Global Agency Sows Fear With Misinformation

This commentary and exposé was first published at Real Clear Energy on January 17, 2022

by Gregory Wrightstone and Kip Hansen

recent report by the World Meteorological Organization claims that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of natural disasters over the last 50 years. According to the WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970 – 2019), there were more than 11,000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally, with just over 2 million deaths and U.S. $ 3.64 trillion in losses.

The report claims that the number of disasters “has increased by a factor of five” since 1970 and that human additions of carbon dioxide are to blame. Referring to this data, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas stated:

“The number of weather, climate and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. That means more heatwaves, drought and forest fires such as those we have observed recently in Europe and North America.” He further warned: “The warming of the oceans has affected the frequency and area of existence of the most intense tropical storms.”

The chart used to support their alarming claims of a five-fold increase of disasters is shown below, and taken at face value appears alarming.

Figure 1 – Number of reported disasters

The claims of increasing numbers of these severe weather events should generate alarm if they were correct. Fortunately for the peoples of the world, the facts fly in the face of the reporting. The WMO and its authors chose to misrepresent disaster data as gathered by one of the most reputable agencies in the world, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in their EM-DAT database. The WMO based its reporting on the CRED data as shown below and displayed by Our World In Data.

Figure 2 – Global reported disasters by type

The claims of a five-fold increase in the numbers of disasters appears to be supported by a significant increase in calamities from 1970 until 2000 and a decline over the last twenty or so years. Why the change from increasing disasters over the first 30 years of data and a decline thereafter?

It turns out that the period from 1970 to about 2000 are the years in which CRED was building a data collection system that depends heavily on external reporting. Please note that the title of the WMO chart is “Number of reported disasters,” not “number of disasters.”

That the chart was driven by reporting rather than numbers was confirmed by CO2 Coalition Science Research Journalist Kip Hansen when he first questioned the validity of the data after its publication in 2019. At the time, he emailed Regina Below, CRED database manager and documentalist, asking her to confirm that the increase in the early period represented an increase in reporting, rather than an increase in actual natural disasters. Her response via email?

“Thank for your e-mail. You are right, it is an increase in reporting.”

In other words, the CRED system’s counts rose as it received reports from more and more sources over the years. Comparing totals from the 1970s with 21st century data is not only inappropriate, but also a blatant misuse of statistics to bolster a pre-ordained conclusion of increasing destruction.

To restate: The WMO released a “study” claiming climate disasters were increasing based on numbers that the authors knew were misleading at best. The actual numbers of disasters since proper reporting has been in place show a decline in disasters over the last twenty years, exactly opposite the hyperbolic claims of the WMO.

The World Meteorological Organization should immediately retract this flawed study and issue a formal statement publicly correcting the record.

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and author of “Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.”

Kip Hansen is an expert on climate specializing in sea-level rise and is a Science Research Journalist for the CO2 Coalition

This commentary and exposé was first published at Real Clear Energy on January 17, 2022

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January 18, 2022 2:10 pm

If “climate change” were really a problem, they wouldn’t be covering up with lies & misinformation. The fact that they do so all the time about everything merely exposes their lies. Enough already.

Bill Powers
Reply to  marlene
January 18, 2022 2:20 pm

Marlene if climate change at any time becomes a problem, let us say the next Ice Age as a for instance, there is nothing the Bureaucrats of the world could do about it anyway.

The under-educated public school passed, social media class, who sit on and consternate over every leftist alarmist “might be, could be. possibly” report; Don’t realize, thanks to the CNNs around the world that there is nothing world governments can do to CONTROl the climate.

Ergo, if a Climate Problem does arise, you better have a secret stash of fossil fuel to get you through the hot and cold of it.

Peter K
Reply to  Bill Powers
January 18, 2022 7:09 pm

Kids here in Oz, primary schools, are taught the gloom and doom of climate change, at an early age and often dragged out of class to do street march’s. That was after Tim Flannery’s missionary visits to the schools. The teacher’s union altered the curriculum to cement that in.

glenn holdcroft
Reply to  Peter K
January 19, 2022 6:52 am

Indoctrination .

