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Whereas cold

19 Aug 2020 | OP ED Watch

The New York Times, being very woke, publishes “a series of photo essays documenting the outsize effect that extreme heat has on the poor and marginalized.” (Meanwhile the Washington Post warns us that “Baghdad’s record heat offers glimpse of world’s climate change future/ Door handles blistering to the touch. Leaves yellowed and brittle. And a yawning divide between AC haves and have-nots.”) But as we’ve repeatedly noted, cold kills more people than heat. And of course it kills people who cannot afford to keep warm more than people who can. So where’s that photo essay? Oh yeah. Cutting room floor.

The Times says “Facts and figures tell part of the story — ‘Nearly everywhere around the world, heat waves are more frequent and longer lasting than they were 70 years ago,’ [“our international climate correspondent, Somini Sengupta”] Somini wrote — but we wanted to show our audience the situation on the ground. What does that heat feel like when you live next to methane gas flares?” Well, hotter than if you don’t, it’s safe to assume. Just as it’s safe to assume that measuring the temperature on some asphalt next to a highway or a runway in Baghdad is liable to distort the readings (as we’ve seen it do from Gallargues-le-Montueux France to Anchorage Alaska).

Meanwhile show us the facts and figures about those heatwaves. Because it doesn’t become a fact just because a journalist says so, even one with her climate science credentials (a degree in English and Development Studies). And places with good temperature records don’t show increasing heatwaves, especially when measured carefully.

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