Bjorn Lomborg: “Climate Change Coverage Ignores the Heavy Impact of heat on cold deaths”

This article was originally published in USA Today, and has been reproduced here with kind permission from the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

Climate Change Coverage Ignores the Heavy Impact of heat on cold deaths

Bjorn Lomborg

Imagine media touting new research showing almost nobody died of influenza last year. The information would be true. In the US, only 600 people died from the flu in 2020, down more than 98% from its usual level. But most people would recognize this story by itself to be phenomenally misleading since it leaves out the huge death burden from COVID-19. Similarly, reports on the global economy in 2020 would be seriously cherry-picking if they only told us about the economic boom in the health care sector. To be well-informed, we need to hear both negative and positive impacts.

Yet, when it comes to climate change, too often media stories and research focus only on the negative impacts. This makes commercial sense since stories of Armageddon generate more clicks, drive fund-raising and make for better political campaigns. But it leaves us poorly informed.

Earlier this monthlandmark study in Nature made headlines around the world Rising temperatures from global warming increase the number of heat deaths,now causing a third of all heat deaths,or about 100,000 deaths per year.

Obviously, this is a powerful narrative to justify urgent climate policies.

But the study left out glaring truths that even its own authors have abundantly documented. Heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the US, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has halved. So while global warming could result in more heat deaths, technological development in, for instance, the US, is actually resulting in fewer heat deaths.

More importantly, cold deaths vastly outweigh heat deaths worldwide. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the US, Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outweigh heat deaths by 7-to-1. Globally, about 1.7 million deaths are caused by cold, more than five times the number of heat deaths

This matters because rising temperatures from global warming will reduce the number of cold deaths. Yet, the Nature study scrupulously decided to only look at heat deaths by limiting their research to the four warmest months, ignoring the number of cold deaths, which were five times higher.

In Lancet, some of the same authors estimated recent changes in full-year heat and cold deaths from the 1990s to the 2010s. Reliably, they found that heat deaths increased, but cold deaths decreased even more for all regions and, on average, twice as much. This suggests that leaving out cold deaths flips the central message.

Global warming up to now possibly means about 100,000 more heat deaths. But the Lancet full-year research shows it also very likely means we have avoided even more cold deaths, perhaps as much as twice that, equivalent to 200,000 avoided cold deaths. 

Climate change is still a real problem. It affects many other areas, and even for heat and cold deaths, very high-temperature rises could see extra heat deaths outweigh avoided cold deaths in the long run.

But we’re not well informed when climate narratives only tell us the negative stories. Not only does technology make us much more resilient, but for now, global warming likely saves us more deaths than it causes, possibly 100,000 lives each year.

Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.” 

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June 26, 2021 10:12 am

This article is rendered pointless by the author suggesting that in the long run deaths from very large increases in temperature would cause heat deaths to rise above cold deaths avoided.
Alarmists will always say that very large increases in temperature are inevitable.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
June 26, 2021 10:40 am

He also uses a fraudulent starting date to claim that hot days in the U.S. are increasing. As Tony Heller shows, over a longer term the trend of hot days in the U.S. is actually down.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Scissor
June 26, 2021 12:34 pm

Since the NOAA report addresses heat waves for 50 top metropolitan areas, how much of the increases reflect the Urban Heat Island effect?

Reply to  Paul Johnson
June 27, 2021 1:27 am

Probly most.

Alex Ashton
Reply to  Paul Johnson
July 1, 2021 1:58 am

The absolute level of temperature is surely influenced by that effect, but that effect has existed for as long as the cities have been there, so the CHANGE from years past is due to changing climate.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
June 26, 2021 10:40 am

The plausibility principle of modern science.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
June 26, 2021 12:34 pm

Lomborg is anathema to the Global Warm-mongers because he does not toe their line of government control over the smallest aspects of our lives. He has been promoting trying to adapt to changes in the weather, rather than trying to control the weather itself, which he knows is a fool’s errand.

And adapting is far easier and cheaper (and reversible, once reality sets in).

Last edited 1 year ago by Kpar
Matthew Sykes
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
June 27, 2021 9:27 am

But he has to toss the alarmists some tranquilizers every now and then, else he wouldnt get published.

