Climate Craziness of the Week – USA Today duped into thinking severe weather began in 1980

From USA Today: Report: Climate change behind rise in weather disasters

12:53PM EST October 10. 2012 – The number of natural disasters per year has been rising dramatically on all continents since 1980, but the trend is steepest for North America where countries have been battered by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, searing heat and drought, a new report says.

The study being released today by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm, sees climate change driving the increase and predicts those influences will continue in years ahead, though a number of experts question that conclusion.

Whatever the causes, the report shows that if you thought the weather has been getting worse, you’re right.

Two words: Oh, please.   This is easily dispelled by looking at the data. Apparently Doyle Rice can’t be bothered to do some basic research.

Time for a graphjam, starting with this:

But wait, there’s more:

Source Here

US severe tornadoes 12312011

Source here

July 2012 tornadoes YTD NOAA

How about Hurricanes?

Source here

Source here


Source here

Source here

US hurricane strikes versus CO2

How about heat waves?

Source here


Extreme climate change severe weather events US CO2 global warming

Extreme climate change severe weather events US CO2 global warming

Source here

US number of state record high low temperatures by decade

US Tmax daily records 1895-2011

US 10 year running total tmax temperatures

US Tmin daily records

US drought index 1900 - 2012

Source here

US daily high temperatures 2012


NOAA U.S. droughts extreme climate change severe

Finally I wonder why Doyle Rice takes the word of a company with a vested interest in such a report? Showing that there are “more disasters” is a prelude to an insurance rate increase justification.

To his credit, he at least got some other views:

However, other experts take issue with Munich Re’s findings. “Thirty years is not an appropriate length of time for a climate analysis, much less finding causal factors like climate change,” says Roger Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado.

Another reinsurer, Axa, isn’t quite sure of the link either: “While a clear upward trend arises from the figure with respect to the number of reported natural events, the attribution of this rise to a climate change signal should be investigated very cautiously,” the French company says in its report “Climate Risks” released earlier this month.

Atmospheric scientist Clifford Mass of the University of Washington also has a problem with Munich Re’s findings, saying that once the data are adjusted for population there is no recent upward trend in tornado or hurricane damages. Also, he adds that there is no evidence that global warming is causing more extreme weather in the USA.

Hoppe, however, says that even if we adjust for population spread and increased property values, Munich Re still says there were significant increases in the costs of weather disasters over the past few years.

But that doesn’t excuse him saying:

Whatever the causes, the report shows that if you thought the weather has been getting worse, you’re right.

When the data doesn’t support it.  Once again it is time to review the essay I wrote last year:

Why it seems that severe weather is “getting worse” when the data shows otherwise – a historical perspective

You can send Doyle Rice a message here on the right sidebar.

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Pull My Finger
October 10, 2012 11:01 am

Yea, you can really trust an insurance company who makes more money when risk is higher.

Bill Marsh
October 10, 2012 11:03 am

I saw that and when I saw the ‘source’ for the article I just shook my head and moved on.

October 10, 2012 11:04 am

Follow the money. A certain billionaire from Omaha owns Swiss Re and what better way to keep rates elevated and investment returns pumped over time than to cite flawed data or even misread accurate data. Lower the rates later when the trick stops working like the game plan of a lot other truth murderers these days.

Josie Andersen
October 10, 2012 11:05 am

Insured losses undeniably up not because of any increassed frequency but because of increased insurance penetration, demographics and risk awareness. Who would have wanted to live in Texas or Florida without AC 100 years ago?

October 10, 2012 11:12 am

When there’s no Grauniad handy to line the bottom of your budgie cage, you can always get the same high quality cage liner from a USA Today.
USA Today’s new motto could be: “We know our readers won’t check the facts, so why should we?”

October 10, 2012 11:16 am

How about a Severe Weather reference page?

October 10, 2012 11:23 am

Natural disasters and extreme weather has been getting worse in the areas that insurance companies can increase their premiums the most.
That was AIG’s trick with the studies in Florida showing increased hurricane risk…. The history (and associated funding) of those studies seems to be missing now.

G P Hanner
October 10, 2012 11:30 am

Who reads USAToday? I mean other than people in airport terminals waiting for their flights to be called.

October 10, 2012 11:38 am

Hmm, lets see, an insurance company does “research” which unfortunately forces them (against their will of course) to increase premiums!
No self interest there then.

October 10, 2012 11:43 am

Interesting. My experience in fire prevention, emergency planning and public safety (confirmed by a few studies of a more scientific sort) is that the “life” of any major disaster is about 35 years. After that, assuming there has been no comparable or similar disaster since the event,the memories fade and the ‘marker’ is down graded. Thus, a catastrophic ‘event’ which occured – say – 40 years ago, is disregarded or forgotten when some ‘big’ new disaster comes along which may not be nearly as bad.
The classic exceptions are the Titanic, remembered chiefly because it carried som many celebrities, and the Hindenburg because of the live broadcast and immediacy of the images. There were several earlier disasters at sea and in the air which have not made anything like the same impact and are now barely remembered. Tornados, hurricanes, snow storms all come and go. Only those most nearly affected will retain the memory for any length of time. Those that merely ‘read about it’ won’t remember it much beyond five years – and certainly not if they are told in five years time that “this is the worst on record …”
It is, according to some experts a “generation” thing – after 35 years the “next” generation is in charge and think the older generation are just spinning a yarn.

October 10, 2012 12:02 pm

Luckily for patient observers, you can only play these games with storms and temperatures for so long when older records are published and saved. Eventually homoginization and curve fitting programs stretch their manipulations to their maximum extent – and we may have passed that point for some of the AGW charts. Once numbers of the past have been pushed to the limits of reason, the present turns into a noisy plateau.
Like the BLS systematically adjusts every “last week UE claims number” up 2k and underreports every “this week UE claims number” by the same 2k, so that UE numbers consistently beat expectations by 4k when the market is motionless – eventually people who follow the number catch on and adjust to the moving target.
That being said, what if another actual 1930s heat wave happens some time soon? With all of the downward adjusted history and tarmac adjusted present it would look monsterous.

October 10, 2012 12:05 pm

The Gray Monk says:
October 10, 2012 at 11:43 am
“The classic exceptions are the Titanic, remembered chiefly because it carried som many celebrities, and the Hindenburg because of the live broadcast and immediacy of the images. There were several earlier disasters at sea and in the air which have not made anything like the same impact and are now barely remembered. ”
Titanic (1,500+ deaths) pales in comparison to the Wilhelm Gustloff,
a Naz1 KdF cruise ship carrying about 10,000 refugees from East Prussia which got torpedoed at the end of WW2.

Fred from Canuckustan.
October 10, 2012 12:15 pm

So if there are so many more climate induced disasters that you would think disaster insurance would necessarily fetch a mutch higher price.
Munich Re might like to think that.

October 10, 2012 12:24 pm

And what would the next assessment report of the IPCC look like without two Munich Re scientists.
Press release by Munich Re from 2010:
“Two 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. ”

October 10, 2012 12:35 pm

This is fascinating. No matter how many times or how easily the claim about increasing extreme weather events is refuted, they still claim otherwise. These people have a very difficult time addressing reality.

October 10, 2012 12:44 pm

DirkH, Indeed, the Gustloff was a far more deadly loss, as was the British Lancastrian, sunk in the evacuation of France with an estimated 9,000 troops and civilians on board. I left them out since they were the result of “enemy action” whereas the Titanic and the Hindenburg were “accidents” or perhaps “naturally caused disasters.”

