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Climate change disaster is biggest threat to global economy in 2016, say experts

January 14, 2016

By Paul Homewood


h/t Paul2




So says the Guardian:



A catastrophe caused by climate change is seen as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016, according to a survey of 750 experts conducted by the World Economic Forum.

The annual assessment of risks conducted by the WEF before its annual meeting in Davos on 20-23 January showed that global warming had catapulted its way to the top of the list of concerns.

A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock – the first time in the 11 years of the Global Risks report that the environment has been in first place.

The report, prepared by the WEF in collaboration with risk specialists Marsh & McLennan and Zurich Insurance Group, comes a month after the deal signed in Paris to reduce carbon emissions. The WEF said evidence was mounting that inter-connections between risks were becoming stronger. It cited links between climate change and involuntary migration or international security, noting that these often had “major and unpredictable impacts”.

Cecilia Reyes, Zurich’s chief risk officer, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks.

“Meanwhile, geopolitical instability is exposing businesses to cancelled projects, revoked licences, interrupted production, damaged assets and restricted movement of funds across borders. These political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political cooperation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”


Where do they find these geniuses?

As the much maligned (by me!) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes today, there may be some problems that are slightly more pressing:



Moral blackmail is creeping into the Brexit debate.

We are told that it would be deeply irresponsible to walk away from the European project at a moment when the EU is struggling for its life, and doubly wicked to do so in the midst of a geostrategic storm that threatens to overwhelm the Western liberal democracies.

It is certainly a dangerous time. An exhausted America has lost the will to police the Middle East, leaving a lethal vacuum and a three-way struggle between Saudi Arabia, Iran and a neo-Ottoman Turkey drifting ever further from the Western camp.


Man holding ISIS flagAn exhausted America has lost the will to police the Middle East


Four wars are raging across the region, and we are not far from an epic settling of scores between the Sunnis and Shias. The ISIS caliphate still controls Mosul, Iraq’s second city, and jihadi ideology is spreading across southern Asia. Even the Maldives have become an ISIS recruiting ground.

China blows hot and cold. It chose to work hand in glove with the US at the Paris climate summit, but is acting as a predatory imperial power in its own neighbourhood, asserting military control over the reefs and atols of the South China Sea with complete disregard for the competing claims of other states.

Beijing has shrugged off a case lodged by the Philippines at the international tribunal in The Hague, even though it is a signatory to the convention on the law of the seas. This is the litmus test of Xi Jinping’s "China Dream".

A heavily-armed Russia has overturned a recognized border by military invasion, the first time this has happened in Europe since the Second World War. It has violated its solemn pledge in the 1994 Budapest accords to uphold the territory of Ukraine after Kiev agreed to give up its nuclear weapons.

To the extent that Vladimir Putin has been checked, it is in part because he has so far failed to break Europe’s unified front. He admitted to Bild Zeitung this week that Western sanctions are "severely harming Russia", as indeed they are, since the freeze on foreign funding has compounded the crash in oil prices.


Mr Putin has frequently criticised the United States and other western governments for ignoring Russian security concerns

A heavily-armed Russia has overturned a recognized border by military invasion


Yet he is still testing the credibility of Nato’s Article 5 on a weekly basis. Nato jets had to scramble 160 times last year to intercept Russian aircraft over the Baltics.

It is a little disturbing that India, Brazil and South Africa – though democracies – have refused to utter a whisper of reproof against Russia for tearing up the rules of global governance. The "BRICS" alliance comes first.

David Cameron did not, of course, know that the world was about to turn nasty when he first set the EU referendum in motion in early 2013, but critics are clearly right that this is a terrible time for Britain to throw a tantrum.

Even so, it is a stretch to argue that Britons should forgo their one chance to restore full parliamentary control over their laws, courts and borders, given that this referendum is surely the only chance they have to issue their verdict on 40 years of EU conduct. Alea iacta est.


The list could, of course, go on and on:

  • Debt ridden western governments
  • Ageing societies
  • Mass unemployment in the Eurozone
  • Stagnation in Japan
  • Slowdown in emerging economies
  • Mass migration to Europe
  • Stock market collapse in China
  • Terrorism
  • Development of nuclear weaponry in Iran and N Korea



Yet the great and the good tell us the thing they worry most about is an increase in temperature that is so small it cannot even be measured. Future generations will look back and be astonished how so many supposed experts allowed themselves to be so brainwashed.