Clearly his core sentiment is that CO2 is not dangerous and actually brings many benefits.

June 26, 2021 10:15 am

Basically, if people in wealthy countries donated an air conditioner to people in poor countries, this would be a vastly more effective use of funds than any carbon tax, renewable tariff etc.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Greg61
June 26, 2021 10:24 am

Only they won’t have any electricity to run them…

Reply to  Gregory Woods
June 26, 2021 12:02 pm

Once we stop pretending “carbon” is a problem we can sell them clean modern coal fired plant to power the A/C units.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 2:14 pm

If the “alarmist” science and its financial supporters don’t know the difference between CO2 and carbon, I’m not likely to believe anything else they tell us about climate or science as a whole.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 27, 2021 4:21 pm

Many of them do know the difference but consider carbon to be a greater problem than CO2. What really drives them is the desire to greatly reduce the population (carbon). The war against CO2 is just a means to that end.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Louis Hunt
June 27, 2021 4:54 pm

The sad thing is; if only a fraction of what has been wasted promoting this pointless carnival of junk science and political expedience, on providing the affordable energy needs of the developing world, their birth rates would already be falling. China’s has dropped to nearly half of replacement.

Rather than attempting to bolster failed socialism, with its top down, patronizing system… throw caution to the wind and allow a free market everywhere. Let the chips fall where they may!

John Endicott
Reply to  Rory Forbes
July 6, 2021 8:21 am

China has the added wrinkle of it’s disastrous one child policy contributing to their drop in birth rate.

Reply to  Greg61
June 26, 2021 10:27 am

First of all to donate is a source of alimentation for air conditioners.

Reply to  Greg61
June 26, 2021 11:55 am

Any solution is not in the alarmist interest. A problem solved means less money and power for the prophets of global warming. They are selfish and only care about others when it makes them richer.

John Howe
Reply to  Wade
June 26, 2021 6:33 pm

The political left are the big climate change supporters perhaps because it leads to big government control, they ignore the fact that the big capitalists are growing fat on the scam.

June 26, 2021 10:33 am

Sorry. Did China stop shipping combs to Europe?

Reply to  Scissor
June 26, 2021 11:47 am

Dr. Lomborg has his priorities straight.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
June 26, 2021 12:04 pm

He’s pretty sound for a warmist. I don’t agree with some of his claims but he tries to make sense.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 2:18 pm

Trying to put lipstick on a pig is no better than trying to convince you that the pig will be the perfect date, once she’s cleaned up a bit. There is NO aspect of AGW that makes any sense.

June 26, 2021 10:47 am

Deaths from excessive heat are almost never due to excessive heat, but rather, are due to insufficient water, and just plain stupidity (standing all day out in the sun without a hat). The only heat related cause of death is heat stroke, which is actually something that can occur at relatively mild temperatures if victims fail to hydrate themselves and stay out of direct sunlight (i.e., stay in the shade, or at least wear a hat). Heat stroke is a failure of the body’s own internal temperature controls, not due to excess outside heat. It typically occurs with dehydration – failure to properly hydrate oneself.

Cold, on the other hand, directly kills people via exposure – one can be perfectly hydrated, in perfect health, and their body functions perfectly and die of cold exposure. Indeed it happens all the time.

So even the 7:1 ratio of cold related deaths to heat related deaths greatly overstates the heat related death figure.

Reply to  Duane
June 26, 2021 12:06 pm

Don’t be too simplistic. Old folks are very much at risk and may not even have the mobility ( or wherewithal ) to take care of themselves.

In 2003 about 3000 died in care homes in France and it was not because they were out sunbathing or not wearing hats !!

Last edited 1 year ago by Greg
Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 12:36 pm

You might recall that during the French Heat Wave, many, if not most, of the “care homes” in France had people on their (government mandated) summer vacations.

Funny how the Misleadia like to leave that part out…

Dave Fair
Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 1:10 pm

You fool. Those old folks died because their children didn’t give a f*uck.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 1:32 pm

It’s a bit difficult to say if that’s really true, Greg. Is that number derived from some kind of “excess deaths” model?

