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New Report: Global Warming Policies Might Be Bad For Your Health

Policies to reduce global warming may be doing more harm than good to public health in both developing and industrialised countries. This is the conclusion of a new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

In his report, Dr Indur Goklany, a leading expert on human health and climate change, shows that

• Global warming does not currently rank among the top public health threats
• The contribution of much-publicized ‘Extreme Weather Events’ to global mortality is negligible and declining.
• Poverty is a much larger public health threat than global warming
• Present climate policies are already adding to death and disease
• Focused adaptation to climate change and/or economic development would provide greater health benefits at lower costs than climate mitigation policies.

The report warns that exaggerating the impact of global warming on human health seriously risks misdirecting the world’s priorities and resources in combating poverty and improving public health.

“Climate policies that hinder or slow down economic development or increase the price of energy and food threaten to augment poverty and, as a result, increase net death and disease,” Dr Goklany said.

The increase in biofuel production between 2004 and 2010, for example, is estimated to have increased the population in absolute poverty in the developing world by over 35 million, leading to about 200,000 additional deaths in 2010 alone.

“Focused adaptation designed to reduce vulnerability more broadly to today’s urgent health problems would deliver greater reductions in deaths at a lower cost than climate mitigation policies,” Dr Goklany added.

The full report is available here

About the author
Dr Indur Goklany is an independent scholar and author and is co-editor of the Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development. He was a member of the US delegation that established the IPCC and helped develop its First Assessment Report. He subsequently served as an IPCC reviewer. He is a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

Professor Paul Reiter
Paul Reiter is Professor of Medical Entomology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, and a widely respected specialist in the epidemiology and control of mosquito-borne diseases.