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BBC Replay Weather Disaster Losses Con Trick

February 19, 2021
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

The BBC have surpassed themselves with this latest mendacious video, purportedly showing how “climate disasters” are costing the US much more than they did in the past:


The theme of the video is that it is worth paying hundreds of billions a year to reduce emissions, because climate change is costing much more, as explained in the chart below:


The number of billion dollar climate events has steadily risen from 29 in the 1980s, to 119 in the 2010s

However it is well established by economists that the rising cost of disasters has nothing to do with climate, but simply reflects increased wealth, population, infrastructure and property, particularly in areas like the Atlantic and Gulf  coasts, which are particularly exposed to hurricanes. In short, there is much more stuff to get damaged.

When damages are normalised to account for such changes, we find that the cost has actually been declining:

The video makes certain claims, which are simply untrue:

1) 2020 had more hurricanes than any other year in the US:

According to official NOAA data, the record hurricane year was 1886, which had seven landfalling hurricanes. Last year tied for second place with 1985, 2004 and 2005.

Moreover there is no evidence that the number of US hurricanes has increased in recent years. The average in the last ten years has been 1.8 a year, compared to the long term average of 2.2.

There was only one major hurricane in 2020, Laura, and there have only been four such hurricanes since 2005. There is no evidence whatsoever that climate change is making hurricanes worse.



Yale Climate Connections also show that tropical cyclone losses last year were not unusual in the US:


2) 2020 had more wildfires than any other.

Again, this is simply not true. Wildfire acreage used to be much greater in the past:

3) Record storms

The number of tornadoes last year was well below average

tornado chart

And strong tornadoes have declined markedly since the 1970s:


The BBC claims that “climate change” cost the US billions last year, and that if they spend trillions on climate action, they will be able to avoid losses in future.

In fact they have proved nothing of the sort – merely that weather disasters always cost a lot of money.

  1. Malcolm Bell permalink
    February 19, 2021 4:30 pm

    The BBC are playing Bill Gates’s “How to save world. Do I detect it is Mr Gates
    looking for new opportunities for him
    to invest and make even more money and become the the planet saviour all in one shot.

    He seems to have bitten into the whole green thing and swallowed it whole. He is full of hyperbole but so far I have heard of no solutions, plans not even a practical strategy. All he has done is to tell government to spend uncontrolled sums of very, very high risk money on “innovation”. Presumably he means, spend it on Gates Inc who are implicitly the world’s leading innovators.

    Who else?

    Not impressed Bill.

    • February 19, 2021 5:01 pm

      Perhaps to prove how impartial they are the BBC could next serialise one of the many books with an alternative and informed viewpoint? Just picking a few off my shelves:
      Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Disaster
      James Delingpole’s Watermelons
      Derek Birkett’s When Will the Lights Go Out?
      John Etherington’s The Wind Farm Scam
      etc., etc.
      Plenty of choice.

      • February 19, 2021 6:30 pm

        They could serialise a book called Denierland by some guy called Jit, but I won’t hold my breath!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 19, 2021 9:23 pm

        The Deniers is an excellent book, especially for those just starting out on their journey to the truth as that is exactly what happened for the author. Believing that there were only a handful of ‘Deniers’ he set out to feature one of them in a column series, that is assuming they would talk given fears over being hounded out of jobs etc. He found so many he decided to write the book and tellingly in the final chapter he points out that the ‘handful’ is actually the activists. And to twist the knife, none of the main activists – Mann etc. – have achieved anything of benefit to science. The evil ‘Deniers’ on the other hand……

      • stevejay permalink
        February 20, 2021 4:39 pm

        I would add, ‘Not for Greens’ by Ian Plimer. Full of straight talking facts and stats.

    • Lez permalink
      February 19, 2021 5:02 pm

      I moved away from LBC to escape James O’Brien. My station of choice then became Talk Radio, but I now find myself switching that off whenever they advertise Bill Gates flogging his new book on how to save the planet.
      Ah! the beauty of birdsong…..

