Obese People to Blame for Accelerating Global Warming?

(Posted by John Goetz)

Saturday, August 30, 2008 by: David Gutierrez


The weight and consumption habits of the overweight and obese are worsening the pace of global warming, said two researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in a letter to the medical journal Lancet.

It takes more fuel to transport people who are obese and therefore heavier, Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote. In addition, heavier people do not just tend to eat more food: they actually require it. The researchers calculated that it takes an obese person 1,680 calories per day just to maintain their body functioning and another 1,280 to sustain their daily activities. This is 18 percent higher than the caloric intake required for a person with a normal body mass index (BMI).

BMI is a measure of weight relative to height that is used to calculate healthy body weight. A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered normal, while a BMI above 25 is considered overweight and one of 30 or more obese.

But according to Edwards and Roberts, 40 percent of the global population has a BMI in the neighborhood of 30 or more.

“We are all becoming heavier and it is a global responsibility,” Edwards said. “Obesity is a key part of the big picture.”

The production and transportation of food is a major source of greenhouse gases, the researchers noted, with agriculture responsible for a whopping 20 percent of global emissions. They also faulted the overweight for contributing to global food shortages.

“Promotion of a normal distribution of BMI would reduce the global demand for, and thus the price of, food,” the researchers wrote.

Tim Church of Louisiana State University questioned Edwards and Roberts’ focus on obesity, noting that 25 percent of the food produced in the United States is thrown away.

“We throw away far more food than the extra 460 calories per day [that Edwards and Roberts] point out,” Church said. “In other words, most of our food overproduction is due to waste, not overeating.”

Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com, telegraph.co.uk.

So Al Gore is responsible for global warming after all (the picture of Al Gore was not part of the original article).

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Marshall Hopkins
September 1, 2008 12:46 pm

This is absolutely ludicrous, when or where will it end. I’m just so sick and tired of these fools spewing this outrageous propaganda. I mean come on, how foolish can be these people be? They waste time on senseless research such as this, just because global warming is the trendy idea of the day. It’s just sickening.
What’s just as bad or worse, is that many people are stupid enough believe this stuff. I mean people are just so gullable. I’m not a very smart person, don’t know much about science, but do know and have common sense. This is only my second posting on here becuase I’m intimidated by others intelligence, but this really struck a chord with me. Just absolutely ludicrouse!

September 1, 2008 12:48 pm

Humans, like other animals, are not stupid when it comes to genetic memory. The natural rhythm has turned. The world is getting colder and for a while yet.
Like a squirrel stashing its nuts humanity is setting aside some insurance and gaining weight to see it through the coming hard times.

September 1, 2008 12:57 pm

It had to come.
I’m surprised they haven’t started blaming smokers yet.
Welcome to the brave, new world…

September 1, 2008 1:01 pm

Yow! C’mon, Anthony. It’s a holiday. I’m trying to relax here. I click on your blog and am greeted by the visage of Al Gore.
Not good for my old ticker.
I’ll check back later.
How about pixes of melting icebergs, crumbling glaciers . . . anything but this.
REPLY: Sorry, but blame John Goetz, I’m just the landlord for this one.

Mike Bryant
September 1, 2008 1:04 pm

Ya Al Gore is just stashing his nuts, give him a break already.

September 1, 2008 1:11 pm

He looks like Dick Morris got merged with Fred Barnes . . .

September 1, 2008 1:11 pm

Japan and 2 US States have obesity monitoring as part of state government employment regulations, with heavier people (BMI 30 +) having to agree to counciling and diet first and if no progress is made they face higher health care over the group premium and additional penalties for other group plans like life insurance. There is also partial payment for gastrial by-pass surgery available ( your tax dollars at work ).
No weight loss in Japan can mean job loss regardless of performance.
Welcome to the future of humanity, and you thought eugenics was dead when it only changed its hat and put on a save the whales t-shirt and flip-flops.

September 1, 2008 1:15 pm

The Lancet. Aren’t those the same bozos who doped out that the Iraq War killed seven (or was it fifteen?) times as many people per year as the 1980 – ’88 Iran-Iraq war?

Leon Brozyna
September 1, 2008 1:17 pm

A number of months ago I read an article (perhaps it was at http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/ ) how the so-called obesity epidemic in the U.S. really came about after the CDC changed weight standards. One day your weight was healthy and, after the new standards were published, you were obese.
Just think of how well prepared those folks with extra BMI will be as the climate cools over the next few decades.

September 1, 2008 1:17 pm

News –
Crude Oil down FOUR BUCKS a barrel today, finally below $112
“RBOB” – reblended unleaded gasoline (New York market price) down ten cents a gallon today.
All thanks to Gustav being far less damaging than hyped.
(and that was because I’ve been on a diet, so, you’re welcome y’all)

September 1, 2008 1:18 pm

It is always frightening when the most sensible remark comes from a university.
Tim Church of Louisiana State University:
“We throw away far more food than the extra 460 calories per day [that Edwards and Roberts] point out,” Church said.
Obese people aren’t responsible for food not eaten? I sure hope Church has tenure.
But, in his defense, Church does realize too much food is produced.
“In other words, most of our food overproduction is due to waste, not overeating.”

