Which of the following types of climate-related deaths have generally increased in the U.S. over the past half century?
Contrary to repeated predictions that climate change would increase extreme weather fatalities, datasets from the U.S. National Weather Service that extend back for three to seven decades show flat trends of deaths from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, heat waves, and cold spells. This has occurred in spite of major population increases in areas that are prone to extreme weather. Despite the failure of those predictions, politicians, journalists, and activists often use local anecdotes to argue that global warming is causing catastrophic effects. Such rhetoric exploits: (1) the geographic fact that the entire U.S. contains only 1.9% of the world's surface area, (2) the statistical fact that anecdotes can be highly deceitful, and (3) the psychological fact that people are easily misled by anecdotes because it's easier to grasp stories than data.