Moody’s Climate Change Delusion Based on Fantasies, not Facts

Coastal cities and towns across the United States are now facing significant pressure from Moody’s Investors Service, one of the world’s most important credit agencies, to battle climate change. Failing to do so, Moody’s warns, could result in downgraded credit ratings.

In a recent report to clients, Moody’s outlined several indicators its analysts use to assess “the exposure and overall susceptibility of U.S. states to the physical effects of climate change” while crafting credit ratings for the state, city and regional government bonds. Among the indicators, Moody’s listed is the share of a community’s economy that’s linked to the coast.

Moody’s says cities with large ports or an extensive fishing industry, for instance, are at a greater risk of climate change-related disasters.

“Extreme weather patterns exacerbated by changing climate trends include higher rates of coastal storm damage, more frequent droughts, and severe heat waves,” Moody’s wrote in a press release accompanying the report. “These events can also cause economic challenges like smaller crop yields, infrastructure damage, higher energy demands, and escalated recovery costs.”

Moody’s claims state and local governments that don’t adequately prepare for these increased risks will likely face credit downgrades in the future. Moody’s identified Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi as the states with greatest risks, and thus as the states that must urgently spend more money preparing for what Moody’s seems to think is inevitable climate change disaster.

If the evidence were to clearly show that future climate change is inevitably going to create additional extreme weather events and damage to coastal areas, then Moody’s analysis would make perfect sense. Increased risks should be met with more preparedness.

However, the climate change assumptions Moody’s has built into its forecasts aren’t based on the existing evidence, which shows dire extreme weather events have not substantially increased in recent years.

Prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas in August as a Category 4 hurricane, the United States experienced a historic major-hurricane drought. From November 2005 to August 2017, not a single hurricane that measured as Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale made landfall along an American coast — the longest such drought since modern hurricane records were first created in 1851.

Evidence of a substantial growing danger posed by other kinds of extreme weather events is also virtually nonexistent.

In testimony given before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in March 2017, Roger Pielke, Jr., Ph.D., a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and formerly a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, noted, “There is little scientific basis in support of claims that extreme weather events — specifically hurricanes, floods, drought, tornadoes — and their economic damage have increased in recent decades due to the emission of greenhouse gases. In fact, since 2013 the world and the United States have had a remarkable stretch of good fortune with respect to extreme weather, as compared to the past.”

Moody’s is basing its analysis of future climate change risks on the credit agency’s commitment to climate change alarmist dogma, not on scientific data, and this isn’t the first time it’s happened. In June 2016, Moody’s urged countries around the world to ratify the Paris climate agreement and said it planned to use the Paris agreement commitments to guide future credit analyses.

Moody’s embrace of the extremely costly Paris agreement is telling, especially since even those supportive of the accords have said they would have a relatively minimal impact on global temperature.

Researchers at MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change estimated that compared to the 2009 Copenhagen agreement, the Paris agreement would likely only prevent an additional 0.2 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100.Even without the Copenhagen agreement, the MIT researchers estimated it would prevent only 1 degree C of warming by 2100.

These figures are truly remarkable considering fulfilling all the obligations of the Paris agreement would cost the U.S. economy about $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial jobs by 2040, according to an analysis by NERA Economic Consulting.

By coercing communities to spend billions more to prepare for natural disasters that may never come, Moody’s is attempting to impose its climate change fantasies on the millions of American families who would have to shoulder the burden of added government costs made to prevent a downgraded credit rating.

Rather than indulge in climate alarmist fiction, Moody’s should instead stick to what the available data actually reveals when creating its credit assessments.


Haskins is executive editor and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.

Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute.

Read more at IBD

Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    George Paletine

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    Moody’s should realize that working out of NYC in the world trade center, they are susceptible to forces of global warming – ocean rise. Their WTC7 building had a water-logged basement after storm Sandy. Do they downgrade the USA since manhattan is so close to sea level that Trillions of real estate could be lost if seas rise 20 feet?

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Moody is just another overpaid liar and blabbering idiot who like most all liberals seeks the media attention from Lying Brian Gummbul or creepy Chris Mathews or wants to be of Sixty Minnie-Nuts GMA or TODAY maybe BS Morning News and sit yammering this Global Warming/Climate Change poppycock

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    Moody’s concerns itself with little more than
    Macroeconomics
    International finance and
    Currency exchange rates.
    They apparently accept the insane ravings of the globalist alarmist cabal at face value because they think that all other salient economic forces are doing the same.
    They might be right even though the ravings are false.
    Moody’s cares not.
    Moody’s marches to the drum of what the movers and shakers of the economy believe.

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    It’s time to push back against businesses that endorse climate propaganda. They do it to “cash the wave” . Let them know you’re offended and their advocacy could cost them your business.
    Their replies would be entertaining reading.

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    This is an ample of the low ethics of the environmental activists. They use control of an organization to push their personal political agendas. As the article stated, there is no credible evidence that the risk of natural disasters have increased.

    If they were honest, California and New York would receive lower credit ratings due their commitment to hirer cost and lack of reliability of renewable energy.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    If there is a buck to be made off the earth has a fever con game Moody’s might as well get a piece .
    All the decreases in Hurrican fee money must be made up some how after all . What we are starting to see is the scraps of the pie have been disrupted by obscene increases in medical premiums , societies new best friend E crap , and fuel poverty . Something has to give in a stagnant wage market and guess what insurance is getting squeezed . All those empty retail shops don’t need insurance do they and politicians just are not having fun unless they can buy voters with their own money (debt ) . The squeeze is really on for what is left of peoples disposable income Ask a 20 something if they would give up their data plan and phone to buy insurance .
    Answer find new scary things by which to charge people . Oh you live near an ocean (naturally more wealthy customer base ) start writing bigger checks .

    • Avatar

      rakooi

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      Nice imaginary epistle according to Amber the ideologue.
      Another major corporation agreeing with nearly every military organization on earth about the VERY REAL THREATS from Climate Changes from Global Warming….and you write it all off as THEIR GREED…..
      Not the GREED of the FOSSIL FUEL Energy Monopoly !
      by
      the exercise of sheer economic power, generous political donations, and threats to cut
      off energy shipments….
      NOW, the energy monopolies are funneled 6.5% of the
      ENTIRE
      WORLD’S
      GROSS DOMESTIC
      PRODUCT ! !

      OVER a TRILLION DOLLARS in supports, subsidies, sweet heart tax breaks, unavailable to any other corporation.
      sweet heart tax deferrals, unavailable to any other corporation
      foreign aid programs to Reimburse foreign countries for THEIR subsidies to our profitable energy companies, Free State infra structure construction and Free State infra structure construction…

      and the beat goes one,
      and the beat goes on !
      The generous political donations and the
      Fossil Fuel Monopoly has been SUCKING ON THE CORPORATE WELFARE TEAT SINCE 1918!
      YOU would pay a legion of PUBLIC RELATION LIARS to support that kind of income stream and that kind of political power…..and if anyone objects….why the US military will come running….and the blood flows.

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