Guardian-bashing is becoming something of a habit on my part, and I acknowledge it is probably unfair. I read and report on so many articles at the Guardian online, because – unlike many other newspapers – the Guardian performs the great service of allowing its website to be read for free, rather than hiding behind a paywall. For that I give it full credit. However, there, increasingly, my goodwill ceases; that is a matter of sadness for me, as the Guardian is a newspaper I read pretty much every day for a couple of decades when I was younger. Have I left the Guardian, or has the Guardian left me? I suspect the latter, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?
Anyway, as Geoff Chambers wrote in a comment on “Climate Crimes: the Graun Goes Full Proto-Nazi” the other day, the Guardian is “the epicentre of climate hysteria, even if the virus is now everywhere.” The evidence for that statement has been available in spades over the last day or two, with “climate crisis” articles spilling from the pens of Guardian journalists so quickly that it has been difficult to keep up.
Extreme temperatures kill 5 million people a year with heat-related deaths rising, study finds
That was one of several eye-catching headlines in the Guardian on 7th July. In smaller print, we learned from a sub-heading that the truth was slightly more complicated:
“More people died of cold than heat in past 20 years but climate change is shifting the balance”.
The article itself reiterated those claims, with a little more detail:
“More than 5 million people die each year globally because of excessively hot or cold conditions, a 20-year study has found – and heat-related deaths are on the rise.
“The study found more people had died of cold than heat over the two-decade period. But heat-related deaths were increasing, while cold-linked deaths were dropping.”
For the casual Guardian-reader, who has made it this far, the story seems pretty clear – as usual, “climate change bad”. This would be an inference reinforced by the continuing tone of the article, especially in (selectively) quoting one of the lead researchers, Professor Yumin Guo, as follows:
“If we don’t take any action to mitigate climate change … more deaths will be caused.”
Fortunately the Guardian provided a link to the study, published on the Lancet Planetary Health website, and titled “Global, regional, and national burden of mortality associated with non-optimal ambient temperatures from 2000 to 2019: a three-stage modelling study”. The study refers to deaths caused by excess heat or excess cold as “deaths related to non-optimal temperatures”, and finds that average excess deaths attributable to this cause amounted to 9.43% of global deaths. Of that 9.43%, given the Guardian’s reportage, surely heat accounted for the vast majority? No, it didn’t. 8.52% of deaths were explainable by cold temperatures, and 0.91% explainable by hot temperatures. Yes, you read that correctly. A human inhabitant of planet earth is almost 10 times more likely to die of cold than of heat.
The study goes on:
“Our study also explored the temporal change in temperature-related mortality burden from 2000 to 2019. The global daily mean temperature increased by 0·26°C per decade during this time, paralleled with a large decrease in cold-related deaths and a moderate increase in heat-related deaths. The results indicate that global warming might slightly reduce the net temperature-related deaths, although, in the long run, climate change is expected to increase mortality burden…”.
So, warming between 2000 and 2019 has reduced “deaths related to non-optimal temperatures”. It’s a pity the Guardian headline (and following story) didn’t mention those inconvenient truths. What “the long run” is for the point when the benefits of warming become disbenefits isn’t stated in either the study or in the Guardian article, so far as I can see.
Speaking of benefits -v- disbenefits of global warming:
How the BBC let climate deniers walk all over it
On the same day, an article by George Monbiot in the Guardian bore the above equally eye-catching headline. Tony Thomas, of course, has already mentioned the underlying story that led to this latest climate hysteria, in “When Climateers Let the Truth Slip Out”.
George has a rather different view of the BBC to those of us who remember 28-Gate, and wonder when, if ever, an even vaguely sceptical voice will be allowed to be heard at the BBC to counter the endless stream of climate propaganda put out by Roger Harrabin, Matt McGrath and co.
George opines about the fight he and his colleagues had in the early days to get their voices heard against “the fossil fuel companies”:
“So scientists and environmental campaigners found themselves fighting the oil companies at one step removed, and with one hand tied behind their backs. When some of us were pitched against a “thinktank” in the media, if we tried to explain that it was not what it claimed to be, or asked it to reveal its funders, we were accused of being “conspiracy theorists”, or of “playing the man not the ball”. But if we didn’t, its false claims about climate science were given equal or greater weight. After all, who were we, a threadbare bunch, beside those respectable-sounding institutes with offices in Washington or Westminster?”
How times have changed. This is how we sceptics feel each and every day, when confronted with the might of the Green Blob, and its numerous sources of funding, think-tanks, institutions, and philanthropic trusts, not to mention politicians of all stripes, big business, and all the other climate worriers given prominence at the BBC without so much as a countervailing voice to offer the slightest balance to the prevailing narrative of “climate crisis”. And still the turning of the wheel of fortune isn’t enough for George and the Guardian. The slightest chink of light, the slightest suggestion of balance, must be stamped on:
“Last week, a group of us revealed what the BBC has been teaching children about climate breakdown. The GCSE module on BBC Bitesize listed the “positive” impacts of our global catastrophe. Among them were “more resources, such as oil, becoming available in places such as Alaska and Siberia when the ice melts”; “new tourist destinations becoming available” (welcome to Derby-on-Sea); and “warmer temperatures could lead to healthier outdoor lifestyles”.
In a sterling example of the corporation’s endless confusion between balance and impartiality, the list of positives was roughly equal to the list of negatives. The greatest crisis humanity has ever faced looked like six of one and half a dozen of the other.
Only when it caused a social media storm did the BBC remove this content. I asked it how, when and why this list was included, whether external organisations were involved, and why the corporation ignored previous requests to improve the module. It told me it would not be commenting. So much for public service.”
So much for public service indeed. Welcome, George, to the world of the sceptic, where the door is endlessly slammed in your face. Where complaints of biased reporting are shunted into the sidings, where you’re lucky to receive a reply months later telling you that the BBC has looked in to your complaint and has decided that it is without merit.
Oh to be able to contact the BBC and have a story changed at my behest, as George has managed. And then to complain that the BBC wasn’t taking my view of the world seriously. I wonder how I’d get on if I complained to the Guardian about a story that stressed deaths from heat, by reference to a new study that made it clear that deaths from cold were far more prevalent, without once mentioning that cold kills almost ten times as many people as are killed by heat? Just asking….