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A recent article in The New York Times discussed a study published in The Lancet in 2015 which, though it received little attention at the time, produced important findings related to climate and public health. Despite the assertion often made by climate alarmists that global warming will cause more extreme heat waves resulting in more deaths, the study confirms what previous research has shown: Cold weather rather than hot weather is the biggest killer. The paper reports:
[N]on-optimum ambient temperature is responsible for substantial excess in mortality, with important differences between countries. Although most previous research has focused on heat-related effects, most of the attributable deaths were caused by cold temperatures. Despite the attention given to extreme weather events, most of the effect happened on moderately hot and moderately cold days, especially moderately cold days.
How much more deadly was cold than hot weather? A lot. The study examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths. The authors determined cold weather, directly or indirectly, killed 1,700 percent more people than hot weather. As Jane Brody, author of The New York Times article, noted, “[o]ver time, as global temperatures rise, milder winter temperatures are likely to result in fewer cold-related deaths, a benefit that could outweigh a smaller rise in heat-caused mortality.”
This should be good news for all those worried future warming will lead to greater numbers of premature deaths, yet somehow I don’t think the findings are making climate alarmists smile. It doesn’t fit into their “warming is catastrophe” narrative, nor does it play into their underlying goal of giving greater power over peoples lives and the economy to shape lifestyles and direct energy use to governments and unelected international bureaucrats. Perhaps that’s why this study didn’t get more attention when it was first released.