Deaths from global warming?

A poster said: “Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years -- to 300,000 people a year.”

So this would mean that at this point in time 150,000 people per year are dying as a direct result of global warming? I find that extremely hard to believe.

Famines, floods, droughts, storms, wildfires, or other natural events do not count because these have plagued humankind since long before industrialization. In fact, the predicted increased intensity and duration of these dangers (allegedly due to AGW) has failed to materialize.

How many deaths can be unequivocally attributed directly and solely to global warming? I say none. Prove me wrong.

6 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This comment was based on a WHO report.

    "Climate change may be to blame for some 150,000 deaths each year, with tropical places and poor countries being the most vulnerable, the United Nations' health agency said Thursday."

    "WHO estimated that by 2030, climate change...could cause 300,000 deaths annually."

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2003-12-11-cl...

    Here is the basis of that estimate:

    "Weather and climate have many effects on human health. Over 600,000 people died in weather-related disasters in the 1990s. Temperature and rainfall influence the frequency and rates of diseases such as diarrhoea, vector-borne infections and malnutrition, which together kill over 3.5 million a year.

    We can only make approximate estimates of the effects that rapid climate change will have on health. But our best understanding of these relationships suggests that climatic change since the 1970s may already cause over 150,000 deaths annually"

    http://www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Publications_an...

    You can't attribute any individual death to climate change, just like you can't attribute any individual weather event to global warming. But you can conlude that the number of heat waves will increase on average, as will the number of climate change-related deaths. It's a statistical estimate.

  • 1 decade ago

    This statement that you made "Famines, floods, droughts, storms, wildfires, or other natural events do not count because these have plagued humankind since long before industrialization." is silly. In fact, you try to back-pedal from it in the very next sentence "In fact, the predicted increased intensity and duration of these dangers (allegedly due to AGW) has failed to materialize. "

    Obviously you understand that if there are increased deaths from those things that you mention in the first sentence, they might reasonably attributed to global warming, or you wouldn't have written the second sentence.

    Then you finish with "How many deaths can be unequivocally attributed directly and solely to global warming? I say none. Prove me wrong." So what? We all agree with you, but the statement isn't saying a whole lot. Knowledgeable people all along have been saying that individual weather events can't be pinned on global warming (or offered as proof that the Earth is not warming). I don't know how many times we say that in here each week, so you're just accepting what we've been saying all along. It doesn't mean that increased deaths can't still be attributed to global warming in a statistical (not event-based) sense.

    I don't understand why deniers have such a hard time with logic.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, if history will repeat itself, probabily more than a million per year will die from global warming. That is, from the global warming hysteria.

    This is the third time I have seen this in my lifetime. The first was "We must ban DDT! Only WE care about the earth!! Anyone who opposes our perfect plan is evil! Bird egg shells are getting thin due to DDT!!!"

    We banned DDT. Bird eggshells are doing nicely. We are just killing half a million people a year from mosquito-borne diseases that would not exist were we still using DDT.

    The next one was "We must ban nuclear power! Only WE care about the earth! Anyone who opposes our perfect plan is evil! We will poison the earth with nuclear waste!!!!"

    We stopped putting up nuclear power plants. Our use of fossil fuels went through the roof. Hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been spent on infrastructure, healthcare, nutrition, etc, went to oil-producing countries.

    Pollution went through the roof. People died.

    If we take a few more trillion dollars out of the economy, healthcare will suffer, social services will suffer, fewer people will have jobs leading to increased drug use and crime, and lots of people are going to die all over again.

    As I said, probably a million a year. Not from global warming, but from the global warming hysteria.

  • Ben O
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If the temperature were to increase (as it did from 1970 to 1998) there would be a slight increase in some diseases (disentary, malaria) and a reduction in other (influenza, pneumonia)

    It's something of an urban myth that the WHO ever claimed that global warming kills people. In reality, in 2003, a WHO employee presented a paper which looking at only the number of increase in diseases which could be linked to hot weather and ignored the reduction in disease which could be linked to cold weather. The research can't be taken as a net increase in deaths and the author (Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum) never claimed it was.

    Other researchers have looked at the other side of the story (ie warming causes a reduction in some diseases) and have concluded that if the climate were to warm, there would be a net reduction in premature deaths due to disease.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    Your question sounds much like those posed by the tobacco industry disinformation specialists a few years back. "How many deaths can be unequivocally attributed directly and solely to cigarette smoking." would be similarly impossible to answer, but the correlation between reduced cigarette use and reduced lung cancer mortality can't be denied.

    The most obvious cause of death related to global warming is heat wave mortality. Also increasing is deaths from tropical diseases because their insect vectors have spread further from the equator due to warming. Less direct mortality includes deaths from water contamination diseases due to decreased water availability.

    I suggest you do a Google Search on "heatwave death statistics". It makes 150,000 deaths annually worldwide as a result of climate change entirely plausible.

  • Mark
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Increased deaths due to something that doesn't exist is sheer loony tunes. Any warming that could be rationally expected from the data will be beneficial. We can only hope our good fortune will continue.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.