Harvard: Climate change to affect election, in 2099!

From Harvard and the “timing is everything” department comes this “models gone wild” projection that’s sure to upset zealots who think climate change is affecting the election NOW. Oh, wait, in the Hottest Year Ever™, climate change isn’t even mentioned in the presidential debates, and comes in dead last in U.N. worldwide polling.

Climate change: Voters will be hot under the collar by 2099

Harvard study of 1.5 billion votes is the first to project how climate change will impact democratic elections

By 2099 the nature of democratic politics could change in costly ways for politicians because of climate change, says Nick Obradovich of Harvard University in a paper in Springer’s journal Climatic Change. Leveraging a century’s worth of political science research, he predicts that voters’ disgruntlement about the societal effects of climatic extremes and weather-related disasters they experience will translate into more frequent turnover of political parties elected in and out of office, and will keep politicians of especially warmer, poorer countries more on their toes than is currently the case.

Obradovich conducted the first-ever investigation into the relationship between temperature, electoral returns and future climate change. He analyzed over 1.5 billion votes cast in over 4,800 electoral contests held in 19 countries between 1925 and 2011, and coupled it with meteorological data as well as climate models. Election results from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and Zambia were used. However, countries lacking available electoral data – including most Sub-Saharan African nations – weren’t included.

Fig. 1. Incumbent party vote share declines with increases in annual temperature. Panel (a) depicts the relationship between average annual temperature and changes in the constituency-level vote share of national lower house incumbent politicians from 1,256 constituencies across 19 countries between 1925 and 2011. Points represent the average change in incumbent vote share for each 5◦C annual temperature bin. The line represents a loess smoothing of the raw data. Panel (b) draws from the estimation of the fixed effects model in Equation 1 and plots the predicted change in vote share associated with each 5◦C temperature bin. As annual temperature increases beyond 16-21◦C (60- 70◦F), changes to incumbent vote share become markedly negative.

Fig. 1. Incumbent party vote share declines with increases in annual temperature. Panel (a) depicts the relationship between average annual temperature and changes in the constituency-level vote share of national lower house incumbent politicians from 1,256 constituencies across 19 countries between 1925 and 2011. Points represent the average change in incumbent vote share for each 5◦C annual temperature bin. The line represents a loess smoothing of the raw data. Panel (b) draws from the estimation of the fixed effects model in Equation 1 and plots the predicted change in vote share associated with each 5◦C temperature bin. As annual temperature increases beyond 16-21◦C (60-70◦F), changes to incumbent vote share become markedly negative.

The analysis indicates that – once you control for all other place-specific factors like political institutions and levels of economic development – warmer than normal temperatures in the year prior to an election produce lower vote shares for parties already in power, driving quicker rates of political turnover. These effects are even more acute in areas with annual temperatures above 21 degrees Celsius (or 70 degrees Fahrenheit). In these warmer places, voter support shrinks by nine percentage points from one election to the next, relative to office bearers in cooler electoral districts. Using these historical effects, Obradovich forecasts that by 2099 climate change (when temperatures are expected to have risen by up to five degrees Celsius) may reduce the average vote share of office-bearing parties, especially in poorer, already warmer countries.

According to Obradovich, turnover directly related to politician performance is vital to a well-functioning democracy. He notes, however, that findings from the study indicate that democratic turnover might increase as a result of climatic events that are outside the control of individual politicians.

“Such exogenously driven political turnover may shorten democratic time horizons, inducing parties and their politicians to focus on short-run policies at the expense of important longer-run strategies,” he warns. “Such altered political time horizons may have a particularly deleterious impact on climate mitigation, as the long-run benefits of mitigation are unlikely to be observed from one election to the next.”

Obradovich adds that the uncertainty caused by increasing rates of democratic turnover can in turn directly upset macroeconomic outcomes on a broader scale.

“Even more starkly, turnover in nations with weak democratic institutions can up-end political stability. If incumbents in weak democracies foresee a greater risk of losing office, they sometimes employ electoral fraud and pre-electoral violence to maintain power,” he explains. “If these methods fail, incumbents’ loss occasionally precipitates post-electoral violence that can in turn induce broader civil conflict.”

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Reference: Obradovich, N. (2016). Climate change may speed democratic turnover, Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-016-1833-8

The PDF of the paper is here: https://wpsa.research.pdx.edu/papers/docs/climate_voting_wpsa_obradovich.pdf

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48 thoughts on “Harvard: Climate change to affect election, in 2099!

  1. Step one: Prove that you have controlled for all other relevant factors, rather than just those factors that don’t produce the result you are looking for.

    PS: By 2099, all of today’s politicians will be long dead.

  2. Please tell me he did this research for nothing. There really can’t be anyone daft enough to pay for it?

    • The only difference between this and the famous Global warming caused by lack of Pirates graph is that one is thoroughly tongue in cheek and actually matches the data.

  3. It’s not everyday that one of our world class, prestigious universities is involved in a study of such dubious value. Although, upon further reflection…….

    • Wrong. The bulk of garbage that comes out of the “social sciences” and humanities departments is far worse. And, if you are American taxpayer, you got to pay for it. Sucker.

  4. We’ll all be dead. Abnormally hot weather caused WW2. It will be so hot by 2099 that WW3 will already have happened.

    • Or maybe have caused it? Oh…sorry…that’s a nuclear Winter. Oops. So, it’ll either be hot or cold in 2099.

