Monday, October 22, 2007

Inconvenient Truth: Global Warming Saves Lives

Global warming was blamed for 35,000 deaths in Europe's August 2003 heat wave. Cold, however, has caused 25,000 deaths a year recently in England and Wales--47,000 in each winter from 1998 to 2000. In Europe, cold kills more than seven times as many as heat does. Worldwide, moderate warming will, on balance, save more lives than it will cost--by a 9-to-1 ratio in China and India. So, if substantially cutting carbon dioxide reverses warming, that will mean a large net loss of life globally.

~From George Will's Column "An Inconvenient Price"

George Will applies some common sense, solid economic thinking, and cost-benefit analysis to global warming, and concludes that efforts to battle global warming by reducing human greenhouse gas emissions, such as those endorsed by Al Gore, could probably be accomplished, but at what price? Probably at a very costly and inconvenient price far greater than any benefits.

Will concludes "If nations concert to impose antiwarming measures commensurate with the hyperbole about the danger, the damage to global economic growth could cause in this century more preventable death and suffering than was caused in the last century by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. Nobel Peace Prize, indeed."

3 Comments:

At 10/23/2007 12:32 PM, Blogger Trevre said...

And herein lays the problem with the debate on global climate trends. The quotation of thousands of deaths or lives saved caused by this and not by that.

Thousands of lives is nothing compared to the unknown implications of the changing of the earth's climate. While as a species we can adapt readily to small changes in climates the ecosystems around us may not be able too.

To often in this discussion we have drawn conclusions to early based on to little information which is improperly weighted or we have done nothing at all about problems that we already have simple solutions for; ethanol and social energy conservation respectively.

Guiding this planet's climate needs to be completed by a vast array of people working to collect and weight factors considered in that guidance, not based on the sensationalizing of several pieces of the puzzle.

 
At 10/23/2007 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the belief that global warming causes an increase in unstable weather activity? If this is true, you'd need to calculate the loss of life associated with increased/more severe hurricane and tropical storm activity in order to get an accurate comparison.

 
At 10/24/2007 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

76 males and 92 females died of cold in England and Wales in the year 2000.

From statistics on deaths occurring annually in England and Wales found at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=618 and in the document http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_health/DH2_27/DH2_27.pdf on page 83.

Doh!

 

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