WHO Unconcerned by Global Warming

Published March 1, 1999

In its recent annual report, the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies three trends that threaten the planet.

To the surprise of many and consternation of some, global warming is not among them.

“Despite the dire predictions of global disaster from warming, all is more than well with the world,” according to Dr. Thomas Gale Moore, author of “The Mystery of the WHO: The Report Didn’t Bark.” Moore, of Stanford University, discusses the WHO findings in World Climate Report, a research review published in Ivy, Virginia.

WHO–an agency of the United Nations founded in 1948–promotes technical cooperation among nations to improve health and carries out its own programs to control and eradicate disease. Among its priorities is research on the impact of the environment on health.

In its The World Health Report 1998, WHO gives the world an “A” for progress in lengthening life spans, decreasing disease and suffering, and improving health for virtually all age groups. Its executive summary notes: “As the millennium approaches, the global population has never had a healthier outlook.”

The chief concern for Earth’s inhabitants, according to WHO, is HIV/AIDS–a disease unrelated to climate. The other two unfavorable trends the group identifies are slowing economies, and population growth and such social developments as urbanization.

According to WHO, “the most important pattern of progress now emerging is an unmistakable trend towards healthier, longer life. . . . The explanation for this trend lies in the social and economic advances that the world has witnessed during the late 20th century–advances that have brought better living standards to many, but not all, people. The world saw a golden age of unparalleled prosperity between 1950 and 1973, followed by an economic slump that lasted 20 years. A global economic recovery has been under way since 1994. The long-term benefits are now becoming apparent. While they are most evident in the industrialized world, they are slowly but surely materializing in many poorer countries, too.”

The Kyoto Protocol on global warming, notes Moore, could reverse the progress made to advance human health worldwide.

“Even if [Third World Countries] remain exempt from the limits on CO2 emissions, they will find that the United States buys fewer of their goods and services,” said Moore. “Imported goods from the advanced countries will also cost more. As a result, the poor countries will become even poorer.” In short, Moore sees the Kyoto agreement as being a far more violent killer than climate change could be.

“Let’s arrest it before it kills someone,” he urges.