    • Well 2099 is of course 82 yrs 2 months into the future.

      Hiroshima, Japan at 71 years after being destroyed by a nuclear weapon:

      Detroit, USA 54 years since its last Republican mayor:

      Lesson: long term, Socialism is worse than nuclear warfare. Climatists are working for a socialist solution to our political system.

  5. Yesterday, we were treated to the spectacle of a mathematics prof doing yet another predator/prey model, something which has been done to death. Now this. Political Sci. meets climatology.

    Here is what really happened:
    A math prof was at the railway station. The Global Warming Gravy Train pulled into the station. The math prof got on the train.
    A political Sci. prof got on with her.

  6. It’s hilarious that he thinks “climate change” will even still be an “issue”. It will be dead and buried within a decade, the only Believers still hanging on relegated to the status of flat-earthers.

  7. the true danger of global warming: It catastrophically fries the brains of academics incrementally. See what has already happened and the temperature has only increased by half a degree in the last century.

  8. In the graph, mean annual temperatures differ by as much as 35 degrees C. Maybe there are hotter countries and colder countries. Not even the IPCC predicts – excuse me, projects – a 35 C increase in temperature.

  9. My prediction: a carbon tax is passed by 2020 and is increased periodically like income tax rates until it becomes “impossible” to reduce it for the budget’s sake by 2099.

  10. Well, if the movie “Idiocracy” is prophecy, we won’t know how to grow our own food by then so who knows about the existence of “democratic institutions” by 2099.

    The goal of global warmers is an old one (to partially quote Mencken): “…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.” If they continue the propaganda and the education establishment continues to join them, the one-world government utopia they envision may yet come to pass – and those who know liberty will look upon it a despair.

  11. Now these pro-warming scientists are even predicting the results of the election in 2100? Wow, they can predict anything.

    Or is the message “Fund my crappy research program or you will lose the election”.

  12. “Voters will be hot under the collar by 2099″……sheesh!….I’m hot under the collar right now!…….alarmists behind the times and wrong again!!!! ; )

  13. 2099? Maybe by then the journal Nature and some of these Universities may actually be called out on their conflict of interest and be forced to conduct some unbiased climate research and earn the right to be taken off the political activist section of the library.

  14. I admire his audacity and nose for a dollar. He saw all that climate money spread out on the ground and bent over to pick up his share. The problem? His rear is now up in the air for any real scholar/mathematician/statistician to kick.

    You people should read his paper. To start with, he took CMIP5/8.5 models as his basis. Then he down-scaled them regionally, including precipitation. Then, since his temperature intervals were too large for his voting data to make sense(?), he simply drew straight lines between them. Finally, he extended the trend line beyond data available from different regions to get his desired election results.

    I leave it to statisticians for analysis of his weird-sounding methods.

    A fine example of social science as I understand it.

    Charlie Skeptic

    • “I leave it to statisticians for analysis of his weird-sounding methods.”

      He’s a Poly Sci major. If he had to take an entire semester of SPSS I’d be surprised.

  15. A more thorough study should reveal that the greatest threat to the stability of the incumbent party is the availability of information about WTF they are doing for themselves and to the rest of us. Real “transparency”, alternative news outlets, Wikileaks and other non-canonical sources that provide insider information all serve to weaken the public ‘trust’ in the incumbents.
    Viva La Internet!!!

  16. “Even more starkly, turnover in nations with weak democratic institutions can up-end political stability. If incumbents in weak democracies foresee a greater risk of losing office, they sometimes employ electoral fraud and pre-electoral violence to maintain power,” he explains. “If these methods fail, incumbents’ loss occasionally precipitates post-electoral violence that can in turn induce broader civil conflict.”

    Wikileaks has shown us that this is going on right now and no doubt when the incumbent loses this election the violence will ramp up.
    Why does all the violence always seem to come from the left?

  17. I love all these dystopian views coming from seemingly intelligent people. The man with the ‘The End Is Near’ sandwich board is ever present.

  18. Please tell me my tax dollars didn’t pay for this…, all I got is…, garbage. Look I am just a dumb scientist with nearly 20 years of experience but OMG this is really activism or pseudo-scientific political propaganda masquerading as,…, well…, garbage. Sorry Haavad. This really STINKS!

  19. Does anybody know anything (other than what’s on wkipedea, the huffpost etc) about a Peter Guttorp? He is supposed the a Noble winner and is giving a lecture on sea level change. I know he is a statistical prof and his talk has something to do with the potential SLR along the PNW coast, his talk is tomorrow night oct 27 at a campus in Kelowna. I just wonder ( he is talking about the potential rise like 70-80 years in the future and what kind of measures we should be taking) seeing that we live 230 miles away from there ( and have a few rocks in the way) if it be worth it?
    It just sounds to me another one of these “religious” get togethers it is free but I guess they’ll have a collection box.

  20. I’m afraid, that this study is irrelevant. By 2050, we are confronted with a further problem. By 2050, we won’t have enough food worldwide. Humanity will surely experience political changes before 2099. Presumably the lack of food will also lead to wars.

    Reasons for this problem are overpopulation and climate change, with climate change due to the overpopulation. So the problem of overpopulation has to be solved.

    I am ready to help.

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