Elderly in care homes tend to die pretty regularly. How do they attribute the deaths to excess heat vs all other factors? If that were the total number of deaths during the heat wave, it would obviously be conflating deaths from other causes with deaths from excess heat that happened to be occurring at the time of death.

Also, in general when there is a spike in excess deaths nominally attributable to the heat, it is followed by a period of lower-than-average death rate. The people negatively impacted by the heat were often “destined” to die soon anyway, but their end was slightly hastened.

You are right that the infirm elderly depend on proper care, but not only during a heat wave. The neglect and “warehousing” of the elderly is an appalling reality.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 26, 2021 2:44 pm

Mortality rate in elderly people is still100%. I don’t think this changes, regardless of temp!!!

Rich Davis
Reply to  OddsOn
June 26, 2021 6:14 pm

Mortality rate of all humans is 100%, so what’s your point?

When temperatures rise above what vulnerable patients are accustomed to, some who were near death as well as some who otherwise might have lived a few more years with proper precautions may succumb to medical complications.

In that time period we can expect to see a temporarily elevated death rate. You can say that the difference between observed death rate during the heat wave and the recent average death rate prior to the heat wave is attributable to the heat (statistically), but you can never have a certain number.

There’s always a great deal of uncertainty in death counts based on models.

Reply to  Rich Davis
June 27, 2021 7:52 am

Oddson was making a joke!

Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 5:28 pm

It is a fact that state of health is a determining factor in surviving temperature extremes. I wrote the lessons plan for SF medics on heat and cold injuries and researched it in and out and did so while at Ft. Sam Houston where I had access to some of the leading physicians in the US on subjects like the prevention and treatment of hypothermia and heat stroke. Age of course brings on more health problems and thus more of the aged are likely to not tolerate temperature extremes.

Reply to  rah
June 26, 2021 7:07 pm

During the Vietnam era, I did my basic training at Ft. Sam Houston during the summer. There was a 19-year-old boy in our unit who had never journeyed south of the artic circle in Alaska until he arrived at Ft. Sam that summer. After being hospitalized for heat stroke at the end of our first week of basic, he told me that the highest temperature he had ever experienced before coming to Texas was 59 degrees F. All the rest of us had already been subjected to much higher temperatures during our lives, and we knew how to compensate.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 26, 2021 7:37 pm

Acclimation is of course a factor and knowledge in how to cope also plays a part.

I was an instructor at the longest portion of the SF medic training for 1 1/2 years. The course known then as SOMED (When I went through was called 300F1), was 27 weeks and was one of three portions of the training. Typically we would have two classes going at a time and class size ranged from 40 to 60.

There were 6 of of US SF medic instructors at the course, The rest were civilians or military SMEs brought in from the various other schools or departments at Ft. Sam.

We SF qualified guys would run PT for the trainees, Rucks, runs, calisthenics, in the morning. Even at 05:30 in the morning it could be 80 deg, F, with 60-70% humidity. Never had a heat injury that I can recall from the PT.. All young, super fit guys.

The one time we did have some cases of heat cramps was during a 12 mile timed ruck during the field clinic phase which was the final testing.

Attrition in the course while I was there averaged 66%.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
June 27, 2021 10:23 am

My son went to the malaysia area to live with his future spouse for 2 years b4 both returned to canada. She had been there for about 7 years teaching. For many years upon return both, but especially his spouse wear cool/cold weather clothing during our warmest weather. When visiting I have to turn the AC off.

Reply to  Greg
June 26, 2021 7:57 pm

If these 3000 people would have enjoyed sound health and were not teetering on the edge of death they wouldn’t have been in care homes, would they? We’re talking about ending a semi-conscious and generally disabled final state a few weeks earlier or later. Not about healthy, strong citizens. Not being able to care for yourself anymore is a sure sign that your time has already come to leave this planet.

Rich Davis
Reply to  AlexBerlin
June 27, 2021 8:12 am

Lebensunwertes Leben, nicht wahr?

Another A. aus Berlin had a similar philosophy on the inherent value of human life, if I recall correctly. Going back some 90 years now.

