Only the bad news counts.
This is the headline and the first paragraph in a widely disseminated UK story by Reuters:
Climate change may kill thousands in UK by 2017
LONDON (Reuters) – There is a 25 percent chance that a severe heat wave will strike England and kill more than 6,000 people before 2017 if no action is taken to deal with the health effects of climate change, a report said on Tuesday.
Pretty horrible, huh? Well it turns out its not so bad after all. But you wouldn’t know that because you have to wait until the sixth paragraph in a seven paragraph story to read this:
Although more summer deaths are expected, fewer people will die in Britain as a result of cold winter weather, as the world warms up because of rising carbon emissions from human activity.
Now, whether you “believe in” GW or not, the fact that under a GW scenario the number of people who die in the summer would be offset by those who don’t in the winter should be the important part of the story don’t you think? Otherwise you’d have to believe that GW causes more deaths than the current climate, wouldn’t you?
In fact, as this story finally gets around to implying and as most commentators assert, GW would result in so many fewer deaths from freezing in the winter that they would more than offset any increase in heat-related deaths in the summer. Pretty important information. Right? Why was Reuters so reluctant to tell you that?