Extreme Heat! We're All Going to Die! Actually, No

LA heat 2018. (Credit: Bob Hoge)

The news is full of terror stories about how “this is the hottest day in the history of the earth!” and “temperatures shatter records!, and “once in a millennium storm to hit NYC!” You might be thinking, jeez, I hope I make it through the week. (FYI, that once-in-a-thousand-year storm caused some floods in New York State but was otherwise not particularly noteworthy.)

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As with so many things the media sells us, a deeper dive tells us a different story. You are, in fact, much less likely to be harmed by inclement weather than your ancestors. What they also neglect to tell you is that the phrase “in recorded history” stands for an infinitesimal amount of time—humans have been recording temperatures and weather phenomena with accuracy for an extremely tiny period in the context of our planet’s history—less than a blink of an eye. “My grandma said it didn’t use to rain so much here” doesn’t mean a cataclysmic shift has occurred in the earth’s weather.

It means that the earth is changing, as it has been doing for 4.543 billion years.

But changes do happen. It was only 10-12,000 years ago that half our continent was covered in ice sheets. Remember when the once-august Newsweek predicted in 1975 that we were headed for a new ice age? Before we get too big for our britches and decide that we control everything, remember that humans have been around for 0.007 percent of the entire history of the planet (meaning that we had nothing to do with the other 99.993 percent).

My all-time favorite analogy is, if you compressed the entirety of Earth’s history into one year, where would we stand? The results are sobering:

The first human ancestors appeared sometime during the evening of December 31. Everyone on Earth today would have been born in the last millisecond of New Year’s Eve.

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Yeah, okay, I admit it—that makes me feel kind of small.

Earth’s history if compressed into one year. (Credit: University of Kansas)

 

The reality is that while the Washington Post and its ilk like to scare-monger and imply that we’re all at dire risk from a July heat wave, that’s not actually the case:

“Extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other weather hazard.” That’s the first claim in a Washington Post piece warning about the deadly summer heat—and it is almost certainly false.

Similar warnings about the deadly weather appear in virtually every mainstream media outlet.

First off, the only reason “extreme” temperature kills more people than other weather hazards is that deaths from weather have plummeted over the century—even as doomsday climate warnings about heat, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts have spiked.

All extreme weather accounts for only about 0.1 death for every 100,000 people in the United States each year. That is a massive drop from the time of your grandparents. The Washington Post and others should be celebrating the fact that humans never have been less threatened by the climate in history.

And, as The Daily Signal reports, it’s actually cold that kills many more people than the heat. The other reality is that drug overdoses kill more Americans than all weather-related events combined.

Yes, it’s hot this weekend in spots across America. It’s mid-July; is this somehow a shock? It’s not exactly new, is it? This, from the same time period in 2018, was actually quite a bit worse in my neck of the woods:

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LA heat 2018. (Credit: Bob Hoge)

You’re less likely to die from extreme weather than almost any time in history, a fact that has the mainstream media tying themselves into knots trying to explain. Buying an EV, ditching your gas stove, banning pizza wood-burning ovens, and turning off your air conditioner will likely have zero effect on the weather of our planet—especially considering China is building a new coal factory every week.

But if it somehow makes them feel better, eco nutjobs can shut down their A/C while Climate Czar John Kerry flies around in private jets and Joe Biden cruises around in massive gas-guzzling motorcades.

For me, I’m going to crank up the cool and make some frozen margaritas.


See also:

Science and Climate: Shattering the Climate Change Narrative

King Climate Grifter John Kerry Demonstrates Key Virtues of the Climate Religion In One Hearing

Here’s Johnny! Kerry Threatens More Biden Executive Orders, Thinks China-Russia Will Help Combat Climate Change

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