Climate change is going to kill you — more horribly, painfully and slowly than anything from your darkest nightmares. It’s worse than cancer, worse than giant scorpions, worse than the flesh-eating horror of necrotising fasciitis….
Or so it more or less says in a new report produced by the world’s oldest medical journal the Lancet. (That’s the same never-knowingly-understated publication which a few years ago asked us to believe that as many as 600,000 Iraqis died as a result of the Iraq war)
I wasn’t going to cover it because despite the impressive-sounding name of the committee that produced it — the Commission on Climate Change and Health, no less — it is in fact essentially the work of three political activists with a long track record in climate alarmism.
Unfortunately, because it has received such generous play across the liberal media — here, here and in this one from the inevitable Seth Borenstein-headed Top Doctors’ Prescription For Feverish Planet: Cut Out Coal — I suppose I can’t ignore it completely.
So let me explain the deal here. There is nothing new in this rehash of all the old “climate change” cliches, from its highly dubious (indeed discredited) linkage of global warming to “vector-borne” diseases, to its fashionable, Guardian-esque declaration that fossil fuels are public enemy number one. Its authors are bringing nothing to the party other than the fact that, being medical professors, they sound vaguely like the kind of scientifically rigorous, dispassionate, experty authorities you can trust to tell you like it is; and, as even they themselves admit, it has been designed to influence the political agenda in the runup to this December’s UN conference in Paris.
If you want to appreciate just how hysterically over-the-top the report’s authors are, here’s a taste of one of them, speaking to the BBC.
Adrian Goldberg: And you say the threat to human health from climate change is so great that it could undermine the last 50 years of gains in developments in global health. Putting that bluntly, you’re suggesting that more people will die younger.
Hugh Montgomery: Absolutely, and we’re not talking about small numbers, either. If one’s looking at the estimates that have been produced in this piece of research, we’re looking at billions of events, so billions of individual people being exposed to – let’s just say extreme heat-wave events, on their own, over the next decades. And of course this plays out, whilst we emphasise the climate effects, it’s playing out on a pretty stressed world system, as well, with reductions in water supplies and in topsoil, and so forth. And these things are coming together in a, in a – excusing the bad, sort of, pun or analogy – a perfect storm, really.
But the fact that this report is a steaming pile of warmed over testicles is not the point and was never the point.
It was produced purely in order that the Guardian, the New York Times, ABC, Vice, the BBC, and all the usual suspects on Twitter could preface their latest bout of scaremongering with the phrase: “Doctors say….”