Wrong, BBC, Global Human Health Outcomes Are Improving As Climate Changes

The BBC is among several mainstream media outlets, like USA Today, hyping a report which claims human health is suffering due to climate change. This is false. Data shows premature deaths related to temperatures, extreme weather, and insect-borne diseases have each fallen dramatically as the earth has modestly warmed, and people start to use products to feel more comfortable and relaxed as well, such as cbd products you can find in this wonka bars Weed Strain Review online.

A BBC article by Ella Hambly, titled “COP27: Climate change threatening global health – report,” cites a report published by Lancet Countdown, which claims human health outcomes are being worsened by climate change. Describing the report’s findings, Hambly writes:

Climate change is severely impacting people’s health around the world, a report by a leading medical publication has found.

The Lancet Countdown report says the world’s continued reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of food insecurity, infectious disease and heat-related illness. The … describes how extreme weather has increased pressure on health services globally already grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The timing of the report’s release and attendant media coverage of it are intended to spur climate action by government negotiators at the forthcoming 27th Conference of the Parties (U.N. Climate Conference) in to be held in Egypt in November.

If it does spur governments to make increasingly stringent emission reduction commitments at COP 27, they will be acting on false information. Interestingly, much of the data refuting the new report is contained in large scale peer reviewed studies published in The Lancet.

It should be noted at the outset, Lancet Countdown is not, as Hambly’s story claims, a leading medical journal. That is The Lancet, which publishes peer reviewed studies. Rather Lancet Countdown is a climate change activism project founded by the publishers of The Lancet composed of purported climate experts, all of like-minded alarmist bent.

Neither Lancet Countdown, nor the BBC, evidently follows the science when it comes to claims that climate change is hampering food production. Dozens of articles on Climate Realism, here, here, and here, for example, present solid data collected by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization showing food production has grown substantially during the recent period of climate change, and the increase in production shows no sign of abating anytime soon. The evidence demonstrates conclusively, that global cereal production, as well as most other crops, like fruits, legumes, tubers, and vegetables, in every region around the world have increased substantially as the earth has warmed. This has resulted in the largest reduction in starvation, hunger, and malnutrition that the world has ever known.

Data show that during the period of modern warming, deaths resulting from non-optimum temperatures and extreme weather events have declined even more dramatically than deaths from starvation. Articles on Climate Realismhere and here, for instance, present real-world data proving that as the earth has warmed, deaths tied to temperature extremes have fallen dramatically.

The so-called experts assembling the Lancet Countdown report should be well aware of this fact, since The Lancet published two large scale studies establishing the huge decline in temperature related deaths. A July 1, 2021 study published in The Lancet was arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two very clear conclusions: Cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures; and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining.

Because cold related deaths outnumber deaths tied to extreme heat by 10 to 1, the study found hundreds of thousands fewer people have died in response to non-optimum temperatures each year as the earth has warmed in recent decades. (See the figure below)

Figure 1. Global heat and cold related deaths graphed by region, from 2000-2019. Graph created by Willis Eschenbach from Monash study data.

The 2021 study confirmed what large scale 2015 study published in The Lancet previously found. In the 2015 study, researchers examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths, and found cold weather, directly or indirectly, killed 1,700 percent more people than warm or hot weather.

Thus as the earth has warmed the data clearly show that deaths from extreme temperatures have declined.

Also, contrary to the claims made by Lancet Countdown and uncritically echoed by mainstream media outlets like USA Today and the BBC, deaths resulting from extreme weather events have declined even more dramatically over the past 100 years of modest warming. Data from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters presented in its Emergency Events Database show that between 1920 and 2021 deaths resulting from extreme weather events like hurricane strikes, flooding, and wildfires have fallen by more than 99.6 percent.

Finally, the claim that climate change in causing the spread of viral and insect borne diseases has been debunked multiple times in Climate Realism articles, here, here, and here, to cite just a few.

As writer and humorist Mark Twain once famously quipped: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. “

Data clearly show deaths and illnesses from starvation, extreme temperatures, extreme weather events, and various types of diseases have declined dramatically amidst a changing climate. As a result it is simply false to claim as Lancet Countdown and the media echo chamber do that climate change is threatening “global health.”

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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  1. One can only assume there is something sinister in the Lancet Countdown’s misguided reporting on the Climate’s warming affect. So typical that USA Today and the BBC should report these alarmist warnings!


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