Frank Ravizza
September 1, 2008 1:20 pm

Body mass index is such a poor system. I’m 5’8.5″ 170 lbs with less then 10 percent body fat, and according to BMI I’m overweight.

M White
September 1, 2008 1:20 pm

Global Cooling – Cloud Seeding to Avert Catastrophic Global Warming
Off topic but I heard a guy called Dr Alan Gadian from Leeds University
on the radio earlier today.
“We propose to assess and develop a scheme for mitigating global warming by producing a controlled enhancement of the reflectivity of low lying maritime clouds for incoming sunlight by spraying into them seawater particles from a fleet of wind-powered satellite controlled unmanned vessels. These particles will create additional droplets in the clouds, thereby increasing their albedo.”
If I heard right the wind-powered satellite controlled unmanned vessels would cost £1 million each.

September 1, 2008 1:29 pm

I have to agree, [snip no calls to action like this please]. As far as I can see, Al Gore would probably fall into the category of Morbidly Obese.

September 1, 2008 1:33 pm

The themes are quite interesting. Consumption, greed, original sin. Being expelled from the Garden of Eden, the fall from grace, the separation from Nature.

Ed Scott
September 1, 2008 1:46 pm

This article illustrates the damage to science in general. An exposition of the faux science of AWG is used an excuse or justification for practically everything we see and hear these days. The up-side may be that people will tire of hearing the cry of the wolf. You can find the good and bad effects of AGW at: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

Craig Moore
September 1, 2008 1:48 pm

Stefan, I’m shocked! Global Warming a religion???? Does that mean we can boil the animals in the Global Warming holy water and eat them in holy communion to cross over the River Styx to to enjoy the high priest’s remaining 72 virgins?

September 1, 2008 1:49 pm

M White (13:20:44) :
“These particles will create additional droplets in the clouds, thereby increasing their albedo.””
I expect we’ll soon have an albedo surplus, so they need to get their government grant money in hand quickly.
“…If I heard right the wind-powered satellite controlled unmanned vessels would cost £1 million each.”
At the current exchange rate, you’re talking about real money there.
And the oceans are actually pretty big in my opinion, so they’ll be wanting a rather large fleet.
Reminiscent of the proposals in the 1970s to spread soot over Arctic ice and snow to “combat global cooling.”

Bruce Cobb
September 1, 2008 1:57 pm

Wait, doesn’t global warming CAUSE obesity? People are stressed out from worrying about GW, and all the attendant climate catastrophes. The result is
stress-Induced overeating. It’s a positive feedback loop.

September 1, 2008 2:00 pm

I’m more concerned with over weight people breaking my furniture because in reality that’s the only way they effect my life.
I do however think that its despicable that they are using the Global Warming Hoax to guilt trip people into slimming down. I think that most fat people feel bad about their weight, and certainly have to suffer the physical discomfort and social embarassment of being fat. What’s the point of making the ludicrious claim that fat people are causing more global warming.
Reminds of something that I saw, saying that people who live in first world countries should not have more than one child to help stop global warming. Never mind, that these same first world countries need fresh bodies to work to continue economic growth, and will import people when they do not have enough workers to sustain growth.
Ah, how great would the world be if all these would be social managers would find a real job. Certainly, ditch diggers and dish washer are providing a far greater benefit to society than these armies of idiots trying to “change” things.

September 1, 2008 2:00 pm

Here’s the culprit: click

Kevin B
September 1, 2008 2:07 pm

I reckon these guys are having a laugh, They were down the pub one night arguing about which was the stupidest thing they could pin global warming on and came up with this one. The sums were done on the back of a beer mat and the whole thing was sent of by mobie phone.
They picked the Lancet for their prank because they figured if anyone would fall for it they would. The bonus is a nice swipe at Fat Al Al Gore as well.

Retired Engineer
September 1, 2008 2:12 pm

I checked on http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm and obesity isn’t listed. Whew! We could have had serious positive feedback.

September 1, 2008 2:21 pm

Hey, I don’t think Gore is responsible for global warming for being portly. I’m sure he planted a few trees somewhere when his weight exceed 200 Lbs…

Ed Scott
September 1, 2008 2:34 pm

This doesn’t exactly fit the main topic, it does in a way relate to the pictured hero of AGW. Mr. Gore’s scientific expertise is measured by a number called “relative ignorance.”
If CO2, especially ACO2, is so efficient in retaining heat to warm the globe, why is it so inefficient in the deserts? Here is an interesting note on desert temperature extremes.
name Tyra
status student
grade 4-5
location GA
Question – Why is it so hot in the daytime in deserts and so cold at
Dear Tyra-
The main reason there are such big temperature differences between day and
night in the desert is there is very little moisture in the air in the
deserts. We measure the moisture in the air with a number called “relative
Moisture in the air “holds” the heat, much like a blanket over you holds
your body heat when you sleep. So, places like islands in the tropics, or
in jungles, where there is lots of moisture in the air, have small
differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures. These differences in weather conditions, like desert weather and jungle weather are called
“climate.” The jungle climate is much different from a desert climate.
Wendell D. Bechtold, Meteorologist
Forecaster, National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office, St. Louis, MO
Can this possibly be true. Wendell completely ignores the other GHGs. Oh well, he is probably just a denier in the John Coleman camp of AGW deniers.

