Warren Buffett: Alarmism Pads Insurers’ Profits

Warren Buffett: Alarmism Pads Insurers’ Profits
March 10, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #120

Global warming alarmism is padding insurers’ profits, according to Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway company owns several insurance and reinsurance companies.

Buffett reported to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that global warming is not causing an increase in insurance industry payouts for weather-related events. Buffett acknowledged in a later television interview that insurers are nevertheless using global warming to justify rate increases.

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 restrictionsprove 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 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.

SOURCE: Environment & Climate News


IN THIS ISSUE

Great Lakes 91 percent frozen as spring approaches … Niagara Falls become Niagara popsicle … IPCC hid low climate sensitivity … The world is safe for guacamole again … House passes bill to block EPA carbon dioxide restrictions … EPA’s carbon dioxide restrictions will cost $2.23 trillion


GREAT LAKES 91 PERCENT FROZEN AS SPRING APPROACHES

The Great Lakes are 91 percent frozen just two weeks before spring officially begins. The current ice cover is second highest in recorded history. In an average year, the Great Lakes’ maximum ice extent is just 50 percent. The all-time record ice extent is 95 percent, set in 1979.

It has been 18 years since the Great Lakes were remotely close to their current ice extent. In February 1996, the Great Lakes were 82 percent frozen. Climate experts say the Great Lakes may break the all-time record during the next two weeks as colder-than-normal temperatures are expected to persist through the beginning of spring. During the month of January, the U.S. Midwest averaged five to 10 degrees below average, and extremely cold temperatures persisted throughout February and into March.

SOURCE: USA Today


NIAGARA FALLS BECOME NIAGARA POPSICLE

Niagara Falls came to a freezing halt last week, becoming the latest casualty of this winter’s historic cold. Six million cubic feet of rushing water per minute was no match for the bitter March temperatures that froze the water in place.

SOURCE: Daily Mail


IPCC HID LOW CLIMATE SENSITIVITY

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hid data indicating the Earth is less sensitive to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations that previously reported. “The importance of this revelation cannot be overstated. If the UN had played it straight, the ‘urgency’ of global warming would have evaporated, but, recognizing that this might cause problems, they preferred to mislead the world’s policymakers,” observed climate scientists Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That?


THE WORLD IS SAFE FOR GUACAMOLE AGAIN

The mainstream media was forced to cancel a newly asserted global warming scare just a day after claiming global warming is threatening guacamole availability. The Chipotle restaurant chain strategized in its annual report that it may choose to respond to future spikes in salsa or guacamole ingredients by temporarily not offering salsa or guacamole with its dishes. The annual report speculated weather volatility or global warming might be potential causes of such price spikes. Global warming activists and media outlets throughout the world quickly jumped on the report to claim global warming is threatening guacamole. Chipotle, however, quickly put a damper on the alarmist claims, reporting it has experienced no avocado or guacamole problems and the ingredients have been plentifully available.

As Idocumented last year in an article for Forbes.com, global warming is substantially improving growing conditions at the national and global level for virtually all crops. Increasing soil moisture, longer growing seasons, and the beneficial fertilizing effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide are causing a dramatic long-term rise in crop production.

SOURCE: Environment & Climate News


HOUSE PASSES BILL TO BLOCK EPA CARBON DIOXIDE RESTRICTIONS

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from restricting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The bill passed by a comfortable 229–183 margin, The legislation now advances to the U.S. Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to prevent the legislation from coming up for a vote.

SOURCE: Associated Press


EPA’S CARBON DIOXIDE RESTRICTIONS WILL COST $2.23 TRILLION

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide restrictions will cost the U.S. economy $2.23 trillion during the next 25 years, according to a new economic analysis published by The Heritage Foundation. The restrictions will kill nearly 600,000 jobs and will cost the average U.S. household $1,200 every year. U.S. electricity customers will be pummeled by higher electricity prices as EPA restrictions force expensive renewable energy sources to replace inexpensive coal power.

SOURCE: The Heritage Foundation

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)