Al Jazeera: Climate change exposes children to lifelong harm

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Al Jazeera reporting on a Lancet claim that climate change exposes children to a lifetime of harm.

Climate change exposes children to lifelong health harm: Doctors

Climate change is already harming people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution, according to an annual study published on Thursday in The Lancet medical journal.

The study warned that if nothing is done to mitigate climate change, its impacts could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,” said Nick Watts, who co-led The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study.

He warned that health damage in early childhood is “persistent and pervasive”, and carries lifelong consequences.

“Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation,” he told a London briefing.

Read more:

The Lancet report is available here.

My question, if a few degrees warming is so harmful to human health, why don’t people living in warmer climates already suffer these harms?

Diseases, parasites and pests surely can’t tell the difference between warmer temperatures caused by global warming, and warmer temperatures caused by living closer to the equator.

Water and food security is a matter of investing in infrastructure. If all else fails, water security can be achieved with large scale desalination plants, like desalination systems used in the Middle East. All desalination requires is cheap energy and a society wealthy enough to build and maintain the required infrastructure.

I live on the edge of the tropics in a much warmer climate than anywhere in the USA. Yes my chances of encountering one of Australia’s nasty insect pests is slightly elevated by living in a warm climate. But there is this remarkable product called insect repellent which massively reduces this risk to my health.

The only thing holding back the life expectancy of people in poor countries is poverty, lack of resources to fix the problems which impact their life expectancy. Cheap fossil fuel energy infrastructure fixes poverty, as China and many other countries have demonstrated.

Doctors should be ashamed of themselves for putting their names to such wild claims.

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November 15, 2019 6:15 am

😐 Its becoming a joke now..

This is what Vox had to say about humans

Bill Powers
Reply to  Sunny
November 15, 2019 7:47 am

Sunny this is not a joke It is a drive toward Authoritarian Socialism. That is anything but funny. These people seriously want to control every aspect of our life through central planning, under the guise they are saving the planet. They are making a horror movie and the general population are the victims.

Curious George
Reply to  Bill Powers
November 15, 2019 8:21 am

Not only are Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn enemies of Socialism, but now they even harm children!

Reply to  Bill Powers
November 15, 2019 8:52 am

“Authoritarian Socialism” is redundant.

Reply to  Geo Rubik
November 15, 2019 12:37 pm

Yes, but it is clear.


Rod Evans
November 15, 2019 6:51 am

Speaking purely as an observer of children’s health and climate change due to green house gas changes. The evidence over the past 100 years shows, the world population has increased from ~2 billion back then when green house gasses were lower than today to ~7.6 billion today. Now it would be difficult for our medical experts to maintain something that increased the number of children surviving into adulthood is dangerous to children.
Maybe they can also explain using their strange medical logic, why the increasing greening of the planet due to increased CO2, is also damaging the environment by making it healthier?

Reply to  Rod Evans
November 15, 2019 9:44 am

These “doctors” should put their funnel hats back on.
comment image

Reply to  Rod Evans
November 15, 2019 9:51 am

Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,” said Nick Watts

So what environmental pollutants are they talking about. CO2 ? FFS.

“Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised,

Well-being and life expectancy will certainly be hard hit if they get their way. Especially for the poor in Africa and 3rd world.

John Endicott
November 15, 2019 6:51 am

Climate change alarmists exposes children to lifelong (mental) health harm

there, fixed that for them. It’s not the relatively negligible amount of (mostly if not entirely natural) warming that we’ve experienced since the depth of the little ice age that is causing children harm, Indeed a warmer world is a safer more prosperous world (cold kills). It’s the sky is falling/the world is ending hysterical lies that the alarmists are feeding these kids 24/7 that is damaging them mentally.

Ralph Knapp
November 15, 2019 6:55 am

Here it is, Nov. 15, in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, with enough snow on the ground to force me to shovel the steps and snow blow our driveway while the ploughs and sanders were cleaning the streets and roads. One weather guy said this was the earliest snow fall since the 50’s. At least he was clever enough not to say global warming, aka, “climate change,” caused it to happen.

