Some of the most encouraging graphs about the human condition you’ll ever see

Despite all the fear-mongering over the condition of our planet as well as the human condition, there is encouraging news. Dina D. Pomeranz writes on Twitter: (h/t to Steve McIntyre)

This figure is quite amazing. Never ever before has the world changed as it has from 1990 to 2015.

Here’s another:

There’s a lot of data to explore in this website:

I found this chart particularly interesting, especially the nuclear part.


147 thoughts on “Some of the most encouraging graphs about the human condition you’ll ever see

  1. “I found this chart particularly interesting, especially the nuclear part.” It is not obvious why you find it interesting. Nuclear power has always been the safest means of generating energy (and electricity). It is only the Green Blob that depicts nuclear power as dangerous.

    • But “only the Green Blob” is a highly influential if not dominant decision-making entity in US/EU energy strategy, although they have switched from opposing nuclear to opposing fossil fuels, yet using the same strategy of mortality fearmongering, largely through the IPCC. The days of local hippie greenies locally organising local protests against nuclear plants is long gone; nowadays it is jet-setting suited lawyers globally organising global protests against global energy, food, chemical and drug companies.

      • The Green Blob certainly hasn’t forgotten their opposition to nuclear but believe it far more productive in their attempts to destroy capitalism by attacking the primary energy source used for economic growth. Part of the reason for their re-direction was the collapse of the USSR. Groups like Greenpeace had their roots in the anti-nuclear weapons movement in the 1950-1990s. After the late 1990s the movement was no longer supported by the Soviets. They did find willing donors among the elite rich in the West so they redirect their efforts. If the USA suddenly made a major and successful effort to expedite nuclear power the greens would turn their efforts again to opposing nuclear power. “The China Syndrome” would run on some cable channel almost every day. The Three Mile Island accident would be blown into a major disaster. Fukushima would become a international disaster. Right now they believe nuclear power is in a box. EU countries are taking plants off line. Permitting in the USA is so onerous and costly that few corporations are willing to take even the first steps. Since some of the newer and safer technologies are not widely known, the greens would attack those using the precautionary principle, delaying any significant use for decades. The bottom line is the greens now allied with the radical socialist care about the climate only so far as it stops capitalism.

      • Edwin, interestingly, the Three Mile Island ‘accident’ only happened because the plant was designed mainly to impress the inspectors, rather than for use by the on-site personnel.

        When the primary cooling system failed, the backup cooling system kicked in, just as it was supposed to do. To notify the staff, a flashing red light went off! When the operating people saw a flashing red night go off for the backup cooling system, they said, “OMG, we have an emergency with the backup system!” and THEY SHUT THE BACKUP COOLING SYSTEM DOWN, even though it was working as it was supposed to be.

    • Odd that they don’t include renewables in the graph. Perhaps they only have data for real energy.

      • Solar and wind are among the deadliest forms of energy gathering per TWh due to accidents during installation and maintenance. They probably didn’t want to put it on a logarithmic scale to fit them on.

      • And, since renewables require reliable high quality electricity only produced by hydro, nuclear or fossil fuels, along with the fossil fueled maintenance vehicles; there is an apportion of the alleged deaths applied to fossil fuels and nuclear that belong in the renewable categories.

        A chart that first ignores the absolute lack of evidence for pollution caused deaths. Those alleged deaths are based on confirmation bias assumptions and false statistics. Much as the alleged future “carbon offsets” costs are calculated then credited to fossil fuels as “subsidies”.

        What is odd, are their “biomass” claims. That number does not jive with Earth’s billions cooking over coal/wood/dung fires.
        Given the alarmist tendency to transmute numbers and information from where those numbers belong to some other table; one suspects that all of those short lives, illnesses and deaths from cooking over smoky fires have been allocated to other categories through the magic of adjustments and assumptions.

        Steve and Dina have nailed the basic realities regarding alleged deaths, disasters and economics.

      • kaliforniakook

        I support your analysis. If the renewables is to supply 100% of power by 2050 then the deaths will be proportionately higher. Wind turbines are probably safer than hang gliding but not as safe as mountain climbing.

    • I wonder what the real numbers are, without the fake made up deaths from “pollution”?
      We know they invent deaths based on some model or projection based on nothing more than imagination and the desire to make everything sound as bad as possible.

      • Menicholas

        The deaths are real, the flaw lies in the attribution of causes to cohorts of them. It is the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) exercise and it is publicly available.

        There are two downstream consequences of the apportionment exercise. One is the claim for each premature death (pre-86) a contributing factor which may be bogus, and the second is that attributing a cause to something doesn’t mean that taking it away will prevent the death or extend a life, singly or generally for the population cohort.

        Attributability does not imply avoidability.

