[Economist] NATURAL disasters are rarely out of the headlines. In the past two weeks, flooding in Mozambique has displaced 70,000 people. Climate change is often blamed for unseasonal or extreme weather conditions. And indeed, from 1997 to 2006, the number of reported flood disasters rose, according to researchers at the University of Louvain. But this may be as much to do with better reporting than higher rainfall. The number of deaths has been fairly stable, apart from in 1999, when mudslides claimed tens of thousands of lives in Venezuela.