Claims made at the COP26 Climate Change Summit

Among claims made by President Biden at the COP26 Climate Change Summit were, “Climate change is already ravaging the world. … It’s destroying people’s lives and livelihoods and doing it every single day. … It’s costing our nations trillions of dollars.” Are these accurate? Read the analysis from the Heritage Foundation:

Context is helpful. Since 1980, property damage from weather disasters has increased in the U.S., but this hides that there are more people, who are building more valuable real estate, and filling it with more valuable stuff. It also doesn’t answer whether things are getting worse.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment of climate science reports no discernible global trends for hurricanes, winter storms, floods, tornadoes, or thunderstorms, while it did report trends in heat waves, heavy precipitation, and some kinds of drought. And as a percent of global gross domestic product, damages from natural disasters have actually declined since 1990.

Cost isn’t inconsequential, but at the end of the day, what matters in a disaster is peoples’ lives. Deaths from climate-related disasters have decreased 96% over the last century, which I think has everything to do with widespread economic freedom, growth, and access to energy to help us be more resilient in the age-old battle against natural disaster. In other words, poverty makes us more vulnerable to the whims of climate.

Read more at “Were Biden’s Claims at COP26 Climate Change Summit Accurate?”

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