November 15, 2019 6:58 am

regardless of climate change, is it not obvious, the impact modern tech stuff is having on everyone, the means to bully you is a finger tip away, while minds on the climb are having to fight like turtles to get to the ocean. When the water quality drops, it affects all of us.

Henning Nielsen
November 15, 2019 7:03 am

101,6% of all doctors demand an immediate return to the global optimal temperature, which existed for a long time when unicorns roamed the earth. If you don’t believe that, ask Attenborough.

Reply to  Henning Nielsen
November 15, 2019 9:39 am

He ought to know, he was there. It was perhaps his first documentary.

November 15, 2019 7:09 am

re “The only thing holding back the life expectancy of people in poor countries is poverty, lack of resources to fix the problems which impact their life expectancy. ”

Since this is Al Jazeera, how could you leave out WAR as the most serious issue holding back life expectancy in their listening public?

Ron Long
Reply to  lgp
November 15, 2019 9:22 am

Igp, you are right on the money re Al Jazeera. They endorse young lions, kids with kalisnakovs, and think a thunderstorm will be bad for them. Lancet has gone cuckoo, which is a shame, it once was a good publication. Life expectancy relates to genetic factors and access to healthy food and care. Fossil fuels accentuate the latter two.

November 15, 2019 7:15 am

The Lancet stopped being a reputable magazine decades ago.

Reply to  MarkW
November 15, 2019 9:07 am

Yes but it does beg the question will these Doctors give me a medical for a couple of days off work with climate change induced trauma.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 15, 2019 7:19 am

“… The only thing holding back the life expectancy of people in poor countries is poverty, lack of resources to fix the problems which impact their life expectancy….”

Yes sure, but pollution also shortens life expectancy. The mistake is just to include CO₂ as a pollutant,even though it is visible to some teenagers.

Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2019 7:23 am

Climate change alarmism exposes children to lifelong mental health harm.
There, fixed.

John Endicott
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2019 9:07 am

Great minds Bruce.

Ed Zuiderwijk
November 15, 2019 7:23 am

They have fallen completely for the lie about the increased number of extreme weather events which only exist in the warped green universe.

John in Oz
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
November 15, 2019 11:38 am

See for how easily we are misled by misinformation and created disasters.

See from the 8 minute mark for ideas pertinent to the CAGW issue. I.e. implanted memories/ideas

Not Chicken Little
November 15, 2019 7:26 am

A movement like “climate change” can exist only if there are cynical people who push the fantasy, and stupid people who believe the fantasy. There seem to be plenty of each. And only a few who really seek the truth.

I don’t claim to have all the truth, but taking into account what I’ve seen personally (I’m in my 8th decade) and what I know of the past from scientists who do honestly seek the truth in my opinion, “climate change” is not a problem – not nearly as much as the normal and variable change of the four seasons in a year in temperate zones, or the normal variations of weather and climate that occur from time to time in various places. That people can be convinced that all this is Man-caused and that it is catastrophic shows how devoid of common sense people can be, and how mass delusions can take hold of those who lack common sense…and of course, we must always ask, cui bono?

HD Hoese
November 15, 2019 7:29 am

We now have numerous examples of individuals who are experts on the subjects of all aspects of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, politics, engineering, medicine, history and all others that humans might encounter and need to understand. There is a word(s) for this. The real experts know the limits of their knowledge or become educated about it.

“They called for urgent action to reduce outdoor and indoor pollution through the introduction of cleaner fuels and vehicles, and policies to encourage safe and active transport such as walking and cycling.”

Joel Snider
November 15, 2019 7:43 am

I’m sure without humanity’s fractional contribution to C02 everything would be just like they want it.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Joel Snider
November 15, 2019 7:56 am

“… everything would be just like they want it.”

A world with no CO2 would have no losers.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Thomas Homer
November 15, 2019 9:13 am

Well…, except for that whole global extinction thing.
But I guess the greenies would prefer we just start over with silicon-based life, or something else they saw on Star Trek.