      • tomo permalink
        February 19, 2021 5:29 pm

        Looks like objective reportage and balanced commentary was a 20th Cent. thing.

        I find myself queuing podcasts on my phone and Bluetoothing them to the car radio.

        <a href=""On my keyring

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 19, 2021 7:35 pm

      Let’s assume Gates had the God-given (it would need to be) ability to control ‘the climate’. He’d probably give us the ‘green screen of death’, for a change. And then, every few years he’d issue a climate re-boot because his ‘hurricane.exe’ was in a loop.

    • Broadlands permalink
      February 19, 2021 8:33 pm

      The Wall Street Journal did an interview with Mr. Gates: “Bill Gates Has a Master Plan for Battling Climate Change.” In this wide-ranging interview he presented some numbers, amounts of CO2 we need to remove. He concentrated on the most recent numbers for our global emissions and calculated what it would take: “The planet must reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions being pumped into the atmosphere, currently about 51 billion tons per year, to zero by 2050. Nothing less, he says, will prevent a catastrophe…”

      It is remarkable for a man as smart as he is to forget that those 51 billion tons per year would NOT include any of the CO2 already emitted, large amounts of which must be withdrawn and stored somewhere to reach Net-zero. It would require the capture and burial of ~1,700 million tons a year. But if he and his wealthy friends were to accomplish that feat by 2050 they would, in the end, have taken only 6.5 parts-per-million from the atmosphere, an amount that would hardly be noticeable to the Earth’s climate. Money down the drain?

      • Duker permalink
        February 20, 2021 2:29 am

        Not to mention when you put all the fossil fuel based carbon emissions together against the natural carbon cycle the level is just the ‘margin of error’

  2. tomo permalink
    February 19, 2021 4:38 pm

    Aimed squarely at US website visitors then …

    I see is limiting BBC web captures to 10 a day…. – subjectively the BBC web site archiving is faltering far more often on than other urls – special treatment? – I know it can be a bit wobbly but the BBC … always seem to hiccup and sometimes shows rather large discrepancies between what’s delivered to Yanks vs. hosed into UK IP addresses. /paranoid

    Notably no by-line on the piece either

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      February 19, 2021 4:55 pm

      Harrabin was wittering on the topic on lunchtime TV, forcing me to change channel.

      • tomo permalink
        February 19, 2021 5:15 pm

        Busy boy ain’t he?

        The URL of the video – if one is inclined to watch….

        and if I’m not mistaken the caption text has been stealth edited to now invoke NOAA.

      • Duker permalink
        February 20, 2021 2:32 am

        Good catch there… the science reference is added after the opinion is spouted….no doubt by the minions to defeat any enquiry.

  3. February 19, 2021 4:40 pm

    2020 had more hurricanes than any other year in the US

    But there were no major US land-falling hurricanes at all from about 2009-2016. Which part of so-called climate change caused that?

  4. Mal Fraser permalink
    February 19, 2021 4:40 pm

    I await with interest for the BBC to link man made ‘climate change’ with the current eruption of Mt. Etna in Sicily. No doubt the last BBC correspondent standing when the planet’s core finally cools will still be attributing the cause to the industrial revolution and fossil fuel emissions.

  5. JohnM de France permalink
    February 19, 2021 5:11 pm

    Yesterday the French government published its defense in the court case brought by several environmental groups claiming that the French government is not keeping its commitments to the 2015 Paris agreement. A significant advance.

    It’s official: the Minister for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition declared (according to the Paris Administrative Court on February 3, 2021) that renewable energies do not contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, in a “defense” recorded on June 23, 2020… and that the State has not made public.


    The French therefore have official confirmation that the transition from nuclear to intermittent electric energies (wind power, photovoltaic) has no impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and therefore does not make it possible to fight against global warming, and even less to achieve the objectives defined by the Paris climate agreements in 2015.

    Wind turbines are even likely to increase greenhouse gas emissions in France!

