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The Economist Peddles Extreme Weather Lies

September 11, 2017

By Paul Homewood





The Economist has been running this video on Twitter, with the usual fraudulent claims.

The film uses two examples:

  • Hurricane Harvey
  • Bangladesh flooding.

They forget to mention that Texas has had even more intensive storms in the past, notably 1978 and 1979, and that Bangladesh regularly floods.



But the headline claim is based on this graph:



The first thing to highlight about this, which should really give the whole away as an giant fraud, is that there were apparently virtually no extreme weather events in the early 20thC. Nobody with half a brain could seriously believe this, but apparently Economist readers do.

There appears to be no provenance given for this graph, which in itself is utterly damning for a supposedly serious journal. But it seems to be based on a similarly fraudulent claim from the insurance company, Munich Re, which was doing the rounds a year or two ago, again publicised by the Economist:



As I explained a few months ago, these “disasters” are classified in terms of monetary value. Munich Re only count the most expensive events, albeit adjusted for inflation. (Note – the only other obvious classification is the death toll – but as the video reveals, this is massively reduced).

But, of course, as has been thoroughly explained many times, as the world’s GDP increases, so do economic losses.

No serious organisation would attempt to blame these increased losses on climate change, or any other extraneous causes. But Munich Re has a vested interest in blaming increased premiums on the climate.

It is a sad fact of life that, to get to the truth, we have to rely on independent analysts with no vested interests.

For instance, Roger Pielke Jr:


It is self evident that weather related disaster losses are actually reducing as a proportion of global GDP.


But don’t let simple facts get in the way of propaganda.

  1. September 11, 2017 9:38 pm

    So-called extreme weather is not evidence of any man-made influence anyway, so the Economistake is indulging in pointless frothing.

  2. Curious George permalink
    September 11, 2017 9:39 pm

    I canceled my subscription to The Economist two years ago. Sadly, I am still looking for something better.

    • Joe Public permalink
      September 11, 2017 9:42 pm

      The Beano?

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        September 12, 2017 6:30 am

        Thanks Joe that made me laugh.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 12, 2017 12:44 pm

      I doubt you will. Capable journalists have all but died out.

    • September 12, 2017 3:09 pm

      The Spectator is largely OK imho.

    • September 12, 2017 7:36 am

      “What is the appropriate basis on which to make judgements when theory and data are in such disagreement?”

      Not exactly why does the apple fall from the tree is it? Science used to know the answer was “data” without even asking.

  3. Bitter&twisted permalink
    September 11, 2017 9:48 pm

    Green = scam; fraud; fiddle- fill in as appropriate.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      September 12, 2017 10:00 am

      All three? Add “inbred mendacity” from my experience.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    September 11, 2017 10:18 pm

    Correlation, causation or coincidence?

  5. Athelstan permalink
    September 11, 2017 10:34 pm

    Back in my schooldays, on a wet lunch break, having nothing better to do, I used to peruse ‘The Economist’ it was a confused agitation in those days and I used to think – where’s the economics? Aye padding and opinion plenty of idle speculation but crikey either you were ‘Milton Friedman’ or, Marxist and a total idiot.

    ‘Economist’, if you could credit is, is even more so these days, a Left wing propaganda rag. A glam mag, which does bu77er all economics and if follows they know bu99er all about owt else.
    Particularly, all stuff related to weather, climate and prognostication thereof. Oh yeah did I say prediction?………if you will, remember this lot [Economist] were exhorting the nation to join up with the single currency “else”; ‘we’d suffer all sort of hardships economic woes and probably catastrophe too’ thank the lord we didn’t join that German run scam and total inequitable currency shebang – we’d be totally bu33ered. Though, we are, thanks in no small part to the ruinables and gween agenda [Economist anyone, the corporate blob go to bum wipe and apologist] were just about bu66ered anyhow.

    if the Economist were to change the habits of editorial and put on some reality keks, it would do the nation a favour if, it were to quantify just how much the fabric of the nation has been debilitated through applying the watermelon sticking plaster to fix a hole [O3 and CO2] which never existed – the great scam has much to answer for and nothing but nothing to commend it, other than furnishing thousands of low grade unemployable eejits jobs.

    • HotScot permalink
      September 12, 2017 7:17 am

      No wonder print media is haemorrhaging readers.

