Heatwaves

I’ve been away for a week (more about this later, maybe), so haven’t had a chance to post anything. It has been a fairly warm week here in the UK, so it’s seem worth mentioning a recent paper about the global risk of deadly heat. It’s been covered already by Carbon Brief, so I don’t need to say much (I’ll probably fail).

Credit: Mora et al. (2017)

A key point is illustrated in the figure on the right, which shows temperature and relative humidity. The black crosses shows temperature and relative humidity during events that were lethal. The blue line shows the likely boundary between lethal and non-lethal events, and the red line is a 95% probability threshold (which, I think, means almost certainly deadly). Our body (in fact, any mammal’s body) generates heat, and the ability to transfer that heat away depends on temperature and relative humidity, and there is a combination of temperature and relative humidity above which it is no longers possible to do so. As the paper says

The fact that temperature and relative humidity best predict times when climatic conditions become deadly is consistent with human thermal physiology, as they are both directly related to body heat exchange. First, the combination of an optimum body core temperature (that is, ~37<supoC), the fact that our metabolism generates heat (~100 W at rest) and that an object cannot dissipate heat to an environment with equal or higher temperature (that is, the second law of thermodynamics), dictates that any ambient temperature above 37oC should result in body heat accumulation and a dangerous exceedance of the optimum body core temperature (hyperthermia). Second, sweating, the main process by which the body dissipates heat, becomes ineffective at high relative humidity (that is, air saturated with water vapour prevents evaporation of sweat); therefore, body heat accumulation can occur at temperatures lower than the optimum body core temperature in environments of high relative humidity.

The Carbon Brief article does highlight some criticisms of this study (the available data did not cover all parts of the world, for example). However, it does seem clear that if we continue to emit CO2 into the atmosphere, we will continue to warm and a larger fraction of the world (and a larger fraction of the world’s population) will experience heatwave conditions (combinations of temperature and relative humidity) that could be deadly.

This is a key point, though. How these conditions will change in the future will depend on what emission (and, hence, concentation) pathway we actually follow. Climate change isn’t guaranteed to lead to a substantial increase in the probability of these conditions occuring; it largely depends on what we choose to do, or not do.

Links:
An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress (Sherwood & Huber 2009).

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211 Responses to Heatwaves

  1. As far as I’m concerned this is a killer point in any discussion with someone who is uninformed about climate change. Most of those people (probably the majority of the population) are aware of what climate change is but, other than sea level rise, are not really up to speed on its potential negative effects later this century. Of course, for Brits, there is a tendency to say “Oh good; we could do with more warm weather”, but they don’t realise that extreme heat combined with near 100% humidity is likely result in panic mass migration from the Middle East on a scale way beyond anything we’ve seen so far. It’s hard to repatriate someone to a country that can no longer support human life all year round.

    Extreme heat with high humidity is not something anyone can stick out—you need to anticipate it or you’re dead in a few hours. Of course people can buy air conditioners and go indoors and turn it up, but how sure can we be that the grid isn’t going to fail when everyone is doing the same?

  2. BBD says:

    Not much good for agriculture either.

  3. Humidity is something people tend to forget. When they go on holidays in a warm country it is typically a subtropical country with dry air where you can sweat well and be comfortable. That is very different from climate change where it will just get hotter, but the relative humidity will stay about the same.

    Make Dinosaurs Great Again.

  4. Magma says:

    Heat waves are analogous to floods in that the difference between inconvenience and disaster can be just a couple of degrees or a few tens of cm.

    The frightening thing about that Mora et al. figure is the implied increase in mortality with each degree rise in average global temperature. After brief periods of acclimatization I’ve worked in reasonable comfort in desert areas in heat into the upper 30s, but those were peak afternoon temperatures (and the relative humidity was very low). The plot reproduced here shows mean daily surface temperatures, not the highs.

    Despite the often-stated but questionable claim that excess cold kills more people than heat, it’s generally possible to keep warm even in extreme cold, as the Inuit and other circumpolar indigenous peoples have demonstrated for thousands of years. But it’s impossible to cool oneself in a hot humid environment near or above body temperature. And just like physics, biochemistry and physiology aren’t fooled by denier and lukewarmer rhetoric.

  5. Magma,

    The frightening thing about that Mora et al. figure is the implied increase in mortality with each degree rise in average global temperature.

    IIRC, maximum wet bulb temperature goes up by about 0.7oC for every 1oC of global warming.

  6. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Here’s a quicker and bigger interactive map than the one included in the Carbon Brief article about Mora et al.:

    https://maps.esri.com/globalriskofdeadlyheat/

    I had a look the other day and didn’t find it very useful but another quick look just now revealed that the British slang term ‘a bit iffy’ has spread as far as Hawaii, so it’s not a total waste of time.

    See the 2012 Las Palmas record entered by Mora et al. Hawaii Uni co-author Matt Lucas. (Unless…)

    Affected: elederly british tourist on holiday

    Condition: cardiopulmonary and respotory failure, air quality issues involving PM10 & PM2.5 from sarrahian dust storms

    Notes: bit iffy for heatway

    Watch out for that Sarrahian dust, peeps, especially if you’re elederly. It’ll make your respotation a bit iffy during a heatway.

  7. Vinny,

    Here’s a quicker and bigger interactive map than the one included in the Carbon Brief article about Mora et al.:

    Thanks. Not quite sure what the rest of your comment is about, though.

  8. Willard says:

    > As far as I’m concerned this is a killer point in any discussion with someone who is uninformed about climate change.

    I’m afraid it doesn’t stop there:

  9. JCH says:

    Really old people can do just fine in a “Heatwave”?

  10. angech says:

    Temp of the Russian heat wave referred to was 24 to 31 degrees. Hardly a heat wave to anyone in the tropics.
    The interesting thing was the number of events at lower temperatures that did not cause excess deaths, hence indicating that warming people up when they were cold was more likely to lead to them surviving.
    That excess heat can be a problem is not a surprise. What is obvious is that more people survive and thrive in warmer than in colder climates around the world.
    200 people in Antarctica and 2 billion in India.
    Heat is good, too much not so good, cold is bad.

  11. global temp lag is at least a decade behind CO2 increase in the atmosphere, so we have a significant amount of global temp increase already in the pipeline based on CO2 level of say, 407 ppm. We are looking at the heat impact of CO2 levels of about 390 ppm at this time. Prepare to experience a seriously de-stablized planet. How do you prepare for that?

  12. T-rev says:

    >it largely depends on what we choose to do, or not do.

    Looking at these graphs,

    http://www.csiro.au/greenhouse-gases/

    it does kind of look like we have made a choice ? Especially factoring in:
    1. lag
    2. decades of coming emisions if we did miraculously try to turn things about and considering the difficulties of something as innocuous as Paris which isn’t binding anyway … any substantial international agreement seems… unlikely and
    3. CO2e warming of 50 ppm from aerosol reduction (see the Mann article below and a quote)

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

    >An ECS of three degrees C means that if we are to limit global warming to below two degrees C forever, we need to keep CO2 concentrations far below twice preindustrial levels, closer to 450 ppm. Ironically, if the world burns significantly less coal, that would lessen CO2 emissions but also reduce aerosols in the atmosphere that block the sun (such as sulfate particulates),

    and this the important part

    >so we would have to limit CO2 to below roughly 405 ppm.

    Looking at the ironically named Cape Grim chart for CO2 concentrations…

  13. Ken Fabian says:

    More air conditioning, because that’s essential? More coal power and gas plants to run that essential A/C? Lift all restrictions on more coal and gas mining so there is a consistent glut on the market, so that prices are kept down … because poor people and the need for A/C? No Carbon pricing – poor people again? No low emissions transition or new RE because it puts pressure on electricity supply systems that are essential for the A/C – poor people could die of heat and that will be the fault of “warmists” and RE? But maybe not.

    I don’t know how we find ourselves in the position where a CEO of Australia’s biggest coal generation company now believes that RE with storage is the cheapest new “baseload” – it certainly wasn’t the foresight, commitment and planning of our mainstream political parties that brough this about. Gesture politics with the intent of doing the least that can be gotten away with (and avoid derision for denial) running nose to nose with denial politics doing the least that can be gotten away with (but with extra conviction and to avoid derision for taking science seriously) … seems to have delivered a desperately needed way forward in spite of themselves

  14. Eli Rabett says:

    There are two important points about this. First, history does not stop in 2100. Second, even if there are a few days a year above 37 C web bulb, places (like the Ganges Valley) become uninhabitable

    See here and here for more links, but as someanonobunny said it’s the creeping statistical hints in these papers that makes the hairs on Eli’s head stand up.

  15. russellseitz says:

    Sounds like great days ahead for such hatters as can avoid the mad dogs in the noonday sun.

    Maybe they’ll do something about the albedo of Singapore before then.

  16. Eli,

    even if there are a few days a year above 37 C web bulb, places (like the Ganges Valley) become uninhabitable

    Yes, I don’t think this point is fully appreciated.

    angech,

    Temp of the Russian heat wave referred to was 24 to 31 degrees. Hardly a heat wave to anyone in the tropics.

    Really? According to this Met Office webpage, it exceeded 40oC.

  17. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote “Heat is good, too much not so good, cold is bad.”

    unless you are a polar bear, or like skiing, or want permafrost to stay as permafrost, etc…

    Change is bad, rapid change is very bad; it requires adaption, and adaption has costs (adapting to wet bulb temperatures above 37C may have a cost exceeding some peoples ability to pay).

  18. Marco says:

    “2 billion in India”

    Where did you find those 718 million extra people?

    But more seriously: some people do not seem to know the diversity in climate in India. apparently the same people who think India has 2 billion inhabitants.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_India#/media/File:India_climatic_zone_map_en.svg
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_India#/media/File:India_population_density_map_en.svg
    Someone might note, combining those two maps, that people in India prefer to live in the subtropical wet region and tropical wet regions.

  19. Steven Mosher says:

    I can’t find a single reference to kalkstein in their references.
    Hmm.

  20. JCH says:

    Perhaps cold men thrive. One hint, the two countries with the longest male life expectancy are Switzerland and Iceland.

  21. JCH says:

    USA – life expectancy (cold winter states dominate) by states –

    the generally colder:

    the generally hotter:

    And, south to north, lowest life expectancy – Mexico; next up – USA; winner with the longest – Canada.

    It’s possible winter death rates are high in states/countries with milder winters.

  22. izen says:

    As Eli suggests in his post above this is an extremely slow motion ‘Catastrophe’.
    Deaths from heatwaves and from extreme 37C/wet bulb temps will rise incrementally. As always it will affect the young, old, and infirm; but predominately, the poor. As such it will be subject to neglect and victim-blaming.

    Like sea level rise the problem will encroach slowly so that reactive piecemeal adaption is the likely response. Gradually as more regions become untenable without massive expenditure of resources governments will respond, probably too little too late. Or as suggested above inappropriately with coal-fired AC.

    Eventually as with sea level rise there will be acceptance that certain regions previously considered major coastal cities or fertile agricultural regions are no longer viable, even with massive sea walls or extensive solar AC deployment. As with the dry deserts and high polar regions more of the Earth will become uninhabitable without massive resource expenditure that would only be justified by a profitable return.

    As with sea level rise I see no prospect of these incremental effects of AGW driving a proactive response in reducing emissions. The gradual nature of the damage has historically only provoked incremental adaption from governments. Preventative measures are only taken AFTER the ‘horse has bolted’.

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  24. BBD says:

    angech

    Temp of the Russian heat wave referred to was 24 to 31 degrees. Hardly a heat wave to anyone in the tropics.

    As ATTP has pointed out, this is wrong (too low). And what did the heatwave do to Russian grain yields?

  25. JCH says:

    BBD – in 2011 I had a conversation with a West Texas cotton farmer. The Texas summer in 2011 was hot and dry. He was a cotton farmer and his father was a cotton farmer on the same land. He said he had plants die in the heat while being irrigated. Something neither he nor his father had ever seen happen. A person listening in on the conversation piped up that the same thing had happened to him. He raised nursery stock in Arkansas. Died from heat stress while being irrigated.

  26. Eli Rabett says:

    JCH, we send the snowflakes to Florida.

  27. scraft1 says:

    You’re saying a 30 deg C day with 60% relative humidity is lethal? You’re nuts. In North Carolina I play golf regularly in that kind of weather, and walk 9 holes when the RH is closer to 80%. I cut the grass with a walk-behind mower in that weather.

    I’m also 73 years old. Obviously, this is uncomfortable weather for a lot of people but I can’t remember anyone around here dying because of it.

    If your aren’t used to it, this weather would be fairly miserable but obviously it depends on what you’re accustomed to. People obviously adjust to much worse in the tropics.

  28. John Hartz says:

    Five days ago, the WMO posted a report on current warm conditions around the world. The introduction reads as follows:

    Parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and southwestern USA have seen extremely high May and June temperatures, with a number of records broken. The heatwaves in Europe, which started unusually early, is now forecast to move eastwards to the eastern Mediterranean. They come as the Earth experiences another exceptionally warm year.

    Average global surface temperatures over land and sea were the second highest on record for the first five months of 2017, according to analyses by NOAA, NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Copernicus Climate Change Service.

    Only 2016 saw higher global temperatures due to a combination of a very powerful El Niño event, which has a warming impact, and long-term climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. So far in 2017 there has been no El Niño event.

    Climate change scenarios predict that heatwaves will become more intense, more frequent and longer. It is also expected that the number of hot days and warm nights will continue to rise.

    Records fall amid heatwaves, World Meterological Organization (WMO), June 20, 2017

  29. russellseitz says:

    I had the misfortune to be sent on archaeological recon in Guatemala’s Motagua Valley in June, with Carribean humidity and noonday temperatures in the low forties C. I lost my hat on day two, and it took half an hour to get back to the jeep and pour a canteen over my head. It took my short term memory months to recover.

  30. Mal Adapted says:

    Our host:

    Eli,

    even if there are a few days a year above 37 C web bulb, places (like the Ganges Valley) become uninhabitable

    Yes, I don’t think this point is fully appreciated.

    That ESRI site of Vinny’s is nifty, and horrifying. Evidently, even under RCP4.5 (peak emissions in 2040), most of coastal and insular S and SE Asia and the wet tropics of Africa and the Americas will be practically uninhabitable by 2050.

    I don’t know about all y’all, but I’m planning to still be alive in 2050. We are cursed, to live in such interesting times.

  31. Susan Anderson says:

    I’ve formed the habit of checking the daily temperatures at Nullschool. It’s an education to watch the fine detail in the context of daily events and overall trends. Nonscientists appear ill trained to accept the concept of geological time, let alone watching decades of information over the whole planet. There’s another scorcher for our Southwest today: temps in the mid 40s (45C = 113F), after a brief window of relief. (It’s nighttime right now so they’re down a bit.) North flowing rivers in Siberia, the tropical storm on southwest Mexican coast, all intriguing to the observant:
    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=225.76,71.62,415

    Our NYTimes had a goodish article (Brad Plumer’s arrival has resulted in a spate of good reporting; sadly it coincided with the hatefest over hiring Stephens on the “Opinion” side (not to mention NYT obliviousness to humanity’s needs). As a member of the commentariat, I note that their effort to put it front and center was ill supported by “clicks”* while Trump news continues to “excite”.* Unfortunately we cannot change human nature, and the NYT is stuck with the commercial model in default of a reality-centric world bent on working together to solve problems.

    As long as news is sensation and click-driven, repetition of the useless obvious will drive news, while essential information goes missing where it is most needed.

    [*readers’ picks top clickcount on heat article, which was front and center for a day earlier this week: 29 votes; on Trump 1192, while my mediocre effort got 525.]

