Dr. Indur M. Goklany, a top scientist on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the recent report by UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) predicting 250,000 deaths annually caused by global warming utilized "willful exaggerations" to promote more climate alarmism.
Remember the recent United Nations Climate Summit in New York featuring President Obama and other world leaders collectively wringing their hands over the alleged imminent danger from anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming? Remember the “People’s Climate March” featuring thousands of protesters demanding government action to restrict our energy use? Remember the World Heath Organization report on supposed “climate deaths” that was released ahead of the summit to gin up support for UN action? Remember the many news stories that cited the WHO study as proof for the need to approve a new climate treaty to replace the expired Kyoto Protocol at next year’s UN Climate Summit in Paris?
Now it appears that the WHO study, which was uncritically accepted as gospel by the usual suspects in the global warming alarmist choir, is falling apart under closer scientific scrutiny. According to climate expert Dr. Indur M. Goklany, the WHO report is “fundamentally flawed” and grossly exaggerates the deaths attributable to climate change. In a paper released on December 1 by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Dr. Goklany says WHO’s forecast that climate change would bring about 250,000 extra deaths annually between 2030 and 2050 is based on “absurd assumptions,” “willful exaggerations,” and “flawed methodologies.”
Dr. Goklany is a climate scientist who serves as assistant director of Programs, Science and Technology Policy at the U.S. Department of Interior. He was a member of the U.S. delegation that established the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and helped develop its First Assessment Report. He subsequently served as a U.S. delegate to the IPCC and an IPCC reviewer. Dr. Goklany is the author of Clearing the Air (1999), The Precautionary Principle: A Critical Appraisal (2001), The Improving State of the World (2007), and Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity (2012), as well as numerous studies published in the scientific literature.
“Because of its willful exaggerations,” says Goklany, “the WHO study risks scaring people into taking ill-considered costly actions to limit greenhouse gases rather than focusing on higher priority global health issues such as hunger, malaria and diarrhoeal diseases, which can be addressed at a fraction of the cost.”
In his paper “Unhealthy Exaggeration: The WHO report on climate change,” Goklany writes: “In the run-up to the UN climate summit in September 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) released, with much fanfare, a study that purported to show that global warming will exacerbate undernutrition (hunger), malaria, dengue, excessive heat and coastal flooding and thereby cause 250,000 additional deaths annually between 2030 and 2050. This study, however, is fundamentally flawed.”
“Firstly,” notes the WHO critic, “it uses climate model results that have been shown to run at least three times hotter than empirical reality (0.15°C vs 0.04°C per decade, respectively), despite using 27% lower greenhouse gas forcing.”
Secondly, he points out, the WHO report “ignores the fact that people and societies are not potted plants; that they will actually take steps to reduce, if not nullify, real or perceived threats to their life, limb and well-being. Thus, if the seas rise around them, heatwaves become more prevalent, or malaria, diarrheal disease and hunger spread, they will undertake adaptation measures to protect themselves and reduce, if not eliminate, the adverse consequences. This is not a novel concept. Societies have been doing just this for as long as such threats have been around, and over time and as technology has advanced they have gotten better at it.”
Moreover, he notes, as people have become wealthier, these technologies have become more affordable. Consequently, global mortality rates from malaria and extreme weather events, for instance, have been reduced at least five-fold in the past 60 years.
Finally, observes Goklany, the WHO report offers tortured arguments and flawed studies to get around the fact that increases in global CO2 concentrations are beneficial to plant growth and will therefore increase crop yields and decrease deaths due to undernutrition.
“Even if one assumes that the relationships between climatic variables and mortality used in this study are valid,” Goklany concludes, “considering the cumulative effect of the shortcomings noted above, the methodologies and assumptions used by the WHO inevitably exaggerate the future mortality increases attributed to global warming, perhaps several-fold.”
Dr. Goklany’s exposure of the WHO’s politicized science fraud come quickly on the heels of another WHO scandal in which the UN agency is being accused by African doctors of using tetanus vaccines in Kenya that are a disguise for population control.
Photo of World Health Organization logo at WHO headquarters in Geneva: AP Images