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WSJ: Global Warming and the Poor

Author: Bret Stephens
August 5, 2009

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Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal says if global warming really is the catastrophe the alarmists claim, the least they can do for its victims is not to patronize them while impoverishing them in the bargain.

A funny thing happened on the way to saving the world's poor from the ravages of global warming. The poor told the warming alarmists to get lost.

This spring, the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum, led by former U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan, issued a report warning that "mass starvation, mass migration, and mass sickness" would ensue if the world did not agree to "the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated" on global warming at a forthcoming conference in Copenhagen.

According to Mr. Annan's report, climate change-induced disasters now account for 315,000 deaths each year and $125 billion in damages, numbers set to rise to 500,000 deaths and $340 billion in damages by 2030. The numbers are hotly contested by University of Colorado disaster-trends expert Roger Pielke Jr., who calls them a "poster child for how to lie with statistics."

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