Study Claims Global Warming Helped US Avert Deeper Recession


Jun 10, 2002
Reaction score
Study Claims Global Warming Helped US Avert Deeper Recession
By Marc Morano Senior Staff Writer
July 09, 2002

( - A climatologist who believes humans are causing global warming says last winter's mild temperatures in the United States helped save the country from a deeper economic recession following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The mild and generally snow-free winter of 2001-2002, which many environmentalists have said was the result of global warming, helped save consumers $21 billion, according to climatologist Stanley Changnon, a professor of geography at the University of Illinois.

Changnon was commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to look at the economic impact resulting from the fourth warmest winter on record. He teamed up with his son David, a professor at Northern Illinois University, to conduct the government-commissioned study.

Changnon believes that despite "a lot of natural fluctuations in the past ... the evidence is now pointing to the human effects on global climate." However, Changnon explained in his report, "The unseasonably warm, dry and sunny winter weather" of last winter led to profound effects on the nation's economy at a critical time."

"There have been very, very few studies about the potential benefits of climate change, and the effects have been overly portrayed as doomsday," he added in an interview with

According to Changnon's research , the U.S. received an estimated windfall of $21 billion from lower heating bills, lower insurance costs, and less snow removal. He said all those factors helped increase average Americans' disposable income and boost retail sales. This easily outpaced the estimated half-billion dollars lost in winter tourism and retail sales of snow related equipment and clothing, his report said.

The mild winter also had a very positive effect on the U.S. construction industry, not the least of which was the fact that the ground was not frozen, Changnon said.

His study noted that many prominent economists have also credited the warm winter with boosting the sluggish U.S. economy.

"Alan Greenspan (Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board), testified to Congress last February that the warm weather has brought us out of recession," Changnon said.

A previous study by Changnon found that warmer temperatures also can help save human life. He studied the impacts of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino during the 1997-98 winter and found that there was a "greatly reduced loss of life due to [lack of] cold weather."

Changnon believes that most of the media is focused only on the potential negative effects from warmer temperatures.

"Since the Clinton/Gore Administration, many have been trying to sell the concept that [climate change] is bad and we have to do something about it," Changnon said.

The solution to any climate change that may occur, according to Changnon, is to "prepare ourselves through adaptation. It is the key to getting ready."

'Strong Benefits in Warmer Weather'

Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said Changnon's research is "continuing to show that there are some really strong benefits in warmer weather for many of us."

Ebell noted that Changnon's research, showing the benefits of warmer winters, contrasts with what most disciples of global warming say.

"The global warming alarmists would like you to believe that anything that happens as a result of any climate change at all will be negative."

Ebell believes that studies like the one conducted by Changnon, will not get much media attention "because it isn't welcome to the reigning orthodoxy."

"[Changnon's] conclusions are not based on theories or computer models, they are based on looking at the evidence," Ebell added.

Latest Posts

Top Bottom