    For 15 years there have been many ministers for the energy transition (Corinne Lepage, Dominique Voynet, Yves Cochet, Delphine Bato, Nicolas Hulot, François de Rugy, Barbara Pompili), from political ecology. They are responsible for this dismal result and for appointing the still-active architects of this fiasco to key positions.

    Rather than suing the French state, the Hulot Foundation should ask for the sanctioning of the promoters of the inefficient energy model based on wind and sun, in particular Mr. Hulot, Minister of the Environment for the period 2017-2018.

    Because the real scandal of the Affair of the Century is to de-industrialise France in favor of countries increasing their consumption of coal (China) or gas (Germany), and to destroy the nuclear industry (Fessenheim) to replace it with recoverable energy and intermittent renewables from wind and sun emitting more carbon. All of this for the benefit of mostly foreign investors and at the expense of taxpayers.

    • Mack permalink
      February 19, 2021 5:49 pm

      That’s very interesting John. The takeaway quote from the article for me was the senior MP complaining that the people had been ‘lied to’ about the actual facts of so called emission reductions by transitioning to wind. There aren’t any emission reductions. What chance any UK politicians waking up and realising that they’ve been had too?

  6. Penda100 permalink
    February 19, 2021 5:51 pm

    It’s pure propaganda – but why would you expect anything else from the Biased Broadcasting Corporation?

  7. February 19, 2021 6:01 pm

    The BBC lie factory reported the “collapse” of WTC building 7 fully 20 mins before it happened.

  8. February 19, 2021 6:04 pm

    Complicit with terrorism? You bet your boots.
    John Doran.

  9. February 19, 2021 6:09 pm

    Definition of fanaticism? “The end justifies the means.”
    This involves the monumental arrogance that means that what you believe is correct & everyone else is wrong. This way lies totalitarianism.

  10. Mal Fraser permalink
    February 19, 2021 6:13 pm

    Will the BBC claim the recent eruption from Mt. Etna is down to the burning of fossil fuels and emissions. No doubt the last BBC correspondent standing when the Earth’s core finally cools will still blindly pursue the same narrative.

  11. IPMS permalink
    February 19, 2021 7:16 pm

    Paul, thank you for your insight; is there any merit in making the post the substantive element of a complaint to the BBC to force them to either admit the “error” or compound their mendacity by “denying” the veracity of the evidence you state?

    I appreciate you may run the risk of being deemed “vexatious” with other complaints that may be pending..?

  12. Phillip Bratby permalink
    February 19, 2021 7:36 pm

    “Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?”

  13. February 20, 2021 12:36 am

    Paul, BBC page already stealth edited… the phrase
    “The United States officially rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement on Friday, reversing the withdrawal by Donald Trump:”
    was first put in, and then taken out again
    (US media are reporting that, so maybe the BBC thought it was breaking some embargo)

    I looked for the quote of the BBC
    cos it’s always best to deal with the exact words they used
    I see it’s in the opening screenshot
    So here’s the text
    “The year 2020 saw a record number of costly hurricanes,
    wildfires, and storms,
    resulting in billions of dollars in damages.
    Since records began in 1980, billion-dollar climate disasters have become much more frequent, and in total have cost the US economy $1.875tn over those four decades, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    In court the BBC will say ah we did not say “record hurricanes”
    We said “record number of *costly* hurricanes”

  14. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    February 20, 2021 8:11 am

    Nothing’s new under the sun. The head-line to this news report gave me a smile.
    It went on to say –
    ‘Images show a radical landscape change at the planet’s northpole, following a polar ice cap collapse.’

  15. Frank permalink
    February 20, 2021 11:52 am

    I was wondering if anyone has reported these misrepresentations to to investigate and publicise? They seem completely impartial and comprehensively research every issue.

    • Phil O'Sophical permalink
      February 20, 2021 4:10 pm

      Sorry Frank, their section on Vaccines is utter disingenuous piffle; straw man and evasions throughout. Utterly misleading and a disgrace for people pretending to have researched each issue.

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