Patrick Henry
September 1, 2008 2:55 pm

I ride my bicycle everywhere, play soccer, and get by on a lot less than 1,000 calories per day. Most people eat way to much, and that takes it’s toll on the environment.
Half of the west’s water is indirectly used to raise beef. It takes 500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Californians in particular should take this seriously. Rather than blaming global warming for water shortages, we should look at the real problem – which is excess consumption and waste.

September 1, 2008 2:58 pm

Ian Robberts has been pushing this ridiculous story out there for over a year. We wrote about it on the Climate Resistance blog.
Clearly what’s going on is that public health reserchers have run out of things to research, and so attach themselves to the global warming bandwagon. By using ‘science’ he gives respectability to an ugly social prejudice against fat people and a particualry shallow argument against capitalism (it makes people fat) .

John Nicklin
September 1, 2008 3:03 pm

Anyone who denies that this new crisis is worse than the other crisis is a flat earther. Anthropogenic Girth Widening (AGW) is causing sea levels to rise due to Heavy Person Land Subsidence (HPLS) and Swimmer-Water Displacement Effect (SWDE). Low lying nations will be flooded.
We need to develop a carbohydrate cap and trade system and carbohydrate offsets for those who can pay more to be portly.
There’s money in this, I can just taste it.
We have to act now to avoid the tipping point, we have just 100 months before we will all tip over when we tie our shoes. Act now, send your money to me and I will invest it in calorie capture and sequestration.

September 1, 2008 3:05 pm

He ain’t heavy;
He’s Al’s brother’s brother

September 1, 2008 3:13 pm

That’s a very unflattering photo of Mr Gore – at first I thought it had to be Jabba the Hutt.

September 1, 2008 3:14 pm

John Nicklin (15:03:26) :
The funniest thing I have read all day!

September 1, 2008 3:52 pm

I think you are all being so cruel about Mr Al Gore. Keep up the good work.

Michael Hauber
September 1, 2008 4:10 pm

As a card carrying alarmist, I would personally bet that the negative impacts of obesity on health such as heart disease etc are more of a problem than the increase in Co2 emmissions.

Michael Hauber
September 1, 2008 4:15 pm

On the issue of why deserts are hotter than jungles with less water vapour – I think rising sinking air has a lot to do with it. Air warms up a lot when it sinks. And cools as it rises. Air above equatorial jungle reasons is typically rising, causing convection, storms, cyclones and rain. Air in desert areas is typically sinking, which supresses convection and rain.
Of course the reason air rises near the equator is because thats where its hottest. But it seems hottest in the desert. Must be something else going on as well….

September 1, 2008 4:28 pm

Actually I have my own theory on the issue of increasing obesity. You know how animals gorge themselves during times of plenty in preparation for the onset of cold times and scarcity?
Well, the obese are just following these instincts. They are actually way ahead of us skinny types and are adding layers of fat in readiness for the prolonged cold snap that looms ahead.
Al Gore isn’t as daft as he looks.

Bobby Lane
September 1, 2008 4:35 pm

Yes! It’s the WORLD’s responsibility to assist you in managing YOUR weight and in making sure that you eat ONLY what is necessary and do NOT dispose of any of it unnecessarily!
Quick! Somebody call the U.N. and have them form a special taskforce! It should, as is proper, be headed by an Ethiopian – to remind those of us who grew up on such stories that there are starving people out there who would love to have such huge amounts of food. Oh! And then we can set up a website telling our young ones when they will die from eating the amount of food that they eat just like they did with CO2 in Australia.
Yes, I am laughing all the way at this one. Is there a single facet of life the Greenies can’t connect to global warming?

Fernando Mafili
September 1, 2008 4:36 pm

The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis.

September 1, 2008 4:42 pm

Doggone it.
I walked right into that one.

September 1, 2008 4:43 pm

Al G. reminds me that money and power still can’t buy brains or a trim body. Or is it an ingenious disguise?

Lee from WA
September 1, 2008 4:51 pm

Why focus only on the obese? On average, larger people need more calories. Once we get rid of the obese, we can start in on tall people. Later, I’m sure there will be more criteria to use…

September 1, 2008 4:52 pm

Michael Hauber, you may want to do some additional reading.

Steve Moore
September 1, 2008 4:53 pm

But according to Edwards and Roberts, 40 percent of the global population has a BMI in the neighborhood of 30 or more.
40% ???????
I find that one hard to believe.
And Patrick Henry:
Considering an active person needs 15-19 calories per pound per day to maintain his weight, with “a lot less than 1,000 calories per day”, you must weight, what, about 50 pounds?

Steve Moore
September 1, 2008 4:55 pm

And no, I am NOT calling anyone a liar.
I AM suggesting that, like most people, you are under-estimating your caloric intake.

Brian D
September 1, 2008 4:58 pm

Extra weight in a vehicle is known for more fuel consumption. Known that for a long time. But so is very cold weather. And under inflated tires.
Wastefulness and gluttony are a part of our culture. Global warming doesn’t even need to be brought into this issue for a need for a correction IMO. Health and energy issues outside AGW theory can stand on their own, and will be around after it dies.
A warming climate has its issues, and so does a cooling one. We need to be ready for whatever comes.

