(p. A17) In the West, campaigners for carbon regulations point out that global warming will increase the number of malaria victims. This is often used as an argument for drastic, immediate carbon cuts.
Warmer, wetter weather will improve conditions for the malaria parasite. Most estimates suggest that global warming will put 3% more of the Earth’s population at risk of catching malaria by 2100. If we invest in the most efficient, global carbon cuts–designed to keep temperature rises under two degrees Celsius–we would spend a massive $40 trillion a year by 2100. In the best case scenario, we would reduce the at-risk population by only 3%.
In comparison, research commissioned by the Copenhagen Consensus Center shows that spending $3 billion annually on mosquito nets, environmentally safe indoor DDT sprays, and subsidies for effective new combination therapies could halve the number of those infected with malaria within one decade. For the money it takes to save one life with carbon cuts, smarter policies could save 78,000 lives. . . .
Malaria is only weakly related to temperature; it is strongly related to poverty. It has risen in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years not because of global warming, but because of failing medical response.
For the full commentary, see:
BJORN LOMBORG. “Climate Change and Malaria in Africa; Limiting carbon emissions won’t do much to stop disease in Zambia.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., NOVEMBER 2, 2009): A17.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article was dated Nov. 1st.)