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Climate Change Poses No Existential Threat!

Nada. Not Any.

From Heartland Daily News H. Sterling Burnett with images from Sam Burns
3/20/2022


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A refreshing article in the Washington Examiner demonstrates what I have repeatedly said for more than a decade: climate change does not pose an “existential threat.” In fact, that’s the title of the article: “Climate change is not an ‘existential threat.’” In discussing the energy crisis that has arisen during Joe Biden’s brief tenure as president of the United States—primarily because of Biden’s climate policies—David Simon writes,



The Biden administration’s climate change policies have sharply increased oil prices, damaging the domestic economy and increasing the cost of nearly everything consumers buy. By increasing revenues for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, they also made Russia stronger and more dangerous at a critical time, thus damaging national security. …

But worst of all, the Biden administration’s basis for these policies, the claim that global warming presents an “existential threat,” is fraudulent. It is not based on any scientific consensus, and in fact, it ignores evidence of environmental benefits of global warming that offset its harm.



In this article, chock full of data, Simon schools so-called journalists in the corporate media on how to examine claims that humans are causing a climate catastrophe. Simon presents data and research that conclusively demonstrate temperature and climate-related deaths have significantly declined during the period of modern warming. Climate Realism has also pointed this out on numerous occasions, refuting alarmists’ claims to the contrary.

For example, arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature was published in the July 1 edition of The Lancet, one of the world’s most prominent health journals. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two 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. The researchers found nearly 10 times more people die due to cold temperatures than hot temperatures. Moreover, as global temperatures modestly increase, the number of people dying because of suboptimal temperatures is decreasing.



“Importantly, cold-related death decreased 0.51 per cent from 2000 to 2019, while heat-related death increased 0.21 per cent, leading to a reduction in net mortality due to cold and hot temperatures,” the study reports.

Considering that 10 times more people were dying from cold than from heat, the study indicates the warming between 2000 and 2019 saved 3.1 million lives from cold-related deaths, at the expense of just 130,000 extra deaths caused by heat. As a result, global warming saved a net of nearly three million lives during the past 20 years.



This study confirms what previous research has consistently shown. In 2015, for example, The Lancet published the results of another large-scale temperature/mortality study, in which the researchers found cold weather directly or indirectly killed 1,700 percent more people than warm or hot weather. The scientists examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths. The authors of this study wrote,

[N]on-optimum ambient temperature is responsible for substantial excess in mortality, with important differences between countries. Although most previous research has focused on heat-related effects, most of the attributable deaths were caused by cold temperatures. Despite the attention given to extreme weather events, most of the effect happened on moderately hot and moderately cold days, especially moderately cold days.

Even The New York Times acknowledged the importance of that study, with Jane Brody writing, “Over time, as global temperatures rise, milder winter temperatures are likely to result in fewer cold-related deaths, a benefit that could outweigh a smaller rise in heat-caused mortality.”



In addition to correcting the record on heat-related deaths, Simon dismantles various climate fictions about worsening natural disasters, using readily available data:

The facts regarding natural disasters also do not support the “existential threat” claim. The number of hurricanes per year, a 2021 EPA report shows, has not increased since the late 19th century. Moreover, although you wouldn’t know it from the panicky, sensationalized news coverage, the total acreage burnt by forest fires annually has decreased, and most rivers flood less today than they used to.

Since 1920, Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.12 degrees and the world population has quadrupled from less than two billion to almost eight billion. Even so, the number of people killed each year by natural disasters has declined by about 90 percent. That statistic, more than any other, puts the lie to claims of an existential crisis due to climate.



There is also the global air pollution death rate, which has declined by about 45 percent over the last three decades. Again, no “existential threat” here.

Simon is correct. Research published at Climate Realism has refuted assertions about worsening wildfires and hurricanes on multiple occasions.



Simon also discusses research showing the positive side of climate change: “global warming has increased both agricultural yields and growth of forests, grasslands, and tree leaves.”

Climate Change Weekly and Climate Realism have refuted claims climate change is a threat to crop production more than 100 times. We have cited research and hard data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization showing regional and global crop production and crop yields have regularly, almost yearly, set new records during the recent period of modern warming.



Basic agronomy explains why crop production is booming under current climate conditions. As detailed by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change in Climate Change Reconsidered: Biological Impacts and Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the carbon dioxide humans have been pumping into the air since the middle of the twentieth century has enriched plant growth and improved plants’ water-use efficiency, thereby contributing to record crop yields.

Laboratory experiments and real-world field research show as carbon dioxide increases, plant fitness and flower pollination improve, plants develop more-extensive root systems to extract greater amounts of nutrients from even poor-quality soil, plants use water more efficiently by reducing the number and openness of stomata through which they lose moisture during transpiration, and plants produce greater amounts of natural substances that repel insects and fight off competing weeds.

All of this has helped bring about the largest decline in hunger, malnutrition, and starvation in human history.



Simon’s conclusion is spot-on and speaks for itself:

Biden administration climate change policies are sensationalizing the threats while ignoring all the benefits. They rely on speculative “models” that supposedly project global temperatures and predict disasters. But these models are highly unreliable, … unable even to reproduce the temperature changes of the 20th century.



The Biden administration’s campaign against U.S. oil production and pipelines is not just harmful—it is an environmental fraud.

To quote longtime radio host Paul Harvey, that’s “the rest of the story”: the very good news the mainstream media and various scientific and political shills aren’t telling you about climate change.



SOURCES: Washington Examiner, Climate Realism; Climate Change Weekly

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