      The type of people who read (or used to read) the Economist were the very people likely to go seeking the evidence for insane claims (like your good self) and end up here, or on WUWT (like your good self) and learning that the AGW scam runs deep and wide.

      Perhaps we should encourage the Economist/Guardian/Nat Geographic etc. In fact more people ought to do studies like “The penis as a social construct” and feed it to the gullible ‘journalists’ to make them look even more foolish.

      • Athelstan permalink
        September 12, 2017 11:01 am

        Pretty much as I see it.

    • September 13, 2017 8:45 am

      indeed – and a quick look at who holds the purse strings and the provenance of rather a lot of the staff tells you what you need to know.

  6. September 11, 2017 10:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Warren Buffett is at least brutally honest as to why climate change alarmism means big business for his re-insurance business (from a 2014 interview):

    Interviewer: How has the latest rise of extreme weather events changed the calculus on Ajit Jain in reinsurance?

    Warren Buffett: “The public has the impression, because there has been so much talk about climate, that the events of the last ten years have been unusual. …They haven’t. We’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the last five years. If you’ve been writing hurricane insurance it’s been all profit.”

    Warren Buffett: “I love apocalyptic predictions, because … they probably do affect rates…”

  7. September 12, 2017 12:11 am

    Monday snowed on Ben Nevis

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      September 12, 2017 6:38 am

      Speaking for myself here, there was always snow on my top before October in the past. Things maybe returning to “normal” after the super El Nino of 1997-98?

      • HotScot permalink
        September 12, 2017 7:27 am


        perhaps the ‘predictions’ (observations?) from these two short videos reaching similar conclusions from different directions may be about to manifest themselves. 2019 or so might prove a turning point.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 12, 2017 12:48 pm

        I think the last big El Nino set the timetable back a bit. The Jetstream pattern has already changed to ‘little ice age mode’ but the full results are not yet being seen. Now the El Nino heat has all gone we can start to see what happens next such as second freezing winter in a row for S America, Cold spring in parts of Australia and N Zealand.

  8. Paddy permalink
    September 12, 2017 6:12 am

    For a sober judgement, read the Econopist – Private Eye.

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    September 12, 2017 7:38 am

    The climate-fake-news is in overdrive at present and gets fantastic coverage. They had a so-called scientist called Steve Jones on Today this morning who Humps questioned about global warming. He came up with the usual B**s that the science was proven and that all the temperature measurements cannot lie!!!
    According to him if you go into a pub you might find one foolish person in 100 who does not believe: he must go to pubs in Chelsington! In my pub you’d struggle to find anyone who believes scientists about anything – scepticism is healthy and alive in UK pubs, fortunately.

    • September 12, 2017 9:09 am

      At the end of the programme they had a club of the right-on, Richard Dawkins, Willetts? and John Humphrys, discussing “science”. CC came up at the end, and the JH asked “should we interview Lawson?”.

      Should the public-funded BBC interview an ex-chancellor, who knows more about the subject than most? We live in truly amazing times.

      Dawkins, clearly getting his info from the Guardian, came up with all usual platitudes, the usual “most scientists agree”, with the usual absence of exactly what they agree on, and “you are not entitled to your own facts”. A good riposte to the “facts” one is that scientists are not entitled to give only a SUBSET of the facts, especially when talking outside their areas of expertise.

  10. Dermot Flaherty permalink
    September 12, 2017 7:54 am

    Hot on the heels of Pope Francis’s warnings about Climate Change, this morning, the “Today” programme had its favourite Biologist/Geneticist Steve Jones strongly condemning “Climate Change deniers” and talking about the “incontrovertible proof” of CC.

    Shouting at my radio for Humphreys to ask him “What specific pieces of evidence would you say are incontrovertible ?” had no effect and on he sailed.

    I found myself imagining a proper discussion where – say – the favourite 5 pieces of evidence to support the notion of significant man-made CC caused by increase in atmospheric CO2 by the burning are presented and cross-examined in a rational, fact-based and non-political way such that the average viewer would get a good idea about whether the evidence is indeed “incontrovertible” or whether there is sufficient empirical doubt that no sane person could leap to the conclusions that are being made.