  32. scraft1,

    You’re saying a 30 deg C day with 60% relative humidity is lethal? You’re nuts.

    First time commenter? Good start. It’s not me and it’s not quite what is being shown. The black crosses are actual events in which people died because of heat stress, so it would seem that it could be lethal. [Edit: Actually, you need to bear in mind that the temperature shown is the average daily temperature, not the maximum for that day].

  33. Joshua says:

    OT – but amusing sameosameo….

    In which Judith Currysplains what Trump actually meant when he tweeted about “Chinese hoaxes.”

    https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pge6QyyZx6

    Close to the end….it’s a work of art and a thing of beauty. Jumped the shark doesn’t suffice. Judith has jumped the blue whale.

  34. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of heatwaves and their impacts on humans….

    A spike in temperature across the Southwest has left many in Arizona gasping for breath.

    An excessive heat warning from the state’s Department of Health Services remained in effect for over a dozen counties on Sunday, with temperatures of up to 120 degrees expected to last through Monday in La Paz, Maricopa and Mohave Counties.

    According to the state, excessive natural heat killed close to 1,300 people from 2005 to 2015. In 2016, 130 people died of heat-related causes in Maricopa, the southern county that contains Phoenix and is home to more than four million people.

    Extreme Heat Scorches Southern Arizona by Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times, June 25, 2017

  35. Susan Anderson says:

    John Hartz, that’s an excellent article, good collection of anecdotes. Quite a bit of real-time evidence of dangerous heat from medical resources.

    Tells a story, don’t it:

    Ms. Loar announces that it “is officially mitten season here in Arizona.”

    “Not because cooler temperatures are on the horizon or because snowfall is in our near and/or very distant future,” she continues. “But so that I can grab my steering wheel without having to check myself into a burn unit.”

  36. russellseitz says:

    The irony is that extreme heat puts at risk the thermal power plants , both coal fired and nuclear, that run the air conditioners that make hot regions comfortably habitable- the problem is that they can face solar heat load several time larger than all the heat and energy that they generate.

    When tropical waters grow uncomfortably warm, solar heating can drive swimming pools on their shores to blood heat and beyond, turning the prospect of relief into the threat of hot tub hyperthermia. Power plant efficiency plunges when cooling ponds get hot, and even mild ocean temperatures can lead to shutdowns when climate change drives older plants past their original design limits, as when the reactors at Connecticut’s Millbrook power station shit down when Long Island Sound got to 75 F , and fossil fuel fired stations in the American South have to go off line when their ponds reach the 100F EPA limit for cooling water release or overflow into adjacent natural waters .

    This of course attended by increased evaporation , and an unwanted addition to the heat island effect of urban and sububan power plants. But we have a cunning plan:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpotupJanKti1t1Nuj3gZA

  37. izen says:

    @-“Speaking of heatwaves and their impacts on humans….”

    Linking to an article that requires a subscription to view makes it difficult to judge if it made any effort to provide a context, or if these reports of ~ 130 deaths from heatwaves per year in Arizona are significant or negligible.

    Without some background this becomes ‘Alarmism’, warning of a danger as if it is serious and significant without providing the background to asses whether it is now, or might in the future have any societal impact.

    It appears that for every person that dies from a heatwave in Arizona, around 10 commit suicide.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/arizona.htm

    If the death rate from heatwaves in Arizona was to double, it would still be an order of magnitude smaller than the death rate from diabetes. Trying to motivate or engage people with he policy issue by highlighting a danger, but failing to provide a context that reveals how small a problem it is compared with the main issues that face a society may not be optimal science communication.

  38. John Hartz says:

    A number of news articles about extreme heat have been published in the past week or so. In addition to those cited upstream, here are four more…

    From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots by John Vidal, Guardian, June 23, 2017

    The World Is Burning by IPS News Desk, Inter Press Service (IPS), June 23, 2017

    Southwest’s Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life in a Warming World by Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, June 23, 2017

    The Southwest U.S. heat wave broke dozens of temperature records, giving us a glimpse at our climate future by Andrew Freedman, Mashable, June 23, 2017

  39. Jeff Harvey says:

    The real problem I see from some of the commenters here is that they appear to think that humans are somehow mysteriously exempt from the laws of nature. This is a common symptom of those who do not understand basic environmental science or ecology, but who equate climate change impacts primarily or even solely in terms of the material economy and in turn on human welfare. Ecologists keep having to bang home the message that the natural economy not only matters with respect to anthropogenic stressors, but that humans depend on nature in a myriad of ways for our survival. Ecological systems are in effect complex and adaptive and generate conditions that permit humans to exist and to persist (as Simon Levin elegantly wrote in ‘Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the Commons’ [1999]). Thus, when extreme weather events linked with anthropogenic global warming do negatively affect natural systems, these effects rebound onto our material economies and can have harmful and even devastating effects. I really don’t want to spend any more time explaining the importance of regulating and supporting ecosystem services except to say that if these are seriously harmed by warming or attendant extreme weather events, then humans will have a lot more to worry about than heat-related deaths.

  40. scraft1 says:

    ATTP…

    Where I live in coastal NC, July and August are pretty unpleasant. I don’t know for a fact but I would guess that the average daily temperature is 83-84F, with average RH in the 70’s, which “your” chart would define as a deadly event. That is nonsense (I said you’re nuts – I retract that – you have some weird views but you’re not nuts, IMHO).

    The practical effect of this kind of weather is that people with outside jobs start work at 7 – 7:30 and quit around 2:30 – 3. If you play outdoor sports most do that in the morning, but the rates go down in the afternoon and some people play then anyway.

    Those unfortunate enough not to have AC can have an unpleasant day, but I grew up without AC and we all somehow managed to survive. Just about everyone here has AC anyway or have access to it during the day.

    This is not a “heat wave” by any definition. I don’t doubt that someone may have died in this weather, but they would have to have had compromised health and/or acted real stupid.

    According to the chart, deadly heat waves have occurred with average RH of 65-70% and average F temps from the high 60’s to the mid 80’s. This is right in the sweet spot of the graph, and I would say that this presentation is ludicrous on its face.

    You presented the chart. DO you care to defend it?

  41. Eli Rabett says:

    Yeah, first of all it is mostly the heat AND the humidity. Second, not everybunny is young and healthy so heat related excess mortality (which is what they studied) can kill under conditions that you find peachy keen or at least you claim to. Each cross is a data point for a condition where people died.

    There are not many crosses to the right of the red line because those conditions are still relatively rare. They will soon not be so rare.

  42. Mal Adapted says:

    Jeff Harvey:

    Ecologists keep having to bang home the message that the natural economy not only matters with respect to anthropogenic stressors, but that humans depend on nature in a myriad of ways for our survival.

    As someone who pursued a childhood fascination with ‘natural history’ through two years in a Ph.D. program in Ecology and Evolution, I’m receptive to Jeff’s message. The problem, not only with some commenters here but with a dismaying large fraction of my countrymen, is an abysmal ignorance of and indifference to all natural phenomena not obviously related to human welfare. I’m sure Jeff, at least, is acquainted with Aldo Leopold’s remark in “Round River”:

    One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.

    FWIW, I attest the truth of Leopold’s lament.

  43. scraft1 says:

    I’m 73, and I said nothing about these conditions being “peachy keen”. It’s what people live with and work around every day. They have affected just about everyone in the U.S. (outside of Alaska) at one time or another, but in the southeast they’re quite common..

    I’m not a statistician so I’m not sure what “heat related excess mortality” is. I’m sure people die in heat and humidity all the time, and sometimes the heat has something to do with it. But why is it that every high school football player in North Carolina (with the possible exception of those in the mountains) has two practices a day in these conditions? Someone dies of heat stress every now and then, but it seems that there’s some congenital condition that was hidden at the time.

    The point is that this graph is being presented as one of the chamber of horrors that we can expect with global warming. It might be convincing to someone that agrees with you already, but the truth is that people survive and thrive in these conditions all the time. If it gets hotter it will be incremental so 99.99% of the people will adjust.

    What we have here, Eli, is global warming propaganda. It is an out of context presentation of rather arcane data that’s supposed to represent the hell that awaits us. What it really represents is the imperfect world we already live in. If you want to scare us you’ll have to do better.

  44. JCH says:

    I believe 2 a days have pretty much gone away in Texas high school football, and probably in many other states as well. Too many dead kids.

    NCAA football

  45. Magma says:

    Some random old climate change denier on the Internet challenges a Nature paper because things are fine for him where he is right now? Must be one of those days of the week ending with a ‘y’.

    Meanwhile, in China a terminally-ill Nobel Peace Prize laureate and political prisoner was just released from prison, basically to die. In America, dolts use the First Amendment to show off their ignorance, spread lies, and undermine the future.

  46. Willard says:

    > What we have here, Eli, is global warming propaganda.

    And what we have here, dear Scraft, is the usual CAGW meme.

    If you know the acronym, then you know ClimateBall.

    Please desist from peddling the CAGW meme here.

    There’s Judy’s for that.

    Thank you for your concerns.

    ***

    > If you want to scare us

    You don’t speak in any “us” name, Scraft.

    And if I really really wanted to scare Freedom Fighters, I’d say their Freedom is under attack, e.g.:

  47. Michael Hauber says:

    I think there are two different issues about heat that are being confused in some of these comments. The first is that heat can be guaranteed deadly for every person when wet bulb temperatures exceed 35. No amount of acclimatisation to heat (sweating, improved circulation etc) can prevent this. The second is that heat can be deadly for people who are not acclimatised to it. The chart quoted certainly relates to this second concept. To quote from the paper:

    ‘Around 30% of the world’s population is currently exposed to climatic conditions exceeding this deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. By 2100, this percentage is projected to increase to ~48% under a scenario with drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and ~74% under a scenario of growing emissions.’

    I think its pretty obvious that 30% of the population is not currently exposed to temperatures that are deadly in the sense of guaranteed deadly even for fit and healthy people due to exceeding 35 wet bulb temp.

  48. KeefeAndAmanda says:

    scraft1 said on June 27, 2017 at 1:19 am,

    “If it gets hotter it will be incremental so 99.99% of the people will adjust.”

    Not necessarily. Mammals mainly evolved over the past few tens of millions of years, after the very hot climate of roughly 55 million years ago. When the wet bulb temperature reaches 35 degree C or 95 degrees F, the human mammal can’t survive for more than maybe 6 hours. But of course many humans would die at levels below this.
    (I found this
    https://www.easycalculation.com/weather/learn-dewpoint-wetbulb.php
    online if the reader is interested in how to calculate this.)
    What happens is that the combination of heat, humidity, and pressure becomes such that water cannot evaporate fast enough to keep the body from overheating. In other words, it’s a physical impossibility for the water to evaporate fast enough to avoid death after roughly 6 hours at such wet bulb temps. But again, many would die at wet bulb temps below this.

    A wet bulb temperature of 95 degrees F translates to a heat index of roughly 176-200 degrees F, which can be achieved with a dry bulb temp of 105 degrees F with a relative humidity of 75%, so dry bulb temps do not need to rise at an accelerated rate to get there. Note that even just from 1970 to 2010, the amount of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere increased by 4%, which is a signal of what is to come, the heat index rising at an accelerating rate while the dry bulb temp does not.

    (Use this
    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/heatindex.shtml
    to play around with some possibilities.)

    If CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising as they have been, then in a couple centuries or so from now we will see many parts of the planet reaching these levels in typical summertime highs.

    (See Sherwood and Huber (2010) and such as this interview with one of the authors
    http://grist.org/climate-change/and-you-thought-that-heat-wave-was-bad/
    for more on this. Also, see articles such as
    Earth, 2300: Too hot for humans
    https://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/05/earth-2300-too-hot-for-humans.html
    for more as well.)

    But please note this very important fact from the above: Mammalian populations – human and all others, including our cats and dogs and wildlife – will become unsustainable in those parts of the world that continue to march towards typical summertime heat index highs of not far from 200 degrees F long before they reach that level. That should be clear. When the percentages of the populations that can’t survive typical summertime heat indexes continue to increase, a tipping point will be reached. That tipping point could be a low percentage. (Think about it: If even just 5% of humans can’t survive typical summertime heat, then can that be a viable, sustainable population over the long term? Of course not.) So it might not take a couple centuries to get to where the problems become just too severe for human civilization and mammalian populations in general to continue in certain parts of the world. That could happen a lot sooner, where typical summertime heat indexes would be much greater than now but still be far from what is implied by a wet bulb temp of 95 degrees F.

    This concern I relate here is shared by this Harvard economist:

    Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Changehttp://scholar.harvard.edu/files/weitzman/files/fattaileduncertaintyeconomics.pdf

    Quote:

    “…more than half of today’s human population would be living in places where, at least once a year, there would be periods when death from heat stress would ensue after about six hours of exposure. (By contrast, the highest wet-bulb temperature anywhere on Earth today is about 30C). Sherwood and Huber (2010) further emphasize: “This likely overestimates what could practically be tolerated: Our [absolute thermodynamic] limit applies to a person out of the sun, in a gale-force wind, doused with water, wearing no clothing and not working.” Even at wet-bulb temperatures, much lower than 35C, human life would become debilitating and physical labor would be unthinkable. The massive unrest and uncontainable pressures this might bring to bear on the world’s human population are almost unimaginable. The Earth’s ecology, whose valuation is another big uncertainty, would be upended.”

    The limit the authors above are talking about is the magic number of 95 degrees F for a wet bulb temperature. I’ve lived in Florida (the southernmost southeastern state in the US, for those outside of the US) all my life (many decades) except for one year. I don’t like the idea that in a couple or so centuries from now, the place would be too hot to survive – or even anywhere close to that. But even the lesser bad place is where we’re going to be if humanity doesn’t stop being unwise.

  49. Jeff Harvey says:

    Scraft1, my post was aimed at people like you. As Mal Adapted said, like many you appear to think that humans are not constrained by conditions emerging from nature. You have never heard of the term ‘ecosystem services’ and would not understand it if you could. You equate the effects of warming solely on direct effects, failing to see that collapsing ecosystems and fraying food webs are also symptoms of a warming world. It’s amusing that you posted your myopic comment (and I am being kind here) after mine. You illustrate clearly the disconnect between mankind and nature, and in your ignorance you fail to see natural systems as providing conditions that permit humans to persist and exist. Instead you blindly adhere to a faith in technology that somehow negates any biophysical limitations on the material economy. Before you accuse me of being a greenie, let me assure you that I am a very qualified scientist. I have almost 200 career papers, mostly in the ecology of plant-insect interactions, over 5500 citations and an h-factor of 43. And I was formerly an Associate Editor at Nature. I am not suggesting that every argument should be posited by authority, but I very much know what I am talking about. If we do not find some way to keep global surface temperatures under 2 degrees C in the coming few decades, then we are in deep trouble. The ecological consequences will be serious and they will rebound on us. There are no ands, ifs or buts.

  50. scraft1,

    This is right in the sweet spot of the graph, and I would say that this presentation is ludicrous on its face.

    Good for you.

    You presented the chart. DO you care to defend it?

    I think I have. There are combinations of temperature and relative humidity that can be dangerous and these conditions will become more and more common if we continue to emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Try reading Jeff Harvey’s comments a little more carefully.

  51. dikranmarsupial says:

    scraft1 wrote “I’m not a statistician so I’m not sure what “heat related excess mortality” is. I’m sure people die in heat and humidity all the time, and sometimes the heat has something to do with it.”

    LOL.

  52. scraft1 says:

    JCH – so 2-a-days have gone away? So what. They’re replaced by a 3-hour 1-a-day.

    “Too many dead kids” More propaganda. How many dead kids? Must not be that many or our litigious society would have banned them altogether.