October 10, 2012 12:51 pm

@Pull My Finger,
Actually an insurance company does not make the most profits when the risk is high.
The make the highest profits when people believe that the risk is high but the true risk is low.
Ultimately an insurance company makes is money from understanding the risks better than it’s customer’s do.
One other factor, Munich RE is not a normal insurance company. They do not sell insurance to normal people. They do re-insurance. They sell insurance to the insurance companies against the insurance companies risk of having to pay out
The real nasty part of this is that their financial intrest lies not in convincing the regular insurance companies that a given risk is genuinely high but in falsly convincing them that the risk is high.

David Ross
October 10, 2012 1:01 pm

Munich Re (and to a lesser extent Swiss Re) have been promoting climate alarmism hand in glove with Greenpeace since 1993. The following is a collection of news clippings in chronological order -but first the ‘money quote’ from last year.
Why Munich Re Is Historically Cheap
Nov 08, 2011
.Jorg Schneider, Munich Re CFO, mentioned this morning on Bloomberg that Munich Re’s business is risk exposure; therefore, catastrophes are good for business over the long run..
As of the 2010 annual report, Warren Buffett personally and through Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiaries, owned 10.224% of Munich Re. Given that the share price traded at a two-and-a-half year low last September, I would be highly surprised if Mr. Buffett did not buy more shares in this company.
The News-Journal – Feb 3, 1993,487727&dq=greenpeace+munich-re&hl=en
.Greenpeace said it hopes the Insur­ance industry will become its ally in the global-warming debate against the fos­sil-fuels industry…
“There’s no denying it would be a huge coup for us
., but it would be a huge coup for everybody, because you can’t have a healthy economy without insurance,” Greenpeace Scientific Di­rector Jeremy Leggett said.
Leggett presented his findings to a group of Lloyd’s underwriters at their request last week.
“The insurance industry has started to wake up to the threat that climate change poses to its profitability,”
“We’re not experts on the weather” said a Lloyd’s spokesman. “We note Greenpeace says it could be changing for the worse, and we know bills have been going up … .premiums have inevi­tably got to rise..”
Munich Re “plea For Action” On Catastrophes And Climate Change
Greenpeace Press Archive (undated)
“Action is now required first and foremost from politics and business: the imminent change in our climate makes speedy, radical countermeasures unavoidable.” Munich Re
Commenting on the analyses of Munich Re and Swiss Re, Lloyd’s List writes: “the convenient theory that the increase in the size of losses is mainly a reflection of higher wealth – and consequently, of insured values – in those countries affected by natural disasters seems to be incorrect. It is far more likely that other causes, such as climatic changes, have already taken over as the main factors pushing losses upwards.” (“Munich Re plea for catastrophe action,” Lloyd’s List, 23 April 1993).
Insurers Notice the Greenhouse Effect
New York Times, May 18, 1993
To the Editor:
You report that insurance companies are withdrawing coverage from areas at risk from hurricanes and other weather disasters because of high payouts (Business Day, May 4). Another reason is that insurers are worried about global warming.
“A plausible explanation is that this is an initial consequence of climatic change,” notes the Swiss Re report, written by its general manager. Swiss Re set up a greenhouse effect team to assess the impact.
JEREMY LEGGETT Washington, May 7, 1993 The writer is scientific director for Greenpeace International’s climate campaign.
—February 16, 1995—
However, unlike climatologists, much of the insurance industry is coming around to the view that extremes of weather are increasing along with global temperature, and that greenhouse gases (CO2 and others) are the cause. Munich Re, the world’s largest re-insurance company (whose business is insuring insurance companies against catastrophic losses) observed in 1993 that in the 10-year period 1983-1992 insured losses from natural disasters were almost 12 times higher than in the decade of the 1960s, even allowing for inflation. Commenting on Munich Re’s analysis, LLOYD’S LIST INTERNATIONAL (a publication of Lloyd’s, the London insurance giant) writes, “The convenient theory that the increase in the size of losses is mainly a reflection of higher wealth –and consequently, of insured values –in those countries affected by natural disasters seems to be incorrect. It is far more likely that other causes, such as climatic changes, have already taken over as main factors pushing losses upwards.” [7,pgs.108-109]
[7] Quoted in Jeremy Leggett, editor, THE CLIMATE TIME BOMB; SIGNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE FROM THE GREENPEACE DATABASE (Amsterdam, Netherlands: Stichting Greenpeace Council, 1994), pg. 154. …
He’s Not Full Of Hot Air
Jan 21, 1996 7:00 PM EST
The Global Climate Coalition describes its views as “business and industry’s,” but one player has broken ranks. Insurers have concluded that a greenhouse world could “bankrupt the industry,” as the president of the Reinsurance Association of America said last year. Hurricane Andrew, the kind of storm a warmer world could see more of, produced $16.5 billion in damage claims. In Europe, .reinsurers Swiss Re and Munich Re have lobbied governments to regulate greenhouse gases, and Swiss Re suggested that global warming might force people to abandon major cities.. “This hazard has to be contained,” says a Swiss Re statement. “We have to rethink, correct our mistakes and win time.” Insurers are also meeting with Greenpeace, which is exhorting them to take on energy companies in a battle that would be straight out of a Japanese monster movie.
Insurers Getting More Concerned About the Impact Of Climate Change
New Straits Times – May 12, 1996,1011991&dq=greenpeace+munich-re&hl=en
Signing a Statement of Environmental Commit­ment by the Insurance In­dustry at the end of last year, 17 major insurance companies have pledged to take account of possible climate change in their risk exposure. They also committed themselves to “include environmental considerations in (their) asset management.”
“What good does it do us to cash in on investments 20 years from now if the world goes to hell partly as a result of what we invest in?” asks Joly in his con­tribution to a new book, Climate Change and the Financial Sector.
Edited by Jeremy Leg­gett, Science Director of campaigning organisation Greenpeace, the book pre­sents a rare synchronisa­tion of the interests of business and environmen­talists.
According to figures from two reinsurance companies, Munich Re and Swiss Re, the rate and intensity of windstorms has risen significantly over the past four decades.
.The in­surance industry’s state­ment, developed with the help of the United Nations Environment Programme., suggests this anomaly will have to be addressed.
“The whole process of investing in a blue-chip oil company seems like a risk free thing to do,” said Jer­emy Leggett. “But if you’re an insurer, what you’re actually investing in is a commodity, the burning of which is under­mining your interests, and increasing the threat that you will be made bankrupt by a global escalation of extreme effect.”
Global warming leads to record disasters
New Straits Times – Jan 6, 2001,3429258&dq=munich+global-warming&hl=en
MUNICH, Sat. — The world was hit by a record number of natural di­sasters in 2000 and global warming and a rising population are likely to make future years even worse, ac­cording to the world’s largest reinsurer.
Munich Re said the number of what it categorises as natural di­sasters rose by more than 100 to 850 in 2000, although the number of deaths was much lower than in 1999 because less populated areas were affected.
It said 10,000 people died in nat­ural disasters in 2000 compared to 75,000 in 1999.
“Global warming has to be slowed down. Otherwise the risk situation for insurers in many of the world’s regions will intensify,” said Gerhard Berz, head of its geo­science research group.
Impact Of Climate Change To Cost The World $US 300 Billion A Year
NAIROBI, 3 February 2001- Global warming may cost the world several billion dollars a year unless urgent efforts are made to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and the other gases linked with the “greenhouse effect”.
Dr Gerhard Berz, head of Munich Re’s Geoscience Research group, tells UNEP’s Our Planet, that “there is reason to fear that climatic change will lead to natural catastrophes of hitherto unknown force and frequency”.
“Studies have indicated, disturbingly, that climatic changes could trigger world wide losses totalling many hundreds of billions of dollars per year,” he says.
“Most countries can expect their losses to range from a few tenths of a per cent to a few per cent of their gross domestic product each year. And certain countries, especially small island states, could face losses far exceeding 10 per cent,” he says.
Al-Ahram Weekly Online
23 – 29 August 2001
The greatest impact will beset the developing world, particularly in densely populated coastal areas (Egypt is one of the countries the IPCC thinks is in danger). Already, more people are dying of natural disasters (the world’s largest re-insurance company, Munich Re, says that its figures indicate a three-fold increase in natural disasters in the last quarter century) and, of course, more people are pushed into disaster-prone areas by economic hardship.
Global warming causes insurance group to up premiums
22 March 2002, source edie newsroom
.Global warming has been cited as a reason for a German insurance group’s need to increase their premiums., by devising more stringent underwriting requirements for their future insurance quotes.
In their report on natural catastrophes in 2001, Munich Reinsurance Group noted a substantial rise insured natural hazard losses. Climate change has been a major cause of many natural disasters and scientists at the group fear it is going to have an continuing effect on company statistics.
As a result, Munich Re’s experts have reassessed the effects of climate change and have come up with tighter underwriting requirements, this means insurance bills are almost certain to rise.
“Even allowing for a complete implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the emission of greenhouse gases will result in our having to contend with the effects of climate change for decades to come, mainly in the form of more frequent and more intensive natural catastrophes,” said Dr Gerhard Berz, head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research department.
This report is bad news for insurance payers as Munich Re now wants to redress the balance for their losses over the year. “The reinsurers, which bear the lion’s share of the losses from natural catastrophes, must go on the assumption that the present underwriting strategy will no longer be commensurate with the changes,” forebodes Dr Wolf-Otto Bauer, a member of Munich Re’s management board.
Given these trends, the insurance industry as a whole is likely to change the way it underwrites risk, the group explains. .Insurers are likely to abandon their conventional practice of “retrospective underwriting”, which involves calculating premiums from past trends, as the current increase in disasters means that premiums are inevitably lagging behind the amounts being paid out.. Instead, an approach that loads premiums dependent on the level of perceived risk inherent in climate change is likely to be taken.
“The effects of climate change make adequate prospective underwriting more essential than ever,” stated Dr Bauer.
Published on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 by the Guardian/UK
The rains and floods in Europe, the destruction of homes in the Caribbean, and mudslides in India, Nepal and Bangladesh between January and September this year have cost an estimated £36bn, according to a report published yesterday.
There have been more than 500 major natural disasters already this year, killing thousands of people, making hundreds of thousands homeless and affecting millions.
“We have, once more, strong indications that global warming is increasing,” Thomas Loster of the insurance group Munich Re said.
Insurer warns premiums will rise as global warming continues
The World Today – Thursday, 11 December , 2003
TANYA NOLAN: We’ve heard of the dire environmental consequences of global warming… now we learn it will also hit the hip pocket. One of the world’s largest insurers is warning that premiums will continue to soar as long as global warming continues.
Releasing figures at a United Nations conference in Milan, the giant reinsurer Munich Re has estimated that natural disasters will cost the world more than US$60 billion US this year, a whopping ten per cent rise since last year.