John Bell
Reply to  Duane
June 26, 2021 12:35 pm
Reply to  John Bell
June 27, 2021 6:47 am

I read the same article. Funny, the author states that less than 10% of water consumption is from domestic use, the other 90% is farming and industrial. So of course tackling the smallest contributor to the ‘issue’ will solve everything.
One thing I didn’t see in the article is that a lot of drought emergencies are basically self imposed. Governments enacting laws and policies that lead to these situations. Droughts in California could be avoided with desalinization plants along side nuclear power plants. Or by allowing farmers to have the natural fresh water for irrigation as opposed to restricting it for the Delta Smelt.

Reply to  Duane
June 26, 2021 1:50 pm

Heat “exhaustion” is when the core body temperature goes up to 40* Celsius (104*F). This can lead to heat “stroke”, where the core body temperature is 40*C, or greater; it is heat “stroke” which can be fatal.

There are 2 accepted versions of heat stroke. One is deemed “classic”; where person is not disipating core temperature and is usually (classically) situational related to the environment’s hot weather. The 2nd kind is deemed “exertional” and can occur in any weather.

Risk factors exist for heat stroke other than drinking fluid dehydration; for example some medications (anti-psychotics, tricyclic antidepresants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, benzodiazepines, alpha adrenergics, anticholinergics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, antihistamines, thyroid agents, diet pills, laxatives, cocaine). Obesity is another, since excess body fat makes it more challenging to get rid of heat.

Which brings me to my point regarding the Original Post. When discussing the number of heat related deaths an extenuating factor is how much greater the ratio of obese (and medicated) found in our human population has become.

Reply to  gringojay
June 26, 2021 5:41 pm

In either version of heat stroke the root cause is a malfunctioning hypothalamus which is the control center of most of the autonomic nervous systems temperature control. Thus the the normal physiological and physical responses of the body to heat goes haywire and actually act in a manner to retain heat instead of dissipate it.

Reply to  rah
June 26, 2021 10:52 pm

In terms of sequence the body reaction to excessive heat is for it to lower the pressure perfusing blood into the brain. This is due to both the heat caused hyper-tension inside the skull and also due to hypo-tension due to vaso-constriction of both splanchnic (inner organs) and skin blood flow. Which (ischemic blood restriction) in the hypo-thalamus produces low oxygen (hypoxia) and an ATP (energy) drop that is what the hypo-thalamus naturally reacts to.

Simultaneously the excessive heat caused hyper-thermia (body core hot) itself elicits the similar suite of responses in the hypo-thalamus which the above described hypo-thalamic hypoxia is doing. Kind of a double impact upon the hypo-thalamus.

It is only if those 2 avenues of hypo-thalmic challenge advance (for brevity skipping intermediate hypo-thalamic changes) to neuron damage (programmed cell death apoptosis & cell component recycling auto-phagy) that the hypo-thalamus begins to function aberrantly. In this regard it is the individual person’s intermediate natural hypo-thalmic coping processes that must be inadequate for them to reach the point of abnormal hypo-thalmic operations; which abnormality is what then gets the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrencortical axis creating assorted organ problems that can in turn even lead to death.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Duane
June 26, 2021 2:22 pm

Study: Cold kills 20 times more people than heatDoyle Rice

“The study — published in the British journal The Lancet — analyzed data on more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2012. Of those, 5.4 million deaths were related to cold, while 311,000 were related to heat.”

June 26, 2021 10:58 am

Fortunately, ignorance of mid and long run climate CYCLES won’t kill millions directly but heavy investments in wrong way bets might do it from a combination of more poverty and opposite preparations. The time spans involved of 20 to 60 years mean the policy problems will persist in a world dominated by short term, distracted thinking and agenda science.

June 26, 2021 11:36 am

Climate change is still a real problem.”

Yeah. These long hot days in Scotland are starting to get me down.

Reply to  leitmotif
June 26, 2021 12:07 pm

I can understand that must come as a shock to the system !

Robert Hanson
Reply to  leitmotif
June 26, 2021 12:09 pm

High temp today in Glasgow is 62. This AGW is really getting out of control.

