Unscientific hype about the flooding risks from climate change will cost us all dear
The warmists have sound financial grounds for hyping the dangers of flooding posed by climate change, writes Christopher Booker
By Christopher Booker 7:15PM GMT 26 Feb 2011
As the great global warming scare continues to crumble, attention focuses on all those groups that have a huge interest in keeping it alive. Governments look on it as an excuse to raise billions of pounds in taxes. Wind farm developers make fortunes from the hidden subsidies we pay through our electricity bills. A vast academic industry receives more billions for concocting the bogus science that underpins the scare. Carbon traders hope to make billions from corrupt schemes based on buying and selling the right to emit CO2. But no financial interest stands to make more from exaggerating the risks of climate change than the re-insurance industry, which charges retail insurers for “catastrophe cover”, paid for by all of us through our premiums.
In October 2005, in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, RMS held a meeting in Bermuda with four hurricane specialists, all of the alarmist persuasion, to quiz them as to how they thought hurricane activity was likely to be affected between 2006 and 2010, thanks to climate change, and how this would impact on the southern United States, notably Florida. On the basis of this meeting, RMS advised the re-insurers that the risk of hurricane damage over the next four years was hugely increased. The companies found that their reserves were $82 billion short of what they might be expected to pay. Premiums, particularly in Florida, accordingly rocketed upwards.
Under the heading “The $82 billion prediction”, the details of this episode are chronicled on his blog by Dr Roger Pielke Jr, who in 2008 advised RMS that the methodology on which it relied was so biased that “a group of monkeys would have arrived at the exact same results”. Dr Pielke, an expert in environmental impacts, recently published a chart showing how, although the RMS prediction for hurricane damage between 2006 and 2010 was a third higher than the historical average, the actual cost proved to be well under half the average figure. But, thanks to RMS, the insurance industry had made billions from higher premiums.
In 2008, following the disastrous floods of summer 2007, that vociferous climate alarmist Bob Ward, now at the Grantham Institute but then a director of RMS, called for the British government to work more closely with the insurance industry “to devise mutually beneficial strategies for dealing with flood risks”. We understand how working with RMS might be beneficial to the insurance industry. But whether, in light of the Nature study, the Government would find it beneficial is another matter – never mind the rest of us, as we are asked to pay ever higher insurance premiums, based not least on the findings of those RMS computer models.