The latest global warming scare might make you want to kill yourself
Too many "scientists" have too much grant money and too much computer time on their hands, thanks to the tens of billions of dollars in grant money ($32.5 billion from 1989 to 2015, according to the Science and Public Policy Institute) that the federal government has been dispensing for "climate change research." Put together a proposal to find a new scary correlation, and odds are you'll be bringing in the federal cash, to the delight of your university (that gets to appropriate a third or so of the grant for "overhead"). That's why we have hundreds and hundreds of bad things that global warming (or climate change) supposedly will cause.
The San Francisco Chronicle has the latest claim, one that bears the imprimatur of Stanford University.
More people are likely to take their own lives as the planet warms, say researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley in a study published Monday that suggests yet another worrisome impact of climate change.
The multidisciplinary research team looked at nearly 1 million suicides in North America and found that hotter temperatures correlate with higher suicide rates. The warming projected through 2050, the group figures, could increase suicide rates by 1.4 percent in the U.S. and 2.3 percent in Mexico over that time, resulting in 21,000 additional deaths in the two nations.
The role of heat, the authors said, may be just as significant as other, more well-known drivers of suicide, like economic hardship, which also pushes rates up, and suicide prevention programs and gun control legislation, which tend to push rates down.
I certainly feel despair when it gets too hot. That's why I moved to coastal California, where it rarely gets into the nineties. But if this holds water, we ought to see that suicide rates pretty closely correlate with average temperatures. A look at suicide rates by country reveals no such relationship. Here are the top 20 countries:
And a map, with darker shades indicating a higher suicide rate, also offers no clustering around the equator.
Given the awkward “pause” in global warming that has been ongoing for the last two decades, and the uncertainty of correlation as causation claims, this sounds like a pretty far-fetched cause for worry.