Climate change is going to kill at least 150 million people and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Well, at least it is if you believe climate doomster David Wallace-Wells in the latest issue of New York magazine. Things are bad. Really bad. We didn’t listen and now we can expect to pay a terrible price — starting with all those deaths:
Numbers that large can be hard to grasp, but 150 million is the equivalent of 25 Holocausts. It is five times the size of the death toll of the Great Leap Forward — the largest non-military death toll humanity has ever produced. It is three times the greatest death toll of any kind: World War II.
This is not Wallace-Wells’s first foray into climate disaster pornography.
Last year, he published an essay called The Uninhabitable Earth — a 7,000-word compendium of climate terror hailed by one overawed leftist commentator as “the Silent Spring of our time” and praised by activists including Michael Mann but widely mocked by more sane people for its absurd and hysterical predictions.
Wallace-Wells warned that a sixth mass extinction could wipe out 97 percent of the planet’s population; that Bangladesh and Miami would be drowned; that almost everywhere would become hotter than the Middle East; that terrifying diseases would be released from the ice; that there would be no more hamburgers.
Now Wallace-Wells has toned down his disaster predictions slightly. Though 150 million people is indeed a lot of deaths — “25 Holocausts,” as he reminds us — it’s still some way short of the seven billion or more who would die if his original prediction ever came true.
What’s worrying about that 150 million figure, though, is that it comes from an actual science paper, published by tenured scientists. The lead author is one Drew Shindell, Nicholas Professor of Earth Sciences at Duke University. His paper — “Quantified, localized health benefits of accelerated carbon dioxide emissions reductions” — was published in Nature Climate Change.
When I say “worrying,” what I mean is this: you paid for this nonsense; worse still, if you’ve got kids at Duke, this guy could actually be teaching them.
Here — your tax dollar at work — is part of the abstract:
We therefore examine the human health benefits of increasing 21st-century CO2 reductions by 180 GtC, an amount that would shift a ‘standard’ 2 °C scenario to 1.5 °C or could achieve 2 °C without negative emissions. The decreased air pollution leads to 153 ± 43 million fewer premature deaths worldwide, with ~40% occurring during the next 40 years, and minimal climate disbenefits. More than a million premature deaths would be prevented in many metro-politan areas in Asia and Africa, and 200,000 in individual urban areas on every inhabited continent except Australia.
You really don’t need a PhD in bullshit to realize that this is weapons-grade, copper-bottomed drivel. Like pretty much every paper ever published by the climate alarmism industry, all the scary predictions are merely projections based on modeled scenarios dependent on so many dubious assumptions that their conclusions are objectively worthless.
Here, translated into English, is what this report is basically saying: if only we can keep global warming down to 1.5 °C, then 150 million lives will be saved.
But what, you might reasonably ask, is going to kill all these people if we don’t keep global warming down to 1.5 °C?
Well may you wonder. It’s not like carbon dioxide is a poison at current atmospheric concentrations. Even if we doubled it, it would still be considerably less than is pumped into commercial glasshouses by fruit growers. What Shindell et al appear to have done is conflate CO2 with more general pollution and just assumed all those millions of people will die of lung disease.
Indeed, even the hysterical Wallace-Wells is forced to concede that these figures are, ahem, speculative:
The paper’s math is speculative, of course, and there will surely be those who take issue with its methodology.
Still, what’s good about Wallace-Wells’s article is that it suggests that radical environmentalists — some of them, anyway — are finally waking up to the fact that their goals are unachievable.
They want the world to “decarbonize,” to adopt the renewables they pretend are “clean” (ignoring all the millions of birds and bats they slice and dice, all the countryside they ruin), to abandon the fossil fuels they claim are “unsustainable.”
But the fact is that the vast majority of humanity just don’t give a damn. Environmentalism is just a niche obsession of a few loons.
This has been the main lesson of the Paris Climate Accord. Delegates from nearly 200 countries turned up and made all the right virtue-signaling noises. But when push came to shove, not one of them was prepared to prioritize “combatting climate change” over the economic well-being of their people.
Here is Wallace-Wells’s take:
To keep the planet under two degrees of warming — a level that was, not all that long ago, defined as the threshold of climate catastrophe — all signatory nations have to match or better those commitments. There are 195 signatories, of which only the following are considered even “in range” of their Paris targets: Morocco, Gambia, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, and the Philippines. This puts Donald Trump’s commitment to withdraw from the treaty in a useful perspective; in fact, his spite may ultimately prove perversely productive, since the evacuation of American leadership on climate seems to have mobilized China, eager to claim the mantle and far more consequential to the future of the planet because of its size and relative poverty, to adopt a much more aggressive posture toward climate.
The stuff at the end about China taking the environmental lead is risible. The Chinese don’t give a damn about “climate change.” But the rest is pretty much spot on.
Mind you, you could have read this two years ago at Breitbart. The Paris Climate Accord was the worst deal in history: $1.5 trillion (at a conservative estimate) to avert global warming by perhaps 1/20th of a degree C.
Science is never going to solve climate change because it was a never a scientific issue in the first place.
Ultimately it will be decided by economics. In fact, it already has been. No matter what amount of bull children are fed by their teachers, no matter how much green propaganda gets invented by scientists, tweaked by NGOs and disseminated by a compliant media, the brutal fact remains that the people of the world have long since made up their mind about “climate change.”
It’s a scam and they’re just not buying it.