Climate change threatening global health–Lancet

By Paul Homewood

Yes, it’s that time of year again. With COP27 looming, the Lancet publish their latest fraudulent study:


Climate change is severely impacting people’s health around the world, a report by a leading medical publication has found.

The Lancet Countdown report says the world’s continued reliance on fossil fuels increases the risk of food insecurity, infectious disease and heat-related illness.

UN Secretary General António Guterres responded that global leaders must match action to the size of the problem.

Leaders will meet for the major climate conference COP27 in Egypt next month.

The report includes the work of 99 experts from organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and led by University College London.

It describes how extreme weather has increased pressure on health services globally already grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Heat-related deaths globally have increased by two thirds over the last two decades, it finds.

Temperature records have been broken around the world in 2022, including in the UK where 40C was recorded in July, as well as parts of Europe, Pakistan and China.

The health impacts of extreme heat include exacerbating conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and causing heat stroke and poor mental health.

But it said there are solutions. "Despite the challenges, there is clear evidence that immediate action could still save the lives of millions, with a rapid shift to clean energy and energy efficiency," the report concludes.



Well here’s the report:






So let’s knock them off one by one:



3.7 billion sounds a lot of days, but what do they mean by “life-threatening” heatwaves? It turns out they are not necessarily extremely how days, but merely when temperatures are over the 95% percentile, so even relatively cold countries could be counted in this ludicrous calculation.


And as they do every year, the Lancet totally ignore their own study which shows that cold kills about 20 times as many people than heat. This is even the case in what we would regard as hot countries:







Of course, no reputable organisation would attempt to claim that climate change is making people’s health worse without looking at the overall picture.

But the Lancet is not a reputable organisation. If it was, they would admit that life expectancy has remorselessly increased over the years, climate change or no climate change. This is particularly noticeable in regions like Africa, where claims of heatwave risks should be most significant:







Quite what relevance one four-year period has against another eludes me. And the idea that the world’s climate has changed so much in the space of 18 years is frankly ludicrous.

But a look at their map, gives us a clue as to what is happening. The most concentrated area for wildfire is in Central Africa:




And lo and behold, we learn that this has nothing at all with global warming. Instead it is all caused by agricultural burns, which naturally often get out of control, as Landscape News related in 2019:

In the last few weeks, news of the wildfires in the Amazon and Indonesia has been difficult to avoid. But if we take a look at Global Forest Watch’s world map showing the past week’s alerts for Congo Basin fires (one-square-kilometer areas in which fire is detected by satellite imaging), we might well wonder if we’ve been missing something important.

Across Central Africa, there’s a huge smear of red that’s much bigger and denser than even its Amazonian counterpart. While Brazil experienced the highest number of fire alerts over this time period, the Central African countries of Mozambique, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) all followed close behind – and each sat well ahead of the numbers in Indonesia.

The highest number of fires in the region sit in and around the Congo Basin, which is often termed the ‘second green lung’ of the planet, after the Amazon. The Basin comprises a mosaic of rivers, forests, savannas and swamps, including the recently-discovered Cuvette Centrale peatlands, which are the biggest stretch of tropical peatlands in the world and estimated to store around 30 gigatons of carbon – equivalent to three years of global fossil fuel emissions.

According to Guillaume Lescuyer, a researcher at French agricultural research center CIRAD, the nature of the Central African fires is significantly different from their Amazonian counterparts, and it’s important not to conflate the two. The fires are mostly burning in dry forest and savannahs, and are not spreading through rainforest as they’re doing in South America. “The forested areas are less populated,” explains Lescuyer, “and they resist fire much better,” so out-of-control agricultural burning tends to ‘lick at the edges’ of the dense, moist rainforests without making much of an impact.

The fires are also decidedly unremarkable from a local perspective, says Lauren Williams of the World Resources Institute (WRI), who is based in Kinshasa, because burning to clear deforested land for agriculture is a normal part of agricultural practice. “I have yet to see a report on this in local Congolese media,” she says. “Since this is the dry season and fire is an important management tool used by many to clear land and roads, this is not gaining as much local attention as you might think.” While the number of fire alerts this year is slightly higher than average, it’s “generally consistent with what you would expect to see this time of year,” she says.