  53. BBD says:

    Goodness me, scraft1, Jeff H’s words could not be plainer:

    If we do not find some way to keep global surface temperatures under 2 degrees C in the coming few decades, then we are in deep trouble. The ecological consequences will be serious and they will rebound on us. There are no ands, ifs or buts.

    That’s not propaganda, it is physics, physiology and ecology.

  54. Marco says:

    scraft1, a few links for you to consider:
    https://www.seeker.com/how-football-players-can-beat-the-heat-discovery-news-1765382726.html

    “He said the NCAA serves as an excellent example of how acclimation protects players. Since the organization created its heat acclimation regulations in 2003, only one death has occurred in the month of August in comparison to one to two in the same month in previous years.

    So far, six deaths have occurred at the high school level this August alone.”

    https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/NCAA_Football_Injury_WEB.pdf
    “Heat illness is preventable and everyone, including administrators, coaches, athletes and
    health care professionals, should work diligently to prevent it. Nationwide, across all
    sport levels, there have been more deaths from heat stroke in the 2005-2009 time
    block than any other fve-year block during the past 35 years.”

    https://www.nata.org/practice-patient-care/health-issues/heat-illness
    “According to the CDC, heat illness during practice or competition is the leading cause of death among U.S. high school athletes.”

  55. Two points.

    Human acclimatization period to heat stress is about two weeks. Global warming, is global, diffuse, and at a much slower rate than acclimatization.

    Global warming, because of increased humidity and so called Arctic Amplification, is thought to exhibit reduced temperature variability. That’s because increased humidity means increased latent heat capacity of air which makes motion more efficient at transferring heat and extreme variances more easily eroded. Also, heatwaves typically occur during intense subsidence. Such subsidence typically occurs with a strong slope of potential temperature:

    Arctic Amplification tends to weaken this slope.

  56. TE,

    Human acclimatization period to heat stress is about two weeks. Global warming, is global, diffuse, and at a much slower rate than acclimatization.

    Do you think humans can acclimatize to wet-bulb temperatures above 35oC?

  57. JCH says:

    And no practices at all above a specified heat index, and all sorts of other limitations.

    So it has to be a huge number of kids dying? No. In the 10 years I lived in the Houston area the story showed up on the news several times: a high school football player collapsed on the practice field and died at the hospital. That’s all rational people require to make changes. The new helmets are not going to work, so the rules have to reduce hitting. Athletes needed better physicals. Many of the deaths involve kids who had undetected heart problems. They were less susceptible in the 1950s; they are more susceptible now: because of global warming to date.

  58. Willard says:

    > so 2-a-days have gone away? So what.

    Get your irrelevant facts straight.

    ***

    Let’s not kid ourselves, Scraft’s not that new here:

    [Teh Donald] will make changes in the agencies and some of them will make a real difference. What won’t change is academia and the MSM.

    I’m actually hoping that, with a few exceptions, the MSM won’t change. Despite the popular view, the MSM for the most part behaves responsibly and usually can be trusted. They’ve consumed the kool-aid on climate change and a couple of other issues, and these opinions will take forever to change if they ever do.

    This may not end well.

  59. JCH says:

    Football lore, Bear Bryant, 1954:

    At the time of the camp, the Hill Country was experiencing an epic drought and heat wave. The drought, the worst in the recorded history of the region, had lasted four years and would last another two after the camp was over. According to the National Climatic Data Center, all 10 days of the camp had hot temperatures with a few days topping 100°F (38°C). …

  60. Jeff Harvey says:

    [No need to psycbo-pop. – Willard]

  61. Eli Rabett says:

    Good to see Jeff Harvey here.

  62. “Do you think humans can acclimatize to wet-bulb temperatures above 35oC?”

    Are you predicting global-mean T 12 °C warmer?

    That’s what the wet bulb distributions are based on.

  63. Andrew Dodds says:

    BBD –

    On the plus side, learning to live without an ecosystem is exactly what is needed for Mars colonization.

    I suspect that some of the worst problems with heatwaves will come when they occur far out of historical norms in places where you don’t normally get ‘killer’ heat. For example, if you took the current heatwave in the US Southwest and transplanted it to the UK, the death toll would be huge. There is no preparation or ability to cope. This may be a more immediate danger than the 35 degree wet bulb problem in countries that are used to extreme heat.

  64. TE,

    Are you predicting global-mean T 12 °C warmer?

    No.

    That’s what the wet bulb distributions are based on.

    I don’t think you’re correct. Maximum wet-bulb is expected to increase at about 0.7C per 1C of gloibal warming. The maximum we’ve had to date (in recorded history) is around 31-32C, so maximum wet-bulb temperatures of 35C does not – as I understand it – require 12C of global warming.

  65. BBD says:

    Andrew

    This may be a more immediate danger than the 35 degree wet bulb problem in countries that are used to extreme heat.

    Yes. What was the 2003 European heat wave death toll again? Over 70,000 IIRC.

  66. scraft1 says:

    Willard, I’d love to reply to your comment but I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

  67. Willard says:

    Of course you would, Scraft. If only I could make sense. So help me clarify: which part of “get your irrelevant facts straight” you do not get?

    As for the other bit, it wasn’t meant for you. But you could infer from it that I know you know about Tony’s and Judy’s, which in turn implies you’re no ClimateBall rookie. For more on ClimateBall, please refer to:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/climateballtm/

    Thank you for your concerns about “kool aid” – sometimes one expression is enough to know where we stand.

  68. verytallguy says:

    Maximum wet-bulb is expected to increase at about 0.7C per 1C of gloibal warming

    Got a citation for that? My intuition is that as RH is expected to be roughly the same as the globe heats then so wet bulb should rise lockstep with dry.

    I daresay I’m wrong, but it would be nice to know why.

  69. vtg,
    It’s in the Sherwood & Huber paper that I added as a link at the end of the post. It says:

    Comparison of the peak in TW(max ) vs. global temperature among different model simulations (Fig. 2) shows that TW(max ) near the surface consistently tracks tropical surface temperature. The rise rate is then only 0.75 °C per 1 °C increase in global-mean temperature, because the tropics warms more slowly than higher latitudes.

  70. verytallguy says:

    Ah. So for any given location, it’s 1 for 1, but globally not so?

  71. vtg,
    I’m not sure. It might be that it tracks 1:1 in the tropics, but not at the poles.

  72. scraft1 says:

    I guess I need to repeat myself.

    The chart presented, particularly in the upper part, defines as “deadly” conditions which probably a majority of the U.S. population experiences routinely. The crosses there must be an instance where somebody died on a medium-warm day. Even that has to be an anomaly. People just don’t die of heat stress when the temperature is in the high 70’s and the RH is 60%. I suppose it’s possible but to build a chart on such blatant bs is pretty silly.

    Now really folks, tell me honestly. Would you characterize a 77 deg F day (regardless of the humidity) as “deadly”? Of course not. What about an 85 deg day with 60% RH. That’s what we had here today and I survived 18 holes of golf. But you’re entitled to your opinion, no matter how uninformed.

    There are other commenters, PhD’s validated by serial peer review, who spin off into a world where we are already experiencing ecological catastrophe. If temps go up another degree or so, then we’re really cooked, so to speak. None of this has anything to do with what I’m talking about, so I would chalk up these commenters as internet trolls seeking to snow me with their academic credentials.

    Then there’s a third set who are fixated on the “35 deg wet bulb” temperature, but can’t figure out whether large swathes of the population are already exposed to this or whether this armageddon condition will arrive when our temperature has increased another 10 deg C or so. For the record, I don’t doubt that 35 deg wet bulb would be deadly. But the chart casually tossed into play by Mr. ATTP doesn’t present anything remotely in this range. So this isn’t either what I’m talking about. But you’re entitled to your opinion, however obtuse.

    For those who think we’re headed toward a living hell of extreme temps, may I remind you that such things are highly speculative. I don’t buy the armageddon scenarios, and my opinion is at least as good as yours. And I think most people agree with me.

  73. scraft1,

    The chart presented, particularly in the upper part, defines as “deadly” conditions which probably a majority of the U.S. population experiences routinely.

    And I think you’re wrong. You’re still ignoring that the temperatures are daily averages, not daily maxima. Can you at least acknowledge this point?

    Just a warning, if you post another comment laden with “catastrophes” and “armageddons” I’ll simply delete it. If you can’t represent what others are saying correctly, I certainly don’t need to post it here.

  74. John Hartz says:

    There are a myriad of ways that the health and well-being of humans are being, and will be impacted in a warming wolrd. Here’s one that popped-up on my radar screen just a few minutes ago…

    Tropical viruses: coming soon to Europe? Researchers in Bayreuth are investigating the impact of climate change

    University of Bayreuth, Press Release N0. 071/2017, 20 June 2017

    The mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya is usually found in tropical areas. Researchers at the University of Bayreuth and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm have now discovered how climate change is facilitating the spread of the Chikungunya virus. Even if climate change only progresses moderately – as scientists are currently observing – the risk of infection will continue to increase in many regions of the world through the end of the 21st century. If climate change continues unchecked, the virus could even spread to southern Europe and the United States. The researchers have published their findings in Scientific Reports.

    Click here to access the entire release.

  75. John Hartz says:

    scraft1: I too am 73 years old and live in the South — Columbia, South Carolina, Like you, I mow my yard with a push rotary mower. Unlike you, my wife and I (and our pets) do not benefit from sea breezes because Columbia is 90 miles from the coast. If it were not for air-conditioning, we could not survive the heat and humidity that envelops us during the summer season. Last fall, we installed solar panels on our south facing roof and no long pay our local utility for electrcity. Despite our relatively comfortable life, we have a deep and abiding concern about the future environment that we are bequeathing to our children and grandchildren. For the human race, there is no Planet B.

  76. Mal Adapted says:

    scraft1:

    If it gets hotter it will be incremental so 99.99% of the people will adjust.

    Let’s see, 0.01% of 7 billion is 700,000. Joe Stalin said a millions deaths was a statistic, so 700,000 must still be a tragedy. OTOH, for lukewarmers and CMAGW (Catastrophic Mitigation of AGW) alarmists, even one death isn’t necessarily a tragedy, unless of course it’s theirs.

  77. Mal Adapted says:

    [No need to pile on. – Willard]

  78. Willard says:

    > I guess I need to repeat myself.

    Why of course, Scraft. Peddling “but CAGW” becomes repetitive soon enough.

  79. lorcanbonda says:

    There are two issues that I have with isolating temperature and correlating it to deaths like it does in this article:

    1) It ignores the number of people who would not die because of (fewer) cold temperatures. In other words, it is only have of the mortality equation.
    2) The best way to protect people from deaths due to heat(or cold) is through inexpensive fossil fuels with solutions such as air conditioning and the availability of ice water. In other words, it is not necessarily useful in determining policy.

  80. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    The best way to protect people from deaths due to heat(or cold) is through inexpensive fossil fuels with solutions such as air conditioning and the availability of ice water.

    The “best” way to protect people from being killed by heatstroke, who would remain living but for anthropogenic global warming, is to cap the anthropogenic warming. The way to do that is to stop transferring fossil carbon to the climatically active pool. While we’re doing that as rapidly as possible, vulnerable people should have solutions available such as those you suggest, using carbon-neutral energy. Because fossil fuels are more expensive than you seem to think.

    lorcanbonda, are you aware that fossil fuels are only “inexpensive” because the “free market” allows you to socialize the marginal climate-change costs of your own fossil fuel consumption? Do you understand that “socialize” means “make someone else pay”?

  81. JCH says:

    Hypothermia is not going to end in a warming world. It claims around 1500 victims per year in the US:

    Causes

    Hypothermia usually occurs from exposure to low temperatures, and is frequently complicated by alcohol consumption.[1] Any condition that decreases heat production, increases heat loss, or impairs thermoregulation, however, may contribute.[1] Thus, hypothermia risk factors include: substance abuse (including alcohol abuse), homelessness, any condition that affects judgment (such as hypoglycemia), the extremes of age, poor clothing, chronic medical conditions (such as hypothyroidism and sepsis), and living in a cold environment.[28][29] Hypothermia occurs frequently in major trauma, and is also observed in severe cases of anorexia nervosa.

  82. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of the tropics…

    The world’s tropical zone is expanding, and Australia should be worried by Steve Tuten, The Conversation AU, June 28, 2017

  83. lorcanbonda,

    1) It ignores the number of people who would not die because of (fewer) cold temperatures. In other words, it is only have of the mortality equation.

    You do understand that there is a physiological limit (temperature plus relative humidity combination) beyond which mammals cannot survive without technology?

    2) The best way to protect people from deaths due to heat(or cold) is through inexpensive fossil fuels with solutions such as air conditioning and the availability of ice water. In other words, it is not necessarily useful in determining policy.

    Fossil fuels are the definitively the best way? No dounts? Nuclear? Hydro? Wind? Solar? Geothermal? As others have already pointed out, one reason fossil fuels are cheap is because we are not paying the social cost of carbon; i.e., we’re not paying the full cost of emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

  84. scraft1 says:

    ATTP.

    [Playing the ref. -Willard]

    Do you consider an average temp of 78 deg F, humidity at 60%, a “lethal” event? What about average temp of 85F, humidity at 60%, conditions in which a 73 year old plays golf and which would be on the graph’s red line, which I guess means “really” lethal? This is crazy stuff, ATTP. If you want to present this in your blog as “science”, then go right ahead.

    Can we not look at some information and conclude, when it’s devoid of context, that we’re not passing a common sense test?

  85. scraft1,

    [Refers to a deleted comment. – Willard]

    Do you consider an average temp of 78 deg F, humidity at 60%, a “lethal” event?

    I think you’re still missing the point. The graph shows the daily average of temperature and the daily average of relative humidity. Clearly a day with an average temperature of 30oC will have a higher maximum temperature. Similarly for relative humidity. A day in which you experience a temperature of 30oC and a relative humidity of 60% is not the same as a day over which the average temperature was 30oC and the average relatiive humidity was 60%. Do you at least recognise this and acknowledge that there are combinations of temperature and relative humidity (wet-bulb temperatures, essentially) that could be lethal?

  86. Eli Rabett says:

    When one looks at the deaths caused by heat waves (e.g. Chicago 1995, Europe 2003) what is obvious is a) they were primarily urban. The urban heat island effect makes everything worse. b) lots of them were of old people in apartments/houses. There are usually not much in the way of a cooling breeze during a heat wave.

    Scaft1 is just digging in and spouting ignorant nonsense.

  87. John Hartz says:

    scraft1: You have repeatedly stated that you are 73 years old and regularly play nine holes of golf when the temperature is at 85F and the humidity is 60%. Do you walk the golf course and carry your own bag of clubs? Do you drink water on the course? Where do you go after completing the round?

  88. I just looked up a few things, but based on looking at daily variations in temperature, an average daily temperature of about 30oC might mean a maximum temperature of about 35oC, and an average daily relative humidity of 60% might mean a maximum relative humidity of 75%. Based on a simple calculation I found, 30oC and an RH of 60% is a wet-bulb temperature of about 24oC. However, 35oC and an RH of 75% is a wet-bulb temperature of 31oC. Just rough estimates, mind you, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable that a daily average of 30oC and an RH of 60% could be a day during which the wet-bulb temperature exceeded 30oC [Edit: I’ve just realised – of course – that temperature and RH tend to be out of phase, so the maximum temperature probably occurs when RH is a minimum. However, there is still likely an increase in wet-bulb temperature, but probably not as large as I suggested.].

  89. JCH says:

    As I understand it the black crosses are heat-related deaths documented in peer-reviewed literature. It’s paywalled, but the heat related aspect was presumably determined by physicians at the times of the deaths.

