Global warming kills people. Well, of course. If it didn’t, who’d bother about it? No sane person would spend trillions just to iron out a blip on a graph. That’s why everyone likes to cite those WHO stats about 300,000 more people killed a year, without noting how they’re compiled. Many are from malaria, because mosquitoes like it warm. But malaria deaths are falling, maybe due to Bill and Melinda Gates, or maybe due to a million African nurses, (the ones that haven’t been drawn to Europe by salaries that could feed a whole village back home.)
But this is getting political. Let’s talk about hurricanes.
So any evidence that people are being killed in increasing numbers by events induced by global warming is big news for the global warmists, right?
Not exactly. Take Hurricane Maria. According to this article In the New England Journal of Medicine, more than four thousand people perished in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria hit the island. The following summary of the paper’s findings is extracted from an article at Zerohedge.
An estimated 4,645 people perished when Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, on September 20, 2017, and in the months after, according to an academic report published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. This shocking estimate dwarfs Puerto Rico’s official death toll of 64, which the researchers called a “substantial underestimate,” mostly due to delayed or interrupted medical services.
Tens of thousands of people were displaced from their homes, seeking shelter on higher ground or in the Continental United States. Accurate estimates of deaths, injuries, illness, and displacement have been extremely difficult to evaluate in the aftermath because infrastructure and healthcare systems were severely damaged.
Household members reported nearly one-third of post-hurricane deaths as being caused by delayed or prevented access to medical care, and almost 1 in 10 was attributed directly to the hurricane by respondents, explained the report.
The survey found a strong positive correlation between remoteness on the island and the length of time without essential services. On average, houses went 84 days without electricity, 68 days without water, and 41 days without cellular service after the hurricane and until late December. There was also a significant disruption in medical services, the survey noted. About 14 percent of households surveyed said they were not able to access daily medications, while nearly 10 percent said they needed medical equipment that required electricity. Other problems included the destruction of medical facilities and missing doctors.
Domingo Marqués, an associate professor of clinical psychology at Carlos Albizu University in Puerto Rico, who was one of the researchers, said, “the difference is that we went out and we had boots on the ground and we did the interviews..”
There’s an article in today’s Guardian of course, filed under world news. It claims that deaths might even be as high as eight thousand. Everyone at the Guardian knows that climate change increases the risks of catastrophic weather events like hurricanes, and that poor countries are the worst affected. Twenty thousand articles on the Guardian’s Climate Change page have been preparing us for precisely this kind of catastrophic event. Yet, strangely, the article isn’t filed under “climate change.” Why not?
The reasons are perhaps to be found within the article:
The report in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that as many as 4,600 “excess deaths” occurred in the aftermath of the storm due to failures of medical and other critical infrastructure.. Researchers said their fresh evaluation was probably an underestimate, too, owing to problems with communications that persist in the storm’s aftermath.. In the days, weeks and months that followed, roads and electrical lines were slow to be restored, grinding much of life to a near halt. There were also severe shortages of food and lack of access to potable water in many areas.. a similar finding from the Center for Investigative Journalism in December.. found that.. due to the severing of critical infrastructure, hundreds of vulnerable people died in hospitals and nursing homes from conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, hypertension, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Hurricane Harvey which hit Texas, caused just 68 deaths according to this Guardian article. But these were real hurricane deaths, climate change deaths, trees falling on your head, things like that. No-one in Texas ever died of anything as absurd as Alzheimer’s “due to the severing of critical infrastructure.”
Perhaps by the time you read this the Guardian will have put its article up on its climate change page. But in that case, its readers might possibly put 68 and 4,645 together and realise that climate change deaths can be reduced by a magnitude or two with the right infrastructure. In which case all my snide grumpiness will have been shown to have been unfounded. But then the Guardian’s readers will have been enlightened as to the nature of risk, which would obviously be a Good Thing, even though it would reveal me to be a conspiracy ideational idiot.
Should I be worried? Or should I take solace in Matthew 5:44- 45?
“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven. For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
It does seem rather unjust that the inhabitants of the US Territory of Puerto Rico should suffer the same amount of rain sendeth from on high, but seventy times more deaths from the effects of global warming than the inhabitants of the Lone Star State.
But then, as stated in Charles Bowen‘s version of St Matthew:
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust’s stolen his umbrella.