September 1, 2008 5:12 pm

I’m ashamed of all the posters above. First you spend the entire day countin’ sunspecks on the wall, then you come over here and make jokes about the snip [gravitationally challenged].
True Americans would be out this Labor Day not working, but eating burgers and hot dogs and washing them down with Bud Lite and engaging in excess to maintain that buffer we can use for when The Day After Tomorrow arrives. Sept. 3, by my calculations.
Instead the only excess calories being released is the steam from your ears thanks to a sunspeck that might not have been reported until today and that steam is contributing to household warming!
Umm, hey, wasn’t there a post recently praising couch potatoes over active folks? Doesn’t Michael Phelps burn 10,000 Cal/day? And I bet he’s been burning the midnight flying back and forth across the planet. Yeah, yeah, anecdotal evidence to be sure, but we should embrace whatever it takes to address the problem, whatever it was.
So whatever if is you’re doing wrong – eating? drinking? reading? breathing? exercising?, well, stop it. Stop it right now.

John B
September 1, 2008 5:32 pm

Here is a link to Michael Phelps lifestyle vs. The Nanny of the year, Michael Jacobson. http://www.reason.com/UserFiles/Image/kmw/Mikes.jpg
I also recall a study recently that claimed that active, more healthy people tended to eat more than those in a more sedentary life but I don’t have that handy.

Greg Smith
September 1, 2008 5:40 pm

A bit off topic but it had to come. The following was a news item in the West Australian today
“Big chill a symptom of climate chaos
1st September 2008, 14:47 WST
Forget global warming – the latest problem is global cooling.
Conservation group WWF has blamed climate change for the coldest August in Sydney for more than 60 years.
The freezing temperatures are proof of the urgent need to cut carbon pollution, according to WWF development and sustainability program manager Paul Toni.
“We can expect more extremes in climate,” Mr Toni said.
He said climate records had tumbled over the past year.
Australia had its driest May on record, Perth had its wettest April on record, and Tasmania recorded its hottest ever temperature, according to Mr Toni.
He said climate extremes were affecting southern Australia in particular.
“This is consistent with climate modelling showing the southern states will feel the effects of climate change most severely,” he said.
Mr Toni said if action was not taken, more volatile weather would be on the radar.
You can’t win with these people.

Tom Shields
September 1, 2008 5:44 pm

If anyone is interest in some extra calorie credits I’m willing to sell a few. I’m a rather slim person so I’ve got some to give. I’m thinking of charging $1.00 per 100 calories so if someone out there wants to chow down an extra BIG MAC it will cost you about $5.00, but you get to eat guilt free. Just so you know I’m not doing this for the money, to me it is all about the environment and saving the planet.

September 1, 2008 5:44 pm

OT but it seems the hockey stick refuses to die

old construction worker
September 1, 2008 5:48 pm

Bobby Lane (16:35:19
‘Quick! Somebody call the U.N. …………’
Maybe we should put the people working at the UN on a 1000 calories per day. on second thought, they would just cheat. I recall (fox news story) the head hancho at the UN had his conference room set at 68f while the rest of the building was set at 74f to reduce CO2 emmission and save energy.

September 1, 2008 5:52 pm

As I’ve said before, this is nothing more than a modern McCarthyism.

September 1, 2008 5:56 pm

Anthony, I know this is off topic, but I thought I’d point it out. The graph for the arctic sea ice extent from NSIDC now shows a slight refreezing of arctic ice.
I guess the “New record low” and “Ice Free North Pole” are just a bunch of hot air now.

Retired Engineer
September 1, 2008 6:25 pm

Tom Shields: Can I get in on that? My BMI is 19, body fat 6%. (and no, I’m not Michael Phelps’ uncle…)
Climate Change Modelling predicted the cold weather Down Under? After the fact, no doubt. What did those experts predict before this winter? How do they propose to prevent more violent weather? (OK, I know, big government grants to study the problem.)
In my limited experience, large folks tend to be happier. One friend weighs about three times as much as me, and is about the nicest person I know. Wants to lose weight, but not guilty or obsessed about it. If I could get her to give up smoking… (that has to cause global warming)

September 1, 2008 6:26 pm

Greg Smith (17:40:54) :
“We can expect more extremes in climate,” Mr Toni said.
He said climate records had tumbled over the past year.
Climate records? Sounds more like weather records. Oh, I forget, they’re now
climate event records per the American Meteorological Society.

September 1, 2008 6:54 pm

Fat people cause global warming…
Will Al Gore apologize for the damage he’s done? (See? No mention of Sarah Palin… Oh, drat!) Technorati tags: global warming, climate change, obesity, Al Gore, junk science, Lancet…

September 1, 2008 9:41 pm

What the [snip]is wrong with these people. It’s bad enough they can’t see anything in science, but blaming obese people for “Global Warming” that”s just [snip] stupid.
I hate politicians >_<
REPLY: Please no profabity in comments.

Mike C
September 1, 2008 9:59 pm

I heard a report about all the Big Mac and Twinkie wrappers Al Gore leaves for the flight crew to clean up after he gets off the private jet.

John D.
September 1, 2008 10:28 pm

Real Science Here…yeah.

September 1, 2008 10:34 pm

Poor Al. Let’s go after the real food culprit, Big Foot, who eats at least twice as much per day as Algore. And everybody should wise up and realize that AGW really stands for alien global warming, a nefarious plot hatched by Batboy and Elvis who are ensconced aboard the UFO Mothership and beaming 6th-dimensional rays down on us.

