One of the things mentioned very often here is the case of the WHO claim that 150,000 deaths throughout the world can be attributed to climate change. This figure was then upped to 300,000 by the now defunct Global Humanitarian Forum, under the stewardship of former UN chief, Kofi Anan.
The WHO and GHF studies were used to make the case that ‘climate change will be worse for the poor’. But, as argued here, the expression ‘climate change will be worse for the poor’ amounts to a much stronger argument for creating wealth than it does for the abolition of climate change.
The WHO’s and GHF’s method was to estimate the increased prevalence of malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition caused by climate change. Here, for instance is the GHF’s table, in which they assume that climate change increases the prevalence of these diseases by around 4% in 2010, rising to around 6% in 2030.
As pointed out here, given that malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition are diseases of poverty, the greater problem is one of lack of wealth. Tackle that problem, and you don’t merely save the lives of the 302,000 people who die from ‘climate change’, you also save 7.5 million lives lost to poverty, as well as the costs caused by 5.8 billion cases of the diseases it causes. To say that environmentalists and the ‘global leaders’ urging action on climate change lack a sense of proportion is an understatement.
Anyway, the BBC are now reporting that,
Experts said if targets continued to be met, a further three million lives could be saved by 2015. There has been a fall of just over 20% in the number of deaths from malaria worldwide in the past decade, the World Health Organization says. A new report said that one-third of the 108 countries where malaria was endemic were on course to eradicate the disease within 10 years.
It’s not clear how much credit the WHO can take for reducing the human cost of malaria. But what is clear is that malaria has got nothing to do with climate change.