The Economist, fossil fuel subsidies and climate disaster

By Andy May

I’ve been a subscriber to The Economist for years. It is one of the few mainstream media publications I still read. But, I found a very annoying article in the October 1, 2016 issue. The title and link are “Notes from the undergrowth.” It starts out with a false assertion that is easily debunked, but often stated:

Media myth #1

“DESPITE deluges in the South, droughts in the West and fires throughout national forests this year, the words “climate” and “change” have seldom been uttered together on the campaign trail.”

The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Nature magazine, and the IPCC all have said extreme weather cannot be reliably linked to climate change.

From the WMO:

“There were fewer deaths, even while exposure to extreme events increased as populations grew and more people were living in disaster-prone areas. According to the 2011 Global Assessment Report, the average population exposed to flooding every year increased by 114 per cent globally between 1970 and 2010, a period in which the world’s population increased by 87 per cent from 3.7 billion to 6.9 billion. The number of people exposed to severe storms almost tripled in cyclone-prone areas, increasing by 192 per cent, in the same period.”

Yes, you read that correctly. There were fewer deaths, even though the number of people exposed to serious storms increased.

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#fossil-fuel-subsidies, #the-economist