Matthew Sykes
November 15, 2019 7:45 am

So taking your kids to the med for holiday kills them because they are exposed to a 10C rise in temperature in 2 days?

What utter bollocks. Who writes this crap?

John Bell
November 15, 2019 8:14 am

Take away the benefits of fossil fuels from those children and see what lifelong harms they face.

Coach Springer
November 15, 2019 8:17 am

So, their best medical advice is to treat affliction with reduced anthropogenic CO2 – by reducing otherwise beneficial human activity. Hmmm.

November 15, 2019 8:21 am

I don’t know any medical professionals that have bought in to the Climate Crisis and a few are liberals.

NOAA records of “Days over 90 degrees, and Days over 100 degrees” in the HCNS Network of Stations are declining. And Overnight Low temperatures are rising. See Tony Heller’s Video:

The Climate is getting steadily milder since early last century.

Temperature extremes are what count when considering Weather-related morbidities…especially amongst infants and children.

The Lancet, a once great publication, is now amongst the propagandists.

How is this happening?

michael hart
Reply to  DocSiders
November 15, 2019 4:18 pm

I think it is a general societal thing, perhaps best described as media-inflation. People publishing in any field, whether it be medical journals or reports of the local football team, feel under pressure to make what they say exciting and more newsworthy.

You don’t get much attention by simply reporting the truth without elaboration and “comment”. In many MSM organisations you may quickly find yourself out of work if you don’t say something alarming because that is what grabs people’s attention. The BBC, who were supposed to be largely immune to such commercial pressures, also started down this road some decades ago because they were still always watching the ratings in search of self-validation.

When will simple truthful and questioning reporting become more widely fashionable again? I don’t know. I currently find it in a handful of Youtube individuals, whom big tech discriminates against quite openly.

Michael Ozanne
November 15, 2019 8:22 am

“Doctors should be ashamed of themselves for putting their names to such wild claims.”

How Dare they…… 😛 🙂

Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 15, 2019 1:37 pm

“I can’t do the glare”
Some talented person need to run up a Greta emoji. I did manage to produce a cyclone emoji that goes clockwise rather that Algorewise, but can’t seem to get it into the public domain.

Mike Ozanne
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 15, 2019 1:52 pm

Go Vegan…, you’ll have it down pat in a week….

Tom Abbott
November 15, 2019 8:25 am

From the article: “Climate change is already harming people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events”

Wrong. There is no evidence that extreme weather events are increasing.

The only way the alarmists can find to promote the human-caused climate change speculation is to lie about it, like they are doing here.

November 15, 2019 8:59 am

I just about died laughing at that report, I actually had to check it wasn’t a satirical article. These people are b@tsh1t crazy.

Hey I thought children dodging bullets, missiles, landmines, bombs, radicalized adults, famine, disease, slavery, neglect and abuse would all rate but apparently nope Climate Change traumatizes them.

Greta is obviously an early emergent case of what the trauma looks like …. How dare you all.

Robert T
November 15, 2019 9:26 am

There seems to be differing opinions between UN organisations. This WHO affiliated reports says “Crop growth season duration has reduced by 2.9% for maize, 3.8% for winter wheat and 3.1% for soybean crops from 1988 to 2017, with potential implications for global undernutrition.”

But FAO´s longtime prognosis for global nutritional situation speaks of no “potential implications for global undernutrition.” Quite the opposite. Perhaps the doctor doesn´t always know best.

November 15, 2019 9:32 am

Here’s my contribution to the global children. Read science and don’t be manipulated by agenda groups.

DEET gives humans an ‘invisibilty cloak’ to fend off mosquito bites
DEET may chemically ‘cloak’ humans from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, rather than repel them
October 17, 2019
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Since its invention during the Second World War for soldiers stationed in countries where malaria transmission rates were high, researchers have worked to pinpoint precisely how DEET actually affects mosquitoes.

