NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming Over-Heated

February 19, 1996

In a recent address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Vice President Al Gore warned that carbon emissions are damaging the atmosphere and only tighter controls on industry can save the planet. He took his evidence from a series of articles published earlier this year which suggested that global warming could help incubate and spread killer germs. (One study found infection listed as the fatal factor 58 percent more frequently in 1992 than 1980.) In other words, heat up the air, and infectious diseases will be on the rise.

However, most scientists believe the global warming crowd is simply practicing bad science.

  • Epidemiologists didn't measure AIDS deaths in 1982; taking the rise of AIDS mortality into account, the difference in infectious disease deaths is only 22 percent.
  • People live longer than in 1980, and the elderly often die of pneumonia and other infectious diseases -- something the studies didn't take into account.
  • In fact, according to one report which did factor in these points, AIDS, drug use and longer life spans account for virtually all the "increase" in infectious disease death rates.
Novel Approach To The Nuclear Waste Problem It would seem, therefore, that AIDS and longer life spans are brought about by global warming, a concept for which there are conflicting data. Indeed, if the government wants to save lives, it ought to consider reforming its own Food and Drug Administration.
  • Total drug development time has jumped from an average of eight years in 1960 to fifteen years today a near-doubling almost wholly caused by FDA roadblocks.
  • Of the 154 new drugs introduced in this country during the last six years, 66 percent were first cleared for use in other countries.
  • While 82 percent of all bio-tech-based drugs came from America, 75 percent were first marketed in Europe.
Novel Approach To The Nuclear Waste Problem Source: Tony Snow, "Global Warming Plague Looming? Wrong," USA Today, February 19, 1996. [Tony Snow is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas.]


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