Climate Choice
A Comparison of Public Attitudes with International Policy

by David Wojick, Ph.D., PE

International climate policy is obsessed with the supposed threat of global warming, with little regard for the benefits warming might bring. But if human activities can actually warm the planet, then we must ask ourselves: "What climate do we want?"

The remarkable weather events of November and December 1998 strongly suggest that, in the higher latitudes at least -- North America, Europe and northern Asia -- where most warming is predicted to occur -- warmer is much preferred.

While New England, Canada and the Upper Midwest enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures, many people froze to death in Europe and Russia. The contrast between the newspaper accounts of these opposite events is striking. It seems obvious that if the prospect of warmer winters were put to a vote in these regions, it would win hands down.

But international policy is apparently oblivious to this obvious fact. The reader is invited to consider the newspaper accounts on this site, contrast them with the international policy statements, and draw one's own conclusions about climate choice.

Hypothermia, or freezing to death, kills more than 700 people a year in the United States alone. Globally, untold thousands die from cold weather each year. If other deaths due to winter weather, such as auto accidents on snow and ice, are included the death toll is very high.

The importance of warmth.

Here is the view of the great Isaac Asimov on the importance of warmth to human life:

"The vast amount of energy placed at the disposal of humanity, through fire, could be, and was, used to revolutionize the nature of our existence. The mere fact that fire was a source of heat independent of the sun meant that humans could roam beyond the tropics that imprison our nearest living relatives, the great apes, and into the damp, cold regions with seasons of snow and long freezing nights."

"It was fire and fire alone that enabled man to become a creature native to all the world and put mastery into his hand."

From: "Life and Energy", Doubleday, 1962.

Real People.

Now contrast the international policy bias against warmth, with newspaper accounts of the unusually warm and cold weather in late 1998. You be the judge.

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