Komrade Kuma
November 15, 2019 9:34 am

I stopped paying any attention to anything published in The Lancet after the overblown drivel about casualties in Iraq as the insurgency was most vigorous.

The paper in question was plain as day a hatchet job using an incompetent method for the purpose where local data from know ‘hotspots’ was extrapolated nationally which required the assumption that the violence was occurring nationwide fairly evenly. It clearly wasn’t and the whole thing was just so much statistical crap, just a fraud in my opinion. The authors even outsourced the data collection to locals.

This paper is aimed at a similarly contentious matter ( ‘climate change’ vs the US invasion of Iraq) and I suspect is similarly contrived in its conclusions.

November 15, 2019 9:36 am

Looks like Al Jazeera is still carrying water for Al Gore, despite the disputes between them after Al Jazeera’s purchase of Gore’s TV network.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
November 15, 2019 9:46 am

If the Lancet wants to address real as opposed to fictional harms to children it should take Greenpeace and its ignorant supporters to task for the number of children in Asia and elsewhere who have lost their sight or died of malnutrition entirely unnecessarily because of its calculated and deeply dishonest opposition to golden rice and GM crops.

Then we might think better of the Lancet.

November 15, 2019 10:14 am

The doomsday clock of British science is in the final countdown.

CD in Wisconsin
November 15, 2019 10:16 am

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. ”

Do the brilliant light bulb authors of this junk piece know how much the temperature changes between January and July (and back to January again) here in the Upper Midwest—ever year! And they expect me to believe that 0.52C degrees (0.13 degrees C per decade from what I understand) of warming over the 40-year satellite temperature record is what we need to worry about regarding kids’ health!?

Have they seen how quickly we went from summer to winter here in the Upper Midwest this year? Do they have the evidence that extreme weather is getting worse and more frequent? The observational evidence I’ve seen says no.

Replacing poverty with the climate change scare narrative as a main contributor to illness, disease and short life spans reflects the fact that sound science has been abandon to some degree even in the medical profession. If The Lancet is doing this, they need to be called out for it.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 15, 2019 11:44 am

I am wondering , CD , if there has been a significant change in Lancet editorial policy since Christiana Figueres joined them in Mid 2017;
“Christiana Figueres joins The Lancet Countdown—delivering on the promise of Paris”
Previously Lancet had published at least 2 papers , gathered from global statistics, which concluded that:
1. Moderate cold is far , far, more likely to increase mortality than moderate warmth (deviations from a comfortable mean).
“Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study”

2. Considering the effects of RCP 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 on mortality : in many parts of the world the most extreme changes in temp(RCP8.5) do not cause heat-induced mortality to exceed that induced by cold.
“Projections of temperature-related excess mortality under climate change scenarios”
(both open access , the latter published nov 2017 , but presumably submitted and accepted several months before)
Now I appreciate that
1: there may be papers that contradict the Lancet conclusions , but here I am just considering possible changes to Lancet policy due to the influence of Figueres and Helen Clark
2: the papers mentioned do not specifically talk about child mortality , but again see comment above.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  mikewaite
November 15, 2019 2:04 pm


I didn’t know Christina Figueres was on the editorial staff of The Lancet. The Lancet is (presumably) a medical journal. As far as I am concerned, anyone (and everyone) who sits on the editorial staff of a medical journal should have a medical background. Doctors with considerable medical experience would obviously be the best.

Given the background of Figueres and Helen Clark and their political bent, I am at a loss to understand what they are doing there at The Lancet. An editorial policy change, perhaps induced by the two of them, would (in my mind) explain how a climate change scare hit piece like this found its way into an issue of the journal–despite what previous published studies might have said.

With their climate scare catechism, there is apparently no end to the degree to which people like Figueres are finding their way into every nook and cranny of life where they can spread the religion. I don’t know who sits on the staff of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) here in the U.S., but I sure hope their staff doesn’t include people like Figueres and Clark.

And a clueless mass media, serving as the mouthpiece of the climate scare, only makes matters worse.

