Sunday, November 29, 2020
Home News NHS chief: Worst threat to UK health? Climate change

NHS chief: Worst threat to UK health? Climate change

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IF anything shows how our ruling elite have completely lost the plot, then surely it’s this message from the head of the NHS, Simon Stevens:

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Whatever your views about about the Wuhan virus, the idea that climate change poses any sort of threat to the nation’s health is nonsensical.

Even if you accept the most pessimistic projections put forward by the climate lobby, and even if these impact other countries, there is nothing to suggest that the UK will be any worse off from global warming.

Here, it is cold weather that kills, not warm. That is why the ONS record ‘Excess winter deaths’ every year. In contrast, summer months see the lowest death rates.

And while floods and storms make for dramatic TV coverage, they impact only a very small number of people. Thanks to floods defences and better forecasting, that number is much smaller than in the past.

As a country, agricultural productivity continues to climb. (The dip in 2001, by the way, is, I presume, linked to foot and mouth):

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http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#compare

And far from the impression given by Simon Stevens of people collapsing in the street through heatstroke, life expectancy has increased substantially:

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https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2017to2019

Whatever the reason, it is plain that the health of the nation is better now than it has ever been.

So how can Stevens’s doom-mongering be reconciled? Below is the NHS news bulletin he refers to:

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And it includes this section:

‘The NHS has today adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.

‘The commitment comes amid growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and aims to save thousands of lives and hospitalisations across the country.

‘Air pollution is linked to killer conditions like heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, and academics have linked high pollution days with hundreds of extra out-of-hospital cardiac arrests and hospital admissions for stroke and asthma.

‘The changing climate is leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events such as flooding, including the potential spread of infectious diseases to the UK. Almost 900 people were killed by last summer’s heatwaves while nearly 18 million patients go to a GP practice in an area that exceeds the World Health Organisation’s air pollution limit.

‘Scientists believe perhaps a third of new asthma cases might be avoided by cutting emissions, while Lyme Disease and encephalitis are among conditions expected to become more common as temperatures rise.’

Notice how he conflates air pollution with climate change!

Then he makes the false claim that there are more extreme weather events, and the totally unevidenced claim of the spread of infectious diseases.

He then quite ridiculously references claims that 900 were killed by last summer’s heatwaves. Yet he is strangely reticent about the 23,200 excess winter deaths last year:

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https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/excesswintermortalityinenglandandwales/2018to2019provisionaland2017to2018final

As for Lyme Disease and encephalitis, this is no more than disgraceful scaremongering.

As the NHS website points out, tick-borne encephalitis is exceptionally rare, and the ticks that spread it are already found in England. Similarly, ticks that can cause Lyme Disease are already found all over the UK, notably in the Scottish Highlands, which does not exactly have a Mediterranean climate!

As with all of these carbon reduction strategies, there will be thousands of jobs created up and down the country to manage the programme. Most will doubtlessly be highly paid. There will be lots of glossy brochures, foreign travel, conferences and opportunities to grandstand.

Meanwhile millions of man hours will be wasted amongst the workers trying to keep the NHS going as they are forced to attend presentations and training workshops, prepare reports and all of the other things beloved of our bureaucratic masters.

The new NHS Net Zero Plan is to be run by Dr Nick Watts, previously executive director of the Lancet Countdown. He will be given the princely title of NHS Chief Sustainability Officer. I wonder what the going rate for one of these is!

He will head an army of bureaucrats at the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, including the usual Deputy Directors, Strategy Advisers, Programme Managers, PR bods and other hangers on.

As is often the case, the Sustainable Development Unit is going to be rebranded as the Greener NHS team to reflect its expanded role.

And it does not end there. Individual NHS organisations up and down the country will have to name senior sustainability leads as well. I doubt whether they will be doing much medical work in future!

And all of this waste and bureaucracy is for what? To save 4 per cent of the nation’s emissions!

The crazies really have taken over.

Footnote: My old boss was chair of an NHS Ambulance Authority for a few years in the early 2000s.

He often used to tell me that their board meetings spent most of the time discussing diversity targets, sustainability, equal opportunity malarkey and all of the other PC obsessions. The operational performance of the team was considered of marginal interest, not out of their own wishes but to fulfil the requirements of the mandarins in London.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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