Tag Archives: Bangladesh

Cyclone Mocha: Don’t Fall for the Climate Bait


By Paul Homewood

From the CO2 Coalition

On May 14, Cyclone Mocha made landfall near Myanmar and Bangladesh. It was not surprising to see many mainstream media blame climate change for it. The pattern has now become common.

Every time there is a major cyclonic event, the media fan fear of climate change and argue that human-induced emissions of carbon dioxide are causing more extreme weather. However, an examination of relevant data shows such reports to be misleading.

As I write this, Mocha has made landfall close to the Myanmar–Bangladesh border. Residents of coastal districts of Chattogram and Barishal are likely to experience the worst impact of the cyclone for weeks to come.

Among the most vulnerable are refugees who fled persecution in Myanmar and have been living for half a decade in Bangladesh camps without the protection of storm-resistant shelter. As sad as the situation is, cyclones are not unprecedented for the region.

Incidence of Cyclonic Storms are Decreasing

According to the Indian Government’s “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region,” overall cyclone frequency in the Indian Ocean is showing no increase. In fact, there has been a decrease.

“Long-term observations (1951–2018) indicate a significant reduction in annual frequency of tropical cyclones” in both the North Indian Ocean basin and the Bay of Bengal, the report states.

Image: Annual Frequency of Cyclonic Storm (CS) between 1891 and 2016. Linear trend lines are indicated by dashed lines—black (1891–2018), blue (1951–2018). 10-year running mean is shown by a solid-green line. Source: Extreme Storms, Indian Meteorological Department, Govt. of India. Published June 13, 2020.

The data clearly show a decrease in frequency of cyclones for more than 100 years in the North Indian Ocean, the birthplace of storms affecting more than 1.5 billion people. However, this information is obscured by cherry picking data for shorter times frames to suggest alarming weather trends.

Hurricane Data Reveal Similar Decrease in U.S.

It is not just the Indian Ocean region. In the U.S., there has been a decrease in the number of landfalling hurricanes per decade since 1850. According to data from the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the number of major hurricanes have been declining since the 1950s.

“In summary, it is premature to conclude with high confidence that increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities have had a detectable impact on Atlantic basin hurricane activity,” NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratorystates.

The mainstream media is good at tricking people into believing a false emergency. In instances like Cyclone Mocha, they prey on people’s compassion for storm victims and use the calamity to drive fear into people’s minds.

Don’t fall for the climate bait. We will see more and more of it in the coming days, as the climate doomsday bandwagon loses steam in many parts of our world. And desperate times call for desperate deceptions embedded onto the public psyche through repetitive, aggressive media programming.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK and resides in India.

The above chart tracks all tropical storms (CS):

However the same source also includes the numbers for Severe (SCS), and these show a similar pattern of decline since the 1960s.

Also there is this chart of the stronger cyclones, VSCS, which again have clearly declined, (although the paper shows a spurious increasing trend since 1998!)


Sorry, PBS, Bangladeshi Farm Innovation Has Nothing to Do with Climate Change

From ClimateRealism

By H. Sterling Burnett

PBS News Weekend ran a story claiming farmers in Bangladesh are developing innovative ways to adapt to climate change. That Bangladeshi’s are innovating is laudable and valuable, but their actions have nothing to do with climate change because data show no significant changes are affecting Bangladesh. In short, the innovations taking place are adaptations to weather patterns and events that have impacted Bangladesh from time immemorial.

The report, “Driven by necessity, Bangladesh develops innovations to fight climate change,” opens with this claim:

The low-lying nation of Bangladesh suffers disproportionately from climate change, despite producing just 0.5 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. It’s also creating innovative ways to predict and protect against climate-driven disasters, and discovering new ways to build resilience using natural resources.


Even in the most isolated parts of Bangladesh, communities have devised ways to stay ahead of potential weather disasters, like floods and cyclones. And they’re discovering new ways to use the natural resources around them to build resilience.

In its quest to promote the narrative that the world faces a climate crisis, PBS turned a story about how Bangladeshis are adapting the extreme weather into one more misguided climate alarm story. Even PBS acknowledges that Bangladesh has several strikes against it when it comes to extreme weather. Bangladesh consists almost entirely of a relatively flat coastal and riverine flood plain, beset by monsoons and cyclones annually.

First, what are the factors that make Bangladesh particularly vulnerable to climate change?

So it’s really the geography. I mean, Bangladesh is a low lying country, essentially, the whole country, or almost the whole country is a River Delta, just south of the Himalayan Mountains. I traveled in the north of the country, which is essentially like, think of capillaries kind of crisscrossing the country.

So these are tiny, muddy, narrow, shallow rivers in the dry season. But in the wet season, they just become like a shallow sea.

Weather conditions on the Indian subcontinent, where Bangladesh is located, have not changed. The monsoon cycle has not become more or less severe, as explored in Climate Realism here and here, for instance. Nor, as discussed here and here, have tropical cyclones become more frequent or intense.

As a result, Bangladesh’s people are not innovating and adapting out of necessity in response to a changing climate, but rather to diminish the negative impacts of weather patterns that have been common throughout the country’s history.

Extreme weather events that have historically been a fact of life in the region for as long as people have resided on the Indian sub-continent. Based on Bangladesh’s increased crop production over the last 40 years of climate change, one suspects Bangladeshi farmers began innovating, long before the terms “global warming” and “human caused climate change,” became part of the global media’s daily lexicon.

Bangladesh relies heavily on agriculture. Rice and wheat are its top two cereal crops. Squash and pumpkins are important crops as well and squash was specifically discussed in PBS’s story. According to the FAO, Bangladesh’s production of each of these crops has increased tremendously since 1980:

  • Rice production has grown by more than 173 percent;
  • Wheat production has increased by nearly 32 percent; and
  • Squash/Pumpkin production has surged by more than 628 percent. (see the figure below)

The production of top vegetable crops in in Bangladesh, like tomatoes and cabbages, shows even more impressive growth, presumably due to improved technologies, agricultural methods, and innovation. (See the figure below)

Since the long-term weather patterns and conditions have not changed in Bangladesh, contrary to PBS’s claims, climate change has not forced Bangladeshis to innovate. Rather, they did so, as farmers in other countries around the globe have, in a quest for a better life for themselves and their children. In the end, PBS’s story about Bangladesh is an uplifting one concerning how innovation and adaptations can lead to agricultural success even the in face of challenging geographic and atmospheric conditions. Too bad PBS felt the need to try and force Bangladesh’s success story into the pre-fit mold of the climate crisis narrative.

H. Sterling Burnett

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute’s Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland’s Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.