  90. russellseitz says:

    Scaft1 negelects ground emissivity and direct conduction: in the noonday sun, asphalt and basalt get far hotter than golf courses covered in transpirationally self-cooling turf.

  91. Vinny Burgoo says:

    JCH: ‘It’s paywalled…’

    A pre-pub version is freely available.

    ‘…but the heat related aspect was presumably determined by physicians at the times of the deaths.’

    It depends what you mean by heat-related. Does sarrahian dust count as heat-related?

  92. JCH says:

    …Because other causes of death (e.g., cardiovascular and respiratory diseases) also increase during heat waves (1,2), heat-related deaths “due to weather conditions” represent only a portion of heat-related excess mortality. The criteria to define a heat-related death differ by state and among individual medical examiners and coroners (3-5). The National Association of Medical Examiners defines heat-related death as exposure to high ambient temperature either causing the death or substantially contributing to the death (3).

  93. heat-related excess mortality

  94. izen says:

    More from the ‘correlation is not causation’ dept…

    http://drc.bmj.com/content/5/1/e000317
    Conclusions Our findings indicate that the diabetes incidence rate in the USA and prevalence of glucose intolerance worldwide increase with higher outdoor temperature.

  95. Michael Hauber says:

    I looked at one of the studies referred to in the paper which defines heat related death, and the method stated was:

    The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office certifies a death as heat related if there was no history of trauma or evidence of fatal injury and the case met at least one of several criteria. First, the measured body temperature had to be 105°F (40.6°C) or higher before or immediately after death. Second, there had to be evidence of high environmental temperature at the scene of death, usually greater than 100°F (37.8°C). Finally, the body had to be decomposed, and investigation had to disclose that the person was last seen alive during the heat wave period and that the environmental temperature at the time would have been high.

  96. izen says:

    @-“…Because other causes of death (e.g., cardiovascular and respiratory diseases) also increase during heat waves (1,2), heat-related deaths “due to weather conditions” represent only a portion of heat-related excess mortality.”

    But the death rate from Cardiovascular and respiratory disease is LOWER in Arizona than Michigan or Alaska.
    If ‘hot’ states have a higher death rate from heat triggered cardio-respiratory problems then that must be a MINOR influence on a death rate that is reduced well below the average by other factors.

  97. JCH says:

    izen – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia?

  98. izen says:

    @- JCH
    Florida has a similar death rate to Alaska for Cardio-Respiratory causes.
    Alabama is near the worst for ALL causes of death. There is a MUCH stronger correlation with poverty than with heat.

  99. BBD says:

    @TE

    Remind me, what was the death toll exacted by the 2003 European heat wave?

  100. izen says:

    @-BBD
    “Remind me, what was the death toll exacted by the 2003 European heat wave?”

    The total is estimated to be ~80,000 for the whole of the summer. About the same as the winter flu epidemic of 2015 in numbers of excess deaths.

    http://www.theurbanclimatologist.com/uploads/4/4/2/5/44250401/mortalityheatwave2003.pdf

  101. BBD says:

    Perhaps TE can explain why, in the light of the severe mortality caused by the 2003 heatwave, he posted the unattributed and profoundly misleading graph upthread.

  102. izen says:

    @-BBD
    ” in the light of the severe mortality caused by the 2003 heatwave, he posted the unattributed and profoundly misleading graph upthread.”

    I expect that TE has his own explanation.
    The graph appears to be from WUWT so describing it as misleading is probably fair.

    Although it does show that well established seasonal pattern to mortality rates with significantly raised rates in the winter months.

    The 2003 heatwave caused acute mortality, calling it severe might be misleading. In France, the worst affected nation, there were ~20,000 extra deaths. But that is <4% of the total yearly deaths from all causes. It is also clear social factors other than temperature modified the mortality rate. Some cities in France had much lower death rates than others despite very similar heatwave temperatures. Marseilles that had a health emergency plan for heatwaves had around half the death rate of Paris.

  103. John Hartz says:

    Context is everything…

    Key facts

    Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

    Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

    The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.
    Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.

    Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.

    Climate change and health, WHO Fact Sheet. June 2016

  104. izen says:

    To be fair to TE, the graph was posted in a WUWT thread, but its source is –
    CMAJ. 2009 Oct 13; 181(8): 484–486.
    doi: 10.1503/cmaj.090694
    PMCID: PMC2761439
    Seasonality of mortality: the September phenomenon in Mediterranean countries
    Matthew E. Falagas, MD DSc, Drosos E. Karageorgopoulos, MD, Lambros I. Moraitis, Evridiki K. Vouloumanou, MD, Nikos Roussos, MD, George Peppas, MD, and Petros I. Rafailidis, MD MSc

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2761439/figure/f1-1810484/

  105. John Hartz says:

    Also from the WHO Fact Sheet cited above…

    Extreme heat

    Extreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly among elderly people. In the heat wave of summer 2003 in Europe for example, more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded*.

    High temperatures also raise the levels of ozone and other pollutants in the air that exacerbate cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

    Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are also higher in extreme heat. These can trigger asthma, which affects around 300 million people. Ongoing temperature increases are expected to increase this burden.

    *Robine JM, Cheung SL, Le Roy S, Van Oyen H, Griffiths C, Michel JP, et al. Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003. C R Biol. 2008;331(2):171-8.

  106. BBD says:

    izen

    Although it [graph TE presents] does show that well established seasonal pattern to mortality rates with significantly raised rates in the winter months.[/quote]

    This is why I think TE’s use of that figure is misleading in this context. This context being heatwaves, events by definition exceeding the normal envelope of summer temps. Heatwaves which cause episodes of acute mortality (agreed, a better wording).

    Using the norm as an argument that the extremes do not cause a spike in acute mortality is misleading.

  107. izen says:

    @-BBD
    “Using the norm as an argument that the extremes do not cause a spike in acute mortality is misleading.”

    Ascribing significant danger to extreme events is always open to the R.P. Junior gambit.
    Rare events are too infrequent to derive significant trends, and are minor short blips, compared to the ‘norm’.

    To some extent this is true. Mortality from heatwaves is (at present) a rare, extreme event that has a minor effect on the overall mortality rate and is mediated by important individual, social and material factors.

    The poster who is fit enough, and has the friends and finance to play golf is correct to see no personal risk from heatwaves even if he has exceeded the biblical shelf-life by 3 years. Trying to present the danger from heatwaves as a significant problem when it isn’t (compared to the normal risks) is seen as alarmist and preaching to the choir.
    Like sea level rise it is an incremental problem with a slow rate of rising impact. It is not conducive to eliciting any action with alacrity from disinterested individuals, or governments with interests in the status quo.

    As a result, promoting stories about the danger of extreme heatwaves can look like virtue signalling for the AGW ‘converts’.

  108. izen says:

    @-John Hartz
    “Context is everything…”

    Yes.
    scale comparisons help.

    @-“Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.”

    I think this is wildly optimistic. It assumes no widespread societal collapse, and the maintenance and expansion of the global agricultural/energy production and distribution for the projected population of 8.6 billion.
    But accepting their figures, that is less than a 1% increase of the total deaths per year. Flu epidemics do a lot more than that.

    @-“The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030.”

    BP’s expenditures on the spill included the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs, including fines and penalties. As of March 2012, BP estimated the company’s total spill-related expenses do not exceed $37.2 billion.

  109. BBD says:

    izen

    As a result, promoting stories about the danger of extreme heatwaves can look like virtue signalling for the AGW ‘converts’.

    Eh? 80,000 people died in 2003. Lots and lots more will die in future because of heat waves. Pointing this out is neither ‘alarmist’ nor ‘virtue signalling’. Nor is pushback against misleading rhetoric. But if you want to make an argument out of this, please, carry on. Solo.

  110. According to the CDC, heat related death rates for the oldest peak at around 40 per million, or 4 per 100,000:

    But rates of every other cause of death increase as one grows older. The population weighted rate is less than 1 per 100,000. And that’s probably mostly ‘natural’ – likely that heat deaths have always occurred.

    What global warming related change in heat related mortality might we expect? That would not appear to be clear, especially since heat waves are weather, subject to unpredictable dynamic fluctuation of wave patterns. As I have pointed out, however, Manabe and numerous others have demonstrated that global warming should reduce temperature variability. If temperature variability decreases at around half the rate that mean temperature increases, there is a decrease of extreme high summer temperatures for a typical US spectrum. And there is some evidence that is what has happened over the more than century long record in the US. So there is some possibility that, counter-intuitively, global warming might lead to fewer heat related deaths.

    But if since what one eats, drinks, and smokes determine most deaths:

    One is a much greater threat to one’s own health than global warming, even if heat waves don’t decrease.

  111. Joshua says:

    TE –

    Just curious. Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

  112. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Izen’s ‘~80,000 for the whole of the summer’ was (in the linked Robine et al study) for the whole of the year. June to September 2003 was 71k (7% up on 1998-2002). August was up 45k (17%). Averaged monthly total deaths (1998-2002 in brackets): January-May 291k (291k), June-September 273k (256k), October-December 290k (282k), whole year 284k (277k).

    Anyway…

    Like other studies of the 2003 European heat wave, Robine et al said that (a) old people dominated the death statistics and (b) there was very little statistical evidence of displaced mortality (aka the harvesting effect).

    How come?

    If statistics can find heat waves knocking off large numbers of old people then how come it can also find an unreduced pool of death’s-door old people after the heat wave has passed?

    How does that work? What am I missing?

  113. BBD says:

    Vinnie

    June to September 2003 was 71k (7% up on 1998-2002).

    Robine et al. (2008) is titled:

    Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003

    You wouldn’t be nit-picking by any chance?

  114. Vinny Burgoo says:

    BBD, I was in that (minor) part of my comment, yes. I thought that was obvious. (Oh, brevity, where is thy… No, not there. There! Jesus. No! Not there either. Kinnell! Contd. p. 94.)

    Anything helpful to say about the rest of it?

  115. BBD says:

    there was very little statistical evidence of displaced mortality (aka the harvesting effect).

    I took this to mean that once the heatwave passed, mortality went back to statistical norms. That’s not incompatible with there being a spike in mortality with slightly wider demographic parameters during the heatwave.

  116. JCH says:

    If by some miracle you could eliminate the elevated rate of death in the winter time, that would not mean they would die in the following summer. In order to have them die in the following summer, you would have to have a second miracle to get them through the spring.

  117. Jeff Harvey says:

    [Playing the ref – Willard]

    There have been a number of scientific papers that have addressed the effects of extreme weather events on marine and terrestrial ecosystems across the biosphere. The prognosis is not good. Understanding the ecological effects of heat waves is vital if we are to gauge indirect effects on human society. Once again, I stress that humans exist because natural systems generate and maintain conditions which permit it. They do not do this for the purpose of supporting Homo sapiens; rather, we exist because natural conditions are in place that allow it to be so. Thus, we can try and adapt to heat-related extremes all we like, but if these same extremes lead to the fraying and unraveling of food webs, then we are most certainly toast. Excuse the pun!

  118. JCH says:

    It was 129 degrees in Iran Thursday, which is one of the Earth’s hottest temperatures ever recorded

    Officially, he said the temperature was 53.7 degrees Celsius, which is 128.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Iran’s previous hottest temperature was 127.4 degrees.

  119. Willard says:

    Let’s quote the abstract of the article under discussion:

    Climate change can increase the risk of conditions that exceed human thermoregulatory capacity. Although numerous studies report increased mortality associated with extreme heat events, quantifying the global risk of heat-related mortality remains challenging due to a lack of comparable data on heat-related deaths. Here we conducted a global analysis of documented lethal heat events to identify the climatic conditions associated with human death and then quantified the current and projected occurrence of such deadly climatic conditions worldwide. We reviewed papers published between 1980 and 2014, and found 783 cases of excess human mortality associated with heat from 164 cities in 36 countries. Based on the climatic conditions of those lethal heat events, we identified a global threshold beyond which daily mean surface air temperature and relative humidity become deadly. Around 30% of the world’s population is currently exposed to climatic conditions exceeding this deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. By 2100, this percentage is projected to increase to ~48% under a scenario with drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and ~74% under a scenario of growing emissions. An increasing threat to human life from excess heat now seems almost inevitable, but will be greatly aggravated if greenhouse gases are not considerably reduced.

    https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3322.html

    The potentiality of human deaths caused by heatwaves is thus quite topical.

  120. Ragnaar says:

    If it’s hot, we can treat people. Shade, fans, water, if you have groundwater it’s probably not more than 70 F in most places during Summer and you can put your feet in a tub of cool water.

    We could also treat the planet.

    Are we trying to solve problems in the United States or of the world in regards to heatwaves? I could say, I think the poor people in hot places will be good. Or I could say, they need our help. They can’t do it and our help will be about 100,000 wind turbines built here, and no new deep water wells powered by reliable electricity where they live.

    Someone mentioned acclimatization. The possible and not unusual temperature range in Minnesota is from – 30 F to 100 F. We figured out what to do. And we also figured this out in 1970 when most didn’t have A/C. The radio shows even tells us what to during a heatwave.

  121. Ragnaar says:

    “Deaths due to weather hazards each year amount to about 50 in Australia, over 1,000 in he USA, and more than 100,000 globally (Table 1). The main causes of mortality are quite different in the Third World than in developed countries.”

    100,000 / 7,500,000,000 = 1 per 75,000, call it a rate of 2 per 100,000 people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate

    Table 1 shows Heatwaves as > 20,000 deaths per year. It is assumed that number is higher as the study is old. Perhaps it is as high as 100,000/year.

  122. izen says:

    No amount of ‘alarmist’ handwaving, or even BAU driven AGW, is going to promote extreme temperatures into the Top Ten of causes of death. For the present, and the near future it will remain a rare extreme event. It is not a clear and present danger.

    Like sea level rise, the problems of physiological heat stress are localised and only impact human death rates during extreme rare events. Trying to motivate a response to global warming because of heat deaths is as unconvincing as trying to link sea level rise to increased risk of drowning. It is persuasive only to the activist who will adopt ANY claim to advance their position.

    Like sea level rise the danger from rising temperatures is a slow and cumulative impact on the infrastructure and ecology that maintains our civilisation, not an immediate threat to an individual. But while millions are not going to die of drowning when sea level rises, its the loss of agricultural land and ports that will kill; so with temperature rise it will not kill millions directly, but the signs of how it can disrupt society are already evident.

    In Eurocentric parochialism the 2003 heatwave has been dissected. The 2015 heatwaves in India and Pakistan have not. Only a few thousand excess deaths occurred, less than a blip on the total death rate. As usual the old, infirm and poor were disproportionately affected. But prevention is possible with targeted social change.

    That is less the case with the crops and livestock. Most of the crops we grow and animals domesticated, have evolved for a temperate climate and yields drop as temperatures climb. While humans can take measures to adapt and protect against the effects of extreme heatwaves, plants and domestic animal do not. Corn,Soy and Wheat all just die at extremes which most people can survive.

    The 2015 India heatwave may have only killed a few thousand people, but as Syria has shown, the indirect effects of heat and drought, via famine, can be far worse.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Heatwave-kills-millions-of-chickens-prices-soar/articleshow/47505757.cms

  123. Willard says:

    > That is less the case with the crops and livestock.

