A pair of notorious and discredited climate alarmists published an editorial last week in the New York Times titled, “Climate Change Will Cost Us Much More Than We Think.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/opinion/climate-change-costs.html) The article by Naomi Oreskes and Nicholas Stern presents no economic data or analysis, but merely asserts that global warming is worse than previously thought, so therefore the costs to deal with it will be more than previously thought, too. In fact, just the opposite is true.

It is difficult to claim global warming is worse than previously thought when even the United Nations has been forced to reduce its estimates for future warming and to correct climate alarmists on important claims. After the UN predicted global warming will increase by 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade, slowly rising temperatures forced the UN to lower its projected warming estimate to 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. How does that make warming “worse than we thought”?

Similarly, the United Nations has thrown cold water on various other climate alarmist claims and predictions.

Regarding hurricanes, the UN’s 2018 Interim Report (https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/) admits, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration).”

Regarding tornadoes, the UN 2018 Interim Report admits, “There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes.”

Regarding floods, the UN 2018 Interim Report admits, “There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods at regional scales …. Furthermore, there is low agreement in this evidence, and thus overall low confidence at the global scale regarding even that sign of these changes.”

Oreskes and Stern attempt to divert attention away from all this good news by claiming “increased heat decreases food production, which leads to widespread malnutrition, which diminishes the capacity of people to withstand heat and disease and makes it effectively impossible for them to adapt to climate change.” Except crop production is not decreasing. In fact, crop production has been consistently improving as temperatures modestly warm, with global crop production setting new records almost every year. (http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/csdb/en/).

This year will be no exception, as the UN predicts global crop production will set yet another new record in 2019. Observes the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2019 biannual Foot Outlook, “World cereal output is forecast to reach a new record level of 2 722 million tonnes (including rice in milled equivalent), that is 71 million tonnes higher than in 2018. Among the major cereals, wheat, maize and barley would account for most of the rise in cereal production, with projected year-on-year increases of 5.0 percent, 2.3 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. Global rice production is likely to remain close to the 2018 all-time high.” (http://www.fao.org/3/ca4526en/ca4526en.pdf)

The New York Times and other media outlets have accepted and trumpeted the Oreskes and Stern assertions without question or scrutiny. Straight-up facts, and the United Nations itself, have proven how ridiculous their assertions are. Global warming is, and will continue to be, costing us much less than previously thought – assuming it costs us anything at all.

Author

  • James M. Taylor is an American lawyer, senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute and a CFACT contributor. James Taylor is a keen analyst of science and public policy and a competition level poker player.