Reply to  Robert Hanson
June 26, 2021 5:45 pm

And the last couple winters some of your ski slopes have had too much snow!

June 26, 2021 12:00 pm

Climate change is still a real problem.

No it isn’t. Climate change politics IS a REAL PROBLEM.

Reply to  Greg
June 27, 2021 1:26 am

Glaciation could prove a real problem. A minor rise in global,temp. would be beneficial.

Tim Spence
June 26, 2021 12:15 pm

It doesn’t read well. When did the climate not change? Which century?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tim Spence
June 26, 2021 2:30 pm

I’m still trying to work out which climate they’re referring to. There are large regions of this planet that haven’t altered in millennia, while others undergo change over periods of as little as 60 – 100 years.

June 26, 2021 12:16 pm

In the US, only 600 people died from the flu in 2020, down more than 98% from its usual level.
Perfect. The Chinese have invented a novel treatment for the flu that is 98% effective.

So, Fauci, money well spent. Only question is why NIH laundered the money thru a charity and then on to WuLab? Why was a charity a middleman for the $$?

That is the rotting fish head hidden under the table. Everyone can smell the stink, but not sure what is causing it.

Reply to  Ferdberple
June 26, 2021 12:38 pm

It must be the shrimp hidden inside the curtain rod…

Reply to  Ferdberple
June 26, 2021 5:47 pm

The Chinese didn’t do it, the US government did by financially incentivizing the health care providers to diagnose COVID instead of influenza.

Reply to  rah
June 26, 2021 8:03 pm

So the COVID restrictions avoided ca. 30,000 influenza deaths. These must therefore be subtracted from the alleged COVID death rate (because every one of us can die only once).

John Dueker
June 26, 2021 12:17 pm

How do blatant liars get to publish so many “scientific” papers?

June 26, 2021 12:23 pm

Yes, the climate changes. That is what it does. Adapt or die.

John Bell
June 26, 2021 12:53 pm

Consensus center? Sounds fishy to me already. NGO

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Bell
June 26, 2021 1:13 pm

You can join my “Fair Consensus Center” as long as you agree with me.

Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 1:05 pm

Bjorn states that “Climate change is still a real problem.” Yet all of the data he presents (here and other places) shows that there is no current problem with climate change. Only if one uses UN IPCC CliSciFi climate models can one speculate as to “climate problems.”

Is it that he fears cancellation is the reason that he keeps throwing in unsupported claims such as “Climate change is still a real problem?” It can only be a problem based on future speculation, not measured climatic data over time.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charlie Skeptic
Rich Davis
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 1:45 pm

Not so much that he fears cancellation— he’s long been persona non grata. It’s apparent that he seeks to persuade by granting the premises of the warmists and arguing that adaptation is feasible while mitigation is a fool’s errand.

Maybe he’s even convinced that the warmist premises are correct. But the important point is not that he’s wrong about that, it’s that his arguments against mitigation attempts are right.

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 2:44 pm

The guy wants to keep his job and about the only interesting thing about his writing is how he manages that like writers in earlier ages tiptoeing around Vatican dogma.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 26, 2021 6:18 pm

Sure, he works for the Danish government, so he may well feel the need to temper his opinions. But the end effect of what he says gives little support to the Malthusians.

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 26, 2021 8:06 pm

I agree that “Climate Change” IS a very real problem, because it is a concept used to justify ruining world economy. The problem is not that any measurable change of the actual climate is happening, but that “climate change” counts as a good reason for absurd political decisions.

Gary Pearse
June 26, 2021 1:10 pm

Bjorn L is an economist and although he buys into IPCC Global warming science, his work shows that we can handle it cheaply with adaptation. This is why he’s hated by the climate ideologues who have a political agenda that has nothing to do with climate. He’s young, smart, presentable and a very good economist. He’ll eventually come to see what the real score is with AGW. For now, being a believer in the Global Warming Meme makes his reasonable case that there is no need for economy destroying solutions. That will do for now.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 26, 2021 2:46 pm

Wishful thinking

Gordon A. Dressler
June 26, 2021 1:27 pm

From the first paragraph of the above quoted USA Today article:
“The information would be true. In the US, only 600 people died from the flu in 2020, down more than 98% from its usual level.”