        This is evident in the claims for air pollution. Attributing premature deaths, to ‘air pollution’ for a population cohort already dead (before the age of 86) says nothing about what will happen even if all pollution was permanently removed. The original attribution may have been in error, or other factors affecting life expectancy may be encountered in future. It is impossible to predict what a person or cohort or population will be exposed to, diet, inoculations, chronic under-heating and so on, each of which can have an indeterminate effect of health.

        Further, GBD is a public health statistic, claims of a death from air pollution is medicine. These two fields of work don’t overlap much, actually. It is impossible to make medical predictions for anyone based on attributable public health statistics generated for national populations.

      • Deaths from “heat” already sounds dodgy. I don’t believe anyone, ever, has actually died from the heat or planet can subject a person to. Heat stroke is really a combination of over exertion and a lack of water. I know people have died of “heat stroke” and “heat exhaustion” at temperatures well below those temperatures experienced by a person sipping mai tais under a beach umbrella in a location they paid many dollars to visit and experience, so it wasn’t the heat alone that killed them. Something else began their demise.

      • Oops… …our planet… Not …or planet… Which I would not have bothered to point out if I had not also wanted to add, if a person gets buried in volcanic lava, did they die because of the heat of the lava? Or because they were crushed by the weight of the lava? Or did the lava cover up their nose and mouth so they smothered? You see, listing “heat” as a cause of death is just guesswork.

    • ~70 died from nuclear energy from the 1950s up to today. ~90% was Soviet bare bones design at Chernobyl (the exclusion zone now Europe’s ‘Serengeti’ wildlife park). The most nuclearized country, France has had only one! This was an undescribed accident at a spent fuel facility – could have even been run over by a forklift!

      Even after the Hiroshima bomb, radiation was back to background in less than a year and is now a thriving city. Until recently, Chinese coal miners were dying at a rate of over 4000 a year. Its all on Wiki so you know the figures are as big as they can decently make them on nuclear.

      • Oh they also have deaths with solar and windmills industry in the US that surpass nuclear by a large margin per annum.

    • I think that is why it is interesting. Nuclear is the cleanest, safest and when made more affordable by stripping away regulations that overreach beyond what is reasonable safety, it may even be one of the most affordable sources in the long term, BUT, a large part of the developed world has been backtracking on nuclear and the population in general have been taught to fear it. That is what’s interesting. Most people don’t know that one of the most important causes of years of life lost (deaths X expected years of life if death had not occurred) is motor vehicle traffic. Either being a pedestrian in a vehicle zone or riding in a motorized vehicle is one of the most important risks of early death or injury world wide but hardly anyone takes a second thought about that.

      • “stripping away regulations that overreach beyond what is reasonable safety”

        Indeed. If the same over-stringent standards were applied across the board, every coal-fired power plant in the US would have to be shut down as a radiation hazard.

  2. Are not the mortality figures for coal and oil pollution perhaps based on dodgy estimates?
    I never heard of anyone actually dying from power plant emissions.

    • Exactly!
      I did not see your post before saying exactly the same thing above.
      They make up deaths out of nowhere and attribute them to “pollution”.
      And considering they classify CO2 as pollution, who knows what else they might be tossing in?
      I have seen some estimates of such projected deaths, and while I do not recall the precise numbers quoted, I do remember quite clearly that they are outlandish and ridiculous.
      They bear as much relationship to reality as the numbers of climate refugees that they claim the world is due to be overtaken with any day now.
      Or the vast flooding of every coastal city and town in the world, and all of the low-lying islands due to accelerating sea level rise.
      Or, one of my favorites, all of the crop damage and loss of yield caused by CO2 and climate change.

      • The list of contributing factors used in the Global Burden of Disease is easily obtained from the Internet and does not include CO2. The EPA thinks CO2 is a pollutant, or used to.

        The ‘big lie’ with the air pollution is taking a ’cause of premature death’ (which is an attribution, not a medically established fact) and calling it a ’cause of death’. There is a gulf between a contributor to a premature death and a cause of death.

      • And then you have to put against that, how many people would have died much younger without the advent of coal.

        Modern civilisation would never have happened with it.

      • Petr Beckmann also calculated the death rate from coal but concluded that the absence of electric power from coal was more deadly.

    • Khwarizmi

      I suspect the deaths due to energy sources include the number of deaths in production, e.g. digging the coal out the ground, working on an oil rig or building/manning a nuclear power station.

      I have seen something like this before and the on site deaths from fossil fuel extraction are truly horrendous. Bearing in mind that China and India don’t place the same value on human life that western nations do, or at least they didn’t, so safe working conditions weren’t considered important.

      • Deaths attributed to ‘brown coal’ are attributions of ill health due to PM2.5. Those are not deaths at all but shortened lives claimed by a committee, that are supposed to have led to an early grave. They may be right. They may not.

        Deaths at wind farms are medically assessed causes of death.

      • What Crispin said and lets show a typical example to show you how it all gets abused. If you ran statistics between eating McDonalds and Dying of Heart Disease you will get a Correlation and it’s very likely significant.

