By JR on Saturday, October 04, 2014
WHO should now declare a public health emergency (?)
The boilerplate article below by Fiona Godlee writing in the BMJ is no great surprise. BMJ is only partly an academic medical journal and has long been Left-leaning. And her "bold" call for a declaration by WHO won't frighten the horses either. The WHO is often wrong and often ignored. Godly FiFi is basically a twit. Her tame and ill-informed declaration is a quite strange foundation for the claim by Warmists that Climate Change is a Bigger Health Emergency Than Ebola
When The BMJ started publishing articles on climate change, some readers told us to stick to our knitting. “What did this have to do with medicine?” they asked. And wasn’t climate change a myth, a result of natural climatic variation, nothing to do with human activity? There were surely more immediate challenges that The BMJ and its readers should be focusing on.
We listened politely but carried on, convinced of the threat to human health and survival. With others we set up the Climate and Health Council (climateandhealth.org). We published editorials and articles (thebmj.com/content/climate-change), co-hosted conferences and seminars, lobbied funders, talked to policy makers and politicians, and worked with the BMA, the royal colleges, and their equivalents in other countries, all the time worrying that this was not enough. Our hope was to encourage doctors and other health professionals to take a lead in tackling climate change.
Now we have gone a step further, with the publication of an article that contains no medicine or healthcare at all. “The science of anthropogenic climate change: what every doctor should know” is pure climate science.1 Why? Because if we doctors are to become effective advocates against climate change, a better understanding of the science will help us.
As most readers will know, the news is not good. With a high degree of certainty the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded in its fifth report that the world is getting hotter and that human activity is mainly to blame. Global average temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C in the past 50 years and by 0.8°C from pre-industrial times. The effect of these higher temperatures on weather systems is already being felt. The IPCC reports that it is highly likely that global warming is causing climate change, characterised by more frequent and intense temperature extremes, heavier rainfall events, and other extreme weather events. Sea levels are rising as a result of the thermal expansion of the oceans and the melting of polar icecaps and glaciers.
The headlines should come as no surprise, but the detail may prove instructive. Higher seas mean more frequent and extreme tidal surges, coastal flooding, and the salination of vital fresh water supplies. Warmer air carries more moisture, leading to more extreme rainfall events. But warmer air also reduces the amount of moisture in the soil, contributing to soil erosion and flash flooding.
As for the main underlying cause, the IPCC is clear: it is the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Other gases and aerosols are also to blame, especially methane and nitrous oxide, and particulate black carbon. But carbon dioxide is long lived. Once released into the atmosphere it stays around for centuries. Deforestation makes this worse....
WHO has shown important leadership on climate change but has stopped short of declaring a global public health emergency. This may be understandable with Ebola raging. But it is what WHO should now do. Deaths from Ebola infection, tragic and frightening though they are, will pale into insignificance when compared with the mayhem we can expect for our children and grandchildren if the world does nothing to check its carbon emissions. And action is needed now.
More of the usual Warmist blah HERE. FiFi wouldn't know how to be original to save her life.