True??? . . . maybe, maybe not. Throughout CY2020, US hospitals were financially incentivized to report cases and deaths as preferentially being caused by COVD-19 disease instead of other existing co-morbidities such as heart disease, cancer, cerebral stroke, COPD, and yes, even the flu.

How else can anyone rationally explain an unbelievable 98% drop in flu cases in the US within a one-year time period when no extraordinary efforts were taken against eliminating the flu virus or flu-caused deaths during CY2020?

And someone expects me to believe those missing flu deaths are fully accounted for by a one-year surge in heat deaths? Just pure, unadulterated male cow manure!

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 26, 2021 1:40 pm

Where did I see someone analyzed total deaths? And could not find a Wuhan Flu spike of deaths. Total number of people dying, day to day, was same as it ever was. Has anyone seen that analysis? Or did I imagine I saw it?

Mark D
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 26, 2021 2:10 pm

Masking transmuted influenza to SARS-CoV. Simple really. Not sure how that explains the survival of old coots like me who were out and about daily w/o masks, sanitizer, gas masks, full body suits…

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 26, 2021 3:10 pm

USA like Australia has pretty good health statistics. It will be hard to cook the books. My prediction is the statistics will eventually all be available but health authorities will be very careful how they release them- most likely very delayed and only selective reports.
One thing to look for is age distribution for the each cause. It should not have changed.
Self harm deaths is a cause authorities will be very careful in releasing data.

Mark D
Reply to  Waza
June 27, 2021 6:36 am

I would have agreed with you 18 months ago but the data tend to indicate otherwise.
Incentivized by our corrupt federal gvt reports run rampant in the US of “covid” deaths that were not. People fought to have their lost loved one’s deaths correctly stated. Dying of “covid” became a stain in the mass insanity of covidiousy.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
June 26, 2021 8:14 pm

Masks and social distancing reduce exposure to all kinds of infections, influenza included. No secret there. A society with a better sense of privacy and decorum would not need to _enforce_ a couple feet of distance between strangers in public places. Only thugs, pickpockets and sexual assaulters have any reason to creep up closer to someone than that at ANY time. I find it shocking that special laws are needed to achieve something as natural as keeping respectful distance from each other, and even more shocking that there is protest against such laws that obviously make life much more pleasant and safe for everybody. Berlin was never more peaceful and relaxed than during the so-called lockdown – no beggars, no gipsies, no stinking alcoholics assaulting you while taking a walk. Almost _civilized_!

Mark D
Reply to  AlexBerlin
June 27, 2021 6:27 am

Why ‘Tight’ Cultures May Fare Better Than ‘Loose’ Cultures In A Pandemic

February 23, 20216:54 PM ET
Fran Kritz

Germans by culture don’t get nearly as close as as many other peoples. This may help explain different countries infection rates.

Broadly speaking a Brasilian Rotary exchange student in Germany is lonely and unhappy with the perceived standoffishness of the German people. A German exchange student in Brasil is overwhelmed by all the hugging and close contact. An American exchange student in Brasil has an emotional experience somewhere between the two. Here in the USA a long time ago as a small child I was German/English bilingual meine vater’s Familie from Deutschland and I’m not much of a hugger and initially uncomfortable in Brasil but quickly become comfortable with a warm emotional culture. I wonder if Rio de Sul, full of Deutschbrasilianers, had different rates?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  AlexBerlin
June 27, 2021 9:32 am

Actually, the scientific data for the types of masks worn by the general population to “minimize the chance of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles—as well as flu particles—being inhaled/exhaled” clearly shows that they are not statistically effective in doing this.

Mark D
June 26, 2021 2:00 pm

“Imagine media touting new research showing almost nobody died of influenza last year. The information would be true. In the US, only 600 people died from the flu in 2020, down more than 98% from its usual level. But most people would recognize this story by itself to be phenomenally misleading since it leaves out the huge death burden from COVID-19″

This is known as cooking the books.

