Global Warming: Good for Your Health?

June 22, 2011
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Six centuries after the Black Death ravaged Europe, the gruesomeness of the disease and its hopeless, unavoidable death sentence still assault the human psyche. Rarely a week would pass from the time the disease’s first symptoms appeared – usually an egg-sized tumor on the groin, neck, or armpit – until the victim died a painful, agonizing death. The Black Death was ravenous and gluttonous, killing off half of Europe’s population and a fifth of the global population.

Six centuries after the Black Death ravaged Europe, the gruesomeness of the disease and its hopeless, unavoidable death sentence still assault the human psyche. Rarely a week would pass from the time the disease’s first symptoms appeared – usually an egg-sized tumor on the groin, neck, or armpit – until the victim died a painful, agonizing death. The Black Death was ravenous and gluttonous, killing off half of Europe’s population and a fifth of the global population. The disease inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write perhaps the most chilling of his short horror stories, The Masque of the Red Death.

What brought about the Black Death? … the Little Ice Age ….

 

Famine and plague, which had largely disappeared during the Medieval Warm Period, became the norm rather than the exception. And by 1350, the grim, cold climate brought about the dreaded Black Death.

Even today it is clear that cold, not heat, is deadlier to human condition. Official U.S. mortality statistics show 800 more people die each day during the winter than during the summer. And those numbers are not a coincidence. In an article published in the Southern Medical Journal, W. R. Keatinge and G. C. Donaldson noted, “Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics, and almost all of them are due to common illnesses that are increased by cold.”

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Full piece by James Taylor in Forbes worth reading.