        So if you were deceptive and misleading (CAGW true believer) you would claim that eating McDonalds causes Heart Disease and premature deaths and shortens x% lives.

        If you are a true scientist you should immediately know what the problem is. Eating McDonalds is probably nothing more than a correlation marker to unhealthy lifestyle. On it’s own it’s probably has a very very small effect but it is a marker for identifying an unhealthy group.

        If you want to capture a large number of CAGW true believers just do a survey asking “Do you often have goats cheese in your refrigerator” there is a high proportion of that group that is a marker for. So if you wanted to do a CAGW crazy you could say it is the eating of goats cheese that causes belief in CAGW.

      • Is wearing Birkenstocks another cause of AGW belief? Or living in Calizuela, Oregon, or Washington?

      • Hey, some of us who still live in California know that CAGW / CC / CCC is all a bunch of hogwash.

      • LdB, yes and further to your McDonald’s and Heart Disease analogy…..if you are one of those “statisticians” who plots everything and tries to find matching graph bumps….he will also likely end up finding a correlation between antacid tablets and Heart disease…that is really a correlation between antacid tablet consumption and eating large hamburgers….that can result in a meaningless warning label on consumer goods something along the lines of “…the state of California knows antacid tablets to be linked to Heart Disease…”

      • Is it true that “Old Age” and ” Natural Causes” are no longer allowed in the Coroner’s “Cause of Death” report?

      • Mike

        Is old age a reason for return these days?

        Most of us succumb to some form of identifiable reason for death, other than old age.

        Natural causes again, seems like an ‘I don’t know’ death certificate excuse.

        We all go of something, other than natural causes and old age.

    • Yes there is no reliable way to attribute deaths directly to these sources if this is all about air pollution. There may we’ll be an effect but associations from observational studies are not proof.

    • Also worth noting that in countries with some of the worst air pollution longevity is still increasing.

    • At least in the case of coal, there have been a great number of deaths from cave-ins, suffocating gas, fires, and floods. For both coal and oil, you are working around heavy equipment. Lots of opportunities for accidents. Nothing to do with air pollution.
      My folks sent me a book composed of newspaper clippings about Tipperary, Iowa, an old mining town. Every week had at least one article about a death, dismemberment, or loss of sight, to name a few. But that was back in the 30’s.
      My mom took me through Tipperary in the 80’s. It is now just a crook in the road, overgrown by forest. I could make out the remains of only one structure. Don’t expect to find much on the internet about it, other than a dot on a map.

    • A bit like smoking deaths. If you cross the road with a cigarette in your mouth and get run over, its a smoking related death. Not sure what happens if a smoker dies within sight of a power plant, perhaps you get entered twice.

  3. Death rates from extreme temperature and related to air pollution impacts…and air pollution is dominate??

    …who are they trying to kid here

    • Exactly, I grew up in the Los Angeles region when it was essentially the smog capital of the world. Summer months would bring high temperatures to the area (low 100’s). We couldn’t see the local mountains from May through late October. I participated in sports (distance runner) at the local High School during this time period. Thus far (age 66) I have suffered no ill effects.

      • Recently in Los Angeles we stopped at a Park to look at the Pacific. On every tree in the park was naiied a “NO SMOKING” sign. Across the street was a Bar into which the lady and I went for a beer and a smoke. Behind the bar was an elderly woman with a cigarette in her mouth. “Is it OK to smoke in here?” I asked. “Nope!” she replied “but I ain’t gonna stop ya”. We headed for the door with beers to an outside table on the sidewalk. “You can’t take those out there” the bar lady called “It’s illegal to drink on the street”! Standing in the doorway, one foot on the street and the other in the bar, cigarette in one hand, outside, and beer in the other I took a swig and a puff. This OK? I asked. “Yep” she replied “you’re all legal now!”
        Gotta love California!

    • Quite so. You see, these are the deaths of the little people. Our betters have always escaped hunger and natural disasters by simply relocating to another of their multiple mansions. And if the little people (ok, I’ll just call ourselves the deplorables) get elevated to the same plain as our betters than our betters won’t be any better than us deplorables.

  4. Just a question. The x axis in the first diagram show the ratio between item and ALL population (varying each year) or a fixed one at 1990?

    • I think it is clear what it means is the numbers of each item as compared to the numbers of that item that were recorded in 1990.
      So if, for example, in 1990, if 1,000,000,000 people lived in poverty, the number in 2015 is about 28% of that, or 280,000,000.

      • So if, for example, in 1990, if 1,000,000,000 people lived in poverty, the number in 2015 is about 28% of that, or 280,000,000.

        Exactly. This means that, for example, if the population in 2015 is doubled, the number of people in poverty is 14% of the entire population.

  5. I would state that the chart on deaths involved with energy production looks dubious, particularly in “deaths from air pollution”. Show me the bodies, not a Linear/No Threshold scare scenario.

