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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

If Global Warming Is Killing Us, Why Is Global Life Expectancy Increasing? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 16, 2019

According to data compiled by the World Bank, life expectancy continues to grow fastest in Africa. During the ten-year period from 2007 to 2016, the largest gains were realized in Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa. The gains in years ranged from 13 years over the period in Zimbabwe to nearly 10 years in South Africa. Wealthy and mid-level countries saw gains during this period as well, including Switzerland and Mexico, where life expectancy increased 1.1 years and 1.4 years, respectively.

Those who want to rein in economic activity in the name of climate-improvement would be destroying the very thing that’s improved the quality of life for billions already. Second, the anti-climate-change research would have to show that carbon taxes and similar policies will both reduce climate-change and increase access to better medical care, housing, and clean water. This has certainly not been done.

https://mises.org/wire/if-global-warming-killing-us-why-global-life-expectancy-increasing

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (“Mortality in the United States, 2017“), “Life expectancy for the U.S. population declined to 78.6 years in 2017,” largely due to obesity and drug addiction.

The American life expectancy trend does not reflect global trends, however.

Worldwide, the evidence continues to point toward rising life expectancy in most of the world, with the biggest gains in the poorest countries.

According to data compiled by the World Bank, life expectancy continues to grow fastest in Africa. During the ten-year period from 2007 to 2016, the largest gains were realized in Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa. The gains in years ranged from 13 years over the period in Zimbabwe to nearly 10 years in South Africa. Wealthy and mid-level countries saw gains during this period as well, including Switzerland and Mexico, where life expectancy increased 1.1 years and 1.4 years, respectively.

Indeed, the continued gains should surprise no one who keeps up with global trends in health. Globally, access to sanitation and clean water has improved substantially while extreme poverty, malnourishment, and child mortality have all declined. This has especially been the case in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, where some of the worst poverty can be found.

Why the Climate-Change Panic?

Oddly, however, you won’t hear much about this in the context of the climate change debate.

For years — as life expectancy numbers have continued to rise — pundits and researchers have repeatedly attempted to claim that climate change has led to — or will soon lead to — declines in overall life and health.

For example, The New Republic announced in 2015 that climate change “devastates food security, nutrition, and water safety.” Yet, the data shows that none of these things have been in any way “devastated” over the past decade. In fact, the indicators are all better now than where they were ten years ago.1

Meanwhile, The Lancet predicted (in a report released in November of last year) “continued progress in improving life expectancy.” The biggest gains are to be found in poorer countries. The report also predicts continued life-expectancy growth through the year 2040:…

The Lancet itself report also notes that natural-disaster related deaths are unlikely to be relevant to life expectancy predictions:

Predicted impacts in other studies on extreme weather-related deaths and heat wave deaths are not large enough to have much impact on global life expectancy.

So, while journalists like to talk about how many people climate change will supposedly kill this year, the fact remains that the net gains in life expectancy continue to be positive.  Those who want to rein in economic activity in the name of climate-improvement would be destroying the very thing that’s improved the quality of life for billions already. Second, the anti-climate-change research would have to show that carbon taxes and similar policies will both reduce climate-change and increase access to better medical care, housing, and clean water. This has certainly not been done. In fact, as Robert Murphy has noted, we have every reason to believe the costs of implementation of anti-climate change regimes will be very high.

Be seeing you

Carbon Tax - is it a key policy in the fight against climate change?

 

 

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