Munich Re says extreme weather events are on the rise. And, in a warning to governments and individuals, it says that climate change is aggravating the risk situation for insurers and as a result, .premiums and policy excesses will continue to rise..
The company estimates that natural disasters, most of them extreme weather events, cost the world 60 billion US dollars this year, up from 55 billion in 2002. Only about a quarter of that amount will be recoverable from insurers.
Environment News Service MILAN, Italy, December 11, 2003 (ENS)
Climate Change is Expensive
In other developments at Milan, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is calling on governments, business and industry to back emerging emissions trading markets as one way of tackling global warming.
UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer told the ministers and other high-level officials who opened their three day session here Wednesday, “Climate change is not a prognosis, it is a reality that is, and will increasingly, bring human suffering and economic hardship.”
The extreme summer heat wave across many parts of Europe which claimed the lives of some 20,000 people, was the year’s most costly single event to date, with agricultural losses alone estimated at over $10 billion.
The second most costly events were the floods along the Huai and Yangtze Rivers in China between July and September. Some 650,000 apartments were damaged with overall losses estimated at nearly $8 billion.
The biggest insured losses were in the United States where a series of tornadoes struck the Midwest in April and May leaving a trail of destruction that cost insurers more than $3 billion.
These are just some of the preliminary “snapshot” findings from Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest re-insurance companies, which has been tracking the economic and insured losses as a result of natural and weather related catastrophes since the 1950s.
.Thomas Loster, head of weather and climate risks research at Munich Re and head of the Climate Change Working Group of the UNEP Finance Initiative., said Wednesday that the years of the late 1990s and early 21st century had been marked by increasingly “extreme” weather and climate related events.
“We will have to get used to the fact that extreme summers, like the one we had in Europe this year, are to be expected more frequently in the future and that they will become more or less the norm by the middle of the century,” Loster warned.
EU: Europe Wavers As Time For Action On Kyoto Pollution Cuts Approaches
By Breffni O’Rourke, Radio Free Europe
April 01, 2004
Prague, 1 April 2004 (RFE/RL) — As the time approaches for actually implementing the pollution cuts foreseen in the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, some Western European countries are wavering.
Brussels-based Greenpeace activist Mahi Sideridou says that in talking of cost burdens, European governments are forgetting the advantages of environmental improvements.
“We have the biggest re-insurers in the world, like [a company called] Munich Re, who are .publishing extraordinarily high figures about the cost of climate change.. And though we are not really sure what those costs will be on a geographical distribution — we don’t know exactly what they are going to be for Austria or Germany or Portugal — but we still know they are going to be huge as a whole, so everybody has to take action to make sure this is avoided,” Sideridou said.
Bush is History’s Top Terrorist
by Harvey Wasserman, September 28, 2004
Bush promised in 2000 that if elected he would endorse the Kyoto Accords to cut CO2 emissions. But then he joined Joseph Stalin in demanding that science fit his bizarre ideology. At the behest of his petro-backers, including Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, Bush has scorned a global consensus that includes his primary ally in Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Two of the world’s biggest insurance companies, .Swiss Re: and Munich Re:, have issued strong warnings about the skyrocketing costs of climate catastrophes.. Even British Petroleum has voiced concern, at the same time making massive investments in solar power.
Awful weather we’re having
Why climate change could mean higher insurance premiums
Sep 30th 2004 | from the print edition
On a ten-year view, the frequency of weather disasters has tripled since the 1960s and insured losses have risen ten-fold, according to Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer.
Megacities – Megarisks
Trends and challenges for insurance and risk management
Munich Re 2004
Heat waves generally affect big cities more than the surrounding area, because of the “heat island” effect. They also have a particularly strong impact in densely built-up centres, the proverbial “concrete canyons”, as no night-time cooling occurs there, and this is associated with considerable risks for the elderly and the weak.
Weather and climate in megacities
The “heat islands” that are clearly recognisable in satellite pictures impact convection and so have an effect on the wind system in the surrounding area.
Megacities – Effect on the local climate
– Megacities are pronounced heat islands. The mean temperature at the centre can be several degrees Celsius (up to 10°C) higher than in the surrounding countryside.
Munich Re Expects World Weather Damage to Rise `Exponentially’
By David Scheer and Philipp Encz – January 4, 2005 09:38 EST
Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) — Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, expects damage from natural disasters to rise “exponentially” in the coming years, triggered by human-driven climate changes such as global warming.
.We’re seeing, and this is also shown by the models, that climatic changes will speed up, and that damages will probably not rise just linearly but exponentially.,” Peter Hoeppe, Munich Re’s head of Geo Risks Research, said in an interview. Weather-related disasters will probably occur with greater frequency and intensity, prompting customers to boost insurance coverage, he said.
The time bomb is ticking
December 13, 2005
The implications of this rapid change in global weather patterns were underlined by another report, from insurer Munich Re, that showed this year has recorded the largest financial losses ever as a result of weather-related natural disasters, more than $US200 billion ($267 billion) compared with the previous record of $US145 billion last year.
Financial firms urge G8 to combat global warming
OSLO | Tue Jun 5, 2007 2:02pm BST
(Reuters) – More than 20 banks and insurers urged leading industrial nations meeting in Germany to back deep cuts in greenhouse gases, warning that unchecked global warming could cost the world up to $1 trillion a year by 2040.
The call from the financial groups came on the United Nations’ World Environment Day, which focused this year on melting polar ice due to global warming.
A statement signed by 23 chief executives and chairmen of banks, insurance and re-insurance companies participating in the U.N. Environment Program’s finance initiative called on the G8 to adopt emissions reduction targets no later than 2009.
“There has been a seismic shift in how climate change is perceived and it is widely considered to be the greatest market failure ever,” the companies, which included Munich Re, Allianz and Daiwa Securities, said in a statement distributed by the UNEP.
Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of management of Munich Re, said in the statement: “Munich Reinsurance Company has signed the declaration on climate change by the financial services sector because climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
.The latest studies show that it is cheaper to invest in climate protection than to pay for the losses that result from inactivity.,” Jeworrek said.
Munich Re 2008 Catastrophe Report Cites Role of Climate Change
December 30, 2008
Munich Re has released its analytical report on the natural catastrophes that occurred in 2008, which the reinsurer describes as, “one of the most devastating years on record.”
Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re’s Board of Management, commented: “This continues the long-term trend we have been observing. Climate change has already started and is very probably contributing to increasingly frequent weather extremes and ensuing natural catastrophes. These, in turn, generate greater and greater losses because the concentration of values in exposed areas, like regions on the coast, is also increasing further throughout the world.”
The report could have included the following statement from Gerhard Berz, former Head of Munich Re’s Geoscience Research Group: “Global warming must be curbed at all cost. It is to be feared that the risk situation will deteriorate in many regions of the earth and thus affect insurers too. At any rate Munich Re reckons with a distinct increase in weather-related and climate-related natural catastrophes. They already account for the “lion’s share of insured catastrophe losses.” However, it wasn’t included in the most recent report, as he made that statement at the end of 2000 – eight years ago.
Jeworrek commented: “For us as a leading reinsurer, the natural catastrophe trends of recent years have resulted in three action strategies, which we are resolutely pursuing. Firstly, we accept risks in our core business only at risk-adequate prices, so that if the exposure situation changes, we adjust the pricing structure. “Secondly, with our expertise we develop new business opportunities in the context of climate protection and adaptation measures. Thirdly, in the international debate, we – as a company – press for effective and binding rules on CO2 emissions, so that climate change is curbed and future generations do not have to live with weather scenarios that are difficult to control.”
.Munich Re also noted that it “performs scientific analyses on the effects of climate change and cooperates with many scientific institutes. In 2008, Munich Re launched a cooperation with Professor Lord Nicholas Stern and the London School of Economics (LSE), the aim being to advance research into the economic impact of climate change..”
Munich Re Says Rates Must Rise to Cover Natural Disaster Losses
By Oliver Suess – February 16, 2009
Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurer, said global insurance rates need to rise to reflect a projected increase in losses related to natural disasters.
“Price increases in the range of 3 percent annually excluding claims inflation seem to be reasonable,” Torsten Jeworrek, management board member responsible for reinsurance, told reporters in Munich today. “This doesn’t mean we want to raise our profit, our margins won’t change because of that.”
“Insurers can just supply a certain capacity as covering peak risks such as hurricanes consumes a high amount of capital, thus rates need to rise or limits need to be put in place,” Jeworrek said.
Siemens, Munich Re Study $555 Billion Solar Project (Update2)
By Jeremy van Loon and Oliver Suess – June 16, 2009
“The investments required would need to come from investors worldwide, not just from a few companies,” Munich Re spokesman Alexander Mohanty said via telephone today. The company is the world’s biggest reinsurer.
“The project could have a high business potential for Munich Re, as the big facilities will also have to be insured,” Mohanty said.
Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, and Review Editors
Updated 2 September 2010
WGII AR5 Chapter Teams
Ch. 10 — Key economic sectors and services
LA Eberhard Faust Munich Reinsurance Company Germany
Ch. 25 — Australasia
LA Sandra Schuster Munich Reinsurance Company Australia
Al Gore: clear proof that climate change causes extreme weather, Wednesday 28 September 2011 16.37 BST
Al Gore has warned that there is now clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year.
Gore then cited a recent report from the global insurance Munich Re, that climate change was “the only plausible explanation” for the rapid increase in extreme weather events. “They’re paid to get this right. It’s their job,” he said.
He continued: “They used to say we’re changing the odds, we’re loading the dice that make it more likely that we’ll get extreme weather events. Now the change is we’re not only loading the dice, we’re painting more dots on the dice. We’re not only rolling more 12s, we’re rolling 13s and 14s and soon 15s and 16s.”
Steve Kretzman ‘We won the Keystone XL campaign because of nonviolent protest’
Matilda Lee, 17th November, 2011
The founder of Oil Change International, Steve Kretzmann, talks about the tight bond between politicians and the fossil fuel industry, ‘fracking’, and why Occupy is now the anti-Tea Party
Can you name a campaign where you’ve successfully worked with a corporation rather than against?
There are many of them. .Back in the day, Greenpeace worked with Munich Re and Swiss Re to sound the alarm on climate change..

