The best way to garner headlines in the global warming game is to generate scary scenarios about how many people will die in its wake. While many people view global warming as some esoteric concern of environmentalists, it does at least raise one’s eyebrows when you hear a phrase like “global warming deaths.”
It’s little surprise then that a “Review” article that just appeared in Nature magazine has caught so much attention. The review by Jonathan Patz of the University of Wisconsin and three colleagues essentially is a selective culling of the scientific literature—some recent, some not—on climate change and possible health impacts across the planet. And it should also be little surprise to the readers of this column that prospects are bad.
In an effort to provide balance, we’ll briefly review key portions of the paper and provide a much-needed perspective that was unfortunately missing.