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This AP Piece heralds the new ruling by the EPA (its Endangerment Finding) that greenhouse gases endangers human health. Count how many times in that article we see evidence of the relationship between a warming planet and health and mortality outcomes?

Keep looking …

Keep looking …

You think the Greenpeace banner in the nearby picture provides this evidence?

Nope.

Try googling “mortality risk global warming” and notice how the serious and devastating mortality risks just jump right out at you. Look at all the links to the blogs, IPCC reports, governmental press releases, etc. on these risks.

And keep looking …

And keep looking …

So, what exactly are the mortality risks due to global warming (I assume it is happening and is man made for the sake of this argument)? We know for sure that more people die from cold exposure than from heat exposure – and that scientific studies show that a warmer planet will result in more deaths due to heat exposure … but that even more deaths from cold exposure will be averted.

A warmer planet is expected to exact its most serious toll on the spread of malaria by expanding the range of disease-carrying mosquitoes. But the contribution of warming to malaria is dwarfed by the contribution of poverty and institutional failures. Absent global warming, the population at risk for malaria is expected to double by 2080, killing two million people per year. Spending trillions to mitigate global warming each year is expected to reduce malaria incidence by seven percent, saving perhaps 140,000 lives per year. However, investing an additional $1.5 billion annually on malaria prevention and treatment today would cut the current annual world death toll by malaria in half – from one million to 500,000 per year, according to economist Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty. Saving nearly four times more lives for under two-thousandths of the cost is a good deal, particularly when economists believe that malaria alone is responsible for a “growth penalty” of up to 1.3 percent per year in many African countries.

I would support a carbon tax with a coupled reduction in payroll taxes – basically increasing the relative price of energy without making workers worse off. If climate activists, politicians and policymakers were truly serious about the risks of climate change, then they should be forced to make tradeoffs between their grand political schemes. Is a massive military force worth it? Are enormous subsidies to higher education worth it? Are corrupt and inefficient entitlement programs worth it? I am all for doing something on climate, but if I am being asked to make a tradeoff, why not the politicos? Free lunch sure is yummy until someone realizes there was arsenic in it. But we are not going to get a carbon tax, we are going to get a pork-ridden, special interest written cap and trade program that will raise prices, reduce competition in the regulated industries, not be offset with lower taxes elsewhere, and not lower global temperatures (or slow their growth) one iota, and we will all be poorer for it.

And where will the climate anti-capitalists be when more people die because of their ill-begotten schemes? Will they be pointing to the global data where the consensus is actually clear and solid – that the leading cause of mortality around the world is poverty?

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