D.C., April 9, 2008—This week
committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives will be holding
hearings on whether global warming will cause future harm to human health. As
they examine this question, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urges them to
consult the extensive statistical evidence that warmer temperatures and
climates are overwhelmingly safer and healthier.
“We are skeptical that the warming predicted by activists
will ever appear, but even if it does, the available evidence suggests that
slightly warmer temperatures would be a boon for human health and well being,”
said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo
Lewis. “The threats from extreme cold dramatically outweigh those from
extreme heat, and whatever possible influence future warming may have on
extreme weather, the record of the 20th century—allegedly a period
of ‘unprecedented’ global warming—is clear: Both mortality rates and aggregate
mortality related to extreme weather have declined dramatically since the 1920s.”
In addition to fewer cold-related deaths, a slight warming
caused, in part, by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, would increase
agricultural productivity, reduce heating costs and improve transportation safety.
Despite dramatic rhetoric that a warmer world would represent a categorical
disaster for mankind, most people would likely experience an increase in
overall well being.
“Not only do global warming alarmists ignore the
advantages of a warmer world, but, even more troublingly, they advocate
policies that we know would make the world poorer and less resilient to changes
of any kind,” said Lewis. “The central policy they advocate – limiting access
to affordable energy – would have a far worse impact on poor and vulnerable
populations around the world than any expected rise in average global
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