Earlier this month, a landmark study in Nature made headlines around the world. Rising temperatures from global warming increase the number of heat deaths, now causing a third of all heat deaths, or about 100,000 deaths per year.
Obviously, this is a powerful narrative to justify urgent climate policies.
But the study left out glaring truths that even its own authors have abundantly documented. Heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the US, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has halved. So while global warming could result in more heat deaths, technological development in, for instance, the US, is actually resulting in fewer heat deaths.
More importantly, cold deaths vastly outweigh heat deaths worldwide. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the US, Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outweigh heat deaths by 7-to-1. Globally, about 1.7 million deaths are caused by cold, more than five times the number of heat deaths.
Author(s): Bjorn Lomborg
Publication Date: 26 June 2021
Publication Site: Watts Up With That