The Global Warming Challenge

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Economics prof offers bet on weather deaths forecast

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In a response to environmentalist Bill McKibben’s assertion in the Washington Post that severe weather was becoming more common and more severe as a consequence of human CO2 emissions, Donald Boudreaux of GMU pointed out in the Wall Street Journal that there has been no clear trend in severe weather and, more importantly, deaths in the U.S. have declined in recent decades despite an increasing population.

Boudreaux argues that the trend of fewer deaths is consistent with economic theory and much evidence that people are creative and resourceful in market economies and that this creativity and resourcefulness drives adaptions that result in people living longer.

So confident is Boudreaux in extrapolating this trend, that he has offered to bet McKibben, or Al Gore or Paul Krugman, $10,000 that “the average annual number of Americans killed by these violent weather events from 2011 through 2030 will be lower than it was from 1991 through 2010”. Boudreaux’s WSJ column is here.

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June 13th, 2011 at 2:13 am

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