Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has contradicted a major talking point of the Obama administration by stating that global warming is not the current cause of the extreme weather.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO mentioned to CNBC and said that his company is not changing the way that it calculates natural disaster likelihoods due to global warming. Berkshire Hathaway owns a number of insurance companies that often pay out large claims in the event of a natural disaster. The Obama administration and environmentalists warn that global warming is the cause of these natural disasters, and they say that they are likely to become more common and even fiercer.
Warren Buffett’s experience leads him to believe another scenario, saying that insuring against hurricanes in the United States has been quite profitable over recent years, because a few have only actually made landfall.
“I think the public has the impression that because there has been so much talk about climate, that events of the last 10 years, from an insured standpoint on climate, have been unusual,” said Buffett while on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “The answer is, they haven’t.”
“You read about the events, but you read about events 30, or 40, or 50 years ago,” added Buffett.
His comments actually fly in the face of Obama administration efforts that attempt to tie the weather to global warming. Just recently, the president traveled to California in order to announce a $1 billion fund that will prepare communities because of global warming’s impact.
“Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world with new sources of energy, I want to be able to say, ‘Yes, we did,’” Obama mentioned in his 2014 State of the Union address.
But there is scientific evidence to suggest otherwise. Roger Pielke, Jr., of the University of Colorado, conducted research that found that these weather events are not becoming more extreme because of global warming.
Particularly, he found that hurricanes “have not increased in the US in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900.”
Pielke as well noted that disaster costs have not been increasing either, when population and economic growth are taken into account. As an example, the financial losses from floods have actually dropped 75% as a percentage of GDP since 1940.