Taking a page from Democrat Party political hack Rahm Emanuel’s playbook, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” politicized commentators, reporters, and scientists are shamefully trying to link legitimate fears of the coronavirus pandemic to all manner of purported climate disasters.
Over the past month, writers for Climate Realism have repeatedly documented the myriad attempts by climate alarmists to link COVID-19 to false claims that climate change, supposedly caused by humans, will cause deadly pandemics to become more frequent and severe.
In an editorial in The Hill, Vinod Thomas, former director-general and senior vice president of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank Group, an organization that has blocked critical energy projects in poor developing countries in order to fight climate change, writes concerning global warming, “There is a link to pandemics, like COVID-19, and a warmer world, coupled with human encroachment into wildlife habitats, and greater possibilities of animal-to-human virus transmissions.”
Not to be outdone in spinning climate fairy tales, Time magazine climate writer Justin Worland writes, “I have no evidence that climate change triggered this particular virus to jump from animals to humans at this particular time, or that a warmer planet has helped it spread. That said, it’s pretty clear that, broadly speaking, climate change is likely to lead to an uptick in future epidemics caused by viruses and other pathogens.”
Business Insider and the Scientific American also published articles hyping a purported climate change-pandemic link. Notably, the author of the Business Insider article titled “Climate change is only going to make health crises like coronavirus more frequent and worse” is the founder of a company that markets waste-to-energy products as a low-carbon-dioxide alternative to conventional energy. He obviously has a vested financial interest in promoting false climate scares by inaccurately linking a frightening viral outbreak to carbon-dioxide emissions.
The piece in Scientific American was written by World Health Organization (WHO) researcher Arthur Wyns. Wyns’ article could be viewed as an attempt to divert attention from the WHO’s awful response to the coronavirus, a classic case of misdirection. Wyns argues we should blame the climate, not the WHO, for the spread of COVID-19. The WHO downplayed COVID-19’s severity even after thousands of people across dozens of countries had been infected and died, failing to declare it a pandemic until long after it had become apparent it was.
Adding insult to injury, WHO acted as propaganda minister for China’s communist leadership, using China’s state media talking points repeatedly to praise the country’s response to the pandemic while downplaying the fact China was the source of the virus and its leaders’ actions increased its spread. WHO also opposed countries closing their borders to travelers from China, leaving America, Europe, and the rest of the world open to disease carriers fleeing the Wuhan province. Disgustingly, CNN and other anti-Trump media outlets in the United States did the same thing.
As every one of those writers should be well aware, any purported link between transmissible diseases and climate change is false. Numerous studies demonstrate transmissible diseases such as the flu and COVID-19 are far more prevalent during fall, winter, and early spring, when the weather is cold and damp, than in the summer months when it is warm and dry. Everyone knows the “flu season” runs from fall through early spring. Colds are less common in the summer as well, although they are of course not unheard of.
Historically, colder periods are linked to famine, as crops fail, and the rapid spread of pandemics, such as the bubonic plague, which ran rampant during the Little Ice Age. During relatively warm periods, by contrast, pandemics typically wane, though they do not disappear, and hunger and malnutrition both decline sharply. Chapter 7 of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change Reconsidered: Biological Impacts details the results of dozens of peer-reviewed studies and reports showing premature deaths from illness and disease are far more prevalent during colder periods.
In 2010, British Broadcasting Corporation health correspondent Clare Murphy analyzed mortality statistics from the UK’s Office of National Statistics from 1950 through 2007 and found, “For every degree the temperature drops below 18C [64 degrees Fahrenheit], deaths in the UK go up by nearly 1.5 percent.”
U.S. Interior Department analyst Indur Goklany found similar results in a study of official U.S. mortality statistics. According to those official statistics, an average of 7,200 Americans die each day during the months of December, January, February, and March, compared to 6,400 each day during the rest of the year.
In an article published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004, W. R. Keatinge and G. C. Donaldson noted, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.”
In a study published in Lancet in 2015, researchers examining health data from 384 locations in 13 countries accounting for more than 74 million deaths—a huge sample size from which to draw sound conclusions—found cold weather directly or indirectly killed 1,700 percent more people than hot weather.
“[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,” the study states.
Commenting on the Lancet study in a 2017 New York Times article, author Jane Brody wrote, “Over 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.”
Contrary to the assertions of fearmongers pushing a climate delusion, the wealth of scientific evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion it is cold, not heat, that kills, and thus a modestly warmer world with shorter, less severe winters should result in fewer premature deaths. That’s the truth, and anyone saying otherwise is either badly misinformed or lying.