      • Attributed contributions to premature deaths do not involve death certificates in the sense of ’cause of death’. Merely being dead is enough to make a good guess for the entire dead population. It says nothing about individual medical causes.

      • LdB

        I have to laugh a second time because of the word ‘goats’.

        “Goats cheese”.

        Do goats have cheese in their refrigerators?


    • And those that would not have lived if coal, gas, etc had never been discovered.

      The world population would be a tiny fraction of what it is now.

      The world could not have advanced without it.

  6. World War 1 appeared to be a quite safe time from natural disasters (last chart). I expect mostly due to lack of data, not true lack of deaths.

  7. It would be interesting to see a comparison between the deaths caused by nuclear and wind. In my country nuclear has never killed anybody, while we already have a few deaths from wind turbines maintenance crews. I believe it is considered a dangerous job. People have also died or seriously injured from falling from roofs while installing or maintaining solar panels.

    • Also fires caused by badly installed solar panels on roofs or worse outcomes from fires that start somewhere else in the house but can’t be put out because of the electricity being generated by the panels.

      • chemman

        Towers certainly are unhealthy.
        It is not the fall, as much as the sudden deceleration at the end of the fall . . .
        Lack of trampolines.

        But I suggest – without access to the most recent statistics [Yeah, ‘Lies, damn lies; and statistics!’ – Abe Lincoln, no?] – that small vessel fishing is also pretty hazardous.
        Partly through the large variety of ways in which fishermen die.
        See the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Bureau’s report site –

        Seafaring generally is absolutely not a bed of roses, safety-wise.
        But it is better – very considerably better – than when I first went to sea 45 years ago.


  8. Is the poverty “absolute” or “relative”.
    In the UK we have a new definition, which is “relative poverty”, which will never decline (except under a totally socialist state), even when absolute poverty goes down, even if everyone were millionaires.

    • Good point. In the US these days, no one is anywhere near as poor as large numbers used to be.
      I can think of a few cases of anyone starving to death in the US in recent decades, and all were due to severe abuse, being trapped or stuck somewhere, or inability or unwillingness to take sustenance.

      • True, but in the US the “hunger” statistics are based on the survey question: “Have you ever felt hunger in the past month?” People who are asked this question will almost all answer “yes”, leading to a declaration of an epidemic. It isn’t reported as universal though because most people will interpret the question as “Have I ever been starving like those kids in Ethiopia in the commercials of the 90s?”, and answer “no”.

        The US childhood hunger report was based a survey just like that.

      • My guess is that the average housepet in the US is better fed these days than many tens of thousand of entire families of working poor, at the turn of the 20th century.

      • U.S.A. Hunger statistics . . . My wife and I volunteered for 10 years at an elementary school which was about 80% Hispanic. I only recall one 4th grade girl who looked underfed. The kids were chubbier than the ones I went to school with in the 1940s. And the older folks I see are largely on the obese side — like me. From my observations, hunger is not the problem in the U.S. — eating too much is.

      • To be listed “in poverty”, your earned income has to be below a certain level for your status (single, married). However, the aid received from various Government agencies is not included in the earned income, so many folks “in poverty” may be doing better than the working poor.

      • In America, poverty is defined as being unable to afford a 4K HDTV vs. a mere HDTV, as well as a PlayStation or an Xbox.
        We have some folks with liquid assets in excess of $1M who qualify for food stamps and other welfare distributions because they don’t actually have income above the poverty definition.
        To OweninGA – you hit the nail on the head. A lot of us don’t bother to eat unless we feel hungry. Seems kind of stupid, or just a poor way to kill time to eat according to the clock. So, yes, before I met my wife (in my 30’s), I felt hungry several times a week. Then I went and made a sandwich. Too busy to wast time eating.
        Since I was married, that only happened when I went on business trips. Helps explain why I put on twenty pounds in the last 30+ years.
        I will admit as a teenager, I was hungry everyday! You could tell the ones among my friends who weren’t hungry all the time: they were skinnier than the rest of us.

    • Yep, they will always raise the bar so that the bottom x% will continue to be labeled “impoverished.”

      Another part of the scheme is that, in the US, there is no cost-of-living adjustment by region. Somebody who cannot afford to live in NYC could have a comfortable life in parts of the south — yet they would be in “poverty” in either place.

      There are a relative small number of people who are legitimately unable to provide for themselves, and they can and should be taken care of through charitable causes.

  9. I wonder if they could gather data about the number of deaths from burning wood/dung or is that included in the ‘brown coal’ numbbers?

  10. Try that ‘absolute number of deaths’ graph a per head of population. There’s a marked difference!

  11. My favorite cartoon has two cavemen talking:

    Something’s just not right – our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past thirty. link

    The greenie version of paradise differs from that of everyone else.

    Freeman Dyson has this to say about naturalists and humanists.

