Claims of Global Warming Health Threat Receive Pushback

Published August 11, 2015

Many health care experts disagree with claims made in a report in the Lancet supporting President Barack Obama’s assertion climate change poses a public health threat through increased risk of food insecurity and air pollution, among many other things.

            The article argues air pollution can cause allergies and asthma; drought could lead to food shortages; and degraded ecosystems could increase human contact with pests carrying vector-borne diseases.

            “Here is a better message for doctors to give their patients: The moderate warming that is now being forecast for the foreseeable future will actually be good for health,” said John Goodman, president of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research.

            “It will produce larger harvests and more abundant food at lower prices,” Goodman said. “It will also reduce the number of deaths from extreme cold.”

Politics ‘in the Exam Room’

Obama and officials in his administration have attempted a number of times in recent months to link global warming and public health problems. They argue doctors should warn their patients global warming could make their health worse, says Beth Haynes, M.D., executive director of the Benjamin Rush Institute.

            “The call to inject global warming propaganda into medical practice and training is indicative of the problems created when government is overly involved in medicine,” said Haynes. “Politics do not belong in the exam room or on the official curriculum for medical training.”

            “Obama wants your doctor to dose you with EPA’s brand of alarmist propaganda,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior fellow Marlo Lewis Jr. “For example, EPA’s recent ‘Benefits of Global Action’ report claims that unchecked global warming will kill 57,000 Americans in 2100 [due to] increasing ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution. To get that scary number, EPA models the impact of an implausible 9º F warming on today’s ozone-precursor and PM2.5 emissions, even though all significant sources of U.S. air pollution will likely have been eliminated long before 2100.”

            Lewis concluded, “Americans want their doctors to practice real medicine, not climate quackery.”

D. Brady Nelson ([email protected]) is a columnist with Townhall