U.S. PIRG Report Distorts Science of Global Warming

Washington, D.C., April 6, 2000 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute today accused the U.S. Public Interest Research Group of misleading the American public about the ramifications of global warming. U.S. PIRG’s new report, Storm Warning: Global Warming and the Rising Costs of Extreme Weather, is yet another attempt to link global warming to events where there is no link to be made.

“Linking rising disaster costs to global warming is totally dishonest,” said CEI’s Paul Georgia, research associate and managing editor of Cooler Heads, a newsletter covering global warming issues. “Although the costs of natural disasters are rising, there has been no increase in storminess.”

According to Sigma, the research arm of Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, storm activity hasn’t increased – storms have just become more costly. Higher population densities, especially in vulnerable areas such as Florida, and higher insured property values, have combined with existing storm activity to accelerate the rise of loss in recent disasters.

Even the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which U.S. PIRG cites in its support, says that “Overall, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense, through the 20th century.” Subsequent scientific research has confirmed the IPCC’s findings.

“It’s a shame that environmental activists continue to make these claims with no regard for the science,” said Georgia. “A quick review of the science could have save them a lot of time and paper.”

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact Research Associate Paul Georgia or Associate Director of Media Relations Richard Morrison at 202-331-1010.