A warmer earth good, but a colder earth – coming? 124

 Investor’s Business Daily carries this in an editorial today:

Forget warnings of catastrophic melting polar ice and rising sea levels, though, and consider for a moment the effects of a warming Earth.

Food output would increase as growing seasons become longer and climates now too cold for agriculture evolve into temperate zones that can support crops. With a world population that is expected to grow from its current 6.7 billion to 8.9 billion in 2050, harvests will have to become more abundant to keep up with the demand.

A warming Earth would also mean a healthier human race. Heat kills, but it’s not as deadly as cold. A 1990s study found that cold-related deaths kill 80,000 year in the United Kingdom — 100 times the number of those who die heat-related deaths.

Cold weather is lethal because it increases blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and promotes the transmission of respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia and influenza, that are among the top causes of death in the U.S. and other developed nations. Thomas Gale Moore of the Hoover Institution figures that a temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius would cut deaths due to respiratory and circulatory diseases by roughly 40,000 a year.

While global warm-ongers talk in gloomy tones about SUV-induced droughts, higher temperatures would actually boost precipitation. There is little or no argument among scientists about this. On a planet with a growing population where as much as 40% of the human race could be living in regions with insufficient water supplies by 2035, an increase in precipitation is not insignificant.

Finally, a warmer planet would be a greener planet as well. Isn’t this what the environmentalists want — more green? Or is their real goal to roll back concrete, asphalt, steel and glass, the building blocks of human advancement and prosperity?

No one can be sure how the sun will behave in the coming decades. There’s even disagreement over August’s solar activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now thinks it saw a small sun spot on Aug. 21 while UCLA researchers still say it was a spotless month.

But if historical patterns hold, the sun is entering a down cycle that will make ours a more frosty world. The facts are enough to make Al Gore shiver.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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