Why Does McKinsey Distort the Facts?

Why Does McKinsey Distort the Facts?

By distorting, I include ignoring valid information so as to arrive at a misleading conclusion.

An excellent example of this was the recent McKinsey & Company article, Why, and how, utilities should start to manage climate-change risk.

The article’s leading paragraph said: 

“Extreme weather events are exacting a high—and rising—price. Utilities need to devise and implement strategies to adapt.”

But the initial exhibit distorted the facts.

McKinsey graphic

Here we have two distortions because the graphics omit historic data.

Any reader without knowledge of historic data would immediately conclude that the threats from hurricanes and fires are getting worse …  And it must be because of climate change.

Large hurricanes were actually worse during the first half of the last century, about 100 years ago. See Hurricane History Phony Myth, where the article included charts from NOAA for tornado and hurricane trends.

Forest fires have also been worse in the past.

The accompanying chart from the National Interagency Fire Center establishes that forest fires were far more severe in the past.

And McKinsey perpetuates the fear promoted by Bloomberg that nuclear power plants were vulnerable to climate risk. See, Bloomberg is Trying to Scare You

McKinsey says, “In the United States, nine nuclear-power plants are located within two miles of the ocean.”

The fact these plants may shut down is irrelevant, other than that PV solar arrays and wind turbines might have been blown away by a hurricane.

McKinsey goes on to say: “Power utilities need to invest on the basis that the present is already riskier than what was planned and the future will be more volatile.”

The facts belie that today is riskier than the past, and there’s no evidence, other than conjecture and computer programs, that the future will be riskier yet.

McKinsey, Bloomberg, other consultants and media companies have become shills for the AGW climate change hypothesis.

It’s best to be alert to misleading graphs and charts. Recognize the symptoms of techniques to mislead readers. Such things as suppressed zeroes that can make a small change seem very large, and selected time periods without reference to long term trends is another.

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7 Replies to “Why Does McKinsey Distort the Facts?”

  1. Roger Pielke’s 2018 book, Disasters & Climate Change, does an excellent job of debunking the myth that weather-related natural hazard events are increasing in intensity or frequency. The economic impact is rising because of the increase in population and the associated infrastructure that is destroyed or damaged.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #360 | Watts Up With That?

  3. Pingback: Weekly Abstract of Local weather and Power Information # 360 – Next Gadget

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