October 10, 2012 1:09 pm

Pull My Finger says October 10, 2012 at 11:01 am
“Yea, you can really trust an insurance company who makes more money when risk is higher.”
Matt says October 10, 2012 at 12:51 pm
@Pull My Finger,
“Actually an insurance company does not make the most profits when the risk is high. … ”

Matt, pickup on line 2, a Mr S. R. Casm calling …

The other Phil
October 10, 2012 1:13 pm

The USA Today is guilty of shoddy journalism, but the rebuttal starts out on the wrong foot.
First, the USA Today author should start with a healthy skepticism of a report issued by a reinsurance company. Such companies charge money to cover catastrophe losses, thus have a vested interested in promoting scenarios that are more costly, so that higher premiums can be justified. I emphasize I am not accusing Munich Re of anything, they are a reputable organization, but one has to be cognizant of the potential bias, and do some homework before imply regurgitating results.
Second, while Munich Re has a natural interest in the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes, that is not their ultimate interest; their ultimate interest is in the cost of such events. They use models to predict losses by region, and those models incorporate factors about the weather events, but also include other factors, such as building locations, construction costs, construction building codes and coverage issues. Weather related reinsurance costs are up over time, but much of that is driven by increased [populations in hurricane prone areas, and building costs increases. They do care about the frequency and severity of the weather events, but readers need to take care to separate conclusions about costs and conclusion about weather events.
Unfortunately, starting with a graph of tornado LOSSES over time is problematic. While that graph does successfully show it is improper to look at the high numbers for 2011 and impute a recent trend, one has to be careful about reading too much into that graph in terms of weather conclusions. Tornado loss costs are affected by inflation, changes in location of buildings, building codes and other non-weather factors. Some of that may be addressed with the normalization, but not having seen the normalization, I’d be cautious.
The count curves are better, as they do not reflect costs or building locations. However, as you know Anthony, there has been improved reporting over time of tornadoes, so the annual counts have to viewed carefully, especially in the earlier part of the century (which, of course, means that naive trends are over-stated.)
I don’t want to dilute the message; I agree the USA Today report is flawed, but I would like to make sure the response doesn’t suffer from the same issues.

