Between 1990 and 2017, the cumulative age-standardized death rate (ASDRs) from climate-sensitive diseases and events (CSDEs) dropped from 8.1% of the all-cause ASDR to 5.5%, while the age-standardized burden of disease, measured by disability-adjusted life years lost (DALYs) declined from 12.0% to 8.0% of all-cause age-standardized DALYs. Thus, the burdens of death and disease from CSDEs are small, and getting smaller.
Figure 1: Climate-related deaths are a small proportion of all-cause fatalities (1990–2017). Based on data per IHME (2019).
But readers of the 2019 report of the Lancet Countdown (hereafter ‘the Countdown’), a partnership of 35 academic institutions and UN agencies, established by the prestigious Lancet group of medical journals and supported by the equally-esteemed Wellcome Trust to track progress on the health impacts of climate change, may well be left with the opposite impression, particularly if they do not delve beyond the Executive Summary, the section most likely to be read by busy policymakers or their advisors.
Not once does it mention that cumulative annual rates of death and disease from CSDEs are declining, and declining faster than the corresponding all-cause rates. The Countdown also fails to provide adequate context for the reader to judge the burdens of mortality or disease posed by CSDEs, individually or cumulatively, relative to other public-health threats. In fact, it even suggests that the health effects of climate change are ‘worsening’. But the data do not support that claim. Moreover, an analysis of the text makes it clear that the Countdown conflates estimates of increasing exposure, ‘demographic vulnerability’, and increased ‘suitability’ of disease transmission with actual health effects. These estimates are used as proxies, but trends in these estimates have not been verified to reflect, and do not track, long-term trends in deaths or death rates.
Figure 2: Burden of mortality from CSDEs, 1990–2017. The Forces of Nature group excludes deaths from geophysical causes per EMDAT (2019). Data per IHME (2019).
Johns Hopkins has a Corona Virus map that appears to be updated daily showing where confirmed cases have been reported, along with stats on deaths and recoveries. It gives a breakdown by country – I was surprised that the US showed 15 confirmed cases.
Summary: A new chapter has begun in the climate wars. The reason why reveals something about America – about us – that we must know if we are to steer America to a safe and prosperous future.
“I want doomster news stories in this newspaper, and plenty of them!”
In 2017 a new phase in the “debate” about the public policy response to climate change began with publication of “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells in New York magazine – “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak – sooner than you think.” It is typical alarmist propaganda – exaggerations, misrepresentations, with little context about the odds of these horrific things happening.
Contagion from Venezuela’s economic meltdown is literally spreading to neighboring nations — in the form of potentially deadly diseases among millions of refugees, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Medical officials in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela told the news outlet the collapse of Venezuela’s health system has turned the country into an incubator for malaria, yellow fever, diphtheria, dengue and tuberculosis, as well as the virus that causes AIDS.
Shortages of some life-saving antibiotics are putting growing numbers of patients at risk and fuelling the evolution of “superbugs” that do not respond to modern medicines, according to a new report on Thursday.
The non-profit Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) said there was an emerging crisis in the global anti-infectives market as fragile drug supply chains – reliant on just a few big suppliers – come close to collapse.