The Lancet just published a report warning of impending death and destruction from unchecked global warming. The authors focused on the effect of heat waves on older and vulnerable populations. Yet, nowhere in the 43 page manifesto did they find room to mention a previous empirical study from the same prestigious journal that showed cold weather kills 20 times more people than warm weather.
Indeed, Science Daily reported on a 2015 study in the Lancet that “analyzed over 74 million deaths between 1985 and 2012 in 13 countries with a wide range of climates, from cold to subtropical…Of all deaths caused by non-optimal temperatures, Cold was responsible for the majority of these deaths (7.29% of all deaths), while just 0.42% of all deaths were attributable to heat.
According to Dr Gasparrini, ‘Current public-health policies focus almost exclusively on minimizing the health consequences of heat waves. Our findings suggest that these measures need to be refocused and extended to take account of a whole range of effects associated with temperature.’”
The Lancet study supported earlier reports that winter is deadlier than summer in the United States. A report released by the National Center for Health Statistics, based on death certificate data from 2006-10, found that about 2,000 U.S. residents died each year from weather-related causes of death. 63% of these deaths were attributed to exposure to excessive natural cold, hypothermia or both, while about 31% of these deaths were attributed to exposure to heat.
The collective memory of humankind is short. One the worst periods for humanity was the Little Ice Age which resulted in famine and the spread of Plague throughout Europe.
Maybe a little warmth is not such a bad thing.