Reply to  Peter K
January 19, 2022 7:02 am

Really?? My son certainly wasn’t and I asked very regularly about that topic. Hasn’t had anything other than very brief mentions in high school either. Maybe NSW is different to where you are.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Dean
January 19, 2022 7:26 am

I work in a book store in retirement and the number of books on all things leftist, Checking all the boxes from man made Climate Change to transgenderism, out numbers just tell the kids a story books by an order of magnitude.

You must make enough to send your son to Private School Dean. If your argument is that the government run schools are not socio/political indoctrination centers all the while failing the majority of future voters in their educational requirements of reading, writing, and math, well to put it in a way that most of the left can understand, you are a Denier.

Reply to  marlene
January 18, 2022 2:20 pm

Add to that the climate of fear in speaking out across many professions and you get a sense of the unstoppable momentum seen before in 1930s Germany, communist dictatorships, and many Asian order-at-all-cost societies. Such freight trains look unstoppable until they finally derail at high cost. All it takes is a few curves in the straight-line thinking plan.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  marlene
January 18, 2022 2:47 pm

If Climate Change ™ was a real problem, they’d be screaming for nuclear immediately. All those eco-hippies would be marching through the streets of every major city screaming this. All the time.

The very fact that they are not is very telling. The entire ‘planet’ and everything living on it is doomed, but no to nuclear which would ‘fix’ the problem in decades.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 18, 2022 3:23 pm

And so many former Greens group fanatics have reached the conclusion that nuclear is emissions-free and depleted fuel manageable safely and securely.

In fact in Australia the ANSTO CEO has recently commented that in the not too distant future depleted Uranium will be recycled as the new technology is perfected.

glenn holdcroft
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 19, 2022 6:59 am

They think going vegan will save the world and batteries that haven’t been invented yet .

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 19, 2022 7:57 am

Well, no, it wouldn’t “fix” the “problem” because there is no “problem” to fix. The climate is changing naturally just as it always has, and is no more a problem today than it was in the past.

Quite the reverse, the latest “climate optimum” is 100% beneficial, when you consider what life on Earth would be like with today’s human population attempting to live in “Little Ice Age” conditions.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 19, 2022 12:44 pm

Hence the quotes around ‘fix’

Reply to  marlene
January 18, 2022 2:51 pm

They’d be exaggerating the climate problem,
if there was a real climate problem
Just like they did
with Covid case counts.
Covid hospitalization counts,
and Covid death counts.

Reply to  Richard Greene
January 18, 2022 3:26 pm

An interesting article, in part, from Radio 2GB Sydney website today;

“Our current situation is better … NSW is not in a crisis.”
Ben told his listeners that while the vaccine rollout has been slow, and rapid antigen tests hard to find, Australia recorded 2,700 COVID deaths in two years, ranking in at 99th in the world.
In the same period:
America recorded 850,000 COVID deaths
150,000 in the UK
300,000 in Russia
486,000 in India
Last year, between January and October, 125,000 Australians passed away.
Coronavirus accounted for just 1.3 per cent of deaths – about 1,600 in total.
41,000 died from cancer.
13,000 from Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
11,600 from heart disease.
7,000 from strokes and brain aneurisms.
4,000 from diabetes.
2,500 from suicide.
1,800 from drug overdoses.
Almost 2,000 from accidental falls.
On the same day 17 people died from coronavirus in NSW, an estimated 136 Australians died of cancer.
The odds of someone dying from COVID in NSW are 0.1 per cent.
The odds of going to hospital is 0.8 per cent and ending up in intensive care is 0.05 per cent.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Dennis
January 18, 2022 6:38 pm

This just leads me to believe that US, and probably other countries, death due TO Covid (as opposed to WITH), are greatly exaggerated.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 19, 2022 7:40 am

Yes. In the UK anyone who dies for any reason within 28 days of testing positive for Covid is counted as a Covid death.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Dennis
January 19, 2022 4:42 am

Great, Dennis! This is what statistics are good for!

Impressing relative proportions! More people died of accidental falls than with C!

Reply to  marlene
January 18, 2022 3:19 pm

Yes, the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 and mutations that followed is a good example.

