A Reuters story a couple of weeks ago said "Carbon Dioxide pollution kills hundreds a Year." Wow. To give one a sense of scale, cold weather kills about 700 people a year in the US alone. So let me see, we want to hamstring the world’s economy and keep hundreds of millions of people in poverty to save fewer people than those who are killed in turn by cold weather?
But the silliness does not end here. This is what the story says:
The deaths were due to lung and heart ailments linked to ozone and polluting particles in the air, which are spurred by carbon dioxide that comes from human activities, according to the study’s author, Mark Jacobson of Stanford University.
As the planet warms due to carbon dioxide emissions, the annual death rate is forecast to climb, with premature deaths in the United States from human-generated carbon dioxide expected to hit 1,000 a year when the global temperature has risen by 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).
By the way, don’t expect a better explanation of the mechanism of death further in the story, because it is not there, nor should you expect any counter-vailing opinions in this patented Adcocay-press-release-masquerading-as-a-Reuters-story. Here is a big hint for everyone, though: Ozone and some particulate pollution can cause health problems. However, they have nothing to do with CO2 and global warming except that they are coincidently both created by burning fossil fuels. Warmer weather can increase ground ozone levels, but it is absurd to say that this is any kind of substantial mechanism, and nowhere do we see any evidence of how ozone related health problems may scale with temperature. But we can be suspicious because the author is saying deaths go from 700 at 0.8 degrees C increase (which he says is the current level) to 1000 at 1.0 degrees C. So there are 300 more annual deaths just from 0.2C rise? If so, why, when temperatures rise 20C or more in the Phoenix summer, then, aren’t people dropping like flies?
This is just another great example of how incentives work. Funding for academic studies is always hard. A professor who wants to study ozone effect on heath may not get funding. But there is much more available if he pitches it as global warming effect on health, focusing on ozone.