Warren Buffett Confirms Insurance Industry Profits from Global Warming Alarmism

Warren Buffett Confirms Insurance Industry Profits from Global Warming Alarmism
March 4, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Global warming is not increasing insurance industry payouts for weather-related events, according to Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway company owns several insurance and reinsurance companies. Berkshire made his observations while announcing strong earnings to Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders.

Berkshire explained to shareholders that strong insurance earnings fueled $19.48 billion in Berkshire Hathaway profits last year. 

Global warming activists frequently claim that insurance industry calls for global warming restrictions prove the existence of a global warming crisis. Global warming realists counter with data showing a decline rather than increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Heartland Institute scholars have pointed out that the insurance industry’s false claims that global warming is causing more frequent and severe weather events justifies the industry raising insurance rates without paying more in insurance claims.

In an interview with CNBC, Buffett confirmed the insurance industry profits from alarmist global warming claims. 

“I love apocalyptic predictions” about global warming, said Buffett, while acknowledging that apocalyptic predictions likely affect insurance premiums. 

"The public has the impression that because there's been so much talk about climate change that events of the last 10 years from an insured standpoint and climate have been unusual. The answer is they haven't,” said Buffett. 

When extreme weather events occur, people tend to forget about how extreme weather events occurred in the past as well, said Buffett.

"You read about these events, but you read about events 30, or 40, or 50 years ago," said Buffett.

Buffett also pointed out the United States is experiencing a substantial decline in hurricane activity in recent years, which is saving insurance companies billions of dollars.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)