NASA also had this to say in 2010:

It was early in the dry season in Democratic Republic of Congo when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on May 13, 2010. MODIS detected hundreds of active fires (location marked in red) in southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northeastern Angola, a sign that the agricultural burning season was in full swing.

More than half of the gross domestic product (the value of all the goods and services produced by a country) of Democratic Republic of Congo comes from the agriculture sector, and fire is a pivotal part of agriculture across most of Africa. People burn crop residue to clear fields after harvest, and they burn forest and other natural vegetation to clear new land for farming. Fire is also used to drive game and grazing animals to new locations and to stimulate new growth in pastures.

This annual burning has taken place for hundreds, possibly thousands of years, and it is not necessarily immediately hazardous. But it can have a strong influence on air quality and public health, as well as on climate and natural resources.


As populations increase, so too does the need for more land for farming, and thus crop burn.




Again I am suspicious when I see a comparison of two 10-year periods. Why not look at long term trends?

This is what the IPCC did in AR5, (something mysteriously dropped in AR6!):


The IPCC regularly state that generally speaking the world has become wetter as it has warmed. Naturally there are regional variations, something which is always happens as ocean cycles and other factors change. But it is clear that there is nothing in the actual data to support the Lancet’s claim that droughts are increasing in overall terms.



It is interesting that they don’t refer to actual infection data, but again resort to computer models, which claim to measure the “climatic suitability for transmission”.

But as experts in infectious diseases tell us, the spread of dengue has nothing to do with climate. Prof Duane Gubler, for example:

Dengue is the most important arboviral disease of humans with over half of the world’s population living in areas of risk. The frequency and magnitude of epidemic dengue have increased dramatically in the past 40 years as the viruses and the mosquito vectors have both expanded geographically in the tropical regions of the world. There are many factors that have contributed to this emergence of epidemic dengue, but only three have been the principal drivers: 1) urbanization, 2) globalization and 3) lack of effective mosquito control. The dengue viruses have fully adapted to a human-Aedes aegypti-human transmission cycle, in the large urban centers of the tropics, where crowded human populations live in intimate association with equally large mosquito populations. This setting provides the ideal home for maintenance of the viruses and the periodic generation of epidemic strains. These cities all have modern airports through which 10s of millions of passengers pass each year, providing the ideal mechanism for transportation of viruses to new cities, regions and continents where there is little or no effective mosquito control. The result is epidemic dengue.

And even the WHO refuse to blame climate change:

The Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Unlike other mosquitoes Ae. aegypti is a day-time feeder; its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk. Female Ae. aegypti bites multiple people during each feeding period.

Aedes albopictus, a secondary dengue vector in Asia, has spread to North America and more than 25 countries in the European Region, largely due to the international trade in used tyres (a breeding habitat) and other goods (e.g. lucky bamboo). Ae. albopictus is highly adaptive and, therefore, can survive in cooler temperate regions of Europe. Its spread is due to its tolerance to temperatures below freezing, hibernation, and ability to shelter in microhabitats.

In short, dengue has spread because of urbanisation and globalisation.




Food insecurity? What planet are they on?

Their claims are again based not on actual data, but on models, which estimate how much food yields have potentially been reduced by heatwaves and drought. According to them, this shortens growing seasons and the crop matures too quickly:



But why don’t they look at the actual data?

Both cereal production and yields  around the world have remorselessly increased year over year since the 1960s.


And with it, malnutrition has been cut substantially:



It ought to be clear to everybody that the fossil fuelled economic growth of the last century and more has transformed people’s lives out of all proportion, and beyond what anybody could have dreamed even just a few years ago.

And yet we still get climate fanatics like Justin Rowlatt writing this sort of drivel:



Rowlatt’s political agenda seems to be blinding him to what is obvious to anybody else.


October 28, 2022 at 04:58AM

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