For over 50 years there has been doomsday-like predictions in reference to climate change, and none of them came true. Here are the top 5 most recent climate change myths.
1) Climate change will lead to famine: This is false. Since the 1960s, crop production has sharply increased during the same period that there has been a rise in CO2 emissions.
According to the Heartland Institute, “Hundreds of field experiments and studies collected and summarized on CO2 Science demonstrating crop yields have been booming and hunger and malnutrition declining as, and in large part because, carbon dioxide concentrations have been rising. CO2 is critical for photosynthesis. Much of this research is also distilled and discussed in the exhaustive report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (CCRIIBI).”
2) The rising temperature will lead to more death related to temperature: This is very misleading. The temperature rise will save a bigger number of lives than it will take. Cold temperatures kill a greater number of individuals than heat. In a large 2015 study published in the Lancet, scientists found that cold temperatures were 1,700 percent more likely to kill someone than heat.
According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Antonio Gasparrini, “Our findings, from an analysis of the largest dataset of temperature-related deaths ever collected, show that the majority of these deaths happen on moderately hot and cold days, with most deaths caused by moderately cold temperatures.”
3) It wouldn’t cost that much to transition to alternative energy: That’s false. The International Energy Agency estimated that it would cost about $45 trillion for the global transition to 100% renewable energy. Even if it was spanned out through several decades, it would cost trillions of dollars annually, which is higher than the GDP of several nations.
Another study, by Standford University, had the figure much higher. According to the study, it would cost $73 trillion to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
This higher government spending would lead to lower economic freedom, which results in increased levels of poverty and extreme poverty.
4) High sea levels will displace 187 million people: Hundreds of millions of people will not be displaced from their homes. This figure is based on a misinterpreted study. According to economist and climate change expert Bjorn Lomborg, “You’ve probably seen the latest alarming headlines: Rising sea levels from climate change could flood 187 million people out of their homes. Don’t believe it. That figure is unrealistic—and it isn’t even new. It appears in a new scholarly paper, whose authors plucked it from a paper published in 2011. And what the earlier paper found was that 187 million could be forced to move in the unlikely event that no one does anything in the next 80 years to adapt to dramatic rises in sea level.”
The authors of the 2011 study recognized that countries would adapt to rising sea levels: “It is clear that all coastal nations have, and will continue to adapt by varying degrees to sea level rise.”
By adapting to the rising sea levels, the number of people displaced from their homes is reduced so much that it almost entirely disappears.
“Realistic assumptions reduce the number to between 41,000 and 305,000—at most, less than 1/600th of the figure in those headlines,” said Bjorn Lomborg.
It’s important to remember that the high price of globally transitioning to 100% renewable energy will likely lead to more people being displaced from their homes through extreme poverty.
5) Climate change is leading to an increased frequency of hurricanes and other storms: There’s not a lot of evidence that links climate change to a higher frequency of storms.
There is evidence to support that tropical cyclones are decreasing in frequency. According to a 2022 study titled ‘Declining tropical cyclone frequency under global warming,’ the number of tropical cyclones (TC) has decreased by 13% in the last 100 years.
“On average, the global annual number of TCs has decreased by ~13% in the twentieth century compared with the pre-industrial baseline 1850–1900.”
In addition, according to the International Disaster Database, there has been a 92% reduction in deaths from natural disasters since the 1920s. This is during the same period that CO2 emissions have significantly increased.
According to professor Michael Shellenberger, “Given the flood of alarming news about climate change, many will be surprised to learn that hurricanes aren’t increasing in frequency and that deaths from natural disasters are at their lowest point in 120 years.”
Professor Roger Pielke, an expert on climate change at the University of Colorado, stated, “One of the greatest successes of turning science into policy is reducing deaths from disasters.”
He also stated, “The IPCC once again reports that there is little basis for claiming that drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes have increased, much less increased due to greenhouse gases.”
Pielke based his statement on an IPCC report that stated, “there is only low confidence regarding changes in global tropical cyclone numbers under global warming over the last four decades.”
According to economist Bjorn Lomborg, “If you take a graph of how many people die from climate-related disasters, we have good data for that for the last 100 years. In the 1920s, about half a million people died every year from climate disasters. A lot of them were floods and droughts, especially in China and India that you’ve never heard of. What’s happened since then is that it’s declined dramatically. So in the 2010s, we were down to 18,000 deaths, so about a 96% reduction in deaths. And last year, it was down to 14,000 or so in 2020. And in 2021, we don’t have the whole year yet, but it looks like 2021 is set to be even lower at about 6000.”
Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2013, October 17). Crop yields. Our World in Data. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://ourworldindata.org/crop-yields
Chand, S.S., Walsh, K.J.E., Camargo, S.J. et al. Declining tropical cyclone frequency under global warming. Nat. Clim. Chang. 12, 655–661 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01388-4
Shellenberger, M. (2020, August 27). Why deaths from hurricanes and other natural disasters are lower than ever. Forbes. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2020/08/27/why-deaths-from-hurricanes-and-other-natural-disasters-are-lower-than-ever/
The Lancet. (2015, May 20). The lancet: International study reveals that cold weather kills far more people than Hot Weather. EurekAlert! Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/627630
Lomborg, B. (2020, September 10). Bjorn Lomborg: ‘climate alarm’ is as big a threat as climate change – it leads to anxious lives and bad policies. Sky News. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://news.sky.com/story/bjorn-lomborg-climate-alarm-is-a-bigger-threat-than-climate-change-it-leads-to-anxious-lives-and-bad-policies-12067383
Bedard, P. (2019, September 18). Goose Eggs: No climate doomsday warning has come true. Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/goose-eggs-no-climate-doomsday-warning-has-come-true
Williams, L. (2019, September 5). 4 catastrophic climate predictions that never came true: Laura Williams. Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://fee.org/articles/4-catastrophic-climate-predictions-that-never-came-true/
Ebell, M., & Milloy, S. J. (2019, September 18). Wrong again: 50 years of failed eco-pocalyptic predictions. Competitive Enterprise Institute. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions/
Perry , M. J. (2019, September 23). 50 years of failed Doomsday, eco-pocalyptic predictions; the so-called … American Enterprise Institute . Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/50-years-of-failed-doomsday-eco-pocalyptic-predictions-the-so-called-experts-are-0-50/
Perry , M. J. (2019, April 21). 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of the first … American Enterprise Institute . Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/18-spectacularly-wrong-predictions-made-around-the-time-of-the-first-earth-day-in-1970-expect-more-this-year/
Lomborg, B. (2021, November 10). Opinion | a reasonable alternative to COP26 and preaching climate doom. Wall Street Journal . Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/reasonable-alternative-to-cop26-climate-cost-policy-carbon-emissions-glasgow-net-zero-11636577945
Lomborg, B. (2021, September 13). BJORN LOMBORG: Data contradicts climate-alarmist reporting. Business Live. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businesslive.co.za/amp/bd/opinion/2021-09-13-bjorn-lomborg-data-contradicts-climate-alarmist-reporting/
UnHerd. (2021, November 2). Bjorn Lomborg: 7 myths about climate change. UnHerd.com. Retrieved September 10, 2022, from https://unherd.com/thepost/bjorn-lomborg-7-myths-about-climate-change/
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