The other Phil
October 10, 2012 1:17 pm

“Follow the money. A certain billionaire from Omaha owns Swiss Re”
No. At one time, Buffett had a major stake, but it has been paid back. Buffett does own Gen Re, a competitor of both Swiss Re and Munich Re, but he is no longer part of Swiss Re. (This doesn’t refute your point, he does have a major interest in the reinsurance business.)

October 10, 2012 1:41 pm

Thanks O. Phil, you are correct.

October 10, 2012 1:57 pm

David Ross says: October 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm ” … (bunches of links to newspaper clippings) … Back in the day, Greenpeace worked with Munich Re and Swiss Re to sound the alarm on climate change. ”
Yep, mentioned that yesterday in my WUWT comment, albeit in reference to the guy I call the epicenter of the smear of skeptic climate scientists:

Gene Selkov
October 10, 2012 2:16 pm

These companies are at least are looking for excuses to raise premiums. It means they are somewhat inhibited in doing so. In England, car insurance premiums go up even though the accident rates and the amounts paid out have been steadily decreasing for years. When I was with State Farm in Illinois, they would return part of my premium that was overpaid based on the payouts tallied by the year’s end. Compare that with how the business is done in the Old World — no surprise. They charge you all they can, and then some.

Manfred Schropp
October 10, 2012 2:30 pm

One of the problems for a reinsurance company like Munich Re is the need to have a significant amount of assets at hand that can readily be turned into cash, should disaster strike and the need to reimburse primary insurers arises. The reinsurers need to strike a balance between liquidity, risk, and return on investment. In these times of low interest rates and questionable sovereign debt this is especially difficult. One way to achieve this is to convince the tax authorities of the central government of the country that regulates the reinsurance company of the need to have tax deferred “Prudent Reserves” at hand. If Munich Re can convince the German government that due to climate change there is a greater number and severity of disasters, it gives them the ability to increase the reserves in tax deferred accounts for such disasters, thus reducing the need to invest in risky and less liquid asset classes to achieve the returns necessary to keep insurance rates low and profits high. German governments historically favored this approach, dubbed the “Prudent Merchant” (Der vorsichtige Kaufmann) approach. Prior to the Red-Green coalition under Chancellor Schröder German companies and banks had enormous amounts of cross share holdings, making takeover attempts difficult, and individual shareholders and pension funds not being powerful in Germany (lack of shareholder culture), and quarterly results not being important, profits were generally hidden away with the connivance of the tax authorities as hidden reserves (Stille Reserven). Under the Schröder government a certain amount of deregulation and reform took place to make German companies more flexible and competitive (from which Germany is currently profiting) and banks and companies were encouraged and allowed to dissolve cross share holdings with a favorable tax treatment on gains on the sale of shares. Anglo-Saxon shareholder culture subsequently made inroads in Germany and allowed/forced the companies to show actual profits and reserves. My guess is this was also partly due to international treaties and agreements on accounting, etc. This makes it all the more necessary to be able to show to the government the need to increase tax-deferred reserves. In my view whatever Munich Re says about climate change is part and parcel of this strategy. It may have nothing to do with what they really believe about climate change (I don’t know what they really believe), although climate change is as much of a religion in Germany nowadays as Christianity ever has been. One has to understand that most of the relevant research and documents relating to climate change are in English and in their complexity far exceed the grasp of the ordinary German, even if he has a basic knowledge of the English language. As a consequence there is no robust discussion in Germany about climate change. The same, I would assume, may be true for most other countries whose people are non native English speakers.

NZ Groover
October 10, 2012 2:35 pm

Munich Re…..more risk (where none exists)…….equals higher premiums. As transparant as Glad Wrap.

October 10, 2012 3:57 pm

Any insurance company that supports the Socialist/Collectivist meme that humans cause CAGW should think ahead 20 years to the inevitable nationalizaton of the insurance industry. The seeds have already been sown on the health insurance front.

Gary Hladik
October 10, 2012 4:13 pm

David Ross says (October 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm): [snip]
In other words, paraphrasing Barack Obama, under Munich Re’s worsening weather scenario, insurance rates would necessarily skyrocket?

Gary Hladik
October 10, 2012 4:15 pm

DirkH, thanks for the link to the Wilhelm Gustloff disaster.

October 10, 2012 4:26 pm

The Gray Monk;
My experience in fire prevention, emergency planning and public safety (confirmed by a few studies of a more scientific sort) is that the “life” of any major disaster is about 35 years.
Remember the movie “Jaws”? The year it came out, the beaches were empty. My recollection (which is admittedly faulty) was that it took several years for things to get back to normal. Human beings have a “memory” that guides their actions even when it is a memory of something that they know was completely fictional. I questioned your 35 year assertion at first, but on reflection, if a fictional movie can empty the beaches for a few years, an actual event ought to pull off 35!

October 10, 2012 4:40 pm

There is so much personal identification with the “issues” of global warming, I doubt that few warmists would become skeptical even if continental glaciers were knocking down the White House. Even a serious cooling spell would be a sign of global warming, the “weirding” that happens just before the world burns up.
What would happen to the mind and soul of a Joe Romm if Al Gore were caught out saying he lost belief in the IPCC and CAGW just after getting his Nobel prize? The priests of Savaronala were burnt in the public square after convincing the townsfolk to cleanse themselves of their vanity by incinerating their precious possessions. Would Big Al end up running down the street, chased by a mob bearing torches?
Jimmy Swaggart: perhaps you could advise Al of what to expect when your pedestal falls apart.

October 10, 2012 5:14 pm

The insurance company makes maximum money when the risks are low, but they can portray them as being high. It’s the same with the warm-earthers regarding taxpayer grants….a sophisticated sham, that would make P.T. Barnum envious.

October 10, 2012 6:58 pm

Pull My Finger (October 10, 2012 at 11:01 am): “Yea, you can really trust an insurance company who makes more money when risk is higher.”
I understand what you meant, but to clarify for casual readers make that, “…a company that makes more money when the perception of risk (driving people to increase coverage) is higher than the actual risk of payout by the company.”
Short form: Insurance companies make more money when they can frighten people unnecessarily.

Gunga Din
October 10, 2012 7:48 pm

The Gray Monk says:
October 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm
DirkH, Indeed, the Gustloff was a far more deadly loss, as was the British Lancastrian, sunk in the evacuation of France with an estimated 9,000 troops and civilians on board. I left them out since they were the result of “enemy action” whereas the Titanic and the Hindenburg were “accidents” or perhaps “naturally caused disasters.”
For non-wartime disasters, the SS Sultana was the greatest loss of life for the US. More than the Titanic.