If a climate emergency was underway governments would be reacting in a similar way and even the worst emissions source nations would be cooperating to deal with the crisis.

Reply to  marlene
January 19, 2022 5:04 pm

I suspect this is “disinformation” not “misinformation”.

Tom Halla
January 18, 2022 2:16 pm

Writing scare stories based on a reporting artifact? That is rigor for the activist movement.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 18, 2022 2:50 pm

Same is true for Arctic summer sea ice (natural cycle peak about commencement of satellite observation) and for sea level rise acceleration (appending non-closing satellite to closing tide gauges). Best state by state US example is the NCDC 2014 switch from Drd964x to nClimDiv. Artificially changed state warming trends from none to lots. Illustrated in essay ‘When Data Isn’t’ in ebook Blowing Smoke.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 18, 2022 4:38 pm

Rud, by “closing” I assume you mean that the results of the tide gages can be reliably replicated by adding up the individual contributions of additions to sea level such as land-based ice melt, stearic expansion & etc., whereas the satellite results can’t.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 18, 2022 5:12 pm

Exactly. Was precisely defined in older guest post here ‘sea level rise, acceleration, and closure.’ Closure means that the sea level rise estimate equals increased ocean water volume sources. These boil down to just thermosteric rise (now from ARGO) plus ice sheet loss (various sources). Closure comes at about 2.2mm SLR per year. Sat Alt does not close by a factor over 1.5x despite the nonsense re same on the NASA SLR website.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 18, 2022 8:59 pm

early argo data @ 2000 showed ocean cooling so jason willis adjusted ocean temps to match satellite sea level data . that fixed it : bogus ocean warming matched bogus satellite sea level data , so they must both be right .

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 19, 2022 8:04 am

Nothing new. They do the same thing with respect to temperature (proxy vs. instrument), CO2 level (proxy vs. instrument), hurricanes (“sightings” vs. satellites), tornadoes (“sightings” vs. satellites)…they seem to continue to get away with it, because all the deluded remember is the “headline” from the supposedly “reputable” source.

January 18, 2022 2:24 pm

Proof beyond any doubt =

Reply to  gringojay
January 18, 2022 2:51 pm

Only the head injuries are the same.

Rud Istvan
January 18, 2022 2:42 pm

Not only did WMO misrepresent the CRED data by mismatched reporting periods, they made a false inference about severity. Stands to reason that in the 1970’s only the more severe events got logged by nascent CRED, as more newsworthy. So take the color coded big ‘climate three’: drought, extreme weather, and flood. I went to World in Data/CRED and looked up severity, measured by global deaths/100000.

Period Drought Extreme weather Flood
1970s. 1.08 0.88 0.13
2010s. 0.61 0.04 0.08

Obviously, weather satellites, doppler radar, and forecasting models had a MAJOR impact reducing extreme weather deaths (hurricanes, tornados, blizzards…)

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 18, 2022 5:13 pm

Sorry guys. My carefully spaced comment table did not post as spaced. Figure it out from column headers.

Ron Long
January 18, 2022 2:46 pm

“…pre-ordained conclusion of increasing destruction.” is writ large with the socialist crowd and their media enablers. How CNN hosts can sit there and say these things with a straight face suggest they are crazy rather than just stupid or dishonest. Good work presenting the data here.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Ron Long
January 18, 2022 3:02 pm

As Bill Hicks said:

Watch CNN headline news for an hour, its the most depressing f-ing thing: war, famine, death, AIDS, homeless, recession, depression… And you look out your window… Where’s all this s**t happening?!

January 18, 2022 2:47 pm

“Global Agency Sows”
I’d glad to hear
they practice diversity,
by hiring female swine.

Very good article
Clear and concise
with easy to read charts.

January 18, 2022 3:17 pm

I am both amused and annoyed by the climate hoax propaganda claiming climate emergency when bushfires and/or drought is underway in Oz, or heavy rainfall and floods and our not unusual periods of heatwaves in summer.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Dennis
January 18, 2022 4:44 pm

Yeah. These days, every normal summer is apparently an extreme event. Meanwhile, in the real world, we’re having a cyclone drought. Up here where we expect extreme weather, we get none. Melbourne Sydney and Brisbane get a bit if rain, it’s a disaster, apparently.

