Ross Kiminsky delivers the devastating point:
We have nearly eliminated smallpox and polio, two of the greatest scourges of eras past. In other words, we adapt to our environment -- in those cases when we can't adapt our environment to us.
For that reason, it defies common sense to believe that man-made global warming, even if it were real, would have the devastating impact that its anti-capitalist, wealth-redistributionist proponents claim.
Now we have the results of a much broader study, commissioned by the Reason Foundation, which points in exactly this same direction of adaptability. The study, entitled "The Amazing Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather in an Era of Global Warming, 1900-2010" is summarized thus:
Aggregate mortality attributed to all extreme weather events globally has declined by 98% since the 1920s, in spite of a four-fold rise in population and much more complete reporting of such events.
Other highlights from the study's findings:
• "Droughts were the most deadly extreme weather category between 1900 and 2010, responsible for over 60 percent of extreme weather deaths during that time. The worldwide death rate from droughts peaked in the 1920s when there were 235 deaths a year per million people. Since then, the death rate has fallen by 99.9 percent. The study finds that global food production advancements, such as new crops, improved fertilizer, irrigation, and pesticides, along with society's better ability to move food and medical supplies, were responsible for reducing the number of deaths in times of severe drought."
• "Floods were to blame for 30 percent of the deaths during the timeframe studied, making them the second most deadly extreme weather category. The death rate for floods topped out in the 1930s at 204 deaths a year per million people. Deaths from floods have fallen by over 98 percent since then and there was an average of approximately one flood death per year per million people from 2000 to 2010."
• All of this while the advent of storm-finding and storm-reporting technologies have massively increased the number of reported extreme weather events. (This is not to say that the actual number of such events has increased, just the reporting thereof.) Of course, the same technology which allows storms to be reported allows them to be prepared for.
If people adapt, as we manifestly do, to almost anything thrown at us, it is difficult to take seriously the doomsday scenarios proffered by the UN's IPCC and their grant-chasing "scientists," supported by radical environmental leftists whose motivation is more to impoverish the west than to "save the planet."
That is why their "solutions" all involve two things: Curbing energy usage and production (which is to say, curbing humans' standard of living), and redistributing wealth from richer people and richer nations to poorer people and poorer nations. But if they really cared about the impact on people, rather than satisfying their own self-loathing as members of the human race, or even worse as Americans (gasp!), they would focus on aiding and speeding adaptation rather than trying to do the atmospheric equivalent of stopping continental drift.
For example, Denmark's Bjorn Lomborg, a professor of environmental economics, is a believer that global warming is man-made yet still argues that massive wealth-destroying policies are the wrong way to go. Instead, we should focus on much cheaper and more effective projects such as increasing clean water supplies in the third world.
People are becoming skeptical of man-made global warming not just because the warmists' mathematical models can't explain the lack of warming since 1998 and not just because Climategate proved how utterly corrupt "climate science" has become. But it's also because the solutions proposed, i.e. to stop using energy, are based on an obvious, even if never-ever-ever-ever-stated by the left, premise that people who live on 21st century Earth are too stupid to adapt to a changing environment -- even though we have as a species, even without the benefit of modern technology, done just that for millennia.
Reason's new study is just confirmation of what we all know in our gut: that "climate change," even if it were partially caused by man, is not the threat the left claims and not to be responded to by cutting our own economic throats, whether by cap-and-trade policies or by incinerating billions of dollars on the altar of "green energy" as our savior. Indeed, actually incinerating the money may have generated more energy for our nation than Solyndra and the like have, proving perhaps that while humans are not inherently stupid, bureaucrats and politicians may be a special case.