    The greatest evils are poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, disease and hunger, all the conditions that deprive people of opportunities and limit their freedoms. The humanist ethic accepts an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a small price to pay, if world-wide industrial development can alleviate the miseries of the poorer half of humanity. The humanist ethic accepts our responsibility to guide the evolution of the planet. link

    We’re getting closer to an earthly paradise. I think it’s a worthy goal. Progress is good, not bad. The greenies are the enemies of humanity.

    • The natural disaster data comes from, so if you really want to know, you could check there to see what they include in their database and why. I do know that the 2004 tsunami mortality estimates vary a lot. For example, I’ve seen numbers from reputable sources that are nearly half of what you report.

      • The Australia Army helped to bury huge numbers of bodies in Banda Aceh alone. The official report to the Australian Parliament makes it quite clear what the numbers are which is the same as the UN

        Fatalities: 186,983
        Missing: 42,883

        Note they are exact numbers which gets approximated to 225, 000

        So the rounded number is an almost certain number, the missing count being the uncertainty because a person is reported missing with no body found. As you are dealing with poor developing nations there may be entire villages wiped out which have not been reported and are unknown. So the death toll is likely higher you can only put lower bounds on it.

      • Griff,
        Following catweazle666’s invitation – not a challenge, not at all . .
        Can you explain to be why CAGW is responsible for the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs, as seems to be the logical conclusion.

        I am unable to see any connection, correlation, let alone causation between the incoming bolide [to the Yucatan peninsula] and the proliferation of ICE-powered vehicles.

        You may wish to address the non-synchronicity, which the quoted Garudina [well known for their orthographic impeccability] might have mischaracterised – through clerical error, I don’t doubt.


  12. Most probably, the highest number of casualties of political ideologies would be found at the feet of the leftard-green blob tandem.

  13. Excellent graphs and news which I have passed on to some teacher friends of mine in the hope that they may use them. The green movement really has become the enemy of human progress and its supporters display increasingly fascist attitudes towards anyone and anything exposing the many untruths of their narrative. Great work again on WUWT.

  14. The continued organized opposition to nuclear power by the various green organizations is one of the key reasons that you know they don’t really believe their own AGW propaganda. If they thought that carbon dioxide posed any actual threat to the planet they could have stopped lying about nuclear risks 30 years ago. By now that action alone would have reduced carbon dioxide emissions far more than all of their other strategies combined..

    • That is precisely why I do not believe in CAGW. If it is truly an exestential threat nuclear would be on the table and we would be serious about risk levels.
      I seem to recall that exposure limits to radiation have been set so low that we would be unable to clean up a terrorist dirty bomb without waiving exposure regulations.

  15. The natural disasters chart needs work. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami doesn’t appear to have been accounted for with its roughly 250,000 deaths, nor the 1976 earthquakes in Tangshan, China, in which it’s estimated that upwards of 650,000 perished.

    The graph on energy production is excellent. Nuclear has always been the safest way to turn on the lights.

  16. You wanna know why it’s snowing in Houston this morning?

    GLOBAL WARMING!!! that’s why!

    Because Global Warming is sneaky that way.

    • Please don’t put big inline images in your posting. A simple link to the site is good enough. But really, you are going to use charts from a bariatric center in Mexico as your authoritative source? Can you say BIAS? Get real. Not to mention that most obesity declarations are based on a simple chart that doesn’t even take into account height or age. According to BMI, all NBA players are obese! Ridiculous.

      • Paul Penrose

        Sorry about the image size, I inserted just a link address but forgot on this WordPress site, this would grab and display the image — not all WordPress sites owners have this option enabled.

        Note to self —
        Learn how to post images with a reduced size, some day.

      • Bias.
        And I wonder how many deaths are “double attributed”.
        Let’s say I get hit by a truck crossing the street.
        I smoke.
        Will it be claimed that I was crossing the street to buy a pack of cigarettes? Chalk a number up for the anti-tobacco crowd.
        The truck ran on diesel. Chalk a number up for the anti-fossil fuel crowd.
        I’m not obese but I don’t get more exercise than my normal day-to-day life provides.
        If I exercised, I could have jumped out of the way. Chalk a number up for the pro-exercise crowd.
        The road was ice free the day before but it snowed last night. Chalk a number up for the “Climate Change” crowd.
        The truck was electric and I didn’t hear it coming. Chalk a number up for the … (Well, that wouldn’t count.).

        Many would want to claim my death as another number to support their cause.
        Only those who love me would claim my body and actually mourn.

      • Gunga,
        And if you’d had a beer before crossing that street, your death would also be ruled as “alcohol related”.

      • Yes, was asked to go to local NHS clinic for old person’s health check. Was told I drank too much and needed to loose about 25 lbs (probably 15 lbs really). Tell me something I don’t know but it’s face or figure at my age. Blood pressure and heart rate exactly same as 10 years ago, (naturally below average). Cholesterol fine to their fairly evident disappointment since there are rumoured to be bonuses for doling out statins. Have decided to decline the next invitation and resolved to go for more walks and cycle rides which improve mental health too.