David Ross
October 10, 2012 8:33 pm

If you want to see direct evidence of Munich Re fleecing U.S. homeowners with their propaganda, I recommend this article. It exposes the mendacious doings of Risk Management Solutions.
Florida insurers rely on dubious storm model
By Paige St. John, November 14, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
Munich Re’s involvement with Risk Management Solutions
Munich Re, Swiss Re May See Higher Rates After Katrina Losses
By Jon Menon, Bloomberg – September 9, 2005
Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) — Munich Re and Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world’s largest reinsurers, may lead companies in raising premium rates for catastrophe coverage after Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $35 billion in insured losses.
Reinsurers and their customers, including insurers Allianz AG and Axa SA, will begin negotiating 2006 contracts when they meet in Monte Carlo starting Sept. 11. They’ll convene again in the German town of Baden-Baden in October to complete agreements.
For the second year in a row, executives are gathering amid record U.S. hurricane losses. Katrina dislodged offshore oil rigs, flattened homes, flooded New Orleans, left hundreds dead and brought commerce on the U.S. Gulf Coast to a standstill when it battered four states on Aug. 29. The storm may be the costliest ever, according to estimates from analysts including Risk Management Solutions, and follows four hurricanes last year.
The shares of Munich Re and Swiss Re have gained since Aug. 26, the last day of trading before Katrina hit. The 27-member Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index has advanced 3.8 percent during the period.
Munich Re Issues $128.7 Million Windstorm Cat Bonds
November 28, 2005
The reinsurer’s announcement noted that “Munich Re entered the insurance securitisation market for its own purposes five years ago with PRIME Capital, also using the concept of parametric triggers.
The bulletin also gave the following details: “BNP Paribas, as sole bookrunner, has placed the deal with capital market investors. Risk Management Solutions modeled the underlying risk. Munich American Capital Markets, the capital markets unit of Munich Re, worked closely together with BNP Paribas in structuring and managing the transaction.
Tsunami Survivor at Munich Re Warns of Intense Hurricane Season
By Oliver Suess – June 7, 2007 19:12 EDT
June 8 (Bloomberg) — Peter Hoeppe, the chief scientist at Munich Re, saw nature’s destructive power up close. He found himself in hip-deep water during the tsunami that left 229,000 people dead or missing in December 2004.
“It felt life-threatening,” said Hoeppe, who was on vacation in the Maldives when an underwater earthquake off Sumatra sent waves as high as 30 meters (100 feet) crashing into coastlines from southeast Asia to eastern Africa.
A week later, Hoeppe took over the Geo Risks department at Munich Re. He and his team of 30 geophysicists, geographers and weather experts pore through research and simulate disasters to make sure the world’s second-largest reinsurer is ready for the costliest catastrophes — from an earthquake in Tokyo to a Category 5 hurricane striking Houston.
Hoeppe predicts this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which began last week, will be worse than usual, with insured damages surpassing the $20 billion average of the last seven years and far exceeding last year’s $250 million. His models show a high probability that at least one storm will hit land and cause major insured losses.
“The current warm phase of sea-surface temperatures, which started in 1995, is still the most important driver behind higher hurricane intensity and frequency,” Hoeppe said in an interview last week at Munich Re’s headquarters. “We will remain in this phase for at least another 10 years.”
Munich Re almost doubled rates for property and casualty reinsurance in hurricane-affected areas after Katrina. Prices for coverage of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico jumped as much as 400 percent. The company said it further raised rates for storm-prone regions this January.
The 127-year-old Munich-based company and larger rival Swiss Reinsurance Co., based in Zurich, help insurers such as American International Group Inc. and Allstate Corp. shoulder risks for clients.
Climate Change
“The trend clearly points toward more frequent and more expensive natural disasters,” said Ernst Konrad, the Munich- based head of equities at Bayern-Invest, which manages about $35 billion and owns shares of Munich Re and Swiss Re. “That’s good for reinsurers as it will drive demand and prices.”
Munich Re’s net income rose for the past three years, reaching a record 3.4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) in 2006. Shares of Munich Re rose 32 percent in the past year, topping the 24 percent gain of the Bloomberg Europe 500 Insurance Index.
Hoeppe expects human-driven global warming to trigger more severe natural disasters.
This winter he predicted a major storm in Europe after noting that warmer-than-usual weather left less snow cover in the region. In mid-January, winter storm Kyrill swept through Britain, France and Germany, resulting in more than 40 deaths. Climate models indicate winter storms in Europe will become more intense and less frequent, Hoeppe said.
Hoeppe and most of his team work from the reinsurer’s five- story complex in the Schwabing district of Munich, where a glass- encased mock-tornado machine whips up a cloud of mist to greet visitors. They analyze loss reports connected with major catastrophes since 1975, and have archives stretching back to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Hoeppe foresees a storm resulting in insured damages of $100 billion within the next 20 years. Climate change may eventually bring hotter summers to Europe, hurricanes to Lisbon and bigger storms in the Mediterranean, he said.
Down the hall from Hoeppe’s office, past maps showing ocean currents and storm systems, a computer model pinpoints the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that are reinsured by Munich Re.
“Berz was a famous personality in the international research community,” said Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer at Newark, California-based risk-modeler Risk Management Solutions Inc. “Hoeppe is well on the way to establishing a similar reputation.”
Munich Re, Swiss Re May Gain on Mild Hurricane Season (Update2)
By Oliver Suess and Jon Menon – September 7, 2007 12:18 EDT
Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) — Swiss Reinsurance Co. and Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurers, may be headed for record profits as hurricanes miss the U.S. for a second straight year.
[…]The worst hurricane season on record caused $58 billion of insured losses in 2005 and prompted reinsurers to raise rates for coverage by 100 percent or more in storm-prone areas. While prices for catastrophe reinsurance are likely to decline in 2008, they’re still at “relatively high levels,” Huttner said in a note to investors.
“The better the weather, the less the damage and the higher the profitability,” said Guy de Blonay, who helps oversee $41 billion at London-based New Star Asset Management Group, which owns Munich Re shares. “Long term, the industry is a buy.”
It was the first time that two Category 5 storms made landfall in a single season. Total insured losses will be less than $1.7 billion, according to estimates from Risk Management Solutions Inc. in Newark, California. That’s a fraction of the $40.6 billion of damages caused by Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged parts of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama in August 2005, killing more than 1,500 people.
“Reinsurers are cheap and offer more attractive risk-return characteristics than banks,” Zurich-based Winet said.
Munich Re, RMS cooperate on insurance risk models
By Jonathan Gould
FRANKFURT | Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:52pm IST
Dec 16 (Reuters) – The world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re (MUVGn.DE), and U.S. risk-modelling company RMS will work together to develop sophisticated new models to assess and price insurance risks such as hurricanes and earthquakes, the two companies said on Tuesday.
Munich Re said the non-exclusive, multi-year collaboration with RMS would allow it to improve its own in-house risk models and develop new insurance and capital market packages for its clients.
The deal also would allow RMS to extend the range of modelling products it offers clients, the two companies said in a joint statement. They declined to give financial details.
[…]”The risk landscape is changing very rapidly. If you think of natural perils, globalisation, climate change or longevity risks, for example, there are whole areas of challenges where quality, breadth and speed will be key.”
“We want to expand the frontiers of insurability for risks that have not been sufficiently modelled yet,” Proebstl said.
Munich Re, RMS Collaboration Extends Risk Research
Insurance Networking News, December 16, 2008
Munich Re, Risk Management Solutions Extend Research Agreement
December 17, 2008
Risk Management Solutions announced from its London office that Munich Re is extending its “state-of-the-art” risk research and quantification capabilities through a cooperation agreement with RMS. “Munich Re and RMS will embark on research in new and also in emerging areas of risk modeling and, by that, expand the frontiers of risk modelablity and insurability,” the bulletin added.
