The living dead are back – 400,000 of them. That’s the number killed by global warming every year, according to a new report – the Climate Vulnerability Monitor – which is the subject of an article by Fiona Harvey at:
While waiting for the 2012 report to come on-line later today, I had a look at their 2010 report, starting with the data tables, which turn out to be 2 pages of photos and 8 pages of red, orange, yellow and green spots running from acute to severe to low, “measuring” things like economic stress and weather disasters for all the countries of the world, for 2010 and 2030. There’s a long description of how the colour of the spots is calculated, which I’ll leave for another time.
The Climate Vulnerability Monitor is produced by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, which “convenes governments from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific, representing some of the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.”
Well, they don’t actually “produce” it. Though the governments of Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Vietnam etc which form the Climate Vulnerable Forum are quite capable of producing detailed national statistics themselves, demonstrating rising GDP, life expectation, educational attainment, etc., the task of estimating their climate vulnerability has been offloaded onto an organisation called DARA, which is some kind of humanitarian think tank based in Spain.
According to their website, “DARA brings specialist expertise and independent objectivity to the endeavour, building on its experience as a critical evaluator of development and humanitarian aid effectiveness”.
Their director general is Ross Mountain, a “recognized humanitarian leader” who has “held the position of Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator for the UN system for the Democratic Republic of the Congo for five years, addressing the challenge of armed conflict, peace keeping, and democratic elections—as well as coordinating the largest contingent of peacekeepers deployed in the world”.
Five years counting bodies in the Congo is obviously just the experience needed for evaluating the effects of climate change
DARA is financed by the the Dutch National Lottery and Avina Stiftung. The latter is a charitable foundation based in Germany “supporting and promoting institutions, people and projects at home and abroad in the field of charity work and sustainable development”.
Wandering round DARA’s website, trying to discover why they should be considered a reliable source for information about climate deaths, you soon get lost in cloud of NGOs, quasi-governmental agencies and international bureaucracies. I tried to find out more about Matthew McKinnon, DARA’s Head of the Climate Vulnerability Initiative. All I could learn from Google is that he’s a young man in a suit with a British accent whose mission in life is to get himself interviewed on Youtube by hippies in places like Cancun and Bangladesh.
According to the Guardian article, the report was written by “more than 50 scientists, economists and policy experts.” According to the 2010 report itself, it was written by Commons Consultants, a Management Consultancy based in Copenhagen.
Commons Consultants has a very terse three-page website, indicating that, apart from the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, they have also produced a report for the NGO Forum on growth and jobs (in Danish) ,have provided “management consulting on strategic adaptation to dynamic changes in the international financial policy environment” for the German Ministry of Finance, and helped launch WindMade (TM) which is “the first global consumer label identifying corporations and products made with wind energy”.
We’ve seen it all before of course, with the Global Humanitarian Forum’s 2009 report , ostensibly written by Kofi Annan and endorsed by all the great and the good, from WWF to Oxfam, but in fact produced by a New York PR firm called Dalberg Associates. Kofi estimated the annual death rate from climate change at 300,000. This figure was obtained by dividing the increasing deaths from floods and droughts by the decreasing deaths from earthquakes, giving a result of two, which they then mutiplied by the WHO’s estimate of deaths from climate change (150,000 – making it the absolute least likely cause of avoidable death in the developing world, just behind obesity). Kofi’s Global Humanitarian Forum produced one report, (the subject of three adulatory articles in the Guardian and almost universal ridicule everywhere else), took some photos of African teenagers in green t-shirts demonstrating against climate change, and then dissolved itself.
But the memory lingers on. The 2010 Climate Vulnerability Monitor report says it “would like to also thank Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan whose visionary leadership, as always, paved the way for this report by firmly establishing the fundamental importance of the human dimensions of climate change. We also acknowledge the inspiration provided by the work of Walter Fust and the teams at the Global Humanitarian Forum and Dalberg, which produced The Anatomy of A Silent Crisis (Global Humanitarian Forum, 2009)”.
So what about climate change? Here’s what the Danish management consultants have to say about it:
Humanity is extraordinarily sensitive to climate, and civilization might not have emerged without the warm, stable weather conditions that have prevailed since the end of the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago. That stability has collapsed over the last few decades, and now weather conditions are spiralling out of control. If we do not take action now to stop climate change, destructive weather will bring devastation capable of forever destroying much of our planet and the life it supports.
Climate change, in particular global warming, is an indisputable fact. 357 Scientists overwhelmingly agree that pollution is the main cause of this change. Recent study has shown that there is scientific consensus on climate change among more than 97% of experts actively publishing on the topic. Other studies have revealed no trace of climate denial in hundreds of mainstream scientific articles.
Yes folks, Stability has collapsed, the weather is spinning out of control, devestation and eternal destruction are on the way.
And the sources for this Revelation?
Doran and Zimmerman, and Oreskes.
So why aren’t we doing something about it?
Because the media are biassed against science.
Mainstream media may also be contributing to the public’s lack of awareness about climate change. Most people form their opinions about science through debate in the media. But the principle of “balanced reporting” automatically gives disproportionate emphasis to climate scepticism out of fairness to a side of the argument that no longer exists.
And how do we know that the other side of the argument doesn’t exist? Why, thanks to Boykoff and Boykoff (2004).
The Danes’ brief dummy’s guide to climate change is peppered with footnotes referring to the IPCC report which, being based on science, is full of doubts and uncertainty. But the key references, the ones which allow of no doubt and which justify the references to collapse and devastation, are the ones from Doran, Oreskes and co., a bunch of incompetent mendacious third-rate social scientists who can’t count higher than 77, can’t read the titles of articles in Nature without moving their lips, and can’t produce a peer-reviewed paper which doesn’t sound like a cat food commercial.