The Feared Autumn Coronavirus Rebound Would Discredit Climate Alarmists

In a desperate attempt to deny that global warming can bring any significant benefit, climate alarmists have brushed aside assertions that warm temperatures may slow the spread or severity of COVID-19. After all, an earlier onset of warm summer temperatures, a later onset of cool autumn temperatures, and warmer temperatures in regions where summers can still remain cool would prove to be global warming benefits if warm temperatures stifle the virus. But this goes against everything climate alarmists have been peddling about global warming being a one-way street of catastrophic news. Warmer temperatures stifling COVID-19 is bad news for climate alarmists but good news for everybody else on the planet.

Let’s hope the flattened and receding curve of coronavirus cases here in the United States will continue through the fall and throughout the year. Nevertheless, advocates of perpetual government restrictions on our personal freedoms warn it is risky to ease government restrictions now because currently warm temperatures may be masking an inevitable second wave of the virus when temperatures cool in the fall. Ironically, these advocates tend to be the same people who recently denied that global warming may be lessening the terrible impacts of the virus.

First, they tell us warm temperatures will do us no good fighting coronavirus. Then, they tell us to expect a fall rebound when temperatures cool. Well, which is it? Do warmer temperatures inhibit the virus, which reveals another benefit of our modest global warming, or is there no reason to fear an autumn coronavirus rebound? Climate alarmists can’t have it both ways.

Indeed, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and many other reliably leftist/climate alarmist media outlets have repeatedly and condescendingly lectured us that warmer temperatures this summer will not significantly inhibit COVID-19. Now, however, as the coronavirus curve has flattened and states begin to reopen, these same media outlets warn us that a potential fall coronavirus rebound makes restoring people’s freedoms too reckless and too risky.

From the climate alarmist perspective, the recent decline in coronavirus cases has had nothing to do with the onset of summer. If that is the case, the worst appears to be behind us. If coronavirus rebounds in the fall, however, climate alarmists owe the rest of us an apology and an acknowledgement that global warming is benefiting humans in the battle against this global pandemic.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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  1. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi tried to include environmental measures in the CARES Act – a $2 trillion bill that has been passed to stimulate the economy – such as limiting air emissions, although nobody is flying at the moment.

  2. Great points. A year ago, it was common knowledge that the flu goes away in the summer. It thrives in the cool humidity of winter. Winter is like walking around in a sneeze. Heat kills it and it does not transmit well in dry air. Even the Spanish flu of 1918 that killed about 75 million people (roughly 200 times more deadly than any flu since), went away in the summer. It returns in the winter. This is from a history of the Spanish flu by John M. Barr in the November 2017 issue of Smithsonian Magazine:
    By the end of June … a U.S. Army medical bulletin reported from France, the “epidemic is about at an end.” A British medical journal stated flatly that influenza “has completely disappeared.”
    James T. Moodey


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