    • If this chart is based on Body Mass Index, it’s totally bogus and biased against tall people.

      Body Mass Index is defined as body mass in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, and a BMI above 25 kg/m^2 is considered “overweight”, and a BMI above 30 kg/m^2 is considered “obese”.

      To illustrate how this is biased against tall people, a man weighing 190 lb (86.2 kg) and 6 feet (1.83 m) tall would have a BMI of 25.7, and be considered borderline overweight. Yet many such men are serving in our Armed Forces and are considered extremely fit.

      A man weighing 240 lb (108.9 kg) and 6’6″ (1.98 m) tall would have a BMI of 27.8 and be considered overweight, but would have the same proportions as the 190 lb, 6-foot tall man.

      A man weighing 150 lb (68 kg) and 5’6″ (1.68m) tall has a BMI of 24.1, and would not be considered overweight.

      A child weighing 80 lb (36.3 kg) and 4 feet (1.22m) tall would have a BMI of 24.3, but would definitely look chubby. A 4-foot tall child with the same proportions as the 190-lb, 6-foot tall man would weigh about 56 lb.

      A newborn baby 21 inches (0.533 m) and weighing 8 lb (3.63 kg) would have a BMI of only 12.8 (about half that of the 190 lb, 6-foot man), but the baby would be considered healthy, not anorexic.

      The main problem with the BMI is that as a healthy person grows, his or her width (side to side) and thickness (front to back) will tend to increase in proportion with their height, meaning that the total body volume (and weight) should increase with the cube of their height, not the square.

      This means that tall people will have higher BMI’s than similarly proportioned short people.

      If the study quoted by Tom0Mason came from the Mexico Bariatric Center, the average Mexican is shorter than the average American, so that the Mexicans will be less likely to be considered obese according to the BMI.

  17. Precisely what Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley have been saying for years – and look where it has got them: Reviled, castigated and in many cases directly slandered by operatives of the green blob.

    I would also recommend Gapminder ( as the site propagating Hans Rosling’s work which also brings some real numbers to the scare stories. His work showing how poorly most people understand progress was eye-opening – especially when it was noted that journalists are the worst –

  18. On a less encouraging note regarding the human condition, we aren’t getting any more intelligent. I read a tweet from Willis this morning linking to a story about China’s first all electric freight hauling ship. Sound sounds great but it only has a range of 50 miles, and it’s being used to haul loads of coal for their coal fired power plants which presumably supply the power to recharge the batteries while the coal is off loaded.

  19. I looked at the very first graph and asked myself how can I trust any of these graphs? Why? It shows a downtrend in “illiteracy” in the US during that period, and unless literacy means something different than I think it does, this obviously is false. The nation is obviously only “more literate” if you have changed the core values of what literacy is. Being able to “text” while not being able to write meaningful sentences hardly qualifies as literacy. Being able to count out change that is displayed for you is hardly the same as being able to do the simple math for yourself. Having more degreed graduates is hardly a measure of literacy if they can’t think for themselves. And having people willing to go into debt for $80,000 or more to get a degree when the job market says you won’t be getting a job to pay if off is not a sign of intelligence, though it might show literacy in the idea that Congress will bail you out in the end with the taxes paid by people that didn’t sink their future with a debt anchor. I’m not worried about fat people, I am worried about ignorant ones that think they are “literate.”

    • Might want to look a little closer. The legend actually says i l l i t e r a c y i.e. not literate. Too bad it shows up pretty small and hard to read on the screen. (where’s my magnifying glass when I need it?)

    • Tom O
      I was a pedant until – say – ten years ago.
      Then I realised – a Road to Damascus revelation – that Communicating, to you chosen audience – is the crucial thing.
      For millennials, to millennials – textish is fine.
      To their parents – or employers – more is needed.
      To their grandparents – a written letter – to thank said oldies for the help with college fees, say – should be [not IS, sadly] de rigeur.

      The question – does to communication – What’s App, Act of Parliament, whatever actually communicate?
      If yes – so it is appropriate to the chosen audience – then I have no problem.

      And I think many or most millennials are smart enough to know that.

      And, yes, I am pretty anti CAGW.
      I know Climate Change happens – I lived through the sixties – we had lying snow in NW London from26th December 1962 to the following April – over three calendar months.
      We rarely get that now.
      Although here in South London, we had snow lying throughout December 2010.


  20. Looking at the absolute numbers of deaths from natural disaster graphs…..

    The biggest spike on the graph is about 3.6 million in 1930. The global population around 1930 was about 2 billion so the rate of deaths was about 0.002.

    The worst spike in the 21st century is about 300,000 when the population is about 7.3 billion. S the rate works out at about 0.00004.