September 1, 2008 10:43 pm

wow, I don’t really know what to say to this. It kind of made me laugh because it is just so ridiculous. I want to know what they say next.

September 1, 2008 11:16 pm

I’m keeping well away from this one.

September 1, 2008 11:18 pm

Here comes the fat tax.

September 1, 2008 11:18 pm

[…] Cooling Cloud Seeding to Avert Catastrophic Global Warming By John Latham Planetwork via M White on Watts Up With That? […]

September 2, 2008 1:04 am

I’m a little surprised that no one has so far tried to link & blame excess CO2 emissions on the military and its industrial complex. USA has the biggest and most expensive force in the world. That’s gotta be a huge CO2 saving right there. Perhaps they could start with charging the Navy and Air Force the appropriate carbon credits, leading to eventual full disarmament. Basically war is no longer viable; you may stop a genocide but the planet has to be our main concern. I don’t understand why they would rather pick on obese (usually old) people, than dare attack the real enemies. Or do even greenies feel that this would really be jumping the shark? Maybe they’d rather feel USA kept an army to protect them, than save the planet. But if it really is about planetary survival, then stopping war (think of all the arming and rebuilding that has to happen after a war) is surely the first concern? No? Would the numbers support this?

Adrian S
September 2, 2008 1:39 am

Trouble is when society starts “officially” outcasting fat people and gets away where is the next step. Fat people suffer enough problems, jokes , discrimination etc. Once we have marginalised these people who is next? People who dont use cycles instead of their cars?
Its all very well for academic people, from comfortable backgrounds to throw “Stones” at Fat people, but many overweight people come from poor backgrounds, with bad education and did not from the outset have the advantages of many of the academics.
Whose next SMokers, drinkers, people who use planes, Motor Racing, Boating, gap year students travelling abroad? — all unecessary emitters of carbon dioxide

September 2, 2008 1:44 am

What rubbish. A 40% figure suggests to me that similarly large numbers in China, India, Africa, S. America and Russia are obese… I just don’t believe it.
This dispatch increases the rubbish quotient emitted yesteday – the Daily Mail had the Arctic an island for the first time in history !

Alex Llewelyn
September 2, 2008 2:23 am

Well, actually it’s not as ridiculous as you might think.
Assuming AGW IS real it is absolutely correct obese people would contribute more to it; as it says in the article – more food, transport etc. Although 40% global population obese is stupid. MAYBE in the U.S., but even in other developed nations, certainly Britain, there’s no way there’s 40% obese people, and if you include Africa… just no.

Pierre Gosselin
September 2, 2008 2:53 am

I think that photo of Gore has been manipulated.
Photos can be stretched or compressed vertically or horizontally with a computer, as here seems to be the case. Can you provide the source of this photo, Anthony?

Pierre Gosselin
September 2, 2008 2:57 am

Not Anthony, concerning the source of the photo, but rather John Goetz.

Pierre Gosselin
September 2, 2008 3:30 am

Now here’s a story:
Prof. Rahmstorfs seal level speculations refuted by GKS Professor von Storch!
Slightly shortened text IN ENGLISH:
In a press release dated 7 August 2008, the German GKSS claimed that there has been NO direct link between global air temperatures and sea level changes over the last 1000 years. In January 2007, Stefan Rahmstorf announced in an article published in Science, based on the IPCC temperature increase hypothesis, that a spectacular sea level rise of 50 to 140 cm could occur by the year 2100. Obviously the projected IPCC increase of 14 to 43 cm was not spectacular enough, which thus lead to his own “hasty claim” (von Storch) being made public. This type of artificial alarmism is typical for the species of “political scientists” whom our politicians finance to be advisors.
Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner (Stockholm), the Chairman of the international Commission on Sea-Level Changes and Coastal Evolution from 1999 to 2003, projects a sea level increase of 10 cm by the year 2100 (+/- 10 cm uncertainty).
Sea level rise is the preferred doomsday scenario of the IPCC climate alarmists. This happens to be one of the most complex issues as sea level deviates in various regions -20 to +25 cm from the theoretically calculated mean and is constantly changing (according to the German GFZ Research Center in Potsdam). This is the reason values measured by satelites like Topex and Jason range from 2.4 to 3.2 mm/year, while locally in-situ measured sea levels yield only 1.5 to 2 mm/year, or 15 to 20 cm in 100 years. This corresponds to a sea level increase of the previous 100 years.
The GKSS study shows no constant temperauture sensitivity. Rather it shows highly variable temperature sensitivity, which fluctuated over the last 1000 years between -1 and + 2 mm per degree Celsius annually.
(Published in “Ocean Dynamics”, doi.10.1007/s10236-008-0142-9)
Dr.D.E. Koelle

Alan Chappell
September 2, 2008 3:41 am

Praise The Lord, Yep down on your knees people, Putin ain’t as stupid as he acts, if Russia got the AGW fever, HE, (as in The Democratic Russian Federation ) would nuke China and India, and the heat resulting from this clean-up would melt the little North Pole Island,
( I am one who thinks that all the Greens (as in Greenies ) should be sent home ! Greenland needs you !

