In what has been called a “national embarrassment,” a key statistic the Biden administration has used to support climate crisis initiatives has been shown to be in error.
The Daily Caller noted the often-cited report, titled the Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA 5), is “misleading in several ways.”
The NCA 5 report includes analysis and graphics that purport to highlight recent human-influenced weather events that resulted in at least $1 billion in damage.
The report noted that the frequency and scope of hurricanes and floods have intensified in recent years — owing to human-induced climate change.
The report also noted that coastal areas should expect a “prevalence of billion-dollar damage events” in the coming years and, without great clarification, linked climate change with pandemics, due to the link between climate change and social justice.
A 2021 statement from the White House read: “Climate change is a major driver for the increased frequency, duration, and severity of extreme weather and climate-related disasters.”
The White House statement added: “Millions of Americans feel the effects of these extreme events when their roads and schools flood, and hospitals lose power. Over the past few years, the frequency of extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion has skyrocketed.”
However, disputing the report is Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., a professor at the University of Colorado. Pielke is a weather expert and has written extensively on climate change and the politicization of science.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Pielke said, “There is no peer-reviewed science that attributes any part of increasing disaster losses to changes in climate.”
Calling on government leaders to properly evaluate data, Pielke added: “To see evidence of changes in climate, look at climate data, not economic data.”
Pielke’s criticism of Biden administration-pushed “Green” and Climate Change initiatives is not new. Last January, Pielke wrote that the way government reviews and presents data is a “national embarrassment,” stating that “an identical hurricane making landfall in Florida in 1980 versus 2023 would result in vastly different loss totals because today there are simply more people in more homes with more stuff than 43 years ago.”
Pielke pointed out that NCA 5 graphics appear to indicate there have been approximately 900 billion-dollar loss events between 1980 and 2022.” Data from the government agency, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), puts that number at approximately 30% of $900 billion.
In NOAA’s assessment of the financial impact of storms, their report highlighted: “The increase in population and material wealth over the last several decades is an important cause for the rising costs. These trends are further complicated by the fact that much of the growth has taken place in vulnerable areas like coasts, the wildland-urban interface, and river floodplains.”
Conducting his own analysis, Pielke found that “North American catastrophe losses as a proportion of U.S. GDP clearly show no upward trend.”
Pielke noted that proper context is crucial in interpreting data and that failure to do so compromises the validity of reports. In concluding his report, Pielke said, “The NCA [research team] should never have been placed under the White House. It is too tempting for both Republicans and Democrats to use it for politics.”
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