The American Medical Association and more than 70 other medical and public health groups have issued a call to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the name of saving lives from global warming. The groups’ call to action shows they are ignorant about climate research and they should stick to topics they presumably know something about, because the scientific evidence is clear that global warming is saving rather than ending lives.
According to Scientific American, the groups released a policy agenda claiming “the elderly and communities of color are especially vulnerable to the health effects of climate change. It cited a study by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health that found emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses increased 133% between 1997 and 2006. Almost half of those patients were children and adolescents.”
“Other health impacts cited in the report include an increase in vector-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus; a rise in emergency room visits for lung conditions including asthma; and an increased wildfire risk,” summarized Scientific American.
The groups apparently forgot to mention that peer-reviewed research shows colder than optimal temperatures are responsible for 20 times more deaths globally than warmer than optimal temperatures. According to research published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, that amounts to 4 million people killed each year by colder than ideal temperatures, primarily taking the form of prolonged, moderately cold weather. Global warming, of course, would reduce the occurrence of such prolonged moderately cold weather and save many of those 4 million lives.
The groups also apparently forgot to mention that cold-assisted influenza kills approximately 500,000 people per year, which is much more than Lyme disease and West Nile virus combined.
So, perhaps global warming may cause a few more heat-related deaths, but global warming will save many, many more people that would otherwise be killed by cold temperatures and cold-related factors.
Medical groups should stick to their area of presumed expertise.