No upward trend in disaster losses

Pompeii: lava in the living room…

Politicians and the media love to bleat about disasters getting bigger, badder, worser (© George Negus), etc., without actually providing any evidence, but as Andrew Bolt points out, our perception is skewed because we’re building more stuff in dumb places.

We build houses on flood plains and then are surprised when we get flooded. We build houses on the seafront and are surprised when a cyclone brings a storm surge. As George Carlin famously said, we build houses on the slopes of active volcanoes and then wonder why we have lava in the living room…! The unfortunate inhabitants of Pompeii learnt their lesson in AD 79, but we still haven’t learnt ours in AD 2011.

From The Australian’s Cut & Paste:

Ross Gittins in The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday:

SCIENTISTS have long predicted one effect of global warming would be for extreme events to become more extreme, which is just what seems to be happening. And, certainly, the insurance industry, which keeps careful records of these events, is in no doubt that climate change is making things worse.

ABC1’s Lateline on Wednesday:

REPORTER Margot O’Neill : Australia’s climate seemed to flip into overdrive this summer. So, are these extremes the new normal? It’s what climate change models have been predicting, after all. Big international insurers are mopping up after more than 850 global weather catastrophes in 2010, and they say there’s no doubt: global warming is destabilising the climate.

Peer-reviewed paper by Eric Neumayer and Fabian Barthe of London School of Economics and funded by re-insurers Munich Re in Global Environmental Change, November 18, 2010:

APPLYING both [conventional and alternative] methods to the most comprehensive existing global dataset of natural disaster loss [provided by Munich Re], in general we find no significant upward trends in normalised disaster damage over the period 1980-2009 globally, regionally, for specific disasters or for specific disasters in specific regions. (source)

Munich Re (or Moonbat Re as they should be called, see here and here) is firmly ensconced on the climate alarmist bandwagon. They must be spitting chips that their hard earned dollars were spent on a report that gave them the wrong answer… oops.


  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    Peer-reviewed paper by Eric Neumayer and Fabian Barthe

    This “peer review” is in the wrong form for the carbonistas.

    They have a specialised model:-

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    Phil Jones to Michael Mann, Climategate emails, July 8th 2004.

    James Delingpole summarises nicely below:-

  2. Lew Skannen says:

    No! The big insurance companies know what they are doing.
    Big disaster stories sell premiums and the best disasters are the ones that bring in premiums but never actually happen and so never have to be paid out.
    There is a major financial incentive for these companies to beat up the scare stories.

  3. Tropical cyclones are at a 17 year low. Currently they are at half the level of 1993, despite alarmists’ forecasts to the contrary.

  4. A little off the topic; check out the comments of climate wacko Mark Wakeham (from Environment Victoria) at the end of this road cracking / coal mine / close Hazelwood power station / climate change “disaster” bullsh*t.

    Freeway closed over landslide threat
    Friday February 11, 2011 – 12:08 EDT
    Authorities say the Princes Freeway, in south-east Victoria, could remain closed for three months because of concerns about a possible landslide.

    The freeway was closed at Morwell last night due to concerns about the stabililty of a nearby mine.

    The north side of the mine, adjacent to the highway, has become unstable after recent heavy rain and movement has been detected in the mine wall.

    That part of the mine has been decommissioned and International Power says it will not affect the operation of the Hazelwood power station.

    VicRoads says cracks of up to two centimetres have emerged from the freeway.

    The Energy Minister, Michael O’Brien, is unable to say when the highway will be re-opened.

    “We’ve got some experts on site now keeping an eye on things,” he said.

    “But just out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been taken by VicRoads in conjunction with Victoria Police and my department to close the Princes Freeway, to ensure the stability and integrity of the roadway.”

    Superintendent Geoff Newby from the Gippsland Police says meetings will be held with mining experts and emergency services this morning.

    Local residents have been called to a public meeting tonight.

    Environmentalists want the plant to be shut down.

    Mark Wakeham from Environment Victoria says it highlights the real safety and sustainability problems with coal fired power.

    Mr Wakeham says the risk of subsidence was raised five years ago when the coal mine was being expanded.

    “We need to see a clear plan from the Coalition for a phasing out of the Hazelwood Power Station and mine.

    “They’ve set a target for Victoria to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. As yet they have no strategy for achieving that target and replacing Hazelwood is a good starting point.”

    Makes me sick!

  5. The global warming wackos — you just got to laugh at them.

  6. Sweet reason at The Wall Street Journal concludes (emphasis added)

    Global-warming alarmists insist that economic activity is the problem, when the available evidence show it to be part of the solution. We may not be able to do anything about the weather, extreme or otherwise. But we can make sure we have the resources to deal with it when it comes.

  7. Could it be that the reason there is no increase in disaster losses is because there has be no increase in disasters.?
    Just a thought.

  8. It maybe of interest Simon a paper by LENNART BENGTSSON
    AND KEVIN I. HODGES titled Storm Tracks and Climate Change.2005

    In which they say in the abstract.
    There are no indications in this study of more intense
    storms in the future climate, either in the Tropics or extratropics, but rather a minor reduction in the number of weaker storms.

    As this is a rather large pdf I will leave it to people to decide if they want to access it

  9. Severe cyclones affecting east Australia has declined by 62% since 1863.

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