“This initiative with RMS is part of our strategy to make use of a collaborative network to complement our insights with external knowledge and translate these insights into intelligent risk management solutions,” he continued. “This will create value for our clients and shareholders and, thus, reinforce our leadership role of being a ‘think factory’ for the insurance industry.”
The cooperation agreement assures that “Munich Re and RMS will collaborate to identify and pursue shared research priorities for new and emerging sources of risk yet to be modeled, and for areas of risk that continue to present challenges in modeling and its applications, including the key drivers of uncertainty and sensitivity to data quality,” said the bulletin.
[…]RMS President & CEO Hemant Shah commented: “Munich Re is already an industry leader in its utilization of models to make effective business decisions. Looking forward, both RMS and Munich Re see significant opportunities for catastrophe and other classes of risk models to catalyze an even greater degree of innovation and efficiency in risk management practices. We look forward to exploring the frontiers together, and to this exciting collaboration.”
How you pay for tomorrow’s scares, today
Disaster addiction – and the cost of your insurance
By Stuart Blackman • Get more from this author
Posted in Energy, 12th January 2009 15:34 GMT
RMS’ Paradex Model Plays Key Role in Munich Re, Tokio Marine Cat Swap
April 27, 2009
Munich Re closes cat bond using U.S. T-bill collateral
By Sarah Hills
LONDON | Thu May 20, 2010 6:24am EDT
Insurers have used catastrophe bonds since the 1990s to manage their exposure to natural disasters by transferring potential losses to investment funds. Investors receive a high rate of interest but risk losing part or all of their principal if a catastrophe occurs.
MEAG, Munich Re’s asset management company, set up a U.S. Treasury bill fund as collateral for the bond.
The U.S. hurricane losses will be quantified on the basis of a market-loss trigger prepared by Property Claim Services (PCS). European windstorm losses will be quantified using risk catastrophe firm Risk Management Solutions’ PARADEX parametric index.
“In these turbulent times, catastrophe bonds are a very interesting option for institutional investors, since they are not correlated with financial market risks and thus offer diversification benefits,” said Munich Re board member Thomas Blunck.
Bob Ward works for Risk Management Solutions. Previously, as press officer for the Royal Society, he organized a campaign to censor climate skepticism in the U.K.
Move to block emissions ‘swindle’ DVD
The Guardian, Wednesday 25 April 2007
Dozens of climate scientists are trying to block the DVD release of a controversial Channel 4 programme that claimed global warming is nothing to do with human greenhouse gas emissions.
Sir John Houghton, former head of the Met Office, and Bob May, former president of the Royal Society, are among 37 experts who have called for the DVD to be heavily edited or removed from sale. The film, the Great Global Warming Swindle, was first shown on March 8, and was criticised by scientists as distorted and misleading.
In an open letter to Martin Durkin, head of Wag TV,…
Ofcom said it had received 246 complaints, and was investigating. The letter was coordinated by Bob Ward, a former press officer with the Royal Society. He said: “This isn’t about censorship, it’s a question of quality control. We have no objection to the DVD being distributed if all the errors are corrected, but if they correct all the errors then the whole premise of the program will fall to pieces.”
Mr Durkin said: “This contemptible attempt at gagging won’t work. The reason they want to suppress The Great Global Warming Swindle is because the science has stung them. By comparison look at the mountains of absurd nonsense pedalled in the name of ‘manmade climate change’. Too many scientists have staked their reputations and built their careers on global warming. There’s a lot riding on this ridiculous theory. The DVD will be on sale shortly at a shop near you.”
Scientists want edits to warming skeptic’s film
Documentary aired on British TV, and is about to go to DVD
updated 4/25/2007 10:36:18 AM ET
“Free speech does not extend to misleading the public by making factually inaccurate statements,” said Bob Ward, the former spokesman for the Royal Society, Britain’s academy of science, and one of the letter’s signatories. “Somebody has to stand up for the public interest here.”
The documentary, which first aired on Channel 4 in March, argues that man-made emissions have only a marginal impact on the world’s climate, and that instead, climate change can better be explained by changing patterns of solar activity.
Ward said the film’s director, Mark Durkin, made a “long catalog of fundamental and profound mistakes” — including the claim that volcanoes produce more carbon dioxide than humans, and that the Earth’s atmosphere was warmer during the Middle Ages than it is today.
Ward has also complained to Britain’s media regulator, which said it was investigating the matter. British broadcast law demands impartiality on matters of major political and industrial controversy — and penalties can be imposed for misrepresentations of fact.
The decision to broadcast Durkin’s documentary — billed as “the definitive response to Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth'” — on Channel 4 was an unusual move in a country where the role of man-made carbon emissions in heating the globe is largely taken for granted and politicians regularly spar over which party has the greenest environmental policy.
Gore, for his part, has been hired as an adviser to the British government, which plans to send copies of his film to schools all around England.
More Heat than Light on the Warming Swindle
Posted by admin on April 27, 2007
Martin Durkin’s Great Global Warming Swindle is in the news again following an open letter to Wag TV signed by 37 scientists. The Letter, organised by Bob Ward – former Senior Manager for Policy Communication at the Royal Society, complains about the DVD release of the film.
But why would Bob Ward, who no longer holds a position at the RS, and who is not a climate scientist, have anything to say about who is right or wrong on matters of climate science? Ward left his job at the RS to take a job as Director of Global Science Networks at risk analysis firm RMS, which serves ‘more than 400 insurers, reinsurers, trading companies, and other financial institutions‘ so that they ‘achieve financial stability while optimizing profitability and growth[…]
What is causing our climate to change?
Published on Saturday 5 May 2007 01:06
Bob Ward, the global science networks director at the international consultancy Risk Management Solutions, and former head of media at the Royal Society, organised a letter signed by nearly 40 climate scientists including one, Carl Wunsch, who was featured in the programme, protesting against the release of the documentary on DVD, saying it has “misrepresented both the scientific evidence and the interpretations of researchers”.
WARD: The signatories of the letter simply seek for Martin to correct the major misrepresentations contained in his programme before it is distributed on DVD. Seven of these in summary are:
1. It misrepresented a graph of global average temperature published in 1995 and failed to acknowledge the most up-to-date analysis that shows none of the large-scale surface temperature reconstructions indicate medieval temperatures were as warm as in the last few decades.
E-mail exchange between Bob Ward and Martin Durkin (September 2007)
C4’s climate change documentary ‘was unfair but not misleading’
Tuesday 22 July 2008
The Great Global Warming Swindle, written and directed by Martin Durkin, misrepresented the views of the Government’s former chief scientific adviser Sir David King, Ofcom said yesterday in a long-awaited judgement.
The programme was further found to have unfairly treated Sir David, the American oceanographer Professor Carl Wunsch and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to have breached the section of the Broadcasting Code relating to impartiality. But while accepting that the programme contained inaccuracies, and that there were “aspects of the presentation (and omission) of facts which caused some concern”, Ofcom acquitted the broadcaster of “materially misleading the audience so as to cause harm or offence”.
Ofcom said serious allegations were made against the IPCC without the UN body being given a proper opportunity to respond and it also found the programme to be in breach of the impartiality code by alleging that the climate change policies of Western nations were holding back development in poorer countries, without putting forward an alternative view.
Many of those who complained were unhappy with this. “Ofcom has dropped the ball by finding that the programme did not breach the Broadcasting Code with respect to standards of accuracy,” said Bob Ward of the consultancy Risk Management Solutions, a former head of media at the Royal Society.
There are far-left politics behind the Durkin stance. Durkin, a graduate from LSE and former financial journalist, has in the past been associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party, an offshoot of the Seventies and Eighties militant group International Socialism, and its magazine Living Marxism. He joined London Weekend Television in 1989 and 10 years later was running his own production company, WAG TV.
The Great Global Warming Swindle was welcomed by a number of right-wing commentators – strange bedfellows for someone with connections to Living Marxism – but sometimes the far right and the far left have much in common.
Durkin doesn’t fit the Chris Mooney-Lewandoubtski stereotype of “climate deniers” (then again no-one does).