John in Oz
Reply to  Dennis
January 18, 2022 5:50 pm

I’m waiting for the claim that South Oz had a higher than normal January when it has been extremely mild (Adelaide Hills area).

Had to break out the fluffy slippers last night – not right for an Oz summer

Reply to  John in Oz
January 18, 2022 8:15 pm

Same in Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I had to use gas heater well into December. Today the temperature was 8C at morning to 13C at afternoon. Where is this global warming when you need one.

January 18, 2022 3:51 pm

Note that landslides are included in the listed events-absolutely nothing to do with “climate change”

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Jimf
January 18, 2022 4:01 pm

Also earthquakes, volcanoes and “land movement ?”.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Jimf
January 18, 2022 4:29 pm

And earthquakes. And volcanos. The horrors that CO2 causes know no bounds.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 18, 2022 5:24 pm

super novas? oh, let’s not suggest that to the climatistas

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jimf
January 18, 2022 4:45 pm

Just wait. That Tonga eruption will be blamed on CO2. There’s nothing the Magic Molecule can’t do!

John in Oz
Reply to  Jimf
January 18, 2022 6:00 pm

From their database (my bold):

A hazard caused by short-lived, micro- to meso-scale extreme weather and atmospheric conditions that last from minutes to days.
Includes Extreme Temperature/Fog/Storm

I wonder how many disasters the Stevenson screens missed as they would not have registered an extreme that only lasted minutes.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  John in Oz
January 19, 2022 8:17 am

Ditto for “Named Storms” that last hours or a couple of days in the middle of the ocean.

Looks good on the “X highest number of Named Storms on records” bullshit headlines though!

Reply to  Jimf
January 18, 2022 10:56 pm

To be fair, a change that significantly increases rainfall would create more landslides when topsoil gets saturated.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ted
January 19, 2022 8:19 am

Assuming rain to be the cause of all landslides…and assuming heavy rain is a “climate” vs. “weather” event.

Dave Fair
January 18, 2022 4:32 pm

Kip and Gregory, have either of you heard back from the WMO?

John I Reistroffer
January 18, 2022 4:47 pm

The they forgot to include that the cost of property damage will increase at least 7% a year starting in 2021 and increasing into the future.

January 18, 2022 6:53 pm

Wasn’t the WMO the initial vehicle that Maurice Strong and the Club Of Rome infiltrated to start the whole AGW perfidy?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mr.
January 19, 2022 3:34 am


Peta of Newark
January 18, 2022 8:12 pm

There you have it nicely depicted on a graph, the epic self-importance and hubris, esp of ‘scientists’ and politicians of the Western (first?) World – that they thik/imagine that they are The Most Important Thing That Could Ever Happen

Yet, that very belief demonstrates how perfectly stupid dumb and naive they are – they are sooooo ill-educated and full of themselves## that they simply cannot grasp how big, wide and varied this world really is.
They have trapped themselves into a very tiny world and they are at the very centre of of it
(Reading me on here raving & ranting for the last 5+ yrs you will know by now how they did it – isn’t that right Boris? hic. burp. crash on the sofa and sleep.)

## In the UK we call these people ‘Chavs’
It is not actually a derogatory term, I suspect Vuk will know the meaning of the word. Look it up anyway – it’s true meaning could hardly be more appropriate.

But, unable to see the trap they are in, they venture out to do what they’ve come to believe is Science.
As Judith Curry wrote and we read on here recently, Science (esp that of Global Warming) has become, her words, a Brain Tattoo. Science only lives in the heads of these self important people – a fact reinforced by the Social-Media ‘fact checkers’ who are doing no more than imposing their opinion on everyone else.
Also the BBC with their ‘Reality Check’ – if ever there was a group of self-importants imposing themselves, there it is.
Ooops sorry, what was that you said Mr Mann?