November 15, 2019 10:21 am

The Lancet should review disease problems and mortality rates following the Medieval Optimum.
That ended sharply in the early 1300s on the way to the Little Ice Age.
Until ambitious statists got involved, warming periods were wonderful for most critters and plants.
The audacity of the Left is astounding.

Mickey Reno
November 15, 2019 10:45 am

Climate change alarmism is creating real damage by unnecessarily indoctrinating young children, making them fearful, hopeless, causing them to suffer needless anxiety and inculcating misanthropic attitudes, sometimes even toward their own parents. This is farging evil.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Mickey Reno
November 15, 2019 11:40 am

The Guardian newspaper (sic!) lists 5 ‘principles’ about their reporting on climate. One of them is to use the term ‘climate crisis’ throughout instead of ‘climate change’. They were already off the rails. Now they have completely fallen off the embankment too.

Smart Rock
November 15, 2019 12:15 pm

What about the effects on the mental health of children caused by being exposed to an unrelenting torrent of apocalyptic fantasies about the end of the world as we know it, that will all be caused by the use of fossil fuel?

Unlike loosely cobbled-together, putative future effects of climate change, this is real and it’s happening now, and it’s unprecedented.

November 15, 2019 1:43 pm

Children are already taking steps to correct this danger in developed countries. They are staying indoors all day playing on their Ipads. They balance their health danger availability by becoming flabby, fat and overweight, and never playing sport. Success at last. The Lancet has not been a science magazine for decades.

November 15, 2019 11:52 pm

Bloody Doctors ! 🙂

Consider, the medical crowd in the UK effectively had a Union at the time when shepherds in Dorset were being sent to a land down under for forming an ‘Illegal Combination’ So in the public eye they will carry more, much more, credibility than any number of supposed scientists. That of course carries a heavy degree of responsibility, and whilst I would not expect the medical community to stick their necks out to the extent of proclaiming one way or the other on the topic of CC, for The Lancet to be publishing on the subject does seem to suggest that their profession has been infiltrated by Quacks ?

A dangerous trend that needs attention.

John Cherry
November 16, 2019 1:15 pm

The trouble is that the editors in chief of both the mainstream generalist medical journals here in the UK , the British Medical Journal (Fiona Godlee) and the Lancet (Richard Horton) are left wingers, and both are committed to the narrative of DAGW. Godlee paints her face blue and goes on climate marches. One of her assistants wrote an editorial entitled (I kid you not) “When balance is bias”. Horton is the more egregious and controversial of the two. He writes that it is part of the duty of a doctor, as defined by our General Medical Council, to take all possible nonviolent action against climate change (i.e. support XR). Professor Sir Mark Pepys, former Professor of Medicine in London and a Fellow of the Royal Society, wrote of Horton’s “long-standing and wholly inappropriate use of the Lancet as a vehicle for his own extreme political views”. And that goes for me, too., from my perspective as a retired surgeon.

Reply to  John Cherry
November 16, 2019 10:44 pm

Good insight 🙂

I hope you can pardon what amounts to my Trolling on the topic. Hopefully though, exposure of political bias in the medical literature, and the resultant public gaze, will result in the vast majority of the profession putting the Snickersnee about amongst the awful folk you mention.

Johann Wundersamer
November 24, 2019 5:25 pm

“Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. [ ],” said Nick Watts, who co-led The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study.

“Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, [ ] ,” he told a London briefing.


At least “changing climate” poster childs can bring “gains in wellbeing” and ££ for “The Lancet”:

How much does it cost to publish in The Lancet?

The fee has initially been set at $3000 per article for all Elsevier journals except those published by Cell Press, which have a $5000 per article fee, and The Lancet, which will have a fee of £400 per page. The difference in fees for The Lancet and Cell Press reflects higher associated costs.

Do you have to pay to publish in a journal?

Answer: It’s not true that authors have to pay for journal publishing in most cases. Traditional subscription-based journals require the reader to pay for access to the journal; the author does not have to pay any charges for publishing in the journal.

… The journal submission stage can be challenging. Jan 27, 2016

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