Reply to  Mark D
June 26, 2021 7:32 pm

Some of those 98% deaths (29,400) were from the flu, but were misreported as COVID-19. The rest of those 98% deaths that actually were from COVID-19, would have died from the flu/pneumonia/rhino-virus/etc. had COVID-19 not been present. Both show the over reaction to COVID-19.

June 26, 2021 2:27 pm

Technology and wealth need to be considered when discussing heat/cold deaths.
Example#1 – Melbourne, Australia has significantly more winter deaths than summer deaths, but it wasn’t always the case. Pre 1890s before Melbourne built what is considered a world class sewer system many citizens died from waterborne diseases ( young and old). By 1920 winter deaths had taken over being dominant. Many other improvements such as advance in medicine, refrigeration, and aircon also played a role.

Example #2 – while living and working in Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines it became very obvious diseases associated with poor sanitation impacted poor people more severely. Dengue which I got rarely kills healthy middle class people.

Reply to  Waza
June 26, 2021 8:16 pm

Deaths by poor sanitation are by definition not HEAT deaths even if they occur mostly in summer when things naturally become rotten and putrid a bit faster (because all life on Earth loves a bit of warmth, even bacteria do…)

Philip Mulholland
June 26, 2021 2:48 pm

There is another aspect to this that is particularly telling. After the heat wave has passed the death rate drops to below normal values for a while. However when the cold wave has past the death rate returns to its typical value.
Brutal conclusion? A heat wave takes those who are going to go in the near future anyway. A cold wave however takes otherwise healthy people who still had the potential for more life.

June 26, 2021 2:53 pm

While deaths associated with heat and cold gets more media coverage, overall disease burden must be considered.
What are the impacts of a five year old missing school due to stomach problems from bad water supply.? Vs the impacts from a fifty year old office worker missing work because of a cold?

Here in Australia more people take sick days in winter ? Financial loss from the common cold is not insignificant.

June 26, 2021 3:05 pm

What is the average global climate these days?

You can call me with your answer. My number happens to be the average phone number in the Scottish phone directory. What’s the chance of that happening?!!??

Your call will be answered by a person with the average number of testicles of 1.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  leitmotif
June 27, 2021 2:18 pm

Your call will be answered by a person with the average number of testicles of 1.

I’m pretty certain that the ‘average’ number of testicles a person had is zero, given that about half have none, and of the rest, some have only one.

Christopher Hanley
June 26, 2021 3:14 pm

The CC™ obsession is driving people crazy.
Where I live at 450m elevation the annual mean maximum temperature is 17C, just 100km away the nearby capital city at 70m elevation the mean maximum temperature is 20C.
I can confidently state that there is absolutely no statistically significant difference in the heat-caused death rates.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hanley
Ulric Lyons
June 26, 2021 4:02 pm

We estimate that the number of annual deaths attributable to cold temperature is 14,380 or 0.8% of average annual deaths in the US during our sample period. Females account for two thirds of this excess mortality. We also find that males living in low-income areas have very high cold-mortality risks. Because the U.S. population has been moving from cold Northeastern states to the warmer Southwestern states, our findings have implications for understanding the causes of long-term increases in life expectancy. We calculate that every year, 4,600 deaths are delayed by changes in exposure to cold temperature induced by mobility. The longevity gains associated with long term trends in geographical mobility account for 4%-7% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the US population over the past 30 years. Thus mobility is an important but previously overlooked determinant of increased longevity in the United States.”

That’s 20 times the number of heat related deaths annually.

Michael in Dublin
June 26, 2021 4:35 pm

Without context for heat deaths they are meaningless and impossible to either verify or refute. Having grown up in a hot semi-desert area (similar to Alice Springs) I cannot remember people dying of the heat.

June 26, 2021 4:38 pm

Hi, I’m keeping my job yet again. Stay tuned for more keeping my job next time.

