Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Endless Summer


No matter how things may look to my starry-eyed readers, the life of a terminally depressed z-list blogger isn't all glamor and romantic intrigue. For one thing, you're sometimes obliged to evaluate the burblings of Bjorn Lomborg.

Discover has decided to run an excerpt from Lomborg's new book, in which he explains that global warming is Man's Friend. Briefly, he claims that 1.5 million Europeans die from excess cold each year, whereas about 200,000 die from excess heat. Obviously, turning up the global thermostat will save countless (European) lives. Little wonder, then, that the MSM is doing its damnedest to suppress the shocking truth:

[T]he BBC recently ran a very quiet story telling us that deaths caused by cold weather in England and Wales for the past years have hovered around 25,000 each winter, casually adding that the winters of 1998–2000 saw about 47,000 cold deaths each year. The story then goes on to discuss how the government should make the cost of winter fuel economically bearable and how the majority of deaths are caused by strokes and heart attacks.
As you can see, the BBC is so desperate to downplay winter-related fatalities that it's invented all sorts of weird theories about how cold weather causes deaths; it even goes so far as to suggest that these deaths are avoidable through government action. It's all part of their scheme to forestall "public outcry," natch.

As it happens, Norway's excess winter deaths are much lower than those of Great Britain, which has some of the highest EWD rates in Europe. Some researchers have linked this to dangerously low indoor temperatures and, by an odd coincidence, to poverty. (The joke here is that Lomborg routinely cries crocodile tears over the plight of the poor, whom he claims are being neglected thanks to climate hysteria.)

What's missing from this excerpt - besides Lomborg's conscience - is the faintest recognition that there's anything more to global warming than warmer temperatures, and anything more to human civilization than the West. Floods, droughts, ocean acidity, food shortages that affect key species, hotter winters and summers in Africa and the Indian subcontinent...none of that matters. The important thing to remember is that if it gets warmer, lives will be saved (where it counts). And if it doesn't, we'll presumably have to reproach ourselves for not burning enough coal, or buying enough Hummers.

Adding insult to injury, Discover's introductory blurb says "Lomborg illustrates how a major climate-related killer goes underreported, while human deaths from heat waves make front-page news."

Sure he does. And I illustrate that I'm to be Queen of the May by wearing a lily-white gown that symbolizes purity.

Actually, Lomborg's claim that excess cold deaths "pass almost unnoticed" in Europe and America illustrates nothing beyond his own sloppiness (or dishonesty, or lack of political sophistication). Why Discover would try to suggest otherwise is beyond me.

4 comments:

Joseph Dietrich said...

You're obliged to evaluate Lomborg? Man, that's harsh. What, were you a concentration camp guard in a former life or something?

It is depressing that Lomborg gets away with what he does. Simply countering all criticism of his work by saying that his critics are all biased and out to get him is such a sweet dodge.

Thers said...

Wait, isn't global warming supposed to make northwest Europe colder, not hotter, because of the currents & whatnot? At least that's what that tubby Algore said in his film, an Inconvenient Triumph of the Will, o something...

Toby Petzold said...

Why is Frankie Avalon's head so pale?

Phila said...

Joseph:

It is depressing that Lomborg gets away with what he does.

It is. But then, there's a huge system in place to support people like him. They're hothouse flowers....

Thers:

Wait, isn't global warming supposed to make northwest Europe colder, not hotter, because of the currents & whatnot?

That's a popular theory among secular-humanist pacifislamofascists, yes.

Reasonable people understand that God would not let it be so.