⏳Counting The Dead: Elite Pathology and Illiteracy

⏳Counting The Dead: Elite Pathology and Illiteracy
The Great Day of His Wrath, John Martin, 1851

Recently David Wallace Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth, wrote a nice little article in the New York Times which challenges my use of “one billion climate deaths”. The figure comes from the peer-reviewed Pearce paper, which states:

“If global warming reaches or exceeds two degrees Celsius by 2100, mainly richer humans will be responsible for the death of roughly one billion mainly poorer humans over the next century.”

The New York Times article, “Just How Many People Will Die From Climate Change?” tells you all you need to know about the methodological illiteracy and political pathology of the global north elites. Put simply, they can’t think straight and they don’t give a shit about killing poor people. 

Elites Can't Think Straight

1. This is what natural scientists do on the elites’ death project. They go: “Factor X has only a 25% chance of happening - so we can’t be certain - so we can’t put it in the model.” Meanwhile, the rest of the world does a standard risk analysis: “How many people will die if X happens?” and times it by 0.25. So if X will lead to an estimated 100 million deaths, you put in 25 million. You don’t ignore that. 

2. They also don’t tell you the time periods. Notice there are no time periods in his article which is analytically … well, dumb. But it creates the subliminal, deluded message that the death project is an event that happens and then stops. If we’re talking about how many will die from climate change, what’s your time period on something that will get locked in for 100,000 years (at least)?

Wells says: “I don’t think it’s right to suggest that reaching two degrees of warming (which now looks very likely) will mean a billion people dead.”

Ok, so let’s do some actual numbers here. First let’s define what a 2॰C warmer world is. Five years in a row that average 2॰C or above warmer than pre-industrial levels seems reasonable. This would then lead to a triggering of all the major tipping points: Amazon droughts, permafrost melts etc. That would then take us over 3॰C of warming within a generation, regardless of what human emissions do. 

Peer reviewed predictions are that two degrees average temperature increase will result in one billion refugees. If fascist states breakout in response to such social breakdown, as they often do, then it’s reasonable to expect that 10% of that number will be killed in the process and 5% raped (100 million and 50 million). Check out recent history in The Congo, Rwanda, Cambodia, Nanking and the Soviets in Berlin for starters. Other papers say that three degrees will lead to two billion refugees, which is currently the most likely temperature increase for the end of this century. If we follow just the logic of social collapse, that’s 200 million deaths. 

You can see how a proposed New York Times article in touch with reality would get rejected even at this stage, but let’s stride on ...

Let's add in secondary effects. In his piece Wells questions my use of “a somewhat obscure paper”. So for this I’m going to rely on Professor Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and former Chief Economist of the World Bank. 

In 2006 he and his team wrote the 662 page Stern Review for the British Government. Probably the most comprehensive economic study on the impact of climate change to date. 

In it he states: “Our actions now and over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century…Hundreds of millions of people could suffer hunger, water shortages and coastal flooding as the world warms.” 

So, get your pen and paper out. Estimates of military and civilian deaths in World War Two range from 70–85 million. That’s about 3% of the world's two billion population in 1940. At the current eight billion population that would scale up to 240 million dead. Estimates of deaths caused by World War One hover around 20 million deaths out of a 1.8 billion global population. So a similar scale today would be around 100 million deaths. Estimated deaths from the Great Depression are up to 10 million, when the population was a quarter of what it is now, so that’s around  40 million today.

You get 300+240+100+40 = 680 million ... just from heat, war and economic depression. 

Okay, now add in water shortages, disappearing glaciers, methane bombs, water vapour, arctic blue ocean event, AMOC collapse, coral reefs, ocean heating (the list goes on)... 

To give you a number, Dr Ripple recently published a report alongside Sir David King that stated:

"By the end of the 21st century, as many as 3 to 6 billion people may find themselves outside the Earth’s liveable regions, meaning they will be encountering severe heat, limited food availability and elevated mortality rates.”

Is anyone serious that the main scenario does not take us over one billion deaths, with a thick long tail probability of burn baby burn fascism taking us to effective extinction (i.e 6-8 billion deaths)?

They Don’t Give A Shit About Killing Poor People

Wells also says the paper I quoted for this figure is “focused less on climate impacts than on climate justice.” 

Because “climate impacts” have no connection to “justice”? - Bit of a revealing slip up there! 

The article contains all the usual bystander words: “shocking”, “scary”, “worry”, “speculations”: the euphemisms the elites use when they kill the powerless throughout history.

 And then there is the classic displacement title: “Just how many people will die from climate change?”

People don’t die from “climate change”. They are killed by those who make political decisions that mean disposing of people is worth it, to keep their power and privilege. Concentration camps do not kill people - they are killed by those who put people into the camps, right? 

And finally, there's that deeply revealing first ‘just’ word in the title. "Well, what a fascinating question, Sir, – ‘just’ how many deaths of those poor coloured folks are we looking at here? Such an interesting subject…” 

Only a culture completely devoid of empathy could write such a word in an article about such obscenity.

The elites’ pathological inability and unwillingness to follow through on the logic of even their own statements is particularly evident in Well’s case. He’s written a book called The Uninhabitable Earth. It’s good stuff. So, sorry to ask the question, but what does uninhabitable actually mean?

It means: “unliveable. unfit or unsuitable to live in or with.”

So let’s take this nice and slowly then. 

“Unliveable” means you cannot live and therefore you die.

If you die then you are…dead.

The earth is where everybody lives.

There are eight billion people on the earth


8 billion people are going to die 

That is what "uninhabitable earth" actually means.

I feel like vomiting. So, I will stop there. 

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