How can we tell if things are getting worse?

I finally got round to reading Roger Pielke Jnr's book The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change. It's an illuminating read on climate change and its relationship to the perceived increase of extreme events - and also, disappointingly, how Pielke has been treated by fellow scientists for thinking differently from the crowd. I think there is a tendency to align climate change with “every hazard is getting worse” and Pielke’s book certainly in places is a strong counter-argument to this. Prompted partly by the work of Pielke - and a slightly frosty exchange on Twitter between two of our modelling firms about evidence around near-term views of hurricane risk - I wanted to take