David Ross
October 10, 2012 8:36 pm

Apologies. The last sentence of my last post was my comment. It is not part of the preceding quoted article (which I neglected to block-quote indent)

October 10, 2012 9:03 pm

G P Hanner says:
October 10, 2012 at 11:30 am
Who reads USAToday? I mean other than people in airport terminals waiting for their flights to be called.
How USA Today Slips $82 Million a Year Onto Your Hotel Bill
People checking out of a hotel are usually in a hurry, whether on their way to catch a plane, return a rental car or get back to their families. Certainly they’re too busy to notice or care about a measly extra charge for 75 cents for an unrequested newspaper.
Gannett Co., the publisher of USA Today, has been profiting to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year from these small charges. But now that revenue could be in jeopardy thanks to a lawsuit from a guest who not only noticed the item on his bill — he was angry enough to sue over it.

October 10, 2012 9:11 pm

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Anthony calls this piece about increased losses for insurance companies “crazy.” It is. The data is clear. The weather is what it always has been. It is not getting worse, it is still normal. It gets dry, it gets wet, it floods, it snows, it gets hot, it gets cold, it blows, and blows, and blows, especially in the central USA. Don’t let anyone fool you. We just have short memories. It really has been worse, and it really will be worse when it starts cooling into the next glaciation cycle, but I think we have some centuries before that gets going in a bad way.

Pete Olson
October 10, 2012 10:00 pm

Is this collection of graphs linked to anywhere without comments, etc?

October 10, 2012 10:11 pm

The Gray Monk says:
October 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm
“DirkH, Indeed, the Gustloff was a far more deadly loss, as was the British Lancastrian, sunk in the evacuation of France with an estimated 9,000 troops and civilians on board.”
Thanks. I knew about the evacuation and the destruction of military material but not about that disaster. I’ll look into it.

October 11, 2012 2:13 am

The RE in their name is for RE-Insurance… An insurance company finding cause to raise rates, I’m sure it’s all innocent….

October 11, 2012 2:27 am

who you gonna bleeve?- my facts or your lyin eyes?

P. Solar
October 11, 2012 3:58 am

I don’t see what the forth graph tells us about whether recent weather is worse or not.
Apart from the now defunct hurricane drought, that could have been stated in one sentence, all the graph shows is the distribution of frequency of land fall events. It is not a time series and gives us absolutely no information about how storm frequency has changes over time, which is the subject of this article.
Neither do I understand what P. Jr thinks he is demonstrating by putting a “trend” on this plot. How can you have a “trend” in a frequency spectrum and what does it mean?
It appears that Anthony may have been mislead by the presence of the near flat trend (which is not a trend), and thought it showed no trend in hurricane landfalls.
This is misleading. The following plot , which is also based on data from P. Jr shows there is a clear relation between N. Atlantic surface temperature and cyclone energy. It shows that both are predominantly cyclic and ceased rising near the turn of the century.

P. Solar
October 11, 2012 4:06 am

“Two words: Oh, please. This is easily dispelled by looking at the data. Apparently Doyle Rice can’t be bothered to do some basic research.”
Not at all, it appears he did his journalistic research and spoke to the right people, made sensible comments in his article AND THEN summed up with a totally off the wall and contradictory final sentence.
One wonders how he could have made such a conclusion in view of what he had written.
I’m inclined to think that his editor changed the title and added the final line, or instructed Rice to make it more “politically correct” (as directors at CERN would say.)
Anyone writing to USA Today should write to the editor and ask him why closing sentence and the title were totally at odds with the facts reported in the article.

October 11, 2012 5:02 am

The other Phil says:
October 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm
The USA Today is guilty of shoddy journalism, but the rebuttal starts out on the wrong foot.

Hello oP – (appropriate given my name). But you give USA Today too much credit. They are not really guilty of shoddy journalism. To be guilty implies they practice Journalism. They do not. They are the MacPaper – they merely are the snippets for the uninformed.

Tom Stone
October 11, 2012 5:58 am

I think this is another example of why public opinion has been turning against the warminsts.
I have memories of Hurricane Camille from 1969, the April 1974 tornado outbreak, the brutal winter of 1977, and the Midwest blizzard of 1978. All of these personal observations conflict with what I read in the mainstream media about weather becoming more severe, and the media loses its credibility.

Tom Stone
October 11, 2012 6:01 am

Another example of the famous quote from Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Rhys Jaggar
October 11, 2012 6:03 am

Testimony to Congress September 2012.
Put it here: it refutes this stone dead.

Kevin Schurig
October 11, 2012 6:14 am

Really? Seems to me the only increase is the increase in dollars from the damage and I don’t need a model to figure that out. Of course, hard to blame that on AGW so let’s just ignore it and arbitrarily pick a starting date that makes the assumption look good. SOP for the Chicken Little crowd.

October 11, 2012 7:41 am

Graphs are racist a preserve the hetero-normative patriarchal oligarchy.

David Cage
October 11, 2012 9:25 am

The study being released today by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm, sees climate change driving the increase and predicts those influences will continue in years ahead, though a number of experts question that conclusion.
They of course are not even a tiny bit influenced by the way that higher risks are accompanied by higher premiums.

October 12, 2012 2:48 am

It’s always rather suspicious when a primary source happens to be an insurance company. In particular when the media that is supposed to provide valid and substantiated information cannot do so, then we have a major problem on our hands. A more thorough investigation of the true nature of global warming needs to be addressed so that the public can decide for themselves.

October 12, 2012 7:19 pm

I see some opportunities to make accusations of cherrypicking, which could have been avoided.
One item: The graphs for incidence of tornadoes F2 and stronger. These start with the 1970’s, which had a significant amount of tornado trouble on a single very bad day in April 1973. 2011
was similar in having a bad April outbreak. If the tornado graphs included the 1960’s and 1950’s, I think the declining trend would still be there.
Another item: Graphs showing number of severe weather incidents and new records by decade. I see graphs counting the 2010s, even though that decade has less than 3 years so far.
A further item: Hurricane strikes vs. atmospheric CO2. It is unsourced, and does not mention
how much time each 10 ppm band covers. Lower ones probably cover more time. I wonder if the highest one is complete, since CO2 is still below 395 ppm. If that was “strikes per year” rather than count, then I would consider it more resistant to accusations of cherrypicking.

October 12, 2012 7:28 pm

There is an explanation why most forms of severe weather in the northern hemisphere are in a state of decline as a result of global warming: In general, extratropical windstorms (other than tropical cyclones) feed from horizontal temperature gradient. This includes severe thunderstorm winds, and large and moderately large tornadoes and intense tornadoes. As predicted by “the models”, the globe has warmed more in and near the Arctic than elsewhere. This reduces horizontal temperature gradient in the extratropical northern hemisphere.
The decreasing horizontal temperature gradient probably results in extratropical lows and highs being less intense in terms of pressure, which could lead to a decline in temperature extremes.

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