Doctors Warn On Climate Failure

They say that climate change will increase rates of malnutrition but ignore the fact that more CO2 makes crops grow bigger and faster and that there will be more rain overall as a warmer ocean evaporates off more moisture. And, of course, warm weather is a lot more benign to health than cold weather is. Why else is there more illness in winter? There is not a shred of intellectual honesty to be found below

Failure to agree [to] a new UN climate deal in December will bring a global health catastrophe, say 18 of the worlds professional medical organisations. Writing in The Lancet and the British Medical Journal, they urge doctors to take a lead on the climate issue.

In a separate editorial, the journals say that people in poor tropical nations will suffer the worst impacts. They argue that curbing climate change would have other benefits such as more healthy diets and cleaner air [How?]

Decembers UN summit, to be held in Copenhagen, is due to agree a new global climate treaty to supplant the Kyoto Protocol. But preparatory talks have been plagued by lack of agreement on how much to cut greenhouse gas emissions and how to finance climate protection for the poorest countries.

There is a real danger that politicians will be indecisive, especially in such turbulent economic times as these, according to the letter signed by leaders of 18 colleges of medicine and other medical disciplines across the world. Should their response be weak, the results for international health could be catastrophic.

Earlier in the year, The Lancet, together with University College London (UCL), published a major review on the health impacts of climate change. Some of the headline findings were that rising temperatures are likely to increase transmission of many infectious diseases, reduce supplies of food and clean water in developing countries, and raise the number of people dying from heat-related conditions in temperate regions.

But it also acknowledged some huge gaps in research for example, that almost no reliable data for heatwave-induced mortality exist in Africa or south Asia. Nevertheless, the main conclusion was that in a world likely to have three billion new inhabitants by the second half of this century: Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk.

The current Lancet and BMJ editorial that accompanies the letter from doctors organisations argues that climate change strengthens the cases that health and development charities are already championing. Even without climate change, the case for clean power, electric cars, saving forests, energy efficiency, and new agriculture technology is strong.

Written by Lord Michael Jay, who chairs the health charity Merlin, and Professor Michael Marmot of UCL, [Not the Marmot again! What an inveterate crook he is! He is associated with the dubious WCRF and some equally dubious dietary claims] the editorial argues that there are plenty of win-win solutions available. A low-carbon economy will mean less pollution. A low carbon-diet (especially eating less meat) and more exercise will mean less cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. [A myth. There’s no good evidence for that at all. Traditional Eskimos eat meat and fat almost exclusively but have LOW rates of cardiovascular disease etc. See also here]


Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, dont forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here