    What would be the top 5 ?
    I guess Arctic sea ice would be in there as would the “increase” in extreme weather events recently covered so excellently and thoroughly here.
    I would also guess atmospheric temperature rise along with sea level rise and sea temperature increases could also be in there.
    (And of course the 97% of scientists claim).

    I know that all of the above have been extensively covered in notalotofpeopleknowthat and personally, I want to construct a crib sheet (if you like) of how to respond to “the evidence is incontrovertible” claim.

    What else should be in the list ?

    • CheshireRed permalink
      September 12, 2017 8:20 am

      Surely no.1 would be ‘does CO2 actually *drive* warming’?
      Without that basic premise being settled everything else fails, and every ice core data set says nope, CO2 is innocent of all charges.
      2. If CO2 does cause warming, what is the *exact* sensitivity?
      3. Where is the proof for positive feedbacks at the levels required to drive warming?
      4. Where is the proof that positive feedbacks amplify the warming properties of O2?
      5. Where is the proof that current weather / climate is in any way substantially different from previously seen climate and if so how does current weather correlate to CO2?

      My focus would be completely on CO2. It’s the climate change theory umbilical chord and without it the scam dies.

      PS. I’d also ask them to comment on Ned Nikolov’s latest paper (which progressed Harry Huffmans 2010 discovery) that shows the really significant drivers of a planets temperature are distance from the sun x atmospheric pressure, with CO2 playing no part whatsoever.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        September 12, 2017 11:03 am

        Go and have a look at Pierre Gosselin’s NoTricksZone. Over recent weeks he has linked to a raft of papers debunking the idea that CO2 has anything to do with global mean temperatures.

        His sidebar links to over 100 that debunk the idea that “it ain’t the sun wot done it!”

        I don’t think arguing the minutiae of CO2 science is productive. The eyes start to glaze over very quickly. What is really needed is more robust challenge of the sloppy repitition of non-facts — sometimes deliberate by activists like Jones; sometimes simply from the (not unreasonable for a layman) angle that “why would they be lying and why would I know better than they do?”

        Until then …

      • Athelstan permalink
        September 12, 2017 11:06 am

        yes to all of that.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 12, 2017 12:52 pm

        You could ask why if Co2 is the driver has there been increasing CO2 measured at Mauna Loa while until the El Nino temperature has been flat for over 18 years? Their datasets prior to Karlization even show the pause.

  11. Dermot Flaherty permalink
    September 12, 2017 7:57 am

    Whoops !
    Typo in the above.
    For “by the burning are presented” read “by the burning of fossil fuels are presented”.

  12. 3x2 permalink
    September 12, 2017 9:35 am

    “serious journal” going out of business and using the click bait model to keep its head above water. It isn’t even a fake news outlet.

  13. September 12, 2017 10:00 am

    One of the reasons that Bangladesh now has such devastating floods is because, when the country became independent, it converted all the flood relief canals that had been built by the British when Bangladesh was part of India into roads. So now, when the inevitable monsoons hit, there is nowhere for the water to go.

  14. Dermot Flaherty permalink
    September 12, 2017 10:39 am

    Many thanks Cheshire Red and of course you are dead right.
    The underlying premise for the Climate Changeists is the man-made increase in CO2 brought on by burning fossil fuels and tackling this head-on is the right way to start.
    If you could assist by pointing me at some key analyses either on notalot.. or elsewhere, that would be much appreciated.
    I realise that the likelihood of the sort of programme I was envisaging getting made and aired by anyone is vanishingly small, but I do argue the CC claims with friends (with the help of inof. on notalot.) and it doesn’t hurt to marshall the facts in an orderly manner.

    • Athelstan permalink
      September 12, 2017 11:29 am

      The alarmists have put the chariot in front of the horses……………

      Atmospherically speaking, CO₂ at ± 390 ppm ‘concentration’ it is a minor gas in the greater atmosphere.

      Michael E Mann and with all his horses and men plus, not even the pope and his jolly intelligent mates in the SJ could weird up a cogent hypothesis as to why and the wherefores about MM CO₂ “is” by some stretch affecting runaway climate change. Notwithstanding the other inconvenient fact – what is in great dispute, if CO₂ levels at the end of the LIA were ~ 250 ppm have risen to 390 ppm what proportion is down to mankind and what amount is just natural outgasing? But but and Aye erm……..: natural warming comes BEFORE CO₂ ie whether it be man made or emitted by the faerie farts at the bottom of the garden, CO₂ rises as a factor of > Temperature and thus CO₂ cannot be the culprit – now can it?