    More generally:

    A combination of factors make the tropics one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture. These include:

    High population density across much of the tropics

    High proportion of developing nations with high incidence of poverty and underdevelopment

    Large percentage of population in these countries highly dependent on agriculture for their livelihood

    Dependence on rain-fed agricultural systems, especially in the arid/semi-arid tropics

    Shortening of growing seasons and increases in temperature beyond the extremes already experienced in some areas

    Projected decrease in crop yields at low latitudes in contrast to high latitudes

    The fact that climate change and temperature increases are expected to negatively affect crop yields in the tropics could have troublesome implications for poverty and food security, mainly because populations in the area are so dependent on agriculture as their only means of survival. A 2008 study by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security matched future climate change “hotspots” with regions that are already suffering from chronic poverty and food insecurity to pinpoint regions in the tropics that could be especially vulnerable to future changes in climate. These include regions such as West Africa which are already dependent on drought- and stress-resistant crop varieties and thus left with little room to manoeuvre when the climate becomes even drier. The study says that East and West Africa, India, parts of Mexico and Northeastern Brazil will experience a shortening of growing seasons by more than 5%, negatively impacting a number of important crop staples.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_agriculture#Vulnerability_to_climate_change

    That the poorest of us all live around the Equator does not help substantiate the idea that a warmer world is beneficial to humans.

  124. Mervyn says:

    I don’t know why humans are the only species of interest for heat waves. Even if we have aircon, we are the only species that his this luxury.

  125. Mervyn,
    Indeed, I did say any mammal in the post 😉

  126. BBD says:

    izen

    Trying to motivate a response to global warming because of heat deaths is as unconvincing as trying to link sea level rise to increased risk of drowning.

    Hence the second comment on this thread:

    Not much good for agriculture either.

    Mortality from heatwaves doesn’t just mean hyperthermia. I do get this, you know.

  127. scraft1 says:

    John Hartz

    “scraft1: You have repeatedly stated that you are 73 years old and regularly play nine holes of golf when the temperature is at 85F and the humidity is 60%. Do you walk the golf course and carry your own bag of clubs? Do you drink water on the course? Where do you go after completing the round?”

    Yes, I walk 9 holes in these conditions. I use a push golf cart. Of course I drink water on the course. When finished I go into the clubhouse, drink a beer, then drive home.

    Let me clarify a few things. I’m in good health and make a point of acclimatizing myself to summer conditions. Sometimes there’s a breeze and sometimes not. But, to me, walking 9 holes is good exercise particularly given the conditions. But you have to “enjoy” getting hot and sweaty. And there’s some satisfaction in getting out in conditions that everyone else complains about.

    You and I can remember the days before AC. Back then a hot summer was just part of the landscape and people didn’t know know any better. Now it’s much easier to retreat to AC and then that’s what one become acclimatized to. If this is the case it’s probably not a good idea to go out and exercise when it’s hot.

    Then there are those who don’t have AC. I actually know a couple of them. If they work outside they start early and quit early. They have fans at home. And they don’t regard their lot as unfair. People make choices – They have a car or a pickup and a motorcycle, and if that’s what makes them happy then I’m happy for them.

    I don’t doubt that people can die of heat stress in the summertime, but it’s unusual and and it’s usually aggravated by poor health or lack of good sense, or both. My point here has been that the chart presented grossly exaggerates the lethal effect of conditions that just about everyone can live with. And I don’t like it when it’s picked up by consensus enthusiasts and touted as another example of how miserable we’re supposed to be. And not only that, if we get 1 degree warmer we cross that red line and we’re committing mass murder.

    This is propaganda folks. Look it up.

  128. scraft1,
    Just to avoid going in circles, maybe we can clarify a few simple things.

    1. Do you accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that adding it to the atmosphere will cause the surface to warm?

    2. Do you accept that doubling atmospheric CO2 will ultimately cause the surface to warm by something between 1.5C and 4.5C (IPCC likely range)?

    3. Do you accept that as we warm, we will also increase the possible maximum wet-bulb temperature by about 0.75C per 1C of global warming?

    4. Do you accept that there is a level of temperature and relactive humidity above which mammals cannot survive?

    I’m not asking these question to trip you up. I would just like to know the answers. I’m kind of tired of people promoting nonsense on my site, so if you don’t accept the above (or a reasonable representation of the above) it might be best if you comment elsewhere. There are plenty of sites that would welcome your accusations of propaganda and your apparent inability to recognise that the graph is showing daily averages, not daily maxima.

  129. Willard says:

    > My point here has been that the chart presented grossly exaggerates the lethal effect of conditions that just about everyone can live with.

    Just about everyone except those who can’t, it goes without saying. And those who die are already in bad shape or just idiots anyway. So why not save on Medicare? This could even improve GRRROWTH!

    For a graph to grossly exaggerate the letal effect of conditions that just about everyone can live with, we’d need to know if it does indeed represent these conditions. Does it?

    RTFP.

  130. Joshua says:

    =={ but it’s unusual and and it’s usually aggravated by poor health or lack of good sense, or both. }==

    And, of course, poor health is often the product of stupidity or bad judgement.

    And there’s also this:

    Middletown City Council member Dan Picard is proposing to give drug users two chances. Paramedics would respond to an overdose twice, and each time the addict would receive a summons and be required to do community service after being treated.

    But if they don’t show up in court, don’t complete the service and then overdose a third time? That’s it. No one will come to help them.

  131. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Just about everyone except those who can’t, it goes without saying.

    Apparently, it doesn’t go without saying that an LD50 +1 majority is required for a lethal condition to not be grossly exaggerated by consensus enthusiasts, which is certainly a kind of red line, especially for people who make choices.

  132. Joshua says:

    What could go wrong with that idea? Clearly, most addicts would fall right in line with appearing promptly at hearings and complete their community service. I mean how would a drug habit get in the way of something like that?

    And for those who don’t, once they learn their lesson and see that the paramedics don’t show up for their 3rd overdose, they will certainly learn their lesson. I’m sure that there would only rarely be a case where they didn’t learn their lesson, and so the # of fourth overdoses would be tiny.

    Oh. Wait…

  133. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Logic clearly dictates that the council member’s proposal would work even better if the addicts were given only one chance, or none.

  134. Joshua says:

    Jeb –

    =={ Logic clearly dictates that the council member’s proposal would work even better if the addicts were given only one chance, or none. }==

    Good point.

    There could be a similar policy for treating people who suffer from extreme heat. After first trip to get medical treatment, they could be required to either lose weight, improve their health in other ways (like improve their cardiac status), or get smarter. Failure to comply, and no more treatment.

    It could actually lead to savings in medical expenditure compared to current circumstances; thus, extreme heat = a good thing.

  135. Willard says:

    Any graph of smog-related mortality would misrepresent the fact that many can still live in China.

    Birds eat coal, right?

  136. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Then there are those who don’t have AC. I actually know a couple of them. If they work outside they start early and quit early.

    A couple of them? I know a couple billion. And they often have to (choose to) work late.

    Vintage 2015

    Looks like they need more air conditioning in Spain and France and also South Asia.
    Does it make more sense to provide air conditioning or to limit CO2 emissions.
    I vote for more air conditioning in these susceptible regions.

    Africans and Australians are impervious to heatwaves. And so are their food-crops.

    Since most air conditioners depend on fossil fuels for energy, it’s a self-propagating GROWWWWTH market!
    Invest in the game early.

  137. Marco says:

    “the chart presented grossly exaggerates the lethal effect of conditions that just about everyone can live with”

    Yeah, who cares about those who *do* die in such conditions, right?

    It’s quite simple, scraft1, the chart shows the average daily temperature/humidity correlation where you are likely to find significant excess mortality due to heat stress. This is ‘only’ a small part of the total number of people (in France for the 2003 heatwave, we’re talking about ca. 15,000 people, on a total population of 62 million). However, you’d likely say different things if one of your close relatives is in danger because they have “poor health” and thus would have a markedly increased likelihood of dying because of a heatwaves – which are expected to increase in frequency and severity as the earth warms.

  138. JCH says:

    One day he was nasty linebacker; the next day a heat-wave weakling. Team is better off; his bad heart could have failed on an important play!

  139. izen says:

    @-BBD
    “Mortality from heatwaves doesn’t just mean hyperthermia. I do get this, you know.”

    Me too.
    The visiting golfer demonstrates why just throwing numbers of hyperthermia deaths around is counter-productive.

    @-“And I don’t like it when it’s picked up by consensus enthusiasts and touted as another example of how miserable we’re supposed to be.”

    ‘Consensus enthusiasts’ (?!) may pick up on the dramatic but rare episodes of heatwave deaths and warn of future wet-bulb fatal temperatures because they find the warnings of slow incremental destruction of the ecology even less likely to elicit action.

    These examples are not touted to make anyone miserable, but to prompt an appropriate policy response.

  140. BBD says:

    Never trust a golfer.

  141. BBD says:

    Hell, I thought you knew.

  142. BBD,
    I think I’d kind of guessed 🙂

  143. BBD says:

    Joking aside, I disagree with Izen:

    The visiting golfer demonstrates why just throwing numbers of hyperthermia deaths around is counter-productive.

  144. John Hartz says:

    scraft1: Thank you for responding to my questions about your golf game. I have to wonder, however, if you could comfortably play nine rounds down here in Famously Hot* Columbia SC where it is a tad warmer and more humid than where you reside. I do not play golf so I have no idea what it’s like to play nine rounds in 90 F daytime teperature and 80% humidity. I suspect most golfers get out in the morning to avoid such conditions. Regardless, I’m impressed by your physical condition and stamina.

    *No joke. This is the official marketing slogan of Columbia.

  145. John Hartz says:

    scraft1: After rereading ATTP’s OP, I believe that reaction to it was a bit over the top. It is straight-foward summary of something that caught his eye. (BTW, have your read the Carbon Brief article that it draws from?) As I and other commenters on this thread have stated, heatwave deaths are just one of a myriad ways that manmade climate change negatively impacts the human race and the biosphere which we are part of and reiside in.

  146. John Hartz says:

    scraft1: Given your obvious interest in the topic of manmade climate change, I would encourage you to read the following article and at least scan the report that it is based on. The introduction to the article:

    Without effective action to bend the upward curve of greenhouse gas emissions, parts of the American South could experience more than a 20 percent drop in economic activity due to global warming by the end of the century, according to a new analysis of the regional economic risks of climate change.

    The county-by-county analysis shows that the poorer regions of the country would be hit hardest, and that the nation as a whole could see as much 6 percent shaved off of its GDP by the end of this century.

    The analysis is based on a high-emissions trajectory that doesn’t take into account future voluntary efforts to reduce emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement.

    By breaking down the economic impacts regionally, the authors show that parts of the country that are already economically frail could be hit the hardest. This means that if the whole world took the laissez-faire approach of the Trump administration, impacts on poor people would not just be felt in the developing world, but in the richest nation on earth.

    The Pacific Northwest and New England, parts of the country with robust regional economies, would likely see a slight uptick in economic activity, while the Gulf Coast and southeastern states would be particularly hard hit.

    The yawning gap between the richest and the poorest—income inequality—would only worsen, thwarting one of the key goals of sustainable economic development.

    Climate Change Will Hit Southern Poor Hardest, U.S.

    Economic Analysis Shows Nationwide, rising temperatures could lower U.S. GDP by 6 percent this century while worsening economic inequality, the authors say. It’s “the poor getting poorer.”

    by Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, June 29, 2017

  147. JCH says:

    This month a college freshman football player became ill at a morning practice session, at 9 am, and passed away at a hospital around 2 hours later. Mean temp: ~25.6 ℃; Average humidity: 68.

    Cause of death: hyperthermia.

  148. scraft1 says:

    Think I’ll comment elsewhere.

  149. JCH says:

    …Research has shown that hyperthermia deaths in football often occur early in conditioning drills, in the morning, with linemen being the most susceptible.

    Heintz, a 6-4, 275-pound freshman from Kenton, Ohio, collapsed during a late-morning workout on the second day of conditioning drills at Kent State. Weather conditions were 81 degrees with 65 percent humidity at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Akron Fulton Airport, which is about 15 miles from KSU, according to NOAA.

    Portage County Coroner Dean DePerro’s office said Friday the preliminary cause of death was hyperthermia and was not cardiac related. Officials emphasized there likely will be a minimum of six weeks to two months before a final official cause of death is delivered.

    No other KSU football players are known to have had any other heat-related issues from that workout. …

  150. dikranmarsupial says:

    scraft1 wrote “Think I’ll comment elsewhere.”

    It is almost as if giving straight answers to direct questions that would clarify his position unequivocally is something scraft1 wants to avoid at all costs. ;o)

  151. Eli Rabett says:

    In addition to UHI’s contribution to heat stress, there is another interesting factor, vacation. In civilized countries loads of people clear out in July and August for vacation, usually in cooler places, which limits summertime heat related deaths. Opposite in Australia.

  152. Mal Adapted says:

    Inside Climate News, cited by John Hartz: Climate Change Will Hit Southern Poor Hardest, U.S. Economic Analysis Shows

    Nationwide, rising temperatures could lower U.S. GDP by 6 percent this century while worsening economic inequality, the authors say. It’s “the poor getting poorer.”

    The cited study appears in the current (06/29) issue of Science. It looks impressive, but it’s a little recondite for me. Is anyone saying more about it on the climate blogs?

  153. Mal,
    That article is actually the theme of Judith Curry’s most recent post (actually a guest post by Delayer, Fabius Maximus). It includes a quote from Richard Tol that seems to indicate that he thinks climate change can manifest itself in some way that doesn’t involve weather events

    First, except for energy demand, these are impacts of weather variability rather than climate change

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think that climate change can manifest itself in any way other than as influencing what we would regard as weather events. It also includes a quote from Roger Pielke Jr which says (my bold)

    We should stop trying to use apocalyptic scenarios to scare people – the science doesn’t support it and it doesn’t work anyway.

    which I would argue is wrong. Well, in the sense that science doesn’t rule out that we could follow an emission pathway that could lead to outcomes that we would reasonably regard as catastrophic.

  154. John Hartz says:

    Mal Adopted & ATTP:

    The Science paper, Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States, is getting a lot of media coverage in the US — which is why the folk in Deniersville are up in arms about it.

  155. izen says:

    @-“We should stop trying to use apocalyptic scenarios to scare people – the science doesn’t support it and it doesn’t work anyway.”

    He is right of course. Smoking has not stopped because of the apocalyptic scenario of death to the individual.

    The timescale is wrong.
    Science does not support an apocalyptic scenario of sea level rising 20 feet, equatorial regions becoming uninhabitable for most complex multi-cellular life, including many plants, and ocean acidification destroying the aquatic food webs.
    All within the next 10 years.

    Science supports this scenario spread over 100+ years. This apparently makes it un-threatening and ineffective as a motivation for an active response. There is an obvious conclusion as to why.

    As with smokers, most will be dead of something else before it catches up with them.

  156. Bob Loblaw says:

    weather variability rather than climate change

    Oh, my. What level of statistical expertise leads one to think that variability is not a statistical property, and that “climate change” can manifest as changes in many different statistical properties, not just a change in the mean?

    I wonder if that particular statistical expert is aware of Anscombe’s Quartet?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anscombes_quartet

    Of course, he could just be claiming that is “variability as usual” – i.e., asserting that there is nothing unusual going on. Another variation (pun intended) on “climate’s changed before”???

    https://skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

  157. Mal Adapted says:

    aTTP:

    That article is actually the theme of Judith Curry’s most recent post (actually a guest post by Delayer, Fabius Maximus).

    Thanks, but I’ll hold out for a reality-based analysis.

  158. izen says:

    Although inTOLpretation is always difficult, perhaps adaption is assumed to be implemented for predictable variations like climate change, so the number of extreme events that exceed our resilience remains the same.
    We expect the unexpected.

    economeretricians can probably calculate rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

  159. Mal Adapted says:

    RPJr, quoted by our host:

    We should stop trying to use apocalyptic scenarios to scare people – the science doesn’t support it and it doesn’t work anyway.