September 2, 2008 3:44 am

[…] Obese People to Blame for Accelerating Global Warming? « Watts Up With That? Dieser Eintrag wurde von Daniel Fallenstein am Di, 2. Sep 2008 um 12:44 geschrieben, abgelegt unter Kurz notiert und getagged verlinkt. Setze ein Lesezeichen zum Permalink. Verfolge alle Kommentare zu diesem Eintrag mit dem RSS-Feed dafür. Kommentiere oder hinterlasse ein Trackback: Trackback URL. « Restanarchie […]

Brendan H
September 2, 2008 3:46 am

Johnny B: “I think that most fat people feel bad about their weight, and certainly have to suffer the physical discomfort and social embarassment of being fat.”
I agree that we should be sensitive about fat people, given their often visible discomfort about their appearance. School-yard taunts such as ‘lard-arse’, ‘blubber-guts’ and ‘Michael Moore’ can be very hurtful, and not only to the younger chubby cheeks but also to the older porker.
My practice on these occasions is to use strictly denotative descriptors such as ‘very large person’, and I find that fatties are often pleasantly surprised and even a little flattered by such neutral and respectful terms.
That said, the hard question must be asked: are very large people pulling their weight in society? Regrettably, I have to say no. There is a good argument that our more solid citizens are free-riding off the svelte and slender, and that this burden is a sizeable one. For example, very large people create disproportionate wear and tear on the public sidewalks, even as their vast bulk prevents the free and unfettered movement of their fellow citizens.
However, while the very large person’s hefty footprint – carbon or otherwise – is a substantial issue, I don’t believe that heavy-handed government regulations or onerous taxation is the answer. I am sure that, given sufficiently generous inducements, there would be ample opportunity for very large people to tackle the weighty issues that confront them every day as a matter of course, or rather, many courses.
My empathy can only carry so much baggage, though. It’s undeniable that the full-bodied are a gross negative externality, although this aspect is probably beyond the purview of government. The only recourse of the normal majority in this case is to grin and bear it.

September 2, 2008 3:47 am

[…] So Al Gore is responsible for global warming after all Obese People to Blame for Accelerating Global Warming? « Watts Up With That? Dieser Eintrag wurde von Daniel Fallenstein am Di, 2. Sep 2008 um 12:44 geschrieben, abgelegt […]

September 2, 2008 3:53 am

It takes more fuel to transport people who are obese and therefore heavier, Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote. In addition, heavier people do not just tend to eat more food: they actually require it. The researchers calculated that it takes an obese person 1,680 calories per day just to maintain their body functioning and another 1,280 to sustain their daily activities. This is 18 percent higher than the caloric intake required for a person with a normal body mass index (BMI).

September 2, 2008 4:29 am

Love the humour – keep up the good work Anthony et al. At least the “deniers” side of the argument can claim a sense of humour.

September 2, 2008 5:13 am

I’m ashamed of myself for not mentioning in my first post that this is a problem I can sink my teeth into.
The title, “Obese People to Blame for Accelerating Global Warming?,” and the content “40 percent of the global population has a BMI in the neighborhood of 30 or more” suggests that getting rid of “very big people” will reduce AAGW. (Accelerated Anthropogenic Global Warming). It may well be that getting rid of the other 60% will offer a bigger reduction. Of course, we could be more proactive, and do away with all the breeders, as I like to point out that having children is the most longterm polluting thing most people can do in their entire lives.
Given that it’s tough to get a US politician to talk about saving social security, let alone fixing it, I suspect we’re safe for now.

Tom in Florida
September 2, 2008 5:43 am

If fat people help cause global warming, then this is proof that the MWP actually happened, just look at all those rich people who were very large. Or pehaps humans are just fat by nature and global cooling causes thin people due to less food production and the body needing to burn more calories to keep warm. Another chicken or the egg dilema.

September 2, 2008 6:07 am

OT here, but interesting:
Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance
Link: <a href=”http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0808/0808.3283v1.pdf”

J. Peden
September 2, 2008 6:56 am

BMI is a measure of weight relative to height that is used to calculate healthy body weight. A BMI of 18 to 25 is considered normal, while a BMI above 25 is considered overweight and one of 30 or more obese.
I just can’t wait for the day the Progressives’ National Healthcare System mandates a “healthy” BMI under the guise of its magical “preventive medicine” panacea, which will also “save the Planet”. Serving controllist Utopian fantasies will finally make my life meaningful. No price will be too big to pay, including looking like I have cancer – or maybe Tapeworms – or, better yet, paying all my money to Government in healthtax fines, which will also “help the poor” as well as ensure that I am immune from all further charges of “racism”. Amen.

September 2, 2008 7:37 am

Pierre Gosselin (02:53:37) :
“I think that photo of Gore has been manipulated.
Photos can be stretched or compressed vertically or horizontally with a computer, as here seems to be the case.”
I thought exactly the same thing, Mr Gore certainly looks considerably thinner than in other recent pictures I have seen.
Incidentally, it’s not just AGWers who are attacking me and fellow porkers:

Bruce Cobb
September 2, 2008 7:44 am

What about rich people? They certainly contribute way more GHG’s than the poor, or middle class. Their wallets need to be slimmed down immediately, and probably those of the middle class as well. If only there was some way to do that.

