Myron has already pointed out how most of what the President claimed were the threats from global warming are exaggerated. Here’s the data to back that up.
“…[T]he threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing.” Reality: global mean temperatures increased slightly from 1977 to 2000. Temperatures have been flat since then.
“Rising sea levels threaten every coastline.” Reality: sea levels have been rising on and off since the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago. The rate of sea level rise has not increased in recent decades over the nineteenth and twentieth century average.
“More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.” Reality: there is no upward global trend in storms or floods.
“More frequent drought and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive.” Reality: there is no upward global trend in major droughts. Reversals in large-scale cycles have meant that the southward march of the Sahara Desert into the Sahel has been reversed in recent years and the Sahara is now shrinking.
“On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees.” Reality: some Pacific islanders may want to emigrate to New Zealand or Australia and are claiming that their islands are disappearing as the reason, but shrinkage has been minimal in recent decades because sea level rise has been minimal.
Charts from SPPI’s Monthly CO2 Reports and from Indur Goklany, “Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events: Global and U.S. Trends, 1900–2006,” 2007.