NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming: Rhetoric versus Reality

February 13, 2015

Are carbon emissions rising? Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, says yes. But -- does that mean we're facing a serious global warming problem? Lomborg takes a look at the data and says the reality of climate change is not what global warming alarmists would have you believe.

For example:

  • The climate models predicted an 0.8 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature over the last 15 years. The reality? The temperature rose just 0.09 degrees, 90 percent less than what was predicted by the models.
  • Antarctic sea ice is actually increasing, not decreasing as the models predicted.
  • Sea levels are rising, as they have for years, but not at faster rates. In fact, Lomborg cites two studies indicating that there has been a drop in the rate of sea level rise.
  • Are there more droughts? According to a study from March 2014, since 1982, the amount of the world's surface that has faced droughts has decreased.
  • Damage costs from hurricanes have increased in the United States, but only because more people with more expensive property are living near coastlines, says Lomborg. Adjusting for those factors, damage from hurricanes from 1900 to 2013 actually decreased slightly.
  • Landfalling typhoons have fallen since 1950, yet global warming activists are calling for carbon dioxide emissions in order to reduce typhoons.
  • Death rates from natural disasters (from floods to extreme temperatures) have fallen dramatically, dropping by 907 percent since the beginning of the last century.

Lomborg says climate change alarmism has obscured reality and focused policymakers on ineffective, expensive carbon-cutting solutions such as wind farms and solar power.

Source: Bjorn Lomborg, "The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism," Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2015.


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