Bjorn Lomborg: Flawed climate mortality “Study” excludes deaths from cold

Posted: August 6, 2017 by tallbloke in alarmism, bbcbias, climate, Critique, solar system dynamics

lomborgBjorn Lomborg eviscerates a bad stats propaganda piece masquerading as a scientific ‘study’ in the Lancet. The FakeNews BBC uncritically regurgitates the story:

Based on a pathetically wrong study which is timed just right for great coverage.

The study specifically excludes any adaptation and assumes a laughably small number of cold deaths. Both dramatically push up damages and push down benefits.

Excluding adaptation leads to dramatic exaggeration of impacts. The study assumes that *no one* will make any adjustments over the next 83 years to accommodate higher temperatures, like cooler buildings, more greenery, more light surfaces and more air conditioning. Even the commentators on the paper are forced to point out that this is unrealistic: “People are known to adapt and become less vulnerable than previously to extreme weather conditions because of advances in medical technology, air conditioning, and thermal insulation in houses.”

One study shows that this is systematic: “We find that studies based on projected changes in climate indicate substantial increases in heat-related mortality and morbidity in the future, while observational studies based on historical climate and health records show a decrease in negative impacts during recent warming.” https://link.springer.com/artic…/10.1007%2Fs40641-015-0016-4

Another study from the US shows that without adaptation, you get significantly more heat deaths, but with adaptation, you get much lower impacts and possibly negative. http://www.nber.org/papers/w23271

A similar kind of analysis we know from adaptation/no adaptation of sea level rise: For no adaptation, 2m sea level rise would cause 187,000,000 to have to move. With adaptation, it is 305,000 – 600 times fewer! (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/161)

Simultaneously, the study honestly shows that cold deaths will drop by 98%, because of global warming. That sounds like an upside.

But because they use the catastrophe database, which picks up almost no cold deaths (because cold deaths don’t happen in the thousands, but one-by-one in old peoples homes), they assume that only 100 people die each year of cold in Europe.

One hundred.

And hence, the benefit of global warming’s 98% cold death reduction is just 98 fewer deaths.

Back in reality, just the UK government estimates that each year, in winter, 25-40,000 people die from cold. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Winter-death-toll-to-exceed-40…).

The world’s biggest Lancet study found that over 14 years, more than 658,000 people died from cold, or that each year from 1993-2006 47,000 people died from cold, compared to 1,600 heat deaths). And this is just in the UK. http://www.thelancet.com/…/PIIS0140-6736(14)62114-0/abstract

So, the study laughably underestimates cold deaths by a factor of *at least* 500. Hence, it laughably underestimates the positive impact of climate change similarly. This alone could have entirely reversed the findings.

Similar results that global warming because of fewer cold deaths will actually lead to *fewer* overall deaths has been shown for the UK and for Australia (http://www.thelancet.com/…/lan…/PIIS2542-5196(17)30084-0.pdf).

In summary, the study assumes that nobody behaves like real people (and adapt) and eliminate almost all cold deaths so to avoid any benefits to warming.

Hard to see how this should help make better decisions.

Here is the study: http://www.thelancet.com/…/PIIS2542-5196(17)30082-7/fulltext
And the comment: http://www.thelancet.com/…/lan…/PIIS2542-5196(17)30084-0.pdf

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40835663

Comments
  1. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Good work, Lomborg. So they ‘prove’ their point by fudging the figures. Similarly, does he know that the standard (should I say ‘mandatory’ in the rules published by most national Environment Protection agencies) way of measuring wind turbine ‘noise levels’ requires the use of a sound level meter set to the ‘A’ weighting (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-weighting). Note that the blue line (device sensitivity in “A” weighting mode) drops rapidly down to -50 dB (= 100,000 times less power, or 316 times less amplitude) at 20 Hz (generally accepted as the lower limit of human hearing) compared to 1000 Hz and then stops recording altogether. This is because the device is NOT intended to measure infrasound (by definition frequencies below the lower limit of human hearing) only ‘audible’ frequencies, and therefore does not record any sound below 20 Hz. So, hey presto, there is no ‘evidence’ of infrasound from wind turbines from these mandated devices. Hence no lawsuits against wind turbine farm operators based on excessive infrasound levels can ever get up. Clever stuff, eh?.

  2. Bitter&Twisted says:

    No more than I expect from the Biased Bull&hit Cartel.
    They are a disgrace.
    George Orwell couldn’t make them up.

  3. stpaulchuck says:

    this is the same smoke and mirrors as Linear, No Threshold and the CBO being tied down to Static Scoring. All are meant to enhance whatever BS they’re trying to sell.

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    BoyfromTottenham
    thanks for researching that about the ‘A’ weighting scaling. I worked in communications for decades so I know what you are referring to. They need to use a spectrum analyzer not some stupid audio meter. Combine the spectrum analyzer data with an oscilloscope for a true picture due to interactions of various vibrations. But then they’d have to put those things 100 miles from people and NEVER in the oceans.

  5. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Stpaulchuck – thanks, I used these things to measure, among other things, aircraft noise compliance at airports back in the 70s. But my main point was that the EPAs would have known before they wrote the rules that a regular sound level meter cannot measure (or even detect) infrasound just by looking at the spec., so why were they mandated as the only ‘approved’ way to measure wind turbine noise? To get the ‘right’ answer of course – nothing to see here. Sheesh.

  6. tom0mason says:

    I hope Lomborg properly accounted for any heart attacks that can happen during a solar CME event.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117713006030

  7. michael hart says:

    The worst thing is that some health professionals connected with the lancet, such as epidemiologists for a start, ought to be competent at weeding out these sorts of gross errors before they ever get to publication. The Lancet publishing stable has cause to be professionally embarrassed about this sort of thing, just as they should about the large number of claimed ‘deaths’ due to car pollution in London.

    In the past I could have trusted them to present a measured response as a foil to exaggerated environmental alarmism.

  8. My favorite part is this Lancet article is refuted by an earlier Lancet study. 93-06 saw 47,000 deaths from cold per year in the UK. Now the same publication prints the news that in ALL of Europe only 100 cold deaths occur. Man, the death toll from cold sure dropped.

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