      What is agreed to some extent is that the world has naturally warmed since the LIA, the alarmists tell us this is due to man made CO₂ but even with the pope’s backing the science of global warming is all conjecture, modelled ‘outcomes’ and screeching doom mongering.

      There is no proof, because you cannot quantify what doesn’t exist.

      • HotScot permalink
        September 12, 2017 3:58 pm

        Ah! but there is considerable evidence that CO2 is affecting our lives on Earth. The planet has greened by 14% in 30 years, which IS “unprecedented.”

        A continent twice the size of mainland USA worth of extra vegetation.

        Other than that, as far as I can gather, there is no observable evidence that CO2 is doing us any harm whatsoever.

        Tragically, the alarmist scientists have wasted 30+ years on a wild goose chase for their own financial benefit. Their time could have been better spent on exploiting all that extra vegetation to feed the poverty stricken instead of denying them access to cheap fossil fuel energy, thereby starving them.

        Mind you, they would probably have screwed that up as well.

      • Athelstan permalink
        September 12, 2017 5:14 pm

        Undeniably [imho] more CO₂ benefits the life and thus does the human race gratefully harvest.

        Purely talking atmospherical concentration… though hopefully not ‘purely’ – if you ken?…… Is there a limit to CO₂ atmospheric concentration?

        Prof. Lindzen could provide a better answer to that……..maybe but man won’t be the arbiter of whatever quantity and whenever it is reached, there is plenty of geologically and palaeontologically speaking to suggest the current CO₂ ppm concentration in today’s atmosphere were far exceeded in times of very long ago – probably Mesozoic, Jurassic/early Cretaceous – I’d have to look it up.

        CO₂, plants love it!

        and without it we cease to be. I recall clearly during the Obarmy ‘epoch’ when those mad as a madhouse gets, the US EPA for legal reasons ie to make fossil fuels redundant declared that CO₂ was a “poison” fekkin eejit muppets, didn’t anyone inform those EPA and wimmin incredible geniuses that mankind respires CO₂?


  15. September 12, 2017 5:53 pm

    But wait . . here’s how they’re going to get the number of deaths back up closer to where they used to be. The move to ban gasoline fueled vehicles (it’s coming – bills being prepared all the time) and orders that all cars be electric.

    So consider – how would that 680 mile escape from Miami to Pensacola work out, in your new electric car?

    Kia Soul EV – 93 mile range (if no traffic jams – LOL) BTW – 164 mi from Key West to Miami.
    Nissan Leaf – 107 mi
    BMW i3 – 114 mi
    Ford Focus – 115 mi
    Hyundai Ioniq – 124 mi
    Volkswagen e-Golf – 125 mi
    Chevy Bolt EV – 238 mi
    Tesla X – 295 mi ($95,000)
    Tesla Model S 85D – 335 mi ($92,500)

    Of course, if it’s a Tesla, you’ve got to pray that Elon Musk doesn’t get pissy at the government if they refuse to give him another multi-$billion$ handout, and decides to just turn them all off at the same time (oh, you didn’t know that he has the power to do that?) . . “Houston, we have a problem here.”

    Oh – you drowned along the way, did ya?

  16. September 15, 2017 10:37 pm

    OK Today Radio4 prog More or less had and edition about those weird disaster numbers
    Turns out that they come out of one institute in Belgium
    #1 It has a weird way of defining them
    eg must have 10 dead or have a charity appeal etc.
    #2 Even so people still cherry pick and exaggerate : eg in 2007 Oxfam made a claim ” in last 20 years Natural Disasters are up 4 fold”
    Not true cos 2007 was 401 a rise from 160
    But everyone repeats this large claim
    The last time 100 NDs was reported was 1972

    The last 10 years event list has FALLEN from 401 to 340 (see dip in your Economist graph)
    But more deaths

    IMHo there is no reliable evidence
    Presume previously NDs weren’t fully counted (due to lack of communication etc)
    And now since a parameter that an event must have 10 deaths, the count might increase due to higher population density.. But might fall due to better life saving.

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