Mike Bryant
September 2, 2008 7:45 am

“For a politician of any party to tell me that I must change my behaviour because it will be better for me is for him to prove himself unfit for election to anything… I can tell them they will gain more friends by announcing that they will leave people alone to live their lives as they see fit.”- From Fatbigot’s Blog

September 2, 2008 8:13 am

I think an important aspect that has been overlooked in this discussion so far is carbon sequestration by the gravitationally challenged. When one also considers the sequestration of H2O, thus reducing the most powerful GHG, the oversight is even more important.

Ed Scott
September 2, 2008 8:23 am

While the obesity problem is only being discussed on this forum, the City of Los Angeles is actually taking corrective action. The construction of new fast-food outlets in south LA are restricted because of the bad eating habits and obesity of the citizens of that area. Positive action I say. When interviewed about their eating habits, some of the citizens remarked that there were no “good” restaurants available. A wag’s response was that all of the “good” restaurants were burned during the riots and had not been rebuilt, the former owners finding it more profitable to locate elsewhere. There was no mention of mention of food stores such as Safeway. Los Angeles, a pro-active city. To insure restaurant parity, the city of Los Angeles should grant a permit to, say, build a restaurant in Beverly Hills only if a similar restaurant was built in south LA.

John Nicklin
September 2, 2008 10:02 am

the hard question must be asked: are very large people pulling their weight in society? Regrettably, I have to say no. There is a good argument that our more solid citizens are free-riding off the svelte and slender, and that this burden is a sizeable one. For example, very large people create disproportionate wear and tear on the public sidewalks, even as their vast bulk prevents the free and unfettered movement of their fellow citizens.
Your thesis impies that only “thin” people are productive? Are there no productive portly people? That would seem to be a pretty thin arguement to me.
As for the heavier set putting more wear and tear on the sidewalks of the world, consider that the concrete under their feet usually has a rating of somewhere between 2500 and 3500 psi. A person who weighs in at 220 lbs, standing 5 foot 6 inches with a size 10 shoe exerts no more downward pressure than a person who stands 6 foot 3 inches and weighs 220 lbs. One is considered obese, the other is considered fit. Do “fit” people tred more lightly on our footpaths? Even a person who weighed in at 350 lbs with an average size shoe of say, size 9, would only exert a downward pressure of about 13 lbs/sq inch, even if you considered a pressure of 350 lbs/sq inch when the heal strikes, its way below the concrete’s pressure rating. Joggers exert far more impact than that. Further, portly people pose no more impediment to the flow of pedestrian traffic than a parent pushing a stroller.
Health is not the same as fitness or thinness. There are many portly people who are healthier than their more svelt counterparts. Just as there are many thin freeloaders out there living off the travails of the portly. Worth is not inversely proportional to weight.

September 2, 2008 11:27 am

Skinny people are evil.
So are fatties.
And mesomorphs.
Lesson learned: these type of articles are trash.

September 2, 2008 1:17 pm

If AGW is caused by obese people, should we eat them?

September 2, 2008 1:21 pm

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

Mike Bryant
September 2, 2008 1:30 pm

Anyone with only a small amount of life experience realizes that most things that happen, bring as much good as they do bad.
There are numerous articles that blame bad things on the warming of the last century. Has anyone compiled a list of all the good things that accompany warming?
Increased Wealth
Decreased Poverty
Decreased Hunger
Increased Lifespans
There must be thousands, this is a start…

September 2, 2008 2:15 pm

Uh Huh.
Politically correct is certainly reason enough to put categories in concentration camps.
Fat people, ugly people, short people, beef eaters, honey lovers, you name it.
Show me a pot belly mud flipper minnow cave fish disappearing,
and we can name you the “guilty” right quick.
Crank up those camps, fire up the ovens- the psychos have grabbed the reins.

September 2, 2008 2:36 pm

Whoa there! We are carbon-based life forms. Therefore, the obese are not causing global warming – they’re doing their bit of carbon sequestration!
(BTW, it was reported some time ago that in an address before the UN AlGore stated that cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of global warming)

September 2, 2008 3:25 pm

Hold on.
If the political correctness puts cigarette smokers in camps,
war starts.
Step on another man’s vice, you get a lecture.
Step on my vice, you get a fight.

September 2, 2008 4:37 pm

John I looked at the image, and it is 720×480 pixel resolution, which is CCIR-601 TV format, used in many TV news cameras. for a ratio of 1.5 to 1 When fit to the TV screen, it will automatically be compressed horizontally to 4:3 aspect , which will give a ratio of about 1.333 to 1, so yes, what we see is a distortion based on the recording source.
If a digital photo camera had been used, the distortion would not be present. but 720×480 is one of those magic numbers for TV that has to do with the 3.579545 mHz color subcarrier frequency in NTSC color televison.
If he had been recorded in Europe, he would have been at 720×576 for PAL, and would not have looked so “wide”.

Leon Brozyna
September 2, 2008 5:08 pm

Seeing that impressive visage of Lord Gore reminds me how fortunate he is that the “Al Gore Enrichment Act” (the phrase I coined to describe the late Warner-Lieberman Act) died in the Senate. Were he to become any more well off, he’d likely explode.