  1. January 14, 2016 2:15 pm

    Global warming probably is the biggest threat at the moment, to Africans who are enduring indoor air pollution, to Chinese enduring coal-heating smog, to electric car drivers freezing without heating, and to South Australians relying on wind to power their air-con.

    The solution to all these problems: cheap coal-fired electricity, and natural gas.

  2. January 14, 2016 2:16 pm

    Unfortunately for it, the Guardian has dug itself a very big hole via its “Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground” campaign. If the likes of Paul here, Xmetman and many others (thank goodness) continue to strive for the truth, the Guardian might well have to climb into that hole.

    • January 15, 2016 10:42 am

      Much the same as my thoughts. The guardian has such a limited readership of leftist bed-wetter’s that they have to print nonsense like this to keep them. If they lose them they have the paper has nowhere to go. No one else would migrate to such a discredited publication.

  3. January 14, 2016 2:33 pm

    They should be required to name the so-called “experts.” Who are they? Most likely jammie-clad “girly-men” in their parents’ basements with a computer and internet connection.

  4. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    January 14, 2016 2:34 pm

    “Future generations will look back and be astonished….etc”

    Not much faith in them judging by the education system that has been screwed for way too long. Whats the latest..climate classes and now feminism? You really only need to listen to the BBC World Service to witness the garbage they generate and broadcast from the UK. I often try to imagine anybody listening to that stuff in Asia/Africa etc. Thats in between trying to live. Wonder what WTF is in Swahili/Urdu/Hindi etc?

    As regards the USA I sincerely hope that Trump gets a chance to turn much of the USA on its head. Failing that the usual failures will persist….are in waiting?

  5. NeilC permalink
    January 14, 2016 2:36 pm

    “The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” Without anybody voting for any of them – nothing like a bit of democracy eh!

  6. Wil Pretrty permalink
    January 14, 2016 2:46 pm

    You must understand that all these other problems are very difficult to resolve. Politicians need targets where no one can measure their results.

    • January 14, 2016 9:11 pm

      To add to the list of current problems, there are also 4 million people who die each year from indoor air pollution due to indoor cooking and heating using solid fuels (wood, biomass, dung, etc.).

      The alarmists make big claims about FUTURE climate refugees, being displaced by ravaging seas and clouds of locusts. Those 4 million are DYING. Every year! Right now!

  7. January 14, 2016 2:59 pm

    ………….. Cecilia Reyes, Zurich’s chief risk officer, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks. ……………..

    She would say that wouldnt she ? ……… Sounds like a good excuse to put up insurance premiums!

  8. Joe Public permalink
    January 14, 2016 3:38 pm

    Cecilia Reyes, Zurich’s chief risk officer, said: “Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before ……….

    Utter Bullshit

    On 4th Jan Reuters reported “Weather dominates insurance claims in 2015: Munich Re”

    The $27 billion in insured damage last year was lower than the $31 billion registered in 2014 and also below the 10-year average of $56 billion, Munich Re said.

    Overall damage, including that not covered by insurance, was $90 billion last year, the lowest level since 2009.

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 14, 2016 4:25 pm

    tip: A storm called ALEX (by US NHC) has formed in the Atlantic Ocean between 25 – 30 W. L. and about 30° N. Headed north and carrying moisture.

  10. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 14, 2016 4:39 pm

    I have studied the issue of threats and determined one of the biggest, if not the biggest threat to humans – call Cecilia – is getting caught in the draft of a Unicorn fart.

  11. KTM permalink
    January 14, 2016 5:08 pm

    Mass migration is no problem, but fossil-fueled mass migration is an existential threat…

    Libthink gone wild.

    • Brian H permalink
      January 18, 2016 7:16 am

      Migration is flowing the wrong way from/(to) the climate change “hot spots”! What to do, what to do?

  12. January 14, 2016 5:19 pm

    Thanks, Paul, for the wide-angle view.
    I think the CAGW scam is the biggest threat to the global economy, and it hurts the small and undeveloped economies worse.
    But now, even the economy leaders are stumbling; the US of A, Europe, and now China are incapable of gainfully employing their populations.
    But the WEF blindly presses on!

    • Brian H permalink
      January 18, 2016 7:20 am

      Capitalism fails — when it has to carry too many progressives on its back. But their faith in it seems infinite!


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