I could care less”: literally meaning I care somewhat; used ironically as “I could NOT care less.” I still wince at this, as people do not use ironic inflection.
    “no love lost between them”: In Shakespeare and literally meaning very loving; usually used with the opposite meaning. This still causes me a start.
    “with (between [any preposition] [name] and I”: I hate this “error of pretentious ignorance.” This once was a dumb blond, Marilyn Monroe in character, joke. The rule, still taught in elementary schools, is, “Pronouns used as objects must be in objective case.”
    A few years ago I read a history of Scotland; written by an Englishman naturally. The author used political liberal in its original sense, meaning small government, with limited powers, granting full personal freedom.

    I am well over sixty, and have witnessed the increasing lack of precision and conciseness in American English, under the influence, I believe, of political propaganda and commercial advertising. It has become more emotionally warm and fuzzy, and less and less able to express things exactly without wordiness, which in itself makes it less understandable. For example if I say Sergeant York’s exploits are legendary. I must now include more words to insure people do not think I mean as mythical as Hercules’. I want Kipling’s “straight flung words and few.” I was taught, “sense before style”, and “If a word, phrase, clause, sentence, etc. is not necessary, it is necessary to omit it.”
    Were our elementary education system “up to snuff”,”urban legend” would have almost immediately become “urban myth”. I believe the Brits actually do say this. At least I have heard and read it so used by them. Most people do not seem to care about the meaning and usage of words, leading to endless, sometimes intentional I believe, confusion.

    Naturally I understand a story, prose or poetry, fact or especially fiction, is usually intended to produce emotional responses as well as pass factual information. I also understand writing and speaking in the manner most effective to the author’s or speaker’s intentions and the audience’s understanding.

    Another matter, of importance to me at any rate, is the cross generational misunderstanding produced. Much of Shakespeare’s humor, scatology, and near pornography is understandable only through study. This is a loss, as they have little impact when they must be puzzled out. When English has been altered to the current level of understanding of Chaucer, it will be an ever greater loss.

    As to “swim up river”; would I be a skeptic on CAGW if that bothered me? Would you be if it bothered you?

  99. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Robert A. Taylor says:
    February 18, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Well it’s awfully late, and I was surprised at your responding to something I almost didn’t do because it was off topic, but:

    … [lots of good stuff snipped] …

    As to “swim up river”; would I be a skeptic on CAGW if that bothered me? Would you be if it bothered you?

    First, thanks kindly for the lovely examples. I particularly liked “no love lost between them” to mean they gave all their love to each other, fascinating.

    Second, what I meant by “swim upriver” is that there are certain things you might be able to affect in the way of grammar and usage. But “urban legend” is now a catch-phrase, a shorthand description, and the idea of protesting against it, well, to me that’s like protesting against the moon or something, it’s just a fact.

    Finally, you say:

    Were our elementary education system “up to snuff”,”urban legend” would have almost immediately become “urban myth”. I believe the Brits actually do say this.

    In American English, you’d say “someone told me about Bigfoot, but I thought it was just a legend.” My Merriam-Websters dictionary says for legend, very first definition, “a story coming down from the past: esp : one popularly regarded as historical, but not verifiable”. In other words … Bigfoot.

    So how on earth is a story handed down from one person to another about spiders living in a woman’s hairdo not a “legend”, in particular one of the urban variety? It’s regarded as historical, it’s not verifiable, it’s a story coming down from the past, why is it not an urban legend?

    Now, I can understand the urge for pedantry. But that story about the spiders has been passed down orally since I first heard it as a kid, it’s claimed to be historical, it’s not verifiable, and my dictionary is blinking LEGEND LEGEND LEGEND in big letters … what am I missing? This seems to be more hairsplitting than pedantry.

    All the best, and I do like your passion for the language.

    w.

  100. don says:

    I like that graph. Well, you know what I say? They should live up to their precautionary principle: Every American female should have their breasts amputated to prevent future breast cancers. Failure to do so should result in a health care penalty tax for excessive boobs.