    Haven’t we been talking about this? Lukewarmers call people who think AGW will cause diseconomies short of human extinction, ‘CAGW’ alarmists. They like to say any scenario in which some people pay disproportionately for other peoples’ fossil carbon emissions is ‘apocalyptic’; while dismissing the evidence of the prices already being paid, and assuring themselves that uncertainty is their friend.

  160. Joshua says:

    Mal –

    =={ They like to say any scenario in which some people pay disproportionately for other peoples’ fossil carbon emissions is ‘apocalyptic’;
    }==

    Indeed. Try going to any “skeptic” site, and you will certainly see apocalyptic scare-mongering.

    It has been interesting to read Lucia’s lately… as even though the main topics of discussion have moved away from climate science and converged on political issues, the apocalyptic themes about what would happen if libruls get their way has not diminished in the least.

    Which, of course, shows how if you peel back the veneer of climate science, you see that it basically serves as proxy for political identity squabbling anyway….

  161. John Hartz says:

    “ESTIMATING ECONOMIC DAMAGE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES”

    This page contains resources for “Estimating Economic Damage from Climate Change in the United States” by Hsiang, Kopp, Jina, Rising, Delgado, Mohan, Rasmussen, Muir-Wood, Wilson, Oppenheimer, Larsen, Houser (Science, 2017).

    This analysis was produced by the Climate Impact Lab, a consortium of researchers from UC Berkeley, Rutgers, University of Chicago, and Rhodium Group, along with our research partners at Princeton University and RMS.

  162. izen,

    He is right of course. Smoking has not stopped because of the apocalyptic scenario of death to the individual.

    Hmm, I’d interpreted it as being science doesn’t support the possibility of apocalyptic scenarios. Maybe, however, the intent was that science doesn’t support using these to promote action, which may be true (well, other than this being social science, rather than physical/natural science).

  163. John Hartz says:

    izen:

    @-“We should stop trying to use apocalyptic scenarios to scare people – the science doesn’t support it and it doesn’t work anyway.”

    He is right of course. Smoking has not stopped because of the apocalyptic scenario of death to the individual.

    Let’s get real! The Surgeon Gneral’s warnings about smoking and other educational measures dramatically reduced the number of smokers in the US. To infer that the anti-smoking campaigns should have reduced the number of smokers to zero is patently absurd.

  164. Willard says:

    > Let’s get real!

    Let’s also get plural – requiring that one single message needs to satisfy every concern and meet the needs of everyone lacks empirical basis. Every norm known to mankind emerges from collective disputation. Conciliation even happens within churches.

    Different strokes for different ClimateBall ™ folks.

    The same principle applies to the heatwaves argument. The authors’ construction is straightforward:

    P1. Here are heatwaves conditions.
    P2. Let’s put them in stoopid modulz.
    C. Heatwaves may affect three quarters of the human population soon enough.

    Accusing C of being alarmist doesn’t undermine it – it simply attacks its messengers.

    Putting C into a more systemic perspective could undermine it, depending on the argument. Saying that C matters less than the overall systems only amplifies it – it’s one way to say that the authors could have made a stronger claim than C. Suggesting that even if C wasn’t true, we’d still need to take the systemic effects of heatwaves amounts to counterfactual thinking.

    Both types of arguments don’t directly challenge the argument made by the authors.

  165. Chubbs says:

    “Scientists have confirmed that human-caused climate change played an important role in the excessively-high temperatures that gripped much of Western Europe in June.”

    https://wwa.climatecentral.org/

  166. lorcanbonda says:

    Mal-adapted writes “lorcanbonda, are you aware that fossil fuels are only “inexpensive” because the “free market” allows you to socialize the marginal climate-change costs of your own fossil fuel consumption?”

    This is the opposite of intelligent commentary and it is the opposite of “economics”. Fossil fuels are inexpensive because they cost little to produce per unit of energy. You can’t fabricate costs, and then start from that baseline to decide who can’t afford to live in the standard world only to show that some of these people can be saved by reductions in AGW.

    https://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/issues/human-development/energy-for-human-development

    “For over two centuries, an abundance of dense, fossil energy combined with modern agriculture, cities, governance, innovation, and knowledge has fueled a virtuous cycle of socio-economic development, enabling people in many parts of the world to live longer, healthier, and more prosperous lives. The discovery and conversion of modern fuels arguably enabled sustained economic growth for the first time in human history. These energy sources–principally coal and oil along with natural gas, hydroelectric power, and nuclear energy–have enabled rising living standards since the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

    “While this reality brings with it unquantifiable risks of dangerous climate change, insisting – either implicitly or explicitly – that the poorest people on earth forego basic economic development in order to mitigate climate change would seem to be, at the very least, a morally dubious proposition, particularly given that energy development generally increases societal resilience to climatic extremes and natural disasters..”

  167. lorcanbonda,

    This is the opposite of intelligent commentary and it is the opposite of “economics”.

    This is completely wrong. Internalising externalities (which is what a carbon tax would do and is what – I think – Mal is referring to) is well-established economic principle.

  168. JCH says:

    Fossil fuels are not cheap enough to provide them in abundant amounts to populations that earn a few dollars a day. The wingers have had around 70 years to accomplish their nonsense, and they have not lifted a finger to improve the plights of the poorest people on earth. There is no money in it.

  169. Willard says:

    > You can’t fabricate costs,

    Of course you can:

    Armwaving BTI crap should be kept to TED talks.

  170. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    This is the opposite of intelligent commentary and it is the opposite of “economics”.

    Heh. IANAE, although my brother is so I do look like one. OTOH I’ve had a few Economics courses including “Environmental” Economics; and it’s not hard to find the most credible literature on the economics of AGW. And as our host correctly observes, I’m referring to well-established economic principles.

    lc:

    Fossil fuels are inexpensive because they cost little to produce per unit of energy.

    That’s true. Fossil fuels are inexpense in the ‘free’ market for energy because producers can hold the marginal climate change costs of their products external to the minimum prices they must charge to make a profit.

    lc:

    You can’t fabricate costs, and then start from that baseline to decide who can’t afford to live in the standard world only to show that some of these people can be saved by reductions in AGW.

    Why would I want to fabricate costs? I’m not what anybody would call a ‘bleeding heart’. I can, however, follow simple physics, which tells us that digging up petatonnes of fossil carbon from geologic sequestration and returning it to the atmosphere by burning it for energy will cause global warming; and simple economics, which tells us that the accumulation of heat in the Earth system creates random, open-ended diseconomies, i.e. costs, that are already being paid disproportionately by people for whom the benefits of the energy in fossil carbon have been little and late at best. Again, that doesn’t seem fair to me, but YMMV.

    What you are denying, however, is that the random, open-ended costs of AGW could fall disproportionately on yourself. That’s “luckwarmerism”. While it’s not wrong to choose to incur costs unnecessarily, it’s seldom regarded as wise. It could as easily be me paying for AGW with my home, livelihood and/or life, though; and as far as I’m concerned your ‘right’ to deny reality ends where my insurance premiums begin.

    lc, quoting the Breakthrough Institute:

    While this reality brings with it unquantifiable risks of dangerous climate change, insisting – either implicitly or explicitly – that the poorest people on earth forego basic economic development in order to mitigate climate change would seem to be, at the very least, a morally dubious proposition, particularly given that energy development generally increases societal resilience to climatic extremes and natural disasters.

    That would be a morally dubious proposition if anyone were insisting on or even suggesting it, even though societal resilience can’t help your descendants much if you don’t have any because a storm surge swept your house away with you inside. Thankfully, however, basic economic development can be powered by carbon-neutral energy, as affordably for teh poors as fossil energy if you and I had to pay a couple of bucks more to drive our SUVs on crosstown errands. Plus, rednecks couldn’t afford rolling coal anymore, either.

  171. lorcanbonda says:

    I arote — “2) The best way to protect people from deaths due to heat(or cold) is through inexpensive fossil fuels with solutions such as air conditioning and the availability of ice water. In other words, it is not necessarily useful in determining policy.”

    ATTP — “Fossil fuels are the definitively the best way? No doubts? Nuclear? Hydro? Wind? Solar? Geothermal? As others have already pointed out, one reason fossil fuels are cheap is because we are not paying the social cost of carbon; i.e., we’re not paying the full cost of emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.”

    I apologize for being too specific. The best way to prevent excess deaths from heat is through inexpensive energy. The source of that energy is immaterial. However, any plan which significantly increases the cost of energy will be counterproductive to the number of excess deaths from heat or cold. In the current economic environment, fossil fuels (or hydroelectric when available) are the best choices. Nuclear can achieve the goals, but many nations are phasing out nuclear rather than increasing construction.

    As far as the upper limit of survivability for mammals — of course there is an upper limit for survivabillity just as there is a lower limit. Mammals do live in these conditions with adaptations. This article is about human deaths.

    If I read the graph in this article correctly, the conditions presented as “deadly” are well below that maximum wet bulb condition for survivability. is 35C for ~6 hours. Today, where I live (Tampa, FL), today’s weather is predicted to be ~35-36C with an RH of 50-60%. It’s pretty typical for summer day. For ten hours, we will be above 30C with a dewpoint of ~ 24C. In other words, it will be to the right of the red line of this graph for most of the daylight hours.

    Yet, the wetbulb temperature for the bulk of the day will be 27-29C. Mammals live here all year round because of adaptations which allow them to survive.

  172. lorcanbonda,

    The best way to prevent excess deaths from heat is through inexpensive energy. The source of that energy is immaterial.

    Indeed, that is why people propose a carbon tax. It will properly price (to the best of our abilities) the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere and means that the market will essentially the optimal energy mix.

    If I read the graph in this article correctly, the conditions presented as “deadly” are well below that maximum wet bulb condition for survivability.

    What the graph is showing is average daily temperatures and average daily relative humidities. So, it might look well below but this may not be the case on all of the days.

  173. lorcanbonda says:

    Mal-adapted — “Thankfully, however, basic economic development can be powered by carbon-neutral energy, as affordably for the poors as fossil energy if you and I had to pay a couple of bucks more to drive our SUVs on crosstown errands. Plus, rednecks couldn’t afford rolling coal anymore, either.”

    This is filled with such arrogance that it is hard to describe. It’s great that you don’t mind paying a couple bucks more to drive an SUV, but this hubris ignores the people at the margins even in Western, developed economies. In the UK, there are millions living in energy poverty, mostly due to high taxes on fuel. Of these people, there are approximately 25,000 excess deaths each winter due to energy poverty.

    Those people aren’t helped at all about your discussions of SUVs. Neither can people who can only afford to buy a 40 year-old used car with ten mpg because used cars with better gas mileage are too expensive.

    I’m not arguing against developing better technologies. I am against the hubris of wealth which is the modern form of British colonialism. You’re here to help protect poor people from themselves.

    Holy crap, how sick is that?

    “Achieving modern levels of energy consumption for the three billion people who currently are locked out of the modern energy economy, consistent with achieving the human development goals with which energy consumption is highly correlated, can be achieved with more or less impact on the environment and the climate. But tradeoffs are inevitable and policies that condition development of energy infrastructure to a limited set of zero-carbon energy sources are unlikely to succeed at either their development or climate ambitions.

    “The right mix of fossil and low-carbon energy technologies for any given economy will depend upon local resources, technological and institutional capabilities, geo-political considerations, and a range of other factors. Given current technological options, however, no practical path to universal access to modern levels of energy consumption is likely to be consistent with limiting global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to 450 parts per million (ppm).”

  174. JCH says:

    there are approximately 25,000 excess deaths each winter due to energy poverty.

    This is most likely internet mythology.

  175. Marco says:

    “the conditions presented as “deadly” are well below that maximum wet bulb condition”
    Yes, that is correct. The 1995 Chicago heatwave, that killed about 700 people due to heat stress, reportedly had a wet bulb temperature of 30 degrees – well below 35. Unfortunately, not all people are fit and healthy…

    “Neither can people who can only afford to buy a 40 year-old used car with ten mpg because used cars with better gas mileage are too expensive.”

    This is usually because people look at immediate costs, and not longer-term costs. A 40 mpg car versus a 10 mpg car, with average driving (about 13,500 miles per year) and a gasoline price of about 2.3 dollar per gallon, saves you more than 2300 dollar in one single year. Even if we ignore the likely higher maintenance costs of 40-year old cars, you’d ‘earn back’ the total costs for a used 2014 Chevrolet Spark (I found one for a little over 6000 dollar) in three years (the Spark manages about 32 mpg).

  176. lorcanbonda says:

    me — “there are approximately 25,000 excess deaths each winter due to energy poverty.”

    JCH — “This is most likely internet mythology.”

    No, the UK government has been tracking this since ~ 1950, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/excesswintermortalityinenglandandwales/2015to2016provisionaland2014to2015final

    “Excess winter mortality in England and Wales was back in line with average trends in 2015/16. There were an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths where 15% more deaths occurred in winter months than non-winter months.”

    In general these death rates have trended downward since the 1950s due to government building standards and programs to improve efficiency. More recently, they have plateaued or risen. the previous winter had been the worst year in over a decade. The primary driver behind this is the fuel poverty. Fuel poverty bottomed in 2003 at 1.6 million people living in fuel poverty in the UK (this is all four countries). The last report is that ~4.5 million people are living in fuel poverty, but that may have dropped since 2013 as the price of fuel has dropped:

    https://www.researchgate.net/figure/290185896_fig2_Figure-2-Fuel-poverty-figures-and-energy-prices-for-the-UK-between-2003-and-2013-Fuel

    The one comment from the UK reports that I would highlight is a benign one: “In common with other countries, more people die in the winter than in the summer in England and Wales.”

    This should be a well-known fact, but we seem to focus so heavily on warm weather deaths. The reason we know these facts from the UK is because they report them. most countries do not.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm

    “Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.”

  177. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    You’re here to help protect poor people from themselves.

    Holy crap, how sick is that?

    Holy crap, you actually don’t get the Tragedy of the Commons, do you?

  178. lorcanbonda says:

    Me — “The best way to prevent excess deaths from heat is through inexpensive energy. The source of that energy is immaterial.”

    ATTP: “Indeed, that is why people propose a carbon tax. It will properly price (to the best of our abilities) the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere and means that the market will essentially the optimal energy mix.”

    Taxes do not decrease the cost of anything. Taxes on CO2 emissions will increase the costs of carbon emissions, which will also increase the cost of fuel. You can’t suggest that increasing the cost of fuel will reduce the cost of fuel. Those at the margins will be affected the most by any such taxes. Either way, the “optimal energy mix” will not be determined by the market, it would be determined by taxes.

    Me — “If I read the graph in this article correctly, the conditions presented as “deadly” are well below that maximum wet bulb condition for survivability.”

    ATTP: “What the graph is showing is average daily temperatures and average daily relative humidities. So, it might look well below but this may not be the case on all of the days.”

    The average July temperature in Florida is 28C for the entire month. The dew point is ~23C which puts the RH at 60-80%. That still puts the average daily conditions on the red line of death.That puts the wet bulb temperature at ~25C which is still 7-10C lower than lethal conditions.

    That being said, some people would die in Florida every summer, if we could not afford air conditioning which is the point that I’m making. We have ways to adapt to hotter temperatures.

  179. Mal Adapted says:

    Oh, and lorcanbonda:

    This is filled with such arrogance that it is hard to describe.

    Your comments, OTOH, are filled with an arrogance easily ascribed to ignorance. Sorry, but as much as AGW has moral dimensions, its empirical causes are the subject of the dismal science. If the economic concepts of market externality and the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ actually are over your head, it’s not my job to dumb them down. If you’re ‘merely’ in denial, it’s not my job to make you understand.

  180. JCH says:

    As many as 4.5 million are in fuel poverty and some 23,000 died. Whatever saved the 4.27 million from the cold, it apparently wasn’t cheap energy.

