Global Warning is Likely to Starve 5 Billion People Worldwide Over 200 Years, No Matter the Temperature Change

This would be a tragedy greater than the direct effects of all of the tyrants in world history combined. Agree or disagree?

Regards, Don

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Can we dispute the figures?

Can we dispute the figures? I assume you mean starve to death... and frankly given that homo sapiens fare far worse in cold climates than hot ones, and given that no two scientists seem to agree whether global climate change will lead to hotter and wetter or colder and drier (I've seen both scenarios presented in multiple iterations), I have trouble believing in the accuracy of the numbers here. Its believable that that many people might die if we were thrust back into an extreme ice age which geologically speaking appears will happen, and would have happened without human interference (not likely to occur in the next 200 years though).

Also given that we do not know how many people should be expected to die through normal population turnover during the next 200 years given likely advances in medicine and technology, but also given rises in population, (200 years from now 1 billion deaths per year might be a normal death count through old age)there is really no way to gauge whether the statement is accurate.

The question for me: is the statement assuming ecological shortfalls that could not be remedied quickly enough through advances in farming technology and trade, or are they assuming the normal governmental corruption and largess that would keep trade, aid, and infrastructural changes from happening in regions where they were needed? Historically when people starve governmental interference was the culprit and I have trouble believing it will not also be that way in the future, global warming or not.

I suspect the figure was constructed by someone who did not take into consideration any economics whatsoever. In my limited experience I have noticed that ecology experts across many different fields often treat humans like deer in their models. They do not assume any rational decision making will impact food supplies or farm-able land, but that if their numbers do not add up, that that is equivalent to us eating ourselves out of house and home.

What would it take...?

5 billion deaths/200 years = 25 million deaths/yr. Seems pretty bad, regardless of the role of global warming. Yeah, hard to imagine that all the world’s tyrants combined could top that. Heck, for most of the world’s history we didn’t have 5 billion people to kill, total. If in 1945 Hitler had decided that it would be worth blowing up the world just to kill all the Jews, he could have killed only about 2.5 billion people.

Does evidence suggest that global climate change would have this effect, or that any course of action could produce an appreciably better outcome? Beats me. (I typed “5 billion dead” into Google, but the results were not helpful.)

What set of circumstances would persuade you to support the use of coercion to control negative eternities? Some possible answers:

1. Heck, I’m already persuaded of the propriety of using coercion to promote social goals.

2. Heck, I’m already persuaded of the propriety of using coercion to defend autonomy; people who produce negative externalities intrude upon others’ autonomy without consent, and therefore are fair game.

3. [Varing degrees of facts.]

4. [Varying strengths of endorsement by libertarian opinion leaders.]

5. None. Given the limits of human capacity to for forecasting, I conclude that the likelihood that my support would be misused, times the harm of the resulting misuse, will always exceed the likelihood of some future calamity arising from the failure to apply coercion times the harm of that calamity.

6. None. Freedom of the individual is the highest good. If a commitment to freedom is a suicide pact, so be it; the “rights of the unborn” have no weight as compared to the autonomy of those here and now.

Parse my complete title. Can

Parse my complete title. Can GW kill 5B people if the temperature doesn't change?

Regards, Don

Global Warning. Nice !

I've always thought that lack of realization of doomsday prophecies tends to radicalize their proponents. And, with their central tennet being that humans are too numerous and that "the planet" should take precendence over the survival of any given human, there are many ecologists out there ready to jump the gap, John Milgram-style.

No because with no change

No because with no change there is no warming. That aside, in the spirit of Obama's "jobs saved or created", warming could be discerned in the failure to cool: humans are warming the planet relative to a hypothetical natural cooling. :)

Your readers fail reading

Your readers fail reading comprehension

The shortage will be clean water, not temp or land

People will die because of politics, greed, and hate, not climate change. The vast majority of the civilized north of the equator don't care if poor people in Africa and Asia starve to death.

There is still enough land (square miles) in Texas to provide a city building lot to every family in the world.

If American suburbanites planted food instead of grass and grew chickens in one slot of their two or three car garages they could grow at lease half their own food. Last year I planted potatoes on my "planting" strip and they grew just fine. Why potatoes? Because it would be "work" to steal them.

I suspect there is enough freeway right of way to house every American in apartment/condos.

As Michael Crichton said,

As Michael Crichton said, its all a lie.

Climate Gate

In liberty,
Sv. S.Elmo

As Michael Crichton Said...

And after all, he writes novels with fictional science in them, so he must be an expert on science!

Crichton isn't being relied

Crichton isn't being relied on as an authority here. The suggestion is that he's vindicated by independent means (the climategate emails). It doesn't matter whether he is an expert on science or not.

Meanwhile the climategate emails themselves suggest that the very practice of ruling out the views of non-"experts" (generally defined by whether they can get their papers published in the refereed journals) is a sick perversion of the scientific method, as who is or is not an "expert" then turns out apparently to be the political product of a self-selecting clique of academics.

With a world population of

With a world population of ~6.5 billion people (CIA World Factbook, as of July, 2005) and the death rate of approximately 8.78 deaths per 1,000 people a year equals about 55 million deaths per year.

Let's assume the population stays at least 6.5 billion and no radical changes in life expectancy. Over the course of 200 years at the rate of 55 million deaths per year, at least 11 billion people will die, global warming or not.

Can GW kill 5B people if the temperature doesn't change?


  • How many deaths can be attributed to high temperatures?
  • How many deaths are attributed to exposure? Presumably in a higher temperature environment some of these deaths would be prevented.

Malaria deaths might be

Malaria deaths might be attributed to high temperature, but they might also be attributed to restrictions on DDT. Generalizing, any death has multiple causes and we should be wary of attempts to forget other contributing causes in the tallies.

"Questions: How many deaths


How many deaths can be attributed to high temperatures?
How many deaths are attributed to exposure? Presumably in a higher temperature environment some of these deaths would be prevented."

I would attribute the deaths not to actual climate change, but the eonomic disaster that will surely result from the excuse of 'global warming' to install a centrally controlled society. If the international trade in food is effectively eliminated, how can there not be major starvation? Tyrants are good at killing people, but it takes power-seeking politicians to destroy civilization.

Regards, Don

From someone who lives in a

From someone who lives in a city that regularly reaches 106 degrees for 30 plus days during the summer I can tell you that death from heat generally occurs when people are unaccustomed to it. For example a few years back it started hitting 99 and 100 in chicago for about a week, and people were dropping like flies. All over the news we heard about how many people were dying in chicago. Meanwhile very few were dying in Austin while we experienced over two months of 100 plus temperatures. Certainly if the temperature went up some people would die before they became acclimatized (got air conditioning, figured out when to drink more water etc.) but its not likely that trend would continue more than a year or two.

I think starvation would only occur if food trade were limited. As I mentioned before our prehistoric ancestors did worse in colder weather and thrived when temps warmed up. Its likely we would lose some farmland but also likely that we would gain farmland in areas that weren't previously farm-able due to changes in weather patterns and increased moisture in the atmosphere. Climate models tend to predict what we will lose in terms of farm-able areas not what we might gain.

As such they always come out as a net loss in farm-able land, but in reality geological evidence suggests that warmer climates had more land dwelling plant and animal species than our current climate does, not to mention a greater coverage of forests and swamps. Thus implying more stuff can grow and survive in warmer climes than cooler ones.

I suggest power-seeking politicians are tyrants just not the totalitarian kind. When you look at the damage and actions of the set they become a collective tyranny.


Yes, because the measures proposed to ameliorate GW will almost certainly result in economic conditions which will result in countless deaths, with or without climate change, successful or not.