More Reasons Not To Swallow the Fear

Bjorn Lomborg, in a testimony to a climate committee, gives data on why global warming may not be all so bad (that has nothing to do with oil industry profits!):

Much has been made of the heat wave in Europe in early August 2003, which killed 35,000 people, with 2,000 deaths in the UK. Yet, each year more than 25,000 people die in the UK from cold. It can be estimated that every year more than 200,000 people die from excess heat in Europe. It is reasonable to estimate that each year about 1.5 million people die from excess cold in Europe. This is more than seven times the total number of heat deaths. Just in this millennium Europe has lost more than 10 million people to the cold, 300 times the iconic 35,000 heat deaths from 2003…

…A paper trying to incorporate all studies on this issue (a so-called meta-study) and apply it to a broad variety of settings both developed and developing around the world found that “global warming may cause a decrease in mortality rates, especially of cardiovascular diseases.” For the US, the net lower death count from global warming in 2050 is estimate at 174,000 per year.

It’s intuitive, isn’t it? Life should thrive in warmth, not languish. (And…if it had been a little warmer that day, perhaps the message these folks were trying to convey might have been more meaningful :D)

Other considerations are raised in the full testimony which are worth reading. Lomborg’s is the kind of analysis I can appreciate because he recognizes the need to weigh the good against the bad before deciding if the net gain from taking preventative action against global warming is worth the cost. Clearly GW will produce both positive and negative results. Spit out the cool-aid in their face whenever anybody tries to wash down your esophagus a picture of GW that is all one-sided.

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