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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Global Warming saves lives!

The BBC has an article up about how global warming may save lives in the long run (at least in milder climes).

Essentially, even though severely hot summers can lead to increased fatalities (see France a couple of years ago) the milder winters means that death rates drop in a notoriously at-risk period.

A panel of scientific experts commissioned by the Department of Health and Health Protection Agency (HPA) has looked at the way the UK has responded to rising temperatures since the 1970s, and how the risks are likely to change.

While summers in the UK became warmer in the period 1971 - 2003, there was no change in heat-related deaths, while annual cold-related mortality fell by 3% as winters became milder - so overall fewer people died as a result of extreme temperatures.

Rather than physiological changes explaining our ability to adapt to rising temperatures, the report put this down primarily to lifestyle alterations: our readiness to wear more informal clothes, for instance, and the shift away from manual labour.

Now, my cynical inner voice (as quiet as it is on such a gloriously sunny day) is wondering how quickly those that dispute climate change will change tac. Again.

1) There is no global warming

2) There is global warming but it's got nothing to do with mankind (liberal conspiracy! or scientific fraud to get more funding!)

3) Mankind may have something to do with global warming but the sun has a much bigger effect

4) climate change is happening but it is a good thing and we should embrace it!

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