  181. lorcanbonda says:

    “Yes, that is correct. The 1995 Chicago heatwave, that killed about 700 people due to heat stress, reportedly had a wet bulb temperature of 30 degrees – well below 35. Unfortunately, not all people are fit and healthy…”

    Do you mean, this heatwave?

    ‘Eric Klinenberg, author of the 2002 book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, has noted that the map of heat-related deaths in Chicago mirrors the map of poverty. Most of the heat wave victims were the elderly poor living in the heart of the city, who either had no working air conditioning or could not afford to turn it on. Many older citizens were also hesitant to open windows and doors at night for fear of crime. Elderly women, who may have been more socially engaged, were less vulnerable than elderly men. By contrast, during the heat waves of the 1930s, many residents slept outside in the parks or along the shore of Lake Michigan.”

    In case you missed my argument — the cost of energy, particularly among the poor, is the primary cause of heat wave deaths. My argument has been a progressive argument about how the cost of energy affects the poor. The best way to solve the deaths is through air conditioning — not through higher energy costs. I guess they could just sleep along Lake Michigan. If only every heat wave had one of those.

    “This is usually because people look at immediate costs, and not longer-term costs. A 40 mpg car versus a 10 mpg car, with average driving (about 13,500 miles per year) and a gasoline price of about 2.3 dollar per gallon, saves you more than 2300 dollar in one single year.”

    Meet some poor people, please. Everyone understands the basic math. It is not a question of short term or long term costs. It’s a question of what they can afford right now — when their car breaks down and they have to get to work tomorrow. Nobody gives them a loan, except at 24.0% rates for this great $3,000 care for only $5,000. In my area, the cheapest used Spark available is $8,500 with an additional $1,500 in taxes titles and fees. The payments for someone with poor credit are $100 per month more than someone with great credit. ($248 vs. $145 — 6 year loan with $500 down.)

    However, you’re missing the economic cost of used cars in a higher cost fuel environment. Used cars with good fuel economy will rise in price dramatically compared to those with lower fuel economy. You will not be able to find used cars with better mileage. They will sell out quickly.

    “Holy crap, you actually don’t get the Tragedy of the Commons, do you?”

    Holy crap, a sociopathic Republican. Yes, I’m aware of the Tragedy of the Commons. I’m also aware of the Tyranny of the Wealthy Elite. You are a 19th century British Imperialist telling the Indians how wonderful it is for them to have their British overlords and telling the Chinese how important it is to continue to support the British economy by consuming their rightful share of the opium.

    The answer seems so clear when you can cry “Damn the poor people and their SUVs, full speed ahead!”

    The Tragedy of the Commons is not a good example in this debate. We’re not discussing a limited resource. There is no “limit” to carbon concentration in the same way that there is a limit to the number of fish which can be sustainably harvested prior to collapse of a stock.

    “… climate mitigation and a world beyond 450 ppm do not represent a zero-sum proposition. A world of 500 or 550 ppm is one less likely to experience catastrophic impacts than one that stabilizes at 700 ppm. More importantly, there are plausible decarbonization pathways that could bring significant climate mitigation benefits that are consistent with a world in which every person consumes energy at modern levels.” — https://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/issues/human-development/energy-for-human-development

  182. lorcanbonda says:

    JCH writes — “As many as 4.5 million are in fuel poverty and some 23,000 died. Whatever saved the 4.27 million from the cold, it apparently wasn’t cheap energy.”

    Is that a joke? We have people complaining about 790 people dying from a heat wave in 1995. Somehow you think 25,000 each year is too small, but the number from a few heat waves is too many. Your compassion is underwhelming.

    The UK is excess deaths (note, the 25,000 is in England and Wales, whereas the 4.5 million includes Scotland and Northern Ireland.) More than 25,000 die in each of the winter and summer, but those are the difference between the seasons. In addition, other factors play a role such as whether they are living alone or with a family or their health during the cold snaps or their age.

    It’s all in the report. However, I don’t think you care about 25,000 extra people dying in what amounts to a very small section of a wealthy nation in Europe. You don’t seem to care much about the health questions in the least. Why bother commenting?

  183. lorcanbonda says:

    Willared writes, “Armwaving BTI crap should be kept to TED talks.”

    after some graphic about G20 subsidies to oil being $452 billion compared to $121 billion for renewables.

    I’m all for ending subsidies to fossil fuels. I haven’t really been arguing about that.

    There is a lot of funny math in this report. Last I checked, the United States had $4.9 billion in fossil fuel subsidies — this report says $5.1 billion, but it credits the United States with $20 billion in subsidies without giving an accounting that I could find. There is $1.2 billion in ExImbank financing which goes to oil exploration. There are all sorts of problems with ExImbank, but the general consensus is that it is beneficial for developing countries. ExImbank is not subsidies, though. It’s basically cost neutral. With that being said, I won’t shed a tear for its passing.

    Without a direct accounting, it is tough to figure out how they arrive at the $452 billion figure. I suspect it is mostly due to profits from state-owned oil companies that it counts as some sort of subsidy. Half of this is Saudi Arabia with the next highest being China. So, when you say, “G20”, it sounds like major Western Nations, but the bulk of it is not from those other countries and funny math.

    If Saudi Arabia and China want to divest from their national oil monopolies, you won’t find me objecting. My argument is against regressive taxation structures.

  184. izen says:

    @-lorcanbonda
    Winter deaths predominately affect the poor because age and physical imfirmity make you poor.
    But as the UK figures you quote show, the 15% extra winter deaths can be much reduced by government building codes and a welfare safety net.

    Heatwaves also kill the old and infirm. But are much less correlated with poverty or age/infirmity. In Italy the young and healthy were also victims in numbers that were much greater than for cold events.
    Equitable resource allocation would significantly reduce winter deaths. It would have much less impact on heatwave deaths. Survival in the cold is a matter of resources (igloo, furs and fish) but the 2LoT makes generating cold to survive the heat counter-productive. And there is an upper temperature limit were all biology fails. If half your food supply dies so does the civilisation.

    Life can adapt to cold rather better than heat. Compare the biomass in the Arctic tundra with the Equatorial deserts.

  185. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    Yes, I’m aware of the Tragedy of the Commons. I’m also aware of the Tyranny of the Wealthy Elite.

    Well, that wasn’t a bad comeback, truthfully, but you aren’t fully unpacking the metaphor of the TotC in the specialized vocabulary (or ‘jargon’) of Economics. FWIW, I’m almost convinced you can figure this out, if you’re able to ignore the admittedly sophisticated misdirection commissioned by that Wealthy Elite.

    There has always been, and still is, a ‘Tyranny of the Wealthy Elite’ in some meaningful manner of speaking, ready to appropriate common pool resources for the private benefit of the tyrants. Regardless, every word doesn’t have to mean just one thing, and in Science a single word, or four, can be assigned to stand for a whole bunch of related things. Whatever Garrett Hardin was thinking in 1968, the phrase ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ immediately entered the public domain, and within less than 10 years it was adopted by economists as a pithy rubric for a large and diverse class of market processes. I first saw it in a 1978 Economics textbook, IIRC. Complain to the President of Economics, not to me.

    I, for one, am confident AGW will be the most costly and far-reaching TotC since the evolution of photosynthesis. That sentence was a test for you, lorcanbonda. But first, speaking of the Tyranny of the Wealthy Elite, please see this interview with Charles Koch on Forbes.com (“The Capitalists’ Tool”), titled Inside The Koch Empire: How The Brothers Plan To Reshape America. Then, see the late Economics Nobelist Elinor Ostrom, et al., on The Drama of the Commons. The authors prefer ‘drama’ to ‘tragedy’ because tragedy can sometimes be averted, or at least mitigated, by appropriate collective action. It’s not hard to see the nuances, but so far there’s no broad consensus in economics to change the jargon phrase.

  186. Willard says:

    > I haven’t really been arguing about that.

    The very existence of subsidies contradicts the claim that you can’t fabricate costs.

    It also undermines the idea that cheap and affordable energy will solve everything.

    If things were as simple as that, we wouldn’t need economics at all.

    Please mind your peddling from now on, L.

  187. KeefeAndAmanda says:

    lorcanbonda said on July 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm,

    “Today, where I live (Tampa, FL),….
    Mammals live here all year round because of adaptations which allow them to survive.”

    lorcanbonda said on July 6, 2017 at 12:24 am,

    “That being said, some people would die in Florida every summer, if we could not afford air conditioning which is the point that I’m making. We have ways to adapt to hotter temperatures.”

    I have lived in south-central Florida, away from the coasts, for decades – the combination of heat and humidity in these parts of the state is even worse than it is on or near the coasts, in places like Tampa. So I very much by long experience understand the points you make in your comments about adaptability and things like air conditioning.

    But I think you’re missing the main point.

    In my comment much further above on June 27, 2017 at 5:58 am, I addressed in detail what the paper in question and others like it are really about. The main point of these types of papers is not really about how bad it is now, but about how increasingly bad it will be for the middle parts of the planet in the not too distant future – over the next one, two, or three or more centuries – if the global CO2 levels continue to rise, especially at the rates they have up to now. (I’m not talking about CO2 emissions numbers, which could very well be not worthy of trust since they’re based on self-reporting, but about the only numbers that really count, the ones that tell us how much CO2 is actually there in the atmosphere and how fast that level is rising.)

    The main point you’re missing is that as the typical summertime heat indexes continue over these next centuries to get closer and closer to the point where adaptability is physically impossible (since evolution works over much longer time scales), we will see higher and higher percentages of mammals – including humans – dying each summer. Long before that absolute limit is reached, mammalian populations – including human populations – will no longer be viable because of some unacceptable percentage of the populations die off each summer from the heat. The minimum percentage that would be unacceptable to have a viable population would not need to be high – it could be quite low. And keep in mind that this includes every technology fix including air conditioning that we can reasonably expect we could accomplish.

    Don’t forget that many job descriptions require people to be outdoors for long periods of time even during the summer – everything that has to do with construction, and you name it. What? Space suits for everyone? Who’s going to pay for all those space suits? And think of the industries based on animals here in Florida such as the cattle industry.

    For example, let’s consider the point where this die off each summer even with technology use reaches just 1% of the population of south-central Florida, and let’s use a nice easy number to work with, just 10 million (this state’s total population now is about 20 million, so 10 million is quite low for the future in question). That’s 100,000 heat deaths per year. What about 5% – 500,000 per year? (Again, low numbers.) And what about natural or manmade (see terrorist) disasters knocking out our power for days, weeks, or even months? Then that 1-5% die-off hits what – 10-50% for that summer of a long power outage? And that’s a viable human civilization? Never mind that individual homes can and do lose their power for long periods of time due to breakdowns, and so on.

    That is, the main point of these types of papers is to get people to see that nonviability for a thriving mammalian civilization – human or otherwise – in certain parts of the planet is well short of the time where wet bulb temps of 35 degrees C would be the typical summertime high. And this includes taking into account technology like air conditioning, which can and does break down or be knocked out by power outages.

    Keep in mind that this wet bulb temperature has not been seen on this planet for roughly 55 million years, and that the vast majority of mammalian evolution happened since then.

    And keep in mind that this wet bulb temp translates to a heat index of close to roughly 200 degrees F, where now in Florida the heat indexes at worse during the summer are above but still close to only 100 degrees F. And people complain like crazy when that happens. It’s usually below 100 degrees F. When this typical summer heat index high here in Florida finally reaches, say, 150 degrees F, which translates to a wet bulb temp well below that magic number of 35 degrees C, then our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren will be saying that because of air conditioning, all’s just fine and dandy, even fine and dandy to have global CO2 still continue to rise, knowing that an unacceptable percentage of the population here with those temps might not be able to survive a relatively long power outage – which is not uncommon here because of the weather, breakdowns, etc.? (Another thing to keep in mind: Much of what we humans do now in terms of spewing CO2 means that much future increase in warming is “baked in” from what we do now, and on top of that, an appreciable percentage of spewed CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.)

  188. Marco says:

    “In case you missed my argument — the cost of energy, particularly among the poor, is the primary cause of heat wave deaths. ”
    Yes, you’ve made that argument, and then substantiated it by handwaving.

    “Meet some poor people, please.”
    I have met plenty, thank you. If you really are so concerned about them, there are a few other ways of helping them out of poverty, other than just giving them cheap access to energy (which doesn’t).

  189. lorcanbonda,

    Taxes do not decrease the cost of anything. Taxes on CO2 emissions will increase the costs of carbon emissions, which will also increase the cost of fuel. You can’t suggest that increasing the cost of fuel will reduce the cost of fuel.

    I didn’t say it will decrease the cost; I said it would properly price. The market is most efficient when products are correctly priced so that nothing has an unfair advantage. Emitting CO2 into the atmosphere will almost certainly have costs that we do not currently include in the price of fossil fuels. By arguing against a carbon tax you’re not only arguing for an inefficient market you’re arguing in favour of people today benefitting at the expense of people in the very near future.

  190. lorcanbonda says:

    Izen writes ““Winter deaths predominately affect the poor because age and physical infirmity make you poor. But as the UK figures you quote show, the 15% extra winter deaths can be much reduced by government building codes and a welfare safety net.

    In the UK, the “poor” are pensioners. It’s not exactly the same as here. That being said, they got down to where the increased death rate is only 15% higher in the winter due to efforts to improve building codes. I’m not opposed to these efforts, (in fact, I’m generally supportive as long as it doesn’t create other hazards), but energy poverty continued to increase due to the increase in fuel costs in the UK.

    ATTP writes, “I didn’t say it will decrease the cost; I said it would properly price. The market is most efficient when products are correctly priced so that nothing has an unfair advantage. Emitting CO2 into the atmosphere will almost certainly have costs that we do not currently include in the price of fossil fuels. By arguing against a carbon tax you’re not only arguing for an inefficient market you’re arguing in favour of people today benefitting at the expense of people in the very near future.

    If you recall, my point was that the best way to protect against deaths was through inexpensive energy. Your response was, “Yes, that’s why we need to tax carbon dioxide.” or words to that effect.

    Now, I’m generally opposed to regressive taxes, but no matter how you look at it, carbon dioxide taxes will increase energy poverty. I understand that you have other objectives you want to achieve, but presumably these “lives lost” from the Mora study are part of the cost. If we count “lives lost” as a cost, shouldn’t we count “lives lost due to higher fuel costs” as a benefit? We would also need an accounting for the costs of hydroelectric on the environment as well as wind or solar. It is not hard to imagine a solar power company lobbying to get higher taxes on wind energy to favor their energy. This is basically the reason for corn-based ethanol production (short term political lobbying to distort market economics in their favor.)

    I also doubt that we have adequate methods to “price” carbon dioxide because the goal is reduced carbon dioxide emissions. In other words, the taxes will continue to rise based on some “cost” justification until emissions targets are achieved. Some people argue that these revenues could be used to help the poor, but history shows this does not last more than a few budget cycles. (For instance, most state lottery money is supposed to help fund education, but studies show that the states always use that money to offset other spending in subsequent years.)

    It is not hard to find exaggerated costs for carbon dioxide. Willard has some graphic about $452 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels. It is tough to unravel the math behind that, but it looks like half of that figure is includes profits to the Saudi Arabia and $90 billion is profits to China for their ownership of their state owned oil industries. I'[m guessing his answers would be to tax carbon to offset these profits for these nations.

  191. lorcanbonda says:

    Marco writes, “I have met plenty, thank you. If you really are so concerned about them, there are a few other ways of helping them out of poverty, other than just giving them cheap access to energy (which doesn’t).”

