Tuesday the U.S. Government’s Global Change Research Program released its latest “National Assessment” report on climate change impacts in the United States. As with previous editions, the new report is an alarmist document designed to scare people and build political support for unpopular policies such as carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and EPA regulatory mandates.
Also in keeping with past practice, the latest report confuses climate risk with climate change risk.
Droughts, storms, floods, and heat waves are all part of the natural climate. Our risk of exposure to such extremes has much more to do with where we happen to live than with any gradual climate changes associated with the 1.3F – 1.9F increase in average U.S. temperature since the 1880s.
Since even immediate and total shutdown of all carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles, power plants, and factories in the U.S. would decrease global warming by only a hypothetical and undetectable two-tenths of a degree Celsius by 2100, it is misleading to imply, as the report does, that the Obama administration’s climate policies can provide any measurable protection from extreme weather events.
The Assessment is flat out wrong that climate change is increasing our vulnerability to heat stress. As hot weather has become more frequent, people and communities have adapted to it, and heat-related mortality in the U.S. has declined.
Cities with the most frequent hot weather such as Tampa, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona have practically zero heat-related mortality. That is the most probable future for most U.S. cities if global warming continues!
The report also foolishly predicts that climate change “intensify air pollution.” As EPA’s own data show, despite allegedly “unprecedented” warming, U.S. air quality has improved decade-by-decade since 1970 as emissions declined.