September 2, 2008 6:24 pm

Marshall: Be not afraid nor intimidated. Intelligence is not, sadly, competence.
While it correlates with being able to do certain kinds of tricks well (puzzles, word games) it does not correlate well with happiness and does not assure success. (I can say this because I’m one of those folks who meets Mensa acceptance requirements). I’ve also noticed that it seems to me to correlate with an increased ability for self deception and gullibility in many. In the tech field this is often called “believing your own bull” or “sucking your own exhaust”.
So please, trust your instincts and your grounding in common sense. Trust your own ability to see things through to an acceptable end. And trust your ability to say “The emperor seems a bit light on cloths today”. We need people like you.
Per the BMI et.al. It is very broken. In particular, it is racist. North Europeans have several cold adapted traits. Compared to Africans, the N.E. type have shorter legs (I’m one of them) and longer bodies. Mass vs Height is a bogus ratio when one race has legs for 2/3 of their body and the other for 1/3 !!
There are other problems with it as well. If you are not in a dunk tank measuring fat directly, you have little clue.
Per the heavy yearning to be lighter: I suspect (though have no proof) that trans fat in the diet gums up the fat metabolism leading to fat gain. Since I’ve gone to a strict no-trans fat diet, I’m loosing body fat. Before that I had trouble. Now it’s just going away (slowly) without effort. We’ll see where the society at large ends up as transfat is removed.
There are so many ways a person can end up heavy that have nothing to do with willpower or with self control that any attempt to mandate a specific body form ought to be met with immediate lawsuits. Older people are heavier than younger (age discrimination), some racial groups are heavier than others (compare a Samoan with a Japanese) so it’s racist, some folks have medical issues (low thyroxin) medical / handicapped discrimination. etc.
We will not explore all the crap stuck in our food supply that might be causing weight gain (other than to mention that fructose is directly metabolized in the liver to fat… so guess where all that high fructose corn syrup in darned near everything goes? Any wonder U.S. food eaters are fatter than those in other countries without a corn fetish?)
This AGW causes everything mantra will die soon. The All Gore Cold Period is coming and that will eventually be the end of it.

Marshall Hopkins
September 2, 2008 11:13 pm

Thank you E.M. Smith for the encouragement and very kind words. I will remember and live by the message in the top of your response. Thank you again for being so kind and thoughtful.

Mike Kelley
September 3, 2008 6:16 am

I don’t have any faith in Lancet. This is the Lancet editor who published a phony study about Iraqi deaths just before the 2004 election: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csxvUzpIQ18

September 3, 2008 6:27 am

Al Gore is a man of many 1st-s.
Have you seen those pictures of him lately. He’s kind of packing on the pounds .. he’s got to be at least 17 stone.
Maybe .. just maybe .. Al Gore is pregnant. Perhaps inpregnated by “Bear-Man-Pig.”
I have no proof. But since when has that mattered to any political pregnancy discussion.

September 3, 2008 3:45 pm

Don’t misread what I wrote. Algore is the one who thinks cigarette smoking causes global warming. That’s a ludicrous statement on several levels, proving that Al is a buffoon. For example: where does the carbon in cigarette smoke come from? Perhaps from it is extracted from the air by tobacco plants, thus resulting in no net increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide when the cigarette is burned? Duh.
The same might be said of animal flatulence. Alfalfa plant takes carbon out of air. Cow eats alfalfa plant. Cow creates methane using carbon from alfalfa plant. Cow releases methane into the atmosphere. The net increase in atmospheric carbon is zero, although CH4 may be a little better at IR absorption than CO2.

September 3, 2008 4:11 pm

“So Al Gore is responsible for global warming after all (the picture of Al Gore was not part of the original article).”
Excellent joke!

September 3, 2008 7:15 pm

[…] tip: Watts Up With That. I even used the same picture, but it was just too perfect to pass […]

September 4, 2008 7:36 am

Pops: I *love* it!
At least in N. America most dead folks are put into metal or wooden boxes and then under a concrete cap device (by law, to prevent subsidence). The bodies are embalmed so that they don’t decay for a very long time (centuries?) and are expected to stay recognizable as bodies for a very long time … soo…..
Where do I apply for my AGW Carbon Offset payment? Or does the funeral parlor get it for burying all those tons of carbon every year? Can I get more if I promise to gain at least a pound a year until my demise and sign a contract to be planted in a hermetically sealed metal coffin rather than cremated? Clearly I’m a carbon sequestration project in the making 🙂

September 6, 2008 10:04 pm

Earth in the balance,
that make me smile.
On one side the planet
on the other side Al.

September 7, 2008 10:30 am

A modest proposal-
Here in Atlanta Georgia I see people who are so grossly over weight they are no longer able to walk, children who are so fat they cannot walk three blocks to school.
This is blimp and whale territory.
Why waste it- render the oil.
Oil for the nation- render the land whales. It is patriotic, energy efficient, and profitable.

September 23, 2008 4:31 am

Interesting article. Here in the UK there is research to suggest a link between obese people moving to the south east from the north of the country and the fact that the UK is ‘tipping up’ so to speak. The south of the country is sinking while the north is rising. Obviously a worrying trend and also, if this research is to be believed, a little problematic to remedy. I would not want to be the one to ask all fat people to move further up the country in order to redress the balance.

Ryan S
September 24, 2008 9:10 pm

The solution to global warming lies in piracy, as long as said pirates aren’t obese.

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