Yes, Virginia, there is intelligence
One of the key assumptions in the Algore and IPCC hysteria over "climate change" -- but one that's never talked about by them -- is that people are idiots. It's the only explanation for the IPCC's claim that they have high confidence that warmer temperatures will cause many thousands or millions of humans to die.
However, if people were that stupid, we'd have been extinct long ago, not least because the climate has been through far more dramatic changes over the course of human history than we're experiencing now or likely to experience soon.
Six months ago, I noted a paper which showed that the mortality rate for malaria in most of Africa had declined dramatically even though the IPCC claims that climate change will cause a huge increase in malaria deaths. The authors noted human adaptation (mostly mosquito nets, but also anti-malarial drugs) dwarfed any possible increase in the number of malaria-carrying mosquitos. In fact, I had an e-mail conversation with one of the paper's primary authors and he's actually a believer in the existence of man-made climate change (and was quite unwilling to examine his premises). Yet still, he concluded that the effects on man-made barriers to malaria were at least 100 times greater than any temperature-related change to endemicity have been or will be.
We now have another paper, this one focusing on temperature related deaths in England and Wales, which shows that people are not stupid. The paper, entitled "Causes for the recent changes in cold and heat related mortality in England and Wales" has three authors, two of whom work for the alarmist Met Centre in England so they can hardly be considered climate "skeptics".
The paper (written in 2009 but just published in a peer-reviewed journal) studied heat- and cold-related deaths among people over 50 years old in England and Wales from 1976-2005. This is, in my view, a rather short time frame given a temperature change of only 0.47°C degree/decade, but the results are nevertheless dramatic:
"Cold related mortality has decreased at a rate of 85 deaths per million population per year during 1976-2005, while heat related mortality has increased after 1976, but with a two orders of magnitude smaller trend." In particular, because humans adapt to new conditions, the increased deaths from warmer temperatures during the summer amounted to fewer than 1 person per million whereas the decreased deaths in the winter (more due to adaptation than temperature changes) were about 85 people per million.
In other words, people are not stupid.
And there's no reason to assume they will suddenly become suicidally stupid if the climate changes (for warmer or colder) around us.
In my view, the biggest risk for humans is an over-reliance on government to somehow adapt for us rather than people doing what they've historically done which is to do what needs doing because they'll die or at least suffer if they don't.
Unfortunately, at least in America, we have a president who is firmly entrenched in the Progressive tradition of assuming that his countrymen are moronic sheep to be led to some green pasture. Everything about President Obama and the Progressive philosophy of government is based on the idea that a few technocratic elitists can make better decisions for us than we can for ourselves. It's behind everything from Obamacare to cap-and-trade to bailout fever (something George W. Bush also fell victom to.)
But it's bulls**t. We are mostly not morons and mostly not sheep. We know, and always have known, better than government what we need to do when our environment changes around us. And to the extent that we don't know, we cooperate with friends, neighbors, or companies who offer solutions, to reach the best and most affordable answers.
The only thing surprising about the paper from England and the paper about malaria is that we don't see more such work. Well, it's not really surprising: after all, what scientist can cry out for grant money if he's claiming that we don't really have a huge problem and that the ingenuity of humans is better-suited to tackling our problems than the so-called wisdom of a few "experts"?
|Print article||This entry was posted by Rossputin on 11/26/10 at 06:45:37 am . Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0.|