Geoff Sherrington
June 26, 2021 5:08 pm

There is shockingly bad inference about this topic of heat waves. The common official statement that global warming is causing more, and/or longer and/or hotter heat waves is supported in some places, but is wrong in many others.
A large, wrong assumption is that heat waves at a place, over time, will be X degrees hotter if the local temperature at that place has warmed by X degrees. This is wrong because of the simple reason that heat wave properties are determined by weather events up to thousands of kilometres away from that place and its local records. Analogy. Tropical sea surface temperatures appear strongly capped at about 30 ⁰C maximum. It does not matter how far from the Equator the SST is sampled, the average can vary from place to place, but the highest is capped at 30 ⁰C. So it is with heat waves on land.
We in Melbourne have had hot heat waves since the official records began in the 1850s. I seem to be one of the few people who has analysed the data in any depth. Our BOM refuses to look at my simple analysis because I have not published in a reputable scientific journal (reviewed by their pals?) I’ve looked at heat waves lasting 1, 3, 5 and 10 consecutive days, for all 6 Australian capitals.
Here are the data and inferences.

The heat wave threat in Brisbane, about 27 degrees latitude south of the equator, is mild compared to Sydney, some 33 deg south and both are much more mild for heat waves than Melbourne at 38 degrees south. In easy guesswork unsupported by inquiry, one would expect the more severe heat waves to be closest to the equator, but they simply are not. They are more severe as the local temperatures get cooler.
Melbourne gets occasional summertime very hot winds from its N-W, like around Alice Springs in the interior, some 2,000 km away. Sydney gets the side of these systems from WNW winds and Brisbane gets only occasional W heat wave winds from the centre.
It is so easy to imagine that local temperatures can indicate heat wave properties, but they do not. Even in the simplest of terms, the average annual temperatures are Brisbane 25 ⁰C, Sydney 23 ⁰C and Melbourne 20 ⁰C, colder as you more away from the Equator. The 5-day heat wave averages are like are Brisbane 33 ⁰C, Sydney 35 ⁰C and Melbourne 37 ⁰C, the opposite sense.
The killing potential of heat waves is strongly affected by occasion weather patterns that can develop up to thousands of kilometres away, patterns that so far are resisting useful forecasting.
Forecasting fails when the modeller is ignorant of real observations and chooses easy, but wrong, assumptions.   Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
June 26, 2021 7:06 pm

Geoff, I totally agree
In all Australian states winters deaths are significantly more than summer deaths.

June 26, 2021 6:21 pm

All else being the same, heat is less dangerous than cold. Got it. Now, about this failure of the models to predict the last three decades….

Eric Vieira
June 27, 2021 12:00 am

How are they going to power the air conditioners or heating: with unreliables ?
Even better: blackouts during the summer: heat deaths. Blackouts during the winter: cold deaths (even an oil heating system usually needs current).

June 27, 2021 12:50 am

did Lomborg account for increased provision for keeping older people warm?

for example the UK’s winter fuel allowance?

climate change does NOT mean everywhere will be pleasantly a bit warmer in cold regions and crops will grow better.

Louis Hunt
June 27, 2021 4:16 pm

More people are dying from heat; however, fewer people are dying from cold. So, if the lives saved from cold are greater than the lives lost to heat, that is a net benefit. The increased greening of the planet is also a benefit. Where does all this urgency and panic surrounding climate change come from? What catastrophic problems has climate change already caused? Any that are provable? I’m still waiting for someone to point out where climate change has done more net harm than good. Any takers?

We have been told since at least the 80s that climate change will bring disaster any day now. But I never see any evidence for it. I fear that if the Warmunists don’t see disasters soon, they will become determined to create disasters themselves by ending the use of fossil fuels and making us all dependent on unreliable green energy. Then, when people die because the power is out, they will still blame it on climate change. But, in reality, the deaths will be self-inflicted because we listened to these prophets of doom and moved away from reliable energy. We don’t have to commit suicide. Wait until climate change begins to cause more harm than good before overreacting. Then we can adapt to it like we always do to change. But don’t accept a cure for climate change that is worse than the disease. Anyone insisting that we do is more interested in reducing the population than they are of finding a solution to climate change.

Alex Ashton
July 1, 2021 1:56 am

Is there a worse propagandist in climate-change denial than this huckster?

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