We're all going to die!!!
Well, that's technically true, we are all going to die.
Let me try that again.
We're all going to die... sooner!!!
Extreme temperatures kill 5 million people a year with heat-related deaths rising, study finds.
Oh no! I suddenly feel oddly compelled to purchase a Prius.
But wait a second...
"Extreme temperatures kill 5 million people a year..."
A true statement based on the study.
"...heat-related deaths rising"
Also a true statement.
Mash them together and it leaves you with the wholly intended and wholly false impression that deaths are rising and increased global temperatures are the cause.
Except that's not true, not even close. Everything about it is wrong.
The real story is good news:
Fewer people are dying from extreme temperatures.
How can that be? (And can I keep my SUV now? I believe my Prius deposit is refundable.)
Extreme cold kills nearly ten times more people than heat, and fewer people are dying from extreme cold.
I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to talk about that little detail, but it's in the study cited in the article that they'd prefer we not click through so stop doing that please.
The study is titled,
Global, regional, and national burden of mortality associated with non-optimal ambient temperatures from 2000 to 2019: a three-stage modelling study
That's not nearly as catchy as the Guardian's headline, but it has the advantage of being accurate. (It also includes some unintended humor: "mortality associated with non-optimal ambient temperatures..." I would concur that a temperature that kills you is, clinically speaking, "non-optimal.")
They looked at 20 years of data and found this:
There were 4,594,098 cold-related deaths vs. 489,075 heat-related deaths.
The way The Guardian put it was this:
The study found more people had died of cold than heat over the two-decade period.
They left out the numbers because I guess numbers are hard.
They are also contrary to the preferred narrative.
They follow that immediately with this:
But heat-related deaths were increasing, while cold-linked deaths were dropping.
Also true, but without numbers this doesn't mean anything. Hold this last thought for a moment.
Monash University's Prof Yuming Guo, one of the study's lead researchers, said this trend would continue because of climate change, and total mortality rates may go up.
There's one little problem with that, cold-related deaths are declining faster, a lot faster, than heat-related deaths are increasing.
From the study:
From 2000–03 to 2016–19, the global cold-related excess death ratio changed by −0.51 percentage points (95% eCI −0·61 to −0·42) and the global heat-related excess death ratio increased by 0.21 percentage points (0·13–0·31), leading to a net reduction in the overall ratio.
Cold-related excess deaths are declining at a faster rate off a larger base than heat-related deaths are rising.
Guo goes on:
"In the future, cold-related mortality should continue to decrease, but because the heat-related mortality will continue to increase, that means there will be a break point," Guo said.
Could there be a break point? Sure, you could see a reverse in the numbers and even eventually totally eliminate cold-related deaths, but at this rate it looks like it's a really long ways off (If ever).
In the meantime, that net reduction in the ratio of extreme-temperature deaths nets out to .30 percentage points. A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that over 150,000 living breathing human beings with hopes and dreams and families were spared a premature death because of a warming planet.
That's a narrative you don't hear very often. How many of these people are the environmental warriors willing to sacrifice on their altar of climate virtue?
It's even worse than that.
He said in Europe there had already been an overall increase in the rate of deaths associated with temperatures.
"If we don't take any action to mitigate climate change … more deaths will be caused."
How about elsewhere?
The largest decline in overall excess death ratio occurred in South-eastern Asia.
How many South-eastern Asian residents have to die to assuage the climate guilt of wealthy Europeans?
Why, you could almost call that climate colonialism.
It is possible to have a sober discussion about climate change, the extent to which human activity is responsible, and what mitigation efforts, if any, make sense.
We really can do that.
But too often, the climate warriors seem disinterested in that. They denounce people like Bjorn Lomborg as a "climate denier" (a slur meant to evoke "holocaust deniers"), and yet Lomborg is fully onboard the anthropogenic warming train, he just has some different ideas about how to address it.
Why demonize voices, even those in the middle? Why weave a narrative of hysteria and doom from data that clearly contradicts it?
They have a different agenda. Climate hysteria is merely a tool.