Lost In Alarmism – 150,000 ‘climate change’ deaths a year

Who is causing the climate change alarmism – where does the 150,000 climate change deaths a year ‘fact’ come from. Although the 10:10 campaign, has their founder – Franny Armstrong – saying 300,000 deaths a year, did they just double it to make the climate change message more urgent?

Greenpeace say 150,000 deaths a year due to climate change (man made – presumably) on the Greenpeace website.  Is that just an eco lobby group being alarmist, or do they get their message from elsewhere?

The executive summary of The Institute of Public Policy Research document – ‘Positive Energy’ -2007, has it’s second sentence, to frame the entire document with an urgent ‘climate change’ message:

Behind the stories, real people are allready being hit, with climate change now killing 150,ooo people a year (1)

The IPPR is a major ‘progressive’, UK think tank that has adviced the UK Government over the last decade.

Here it is reported as a proven fact  – now killing – designed to give an explicit urgent message to governments and policy makers

I had to buy the report to find the reference, which was not included in the Executive Summary, (no politician usually gets beyond even the first couple of pages of an executive summary)

(1)World Health Organisation: Climate and Health – 2005 factsheet

I tracked this IPPR referenced factsheet down and this is presumably where the definite 150,000 ‘climate change’ deaths ‘facts’ for that report came from.

Measurement of health effects from climate change can only be very approximate. Nevertheless, a WHO quantitative assessment, taking into account only a subset of the possible health impacts, concluded that the effects of the climate change that has occurred since the mid-1970s may have caused over 150,000 deaths in 2000. It also concluded that these impacts are likely to increase in the future.

The WHO factsheet also says 600,000 deaths annually due to natural extreme weather related events – of which 95% in poor countries. Thus the biggest killer is being poor, not ‘climate change’, yet the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change have even defined ‘climate change’ to only mean man made, excluding ALL natural climate forcings…

The authors of the report appear to have turned the very approximate information on man made climate change deaths in the WHO document(itself subject to criticism) into a fact. The authors, Simon Retallack (Head of Climate Change – IPPR, Tim Lawrence, (Post Graduate Researcher), Matthew Lockwood (Now Associate Director) have little in the way climate science scientific qualifications, they have the usual political  career or lobby group  favourite qulaifications of economics or philosophy and a surprisingly common geography background and  careers of politics, media, NGO’s and environmental lobbying groups.

As we have learned the advice from Futerra was (a co founder is on the advisory panel for the report) is – ‘the facts need to be taken for granted’

From The Telegraph:

This resulted in the creation of a propaganda body called The Climate Change Working Group which in turn sought PR advice from a company called Futerra communications.

Futerra – recommended the following policy:   

To help address the chaotic nature of the climate change discourse in the UK today, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won, at least for popular communications. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken [emphasis added].

The IPPR Advisory Panel for this report was made up of arguably various ‘climate change’ interested groups and indivuals, noteable climate connections are:

Solitaire TownsendFuterra co-founder (Environmental CommunicationsRules of the Game – Climategate document)

Bryony Worthington – Now a Labour Peer, 10:10 Campaign Board Member, Instrumental in writing the 2008 Uk Climate Change Act, Founder of Sandbag (campaigning for CO2 emmisions trading)

This approach to communicating ‘climate change’ is how ‘facts’ like a 150,000 deaths get generated in simplistic communications straegies, which then get treated as undeniable evidence by lobby groups and repeated. If anyone questions where these facts are coming from it is usually quite difficult to get an answer, if people persist, the are you a ‘sceptic’ or ‘climate change deniar’ rhetoric comes out, thus closing any hope of a debate.

Of course if the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change can use a definition of  Climate Change in public policy documents that exclude any natural processes of climate change, there is little hope of any sensible debate about science with them, if  ‘facts’ are merely to be defined as required to suit a policy message.

from the Glossary:

“Climate Change
The process of changing weather patterns caused by the increased number of greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere as a result of human activity since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”

 ’A guide to carbon offsetting for the public sector’ – Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK

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9 Responses to Lost In Alarmism – 150,000 ‘climate change’ deaths a year

  1. Tom in Texas says:

    Barry, I caught your “tip” @ WUWT, and laughed @ the name of your blog. Great choice.

    I’ll check out your other posts when I have more time.

  2. LabMunkey says:

    It’s a very old, very simple and very effective political technique- obfuscate and repeat ad infinitum.

    As the saying goes, say a lie enough and people will believe it- or in the example of Climate change, bury the truth deep enough and hope now one bothers to look.

  3. Pingback: Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Dec 9th 2010 « The Daily Bayonet

  4. A C Osborn says:

    Nice Site Barry.

  5. Barry Woods says:

    Found in the comments at Guardian of all places, probably where 10:10 get their 300,000 figure from;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/9224943

    the estimated 300,000 people a year already dying as a result of AGW
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/29/1

    The 300,000 people referred to are alive and living in poverty due to funds being diverted from poverty relief to climate change mitigation. The Global Humanitarian Forum, which invented the figure of 300,000 deaths, is unfortunately deceased, havig been killed by ridicule when it was pointed out that its report was pure fantasy

  6. 300k sounds a lot but as you say the biggest killer is being poor. Most of the world isn’t like us with our regimented cradle to grave healthcare. There are millions of people in poor countries who never get counted, don’t go to school, don’t have a birth certificate or death certificate, who live in shanty towns, favelas, slums call them what you will. You can quibble with the 300k figure if you like it’s an estimate . But my answer would be that we are talking about people who were difficult to count whilst alive, so it’s going to be impossible to say we have a firm body count. So , what figure would you like to put on it Barry ? What’s the Realclimategate death toll for AGW in 2011 ? And how would you arrive at said figure?

    • Barry Woods says:

      All I know, is that if you dealt with the local issues relating to those extreme weather death, now, ie poverty, infrastructure, sanitation, etc. It would save lifes NOW.. And IF the more catastrophic version were true in future yers, those actions taken now, would save lifes then, as well..

      Poverty kills, decarbonisation is a distraction from this.

  7. I am reminded of the infamous headline attributed to Claude Cockburn : “Small Earthquake in Chile – Not Many Dead”

  8. Barry Woods says:

    The problem is which ‘projection’ do you choose to show. The cynic would say only the worst case projections will be shown, however unlikely Better to be open and show all projections, sea level as an example, from low to high, people can then use their own judge­ ment, dependent on percieved risk. Ie sea level. Some might take descidion to sell, or a business move away from a low lying house ir business property,others may choose to accept a’risk’ and benefit. Overtime, with minimal impact this would not be detrimental. No diiferent to ebbs and flows in rise and fall in properties in locations whose desireab­ ility varies over time.

    But, As yet, for example, I do not see any celebrity champions of catastrophic climate change champions selling their beach front properties, nor abstaining from long hall,co2 emitting flights, to low lying exotic holiday destinations. That may sound flippant or a cheap shot.But the public do notice if the most vocal, on any issue, appear not to practice whst they preach

    Of course some one say, this shows we are all in ‘denial’ of future climate cstastrophy. I really do understand this hypothesis, but I don’t think it stsnd up to serious scrutiny.

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