A major study in Nature showed hurricane damage today runs the world about 0.04 percent of GDP. Accounting for growth in prosperity (which means more resilience), by 2100 this would drop to 0.01 percent.
And the effect of global warming making storms fewer but stronger will see damage end up around 0.02 percent.
No wonder researchers who study extreme weather and climate change warn that overselling the link risks eroding “scientific credibility” and distracting from the things we need to do to be better prepared for extreme weather.
To reduce hurricane impacts, our first priority isn’t cutting carbon. Rather, we need to improve building codes.
And we should not allow so many houses to be built on vulnerable coastlines. One way to achieve that would be to stop subsidizing home insurance for building houses most likely to get wiped out in hurricanes — literally a subsidy for building irresponsibly.