Also as we see daily on here and from Skeptic scientists just as much as Warmists science – all ‘science’ reporting is now no more than epic adventures in minutiaie, trivia and irrelevance. There’s nothing there apart from destructions or reinforcements of what other Skeptics or Warmists thought while doing their investigations of minutiae, trivia and irrelevance.

Science is Dead – We are in a Dark Age
Not just climate science. Food & Nutrition science went down the pan in the mid 50’s
Medical Science stopped advancing over 40 years ago when the last new antibiotic was discovered.
Pharmaceuticals are dead, as witnessed by the abject failure of the C19 vaccines (which many folks said were fake from the very start) – infection rates skyrocket and esp among those who’ve been vaccinated. Take a look at the data from Israel to highlight that clear-as-day.

CO2 Science is the same science that said that the sun, moon and stars revolve around the Earth

But The Self Importants crash on regardless doing their science without realising that because The World is so big, if they look long enough and hard enough they are sure to find what they were looking for.
While everything else they saw on the way is completely perfectly disregarded.

In a nutshell = Magical Thinking. You know what that is Boris doncha, you do it everyday. Oh no, he’s still sleeping it off!

But when the Self Importants have found what they were looking for = what they wanted to find, what they expected to find, they get their ‘representatives in power’ to impose their thinking upon everyone else.
Once their ‘representative’ and ‘leader’ wakes up from off the sofa and has a Paracetamol and a strong coffee or two

But their thinking is that of self imortance, wilful ignorance, confirmation bias, cherry-picking and then shock horror, if or when things don’t go their way, they adjust, hide, delete and cancel.
And they can do that because the are soooo important.
And they know they are important because self importnat parents fawned all over them and spoilt them, like teachers at school, teachers at University as they handed out Mickey Mouse degrees in the subjects of fawning, like arts, medja studies and climate science..
Just look around you – when you yourself are not = ‘hic burp crashed on the settee’

Ah but its OK you say, ” I can handle it”
OK I say, now please explain to me what it’s like being ‘self important’

<end this morning’s rant>

edit to PS
‘this morning’s 4am rant’
here’s today’s brain-ache: Take yourself off and find out what “Firste Sleepe” and “Seconde Sleepe” are or were
Maybe discover that they were things that folks who lived in a Very Real World enjoyed – folks who did not regard themselves as The Centre of The Universe.
Folks who wouldn’t know a mind bending substance (that includes sugar & TV) if it walked up to them, introduced itself then kicked their their backsides.
(or mashed their brains to a pulp if they made the fatal mistake of consuming it)

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 19, 2022 7:43 am

Wait, the moon doesn’t orbit around the earth?

Tom Abbott
January 19, 2022 3:13 am

From the article: “The actual numbers of disasters since proper reporting has been in place show a decline in disasters over the last twenty years, exactly opposite the hyperbolic claims of the WMO.”

Lol! I had to laugh at that one.

All the alarmists have is scaremongering, and when you dig deeper, as was done here, it all turns out to be hyperbole and exaggeration.

The alarmists have no evidence CO2 is causing any of these weather events, so they make things up in order to scare people.

I would say this is borderline criminal activity. The WMO is deliberately lying to the world.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 19, 2022 8:02 am

This is what NOAA says, away from the headlines, in its FAQ about billion dollar disasters in the US.

“Are US billion dollar disasters increasing in frequency and cost?

Yes, the number and costs of disasters are increasing over time due to a combination of increased exposure (ie, values at risk of possible loss), vulnerability (ie, where we build; how we build) and that climate change is increasing the frequency of some types of extremes that lead to billion dollar disasters.More specifically, these trends are further complicated by the fact much of the growth has taken place in vulnerable areas like coasts and river floodplains. Vulnerability is especially high where building codes are insufficient for reducing damage from extreme events”

That is, climate change plays a role but other factors are more important.

January 19, 2022 6:29 am

Couldn’t someone with familiarity with this data base develop a chart showing these increasing data reporting sources across time? It seems like there would be a correlation: across time, more data sources being included.

glenn holdcroft
January 19, 2022 6:46 am

If only the MSM had genuine fact checkers , but would that make the news ?
No , bad news is good news , good news is bad news as far as ratings go .

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