  101. Robert A. Taylor says:

    You are right about “legend”. Remember that definitions in dictionaries are in chronological order, not in order of importance from most to least. I use “legend” that way because it was drummed into me in elementary school. Perhaps I just want to make everyone suffer as I did. “Legend” is equivocal, “myth” isn’t. To be sure everyone understands immediately use the unequivocal one. It is still a pedantic quibble, and not worth the time, space, and effort we’ve put in.

    I wish I wrote half as well as you. I’ve had the rejection slips to prove I can’t write well enough to sell. Be sure and let all of us on WUWT know when your book comes out.

  102. Robert A. Taylor says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 18, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I forgot the reference on my last comment.

    Also forgot to add, just call me Don Quixote as to “swim upriver”. I do not see any widespread gains for skeptics of CAGW. No one I’ve talked with outside of government\and academia actually believes in catastrophic climate change, but for several more years all the destructive programs will continue and be expanded, at least in the U. S. Only if Earth continues not warming significantly for those years will the programs be discontinued, and possibly not then. I’m a pessimist about government of any kind, any where, any time; also about business of any kind, any where, any time. I believe in certain competent honorable people, not any ideology or system.

    Erratum: in my comment:
    Robert A. Taylor says:
    February 17, 2013 at 12:28 am
    “The author used political liberal in its original sense, meaning small government, with limited powers, granting full personal freedom.”
    “granting” should have been “guaranteeing”. I’m so quixotic I still believe in natural inalienable rights.

  103. TomVonk says:

    I am very disappointed because this post doesn’t answer the question about wht to think about the 300 000 figure.
    OK so a succession of quotes leads from a book to Munich Re. This is the trivial part. As the real meat is in Munich Re, I expected that AT LAST we will learn on WHAT is actually based this claim.
    And you let us badly down Willis because you explained nothing.

    I fully agree with another poster who wrote :

    I can’t help thinking that Willis’ investigation is incomplete, however. It seems clear that the fantasy figure of 300,000 comes from Munich Re. So, exactly how did an organisation with an obvious and huge vested interest arrive at this figure?

  104. Willis Eschenbach says:

    TomVonk says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I am very disappointed because this post doesn’t answer the question about wht to think about the 300 000 figure.
    OK so a succession of quotes leads from a book to Munich Re. This is the trivial part. As the real meat is in Munich Re, I expected that AT LAST we will learn on WHAT is actually based this claim.
    And you let us badly down Willis because you explained nothing.

    I fully agree with another poster who wrote :

    I can’t help thinking that Willis’ investigation is incomplete, however. It seems clear that the fantasy figure of 300,000 comes from Munich Re. So, exactly how did an organisation with an obvious and huge vested interest arrive at this figure?

    Tom, and Chris who made the other comment, first, my thanks for your interest and comments. Next, please be my guests if you wish to dive into the guts of Munich Re and find out how they manufactured the figure. Me, I could care less. Two reasons.

    One, the figures are hugely, wildly, ginormously out of whack, far above the numbers of any serious scientist. 300,000 per year? Get real. So to me, whether Munich Re just “pulled them out of their corporate fundamental orifice”, or found them in an intern’s wastebasket, or did some pseudo-scientific handwaving to make it look real … so what?

    Two, Munich Re is not funded by the taxpayer. It is not subject to FOIA. It is a private business headquartered in Europe, they don’t gotta show you no steenkin’ badges or reveal anything about their internal workings …

    So I wish you both the best of luck in assaulting the Re fortress in Munich to find out what chicken they killed …

    Which chicken am I referring to, you ask?

    You know, the chicken whose entrails pointed out the mystery number 300,000. Some people are interested in the color of the chicken, I guess. Me, I’ve got more important things to do, I still have to vacuum around Chez Eschenbach, it’s my job …

    w.

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