    So in approximately 100 years the population increased by 3.5x and the death rate due to natural disasters declined by about 50x. And that despite a more densely populated planet making the probability of exposure to any single event much higher.

    Things are definitely getting better!

  21. The chart they leave out is debt. So much of that increase in well being has been bought on credit. Over and over in human history the collapse of a credit bubble has led to political upheaval and violence. Today we have a worldwide burden of debt without parallel in human history.

    Stay tuned.

    • We also have increases in worker productivity without parallel in human history. So it may not be as bad as you think. That said, we do need to stop writing checks that our economies can’t cash. Unfortunately I don’t see the public, or corrupt governments, refraining from voting themselves largess from the public treasury any time soon.

  22. Strange how rip tides are not only the deadliest “weather” related death pre-WW2, but it’s even stranger that that’s the lengthiest dataset they have. Were the 1920s and 30s too inconvenient to graph the data for?

    ~5,000 people died in the U.S. from the 1936 heat wave alone, that is about 39 people per million, it would be off their graph 6 times.

  23. It would be nice to see Julian Simon mentioned, as the guy who invented this approach and developed the argument against the Greens in the 1960s and 1970s…

  24. I would argue that the progress happened in spite of the increasing debt, not because of it. We did not ‘pay’ for the progress with debt. We created progress with imagination, innovation, risk taking and hard work. I t would have happened regardless of the debt load, and might have been even greater with smaller debt. I do agree that an economic collapse because of our ever-growing debt would have a very negative impact on our progress, at least for a short time. It could be much longer if governments try to ‘fix’ it.

  25. Edwin commented: December 8, 2017 at 6:56 am “….The bottom line is the greens now allied with the radical socialist care about the climate only so far as it stops capitalism…..”

    That’s the whole AGW scare in a nutshell. Conservation gave way to Ecology then make an unholy alliance with the Socialists/Marxists because they pretended to be of common feather. The Greens prove to be easy to control, prone to anarchy, and useful idiots of the highest order.

  26. It is relevant that real problems are declining and at the same time alarmists have increased their cries. Some people just have to worry about something. More & more, real problems are less of a worry so a new source of worry fills the vacuum- in this case. CAGW

  27. If you want a more detailed treatment of this sort of data read Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist. Published in 2010, I think he was ahead of his time vis a vis, the continuous improvement of the human condition.

  28. Does anyone doubt that if the data were available to plot the deaths from all of the different weather events on the US weather event graph they would be up near where death from lightning is? I have no doubt that the deaths from heat and cold and hurricanes would be up there.

    For years I was a volunteer on my counties Cemetery Commission. There were five of us and we got $10,000 to $15,000 dollars to use to identify and restore Pioneer cemeteries and restore existing ones. Then they were turned over to the Township trustees for maintenance. Doing that work really brought out just how high the mortality rate for infants and children really was back in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. It was also pretty high for women. Many a man had 3 or 4 wives during their lifetimes and all of them considerably younger than they were when the married.

    I quit when the politics got to be a miserable hassle but we did one heck of a lot of good work during the 8 years I was involved. That is if one believes that ancestors should be honored for the legacy they left for us to enjoy and that cemeteries are a valuable historical record for those that wish to trace their family history.

  29. Regarding the Tip, I don’t see Steve McIntyre’s comments much but I should visit Climate Audit more often.
    Steve’s “Ohio Paper” was one of the first things a read after we got a DSL connection.
    Greetings to him and AW.

  30. I have been a fan of for a while. That and Gapminder as well.

    Most people on the left see personal stories but miss the macro level. They want socialism to make the poor rich, totally missing the very basic fact that capitalism already does that.

    The problem is that it hurt the middle class at the same time. Now it is time for us to prioritize western families.

  31. Regarding the last chart, the one labelled Absolute number of annual global deaths from natural disasters:

    “Death by extreme temperature” – is that extreme cold, extreme heat or both. Also, it’s represented by an orange band, but I can only see an orange band on the last two bars, 2000-2009, 20010-2015. None for the Dirty ’30s? None for all the heat waves over the last century in Europe and India and other areas of the world?

  32. The graphs only show the human condition. What about the condition of life as a whole, all species included? Human progress at the cost of life? If you kill the context of life only a lie will survive.

    • What is surving: the human condition or the technological gadgets? Take away technology, turn off the power and look what remains of the human condition for the better. Our progress is mere dependency that shows itself as an array of many different chronic symptoms. These symptoms are treated with more technology – thus more dependency and on and on it goes, the merry-go-round of the human condition.

      • Every species that does not go extinct has some natural adaptation that it is completely dependent on to survive. For humans it is our brain. We are tool makers, and as such our survival is dependent on our tools. So what is so bad about that? It has made us the dominant species on the planet. Be happy that you are not shivering in the dark hoping that some big animal will not eat you today.