    First of all, I agree that there are other ways to help the poor. My opinion is that the most significant ways are to eliminate policies which are inadvertently designed to keep the poor in poverty — these include health policy, energy policy, education, and job opportunities. I’m more than happy to address any of these, but the purpose of this discussion is energy policy,

    I’m trying to dig back through the record to see the exact reason for this argument. It is two fold:

    1) Mal “Thankfully, however, basic economic development can be powered by carbon-neutral energy, as affordably for teh poors as fossil energy if you and I had to pay a couple of bucks more to drive our SUVs on crosstown errands. Plus, rednecks couldn’t afford rolling coal anymore, either.”

    Besides the common, condescending attitude toward the rural poor (the last acceptable chauvinism) the implication is that the only real cost of carbon taxes is higher fuel costs for the SUV. I take issue with that.

    2) The example of the math involving the Chevy Spark. The example presumes that those of below average wealth don’t understand the math. For the most part, everyone understands the basic math. The math is too general for the specific conditions that people face. In addition, my point was about how higher fuel prices will drive up the cost of the limited number of used, high-mileage cars.

  192. lorcanbonda,

    I also doubt that we have adequate methods to “price” carbon dioxide because the goal is reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

    Technically, the formal goal is to price carbon so that the market can operate efficiently and evolve towards the optimal energy provision. I agree that we probably can’t price it accurately, but it’s almost certainly not zero, and is almost certainly positive. Currently – in other words – we pay too little. You’re essentially arguing that we should not price carbon so as to keep energy costs low now, which almost certainly means passing on costs to people in the near future. Some of those people may well be people who are alive today.

    This also does not necessarily have to be regressive. As I understand it, you could restructure taxation so that you the burden is on those who emit the most carbon, but in which we don’t necessarily raise more revenue.

    At the end of the day, this is regarded as an economically efficient of trying to address this issue and there is nothing stopping us from implementing this in a way that takes into account the impact this will have on those on lower incomes.

  193. Marco says:

    “The example presumes that those of below average wealth don’t understand the math.”

    No, the example presumes, based on scientific insights (you could start with Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow) that many human beings are not rational when dealing with economical questions (you can also look up papers on irrational financial decisions – the papers on that topic are, however, more often focused on high-end traders and corporations). For poor people the resulting irrational choices will just have a worse outcome, because their budget is already tight.

    I don’t think I know anyone who does *not* make irrational financial choices.

  194. Marco says:

    Hmmm, I forgot to say that cheap energy to be able to allow the use of air conditioners by the poor may well get you into a vicious circle which in the end is economically a bad decision, too:
    cheap energy would allow use of air conditioners that use energy (and which you link to fossil fuels and thus CO2 emissions); thereby CO2 emissions go up, which exacerbates global warming, which in turn requires the more frequent use of air conditioners, thus increasing energy cost…

  195. Vinny Burgoo says:

    lorcanbonda:

    Neither can people who can only afford to buy a 40 year-old used car with ten mpg because used cars with better gas mileage are too expensive.

    This might be a US/UK thing but are 40-year-old cars really all that cheap over there? I’d have thought they’d be collectors items if still running.

    I’m a big fan of bangernomics and always buy cheap old cars*, but ‘old’ for me means 15 to 20 years old. I wouldn’t touch a 40-year-old. Screw the mpg. Where would you get the parts?

    ===
    *Current wheels: a 17-year-old 40-mpg Renault bought two years ago with 115k on the clock (and £3 in cash under the front seats and a spare radio in the boot worth £100 on e-bay) for £350. Apart from the usual pothole damage, it behaved well until about a month ago, when it became increasingly reluctant to start. I was on the point of scrapping it when I found that the engine-to-chassis earth strap had crumbled to almost nothing. There-and-back trip to buy a new strap: 45 minutes. Cost: £3.50 plus ~£2 for petrol etc. Fitting time: 15 minutes. (Is running such old bangers more carbon-virtuous in the UK than buying an EV or hybrid? Almost certainly yes, though I haven’t done any such sums recently.)

  196. JCH says:

    I’m thinking about buying a ~1960 Austin Healey Bugeye. Depends on condition, but a junker is several thousand, and biggest ask so far is $35,000. The one I had in high school was cream and red.

    Results:

    Most of the excess winter deaths are driven by cold: The excess winter deaths index decreased from 1.19 to 1.07 after excluding deaths attributable to low temperatures. Over 40% of cold-attributable deaths occurred outside of the December–March period, leading to bias in the excess winter deaths measure. Although there was no relationship between winter severity and annual excess winter deaths, there was a clear correlation with annual cold-attributable deaths.

    Conclusions:

    Excess winter deaths is not an appropriate indicator of cold-related health impacts, and its use should be discontinued. We advocate alternative measures. The findings we present bring into doubt previous claims that cold-related deaths in the UK will not reduce in future as a result of climate change.

    My experiences with feedlots and cattle, I agree with some of the above. But not all. I don’t think warming will save lives of a group of people who are, whether rich for poor, on the verge of death anyway.

  197. lorcanbonda says:

    For an individual tax, the poor and middle class will spend a much higher percentage of their income on energy needs which makes it regressive. High energy industries will have to pay higher energy costs as well. The result will be these industries moving to nations who have no obligations under the Paris Treaty, such as China. (Sorry, that was cynical.)

    It’s really a simple idea. The economics of any policy should be evaluated based on the net gains or loss. In this article, I'[m assuming we are discussing lives as the primary economic indicator. Simply put, the policy which results in more lives lost is the indicator of importance. If carbon taxes result in more energy poverty and results in more deaths due to temperature extremes, then it is not a positive policy.

    I don’t know any studies which consider the effects these way,. I think I’ve made the point that studies which only look at increased mortality due to heatwaves do not give a picture of the

    JCH — That’s not really the argument that I was presenting. I was arguing that higher energy costs will increase heat and cold conditions due to the inability to afford the cost of changing environmental conditions(air conditioning or heating).

    That being said, your quotes agree with me. That study claims that the standard used in the UK under reports cold-related deaths. It also claims that climate change should reduce cold-related deaths in the UK..

    “For example, although about 3,213 cold-related deaths occur during December–March in a typical year, a further 2,257 cold deaths (over 40%) occur outside of this period. These additional cold deaths are contributing to the “wrong” side of the equation in the excess winter deaths calculation.”

    They propose a new way to estimate “excess winter deaths” using a “cold attributable fraction”.

    There are also many regional studies which show a reduction in heat related deaths due to the adoption of air conditioning. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12550082

    “The falls in North Carolina and South Finland remained significant after allowances were made for changes in age, sex, and baseline mortality. Increased air conditioning probably explains the virtual disappearance of heat-related mortality in the hottest region, North Carolina, despite warmer summers. Other lifestyle changes associated with increasing prosperity probably explain the favorable trends in the cooler regions.”

    I found a summary of these studies which list many of them, but the authors are of questionable credentials: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241712/

    “Heat is becoming a less important factor in human health as air conditioning spreads. Heat-related mortality in 28 major U.S. cities from 1964 through 1998 dropped from 41 deaths per day in the 1960s to only 10.5 per day in the 1990s.

  198. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    Besides the common, condescending attitude toward the rural poor (the last acceptable chauvinism) the implication is that the only real cost of carbon taxes is higher fuel costs for the SUV. I take issue with that.

    I grew up with ‘rednecks’, i.e. children of working-class families whose parents didn’t go to college and who didn’t plan on going to college themselves, at a time when college was much more affordable than now. The only ones I feel condescending towards, are the ones who’ve allowed that Tyranny of the Elite to persuade them AGW is a librul plot to impose world soshalizm and let illegal immigrants’ kids attend school with theirs, or something. Like the guys with dual plumes of thick, black exhaust blowing out their trucks’ twin tailpipes, gleefully flipping climate science off; ‘rolling coal’ is actually a thing.

    It’s true that CF&D will initially raise prices throughout the economy. That’s what’s meant by ‘internalizing the marginal climate-change costs of fossil fuels’. Nevertheless, energy consumers will still buy as much fossil fuel as they can afford, but now with carbon-neutral alternatives able to compete honestly on price; and the same price-sensitive choices will be made in every downstream transaction.

    The dividend is key, to be sure: it makes the fee revenue-neutral, so the money stays in the economy, available for reallocation to carbon-neutral energy; and it makes CF&D a progressive tax, since per capita energy consumption, direct and embodied, is positively correlated with income.

    The goal of CF&D, however, is not to punish fossil fuel users or redistribute income! It’s to harness market forces that can replace fossil fuels with carbon-neutral energy nationally, and by wielding America’s market power, globally, until no one will pay to burn fossil carbon for energy even without a carbon tax. Because the longer we – you, me, and the world’s poor – keep burning fossil carbon, the more we will all pay for the ensuing global warming, one way or another and not of our choosing. Now come on, is that really so hard to understand?

  199. Willard says:

    > It is tough to unravel the math behind that, but it looks like half of that figure is includes profits to the Saudi Arabia and $90 billion is profits to China for their ownership of their state owned oil industries.

    Not really:

    We identify three types of fossil fuel production subsidies:

    • national subsidies delivered through direct spending and tax breaks of $70 billion

    investments by majority state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that account for another $286 billion

    public finance from majority government-owned banks and financial institutions that amounts to another $88 billion per year on average in 2013 and 2014.

    http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2015/11/empty_promises_full_report_update.pdf

    The link led to the page where the report was cited.

  200. Marco says:

    “The result will be these industries moving to nations who have no obligations under the Paris Treaty, such as China. (Sorry, that was cynical.)”

    It is never good when people make large claims about something they clearly know very little about. China has exactly the same obligations under the Paris agreement as any other country that ratified the agreement: preparing nationally determined contributions, and reporting on them every five years. China has pledged peak CO2 emissions in 2030, but may already get there well before that.

    Add to this that China intends to implement a carbon tax as of 2020, possibly in part because they have trouble getting their emission trading scheme to work. Gasp! China is actually doing something to price carbon emissions!

    In other words, your comment was not cynical, it was ignorant.

  201. lorcanbonda says:

    Willard — So, $286 billion of the $462 billion is from investments in state-owned oil monopolies (which are predominantly Saudi Arabia and China (followed by Russia, Venzuela and the rest.) It sounds pretty close to my estimate. Are those really subsidies? Do you really plan to tax people to offset those investments?

    For the United States, there are $5.1 billion in subsidies and $1.2 billion in ExIm bank loans. I’m all for eliminating those, but that will not make all of that much of a dent on the worldwide scale.

    Marco — (completely off subject now.) yes, my comment on China as a half-jest. However, China is not an altruistic. Their goal is anti-competitive and always will be. Their pledges are for press purposes only. Of the 2400 proposed coal plants, 1171 of them are in China. https://www.theatlas.com/charts/4yvm8Av4x

    Mal Adapted — there are Wealthy Elites on both sides of the Climate Change discussion. I have no sympathy for any of them. However, the rest of us are getting crushed under the weight of their ambitions.

    Yes, energy consumption is positively correlated with income. However, consumption as a percentage of income is negatively correlated which makes any carbon tax strongly regressive. You can’t sugar coat it with verbiage like “That’s what’s meant by ‘internalizing the marginal climate-change costs of fossil fuels’.”

    The effect is the same. It is Louis XVI in pre-revolutionary France taxing salt because he can’t manage to tax the aristocracy. You will get a reduction in burning of fossil fuels when people can’t afford it, but how heartless is that?. For those at the margins, it means they can’t get to work. That is not a positive outcome.

    And, as I’ve tried to illustrate with examples, the costs of taxing people out of energy are significant in lives lost worldwide. You can’t argue that carbon dioxide is a cost without understanding the effect of these policies.

  202. lorcanbonda,

    And, as I’ve tried to illustrate with examples, the costs of taxing people out of energy are significant in lives lost worldwide.

    Except this is not the intent and – in my view – is unlikely to be the outcome. The goal is to price carbon emissions so that fossil fuels do not have an unfair advantage in the market. In the medium/long-term properly pricing emissions should lead to the optimal pathway. What you’re arguing for is a less efficient energy market. To be fair, I’m not convinced that a carbon tax alone will be sufficient, but I do think that something like a carbon tax will be needed.

  203. Willard says:

    > It sounds pretty close to my estimate.

    Your guesstimate mentioned profits to peddle “but China” Lorca, so you weren’t even in the same ball park. More importantly, your guesstimate still dodges the fact that these costs come from somewhere, and still misunderstestimates the effects of these on the actual price of fossil fuels. Your rhetorical question “are they really subsidies” conceals the fact that one of the richest industry in the world is funded by people who get suckered in by BTI sugar coated crap.

    And now you’re going for “but the poor”. That’s just great.

    Heatwaves. Please stick to that topic.

  204. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    lorcanbonda says:

    …condescending attitude toward the rural poor (the last acceptable chauvinism)…

    Chauvinism comes in many forms, lorcanbonda.

    So – Can we please cut the “White Man’s Burden”
    crap?

    The poor people of this world do not want or need your or anyone else’s help to decide what they want or need.

    Given the diverse range of political, geographical, and economic conditions that poor peoples face, and the fact that they are sovereign, and just as intelligent as others, they can make these decisions for themselves.

    Insofar as the rich have already imposed the externalized costs (including more, and more severe heatwaves) of the fossil-fuel driven industrial revolution disproportionately upon the poor, just sending them large bags of money might signal our Good Intentions. But let’s not pave the road with those Good Intentions.

  205. Magma says:

    Climate skeptic on renewable energy for developing countries: Why won’t you think of the global poor that you’re selfishly condemning to misery, poverty and early death by depriving them of the wonderful benefits of fossil fuels?

    Climate skeptic on trade, health care, migration, aid, etc. for developing countries: F*** em. Let them solve their own problems.

  206. Magma,
    Indeed. Fossil fuels have dominated for a long time and there has been little attempt to explicitly help the developing world install fossil fuel energy sources. Now that there is a suggestion that maybe we find alternatives it’s suddenly imperative that we allow this. To be fair, I don’t think the suggestion is that we actually do anything specific; it’s more a claim that we’re stopping it from happening. However, if we are indeed moving away from fossil fuels (as seems the case, even if it’s happening slowly) it would seem more sensible to allow the developing world to skip over using an energy source that has clearly played a crucial role in driving economic growth, but will probably not be the dominant energy source of the future.

    I’m largely in agreement with the Very Reverend

    The poor people of this world do not want or need your or anyone else’s help to decide what they want or need.

    Which is not to say that we shouldn’t help, but to point out that we don’t need to tell people what they do, or do not, need.

  207. John Hartz says:

    If the information presented in the following article is correct, locarbonda’s concerns are nothing more than figmants of his imagination…

    As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, July 1, 2017

  208. Magma says:

    @ John Hartz

    I read that article, and followed up on the main source of the information, a global compilation of new coal-fired power plant announcements and current status (announced, pre-permitting stage, permitted, under construction, operational, shelved, cancelled).

    There are enormous caveats to the numbers the NYT reported, with hundreds of coal plants cancelled or indefinitely deferred. Between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2017 alone, 620 GW of proposed new coal generating capacity was deferred or cancelled. The reporting in the article was not particularly sophisticated and appeared to miss that important detail.

  209. Mal Adapted says:

    lorcanbonda:

    However, consumption as a percentage of income is negatively correlated which makes any carbon tax strongly regressive.

    Ouch. That’s a popular meme with CMAGW (Catastrophic Mitigation of AGW) alarmists, and it’s entirely specious WRT Carbon Fee and Dividend. The dividend is the total revenue divided by the total number of taxpayers. Everybody gets the same size dividend. CF&D means money in the bank for anyone spends fewer total dollars per dividend period on fossil fuel than the average fuel consumer. Please explain how that’s regressive.

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