  33. @ Paul Penrose

    There is no problem with tool-making. Every living being is a tool for life to keep life going and the biosphere stable enough. The only problem with human progress is our way to use energy. As long as we humans use energy quite differently than any other species, there will be problems we think must be solved with more technology.

    By the way – the one and only graph that is missing above is the rise of taxation, in lockstep with our progress. And where there is more taxation debt is indeed the source.

  34. I doubt the data on nuclear power. Coal is the input to thermal power, similarly uranium is the input to nuclear power. The mining pollution includes several types health hazard pollutants to tail pond carry for years the pollution, the processing ore and fuel has severe hazards — that is mining to processes. If we look at the data over different countries, this is far more hazardous than over coal based.

    We are always happy to eat food served to us. We rarely look at the reality of ingredients used in the preparation of that food. Here the issue of pollution and health hazards and health bills play main role.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  35. Hans Rosling, R.I.P.
    A master at presenting this information with the optimism it deserves.

    What happened to the red China bubble in 1959? Chairman Mao. Let’s not do that again.

  36. “Even after the Hiroshima bomb, radiation was back to background in less than a year and is now a thriving city.” Not entirely a fair comparison as there was only 60kg of fissile material in the bomb, compared to many tons in a reactor.

    The main safety problems with present generation nuclear reactors are the use of pressurized primary coolants and inflammable fuel rod containers. A design which eliminated these would be a quantum improvement in safety.

    Meanwhile the waste disposal problems mainly arise from the fact that fission products poison the fuel long before its useful energy has been extracted. This gives rise to a stockpile of notionally ‘spent’ fuel. The best resolution to this is to use liquid fuel which can more easily be reprocessed to remove the fission products.You thus reduce the waste problem by by least two orders of magnitude, and similarly increase the lifespan of available fuel stocks.

    • “Not entirely a fair comparison” ???

      Here you compare elephants with mice: fissile uranium material for a commercial reactor is enriched to ~3%.
      Natural uranium comprises ~ 0.7% fissionable material. Bomb-grade, ~93%. “Spent” fuel rods could be fuel for molten-salt Thorium reactors.

      Radiation Doses From Natural And Artificial Sources.

      Blood……………………………………………………………………………….20 mrem/year
      Building Materials………………………………………………………………35 mrem/year
      Food…………………………………………………………………………………25 mrem/year
      Soil……………………………………………………………………………………11 mrem/year
      Cosmic Rays (sea level)………………………………………………………35 mrem/year
      Cosmic Rays (Denver altitude)………………………………………………70 mrem/year
      Medical X-Rays………………………………………………………………….100 mrem/year
      Air Travel (New York to LA round trip)……………………………………….5 mrem
      Nuclear power plant (limit, at property line)………………………………..5 mrem/year
      Average annual dose (general public US)………………………………270 mrem/year

      Table taken from book by PhD nuclear engineer Robert Zubrin, who has 9 patents to his name or pending.

      Zubrin makes many references to the great work of Julian Simon, the economist who made fools of both Paul Ehrlich & John Holdren, doomsters & anti-humanists in chief. Simon’s The Ultimate Resource 2 is a must-read for anyone interested in the facts & figures behind the false & hijacked “environmentalist” movements.
      Great reads also are Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist & Bjorn Lomborg’s Cool It.

      Not a cheerful read, Zubrin’s 2013 book: Merchants of Despair, Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, details the anti-development & genocidal policies of the so-called “Green” movements, Communists & Govts around the world, which are based on the proven idiocies of the barbarian Malthus & the racist Darwin.

      John Doran.

  37. A maternal great-uncle was an X-ray pioneer and introduced that technology in the early 20th century to New Zealand. A life-long pipe smoker, his death was of course listed as smoking-related, even though he was careless with radiation shielding for most of his long professional life and must have just about glowed in the dark when he died in his nineties

  38. Meanwhile the £££££$$$$$ hungry charities with their £4000 per week paid executives STILL bombard us with adverts about “donate to save the…” starving in Africa, children, refugees, polobears, etc…

    Still… i guess they have to pay those OxygenWaster CEOs…

  39. Very curious about the source data used for the “Death rates from energy production per TWh” chart.

    1. Nuclear is typified by highly intermittent accidents. If this data is based on one particularly quiet year, that would normally be a “fair” comparison to the other forms of energy production but it would nonetheless lead to an inaccurate result. On the other hand, if they calculated all rates over the life of the technology, the death rates for traditional sources would be penalized for the lack of pollution controls which simply did not exist long ago.

    2. How exactly are they attributing “deaths related to air pollution impacts”? It’s not as though that’s a listed cause of death on the coroners’ forms. How much of that assessment is data and how much is extrapolation from computer models? Since by their own footnote, it makes up “greater than 99% of the total”, that’s an awfully important factor.

  40. Hunger down by 41% and poverty down by 74% in 25 years–seems like most of the world is doing something right! So why jeopardize all that progress trying to make the world a fraction of a degree colder?

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