Tuesday, 18 January 2022

The Guardian's alternate reality

From The Guardian:

The climate crisis is damaging the health of foetuses, babies and infants across the world, six new studies have found.

Scientists discovered increased heat was linked to fast weight gain in babies, which increases the risk of obesity in later life. Higher temperatures were also linked to premature birth, which can have lifelong health effects, and to increased hospital admissions of young children.

Right. The 'cimate crisis' leads simultaneously to more premature babies, which tend to be underweight, and also faster weight gain/obesity?

The burning of fossil fuels drives the climate crisis but also causes air pollution and a new study in Denmark assessed the impact of dirty air on 10,000 couples trying to conceive naturally. It found that increases in particle pollution of a few units during a menstrual cycle led to a decrease in conception of about 8%.

A recent study in China also found that air pollution significantly increased the risk of infertility, but the average pollution level was more than five times higher than in the Danish study. “Air pollution [in Denmark] was low and almost entirely at levels deemed safe by the European Union,” said Wesselink. “Current standards may be insufficient to protect against adverse reproductive health effects.”

Of course pollution is unhealthy, nobody is disputing that. But it doesn't seem to have that much effect - the birth rate in Denmark is only ever so marginally higher than in China.

Wellenius said an important aspect of the studies was that they showed that vulnerable people often suffered the worst effects, for example people of colour and those on low incomes who did not have air conditioning or lived in areas with higher air pollution. “This is absolutely a health equity and justice issue,” he said.

Right. The number of babies being born seems to be inversely proportional to how urbanised or economically developed a country is (it's a fascinating topic in its own right); the world's overall birthrate has plummetted quite precipitously over the last century. The only continent where they are still getting on with it and popping out lots of babies is also the poorest, and probably the hottest and most polluted one - Africa. But according to the Guardian, the opposite is happening.


A K Haart said...

I sometimes find the Guardian's readership a bit of a mystery. Who are they? Some readers must be there just to make fun of it.

Shiney said...


All the tax grifters - Pols, other journos, every NHS 'manager', senior civil servants, employees of NGOs (I hesitate to use the word charities), most teachers, senior TUC officers (not the members obvs), Greenies and all the other hangers on and detritus associated with our overblown state and 3rd sectors.

About the only people who don't bother are the grunts out here in the real world who actually add value to the economy.

Shiney said...

Ha ha ha

Just read that back - I sound like Jimmy from here

Bayard said...

Well done the Groan for leading with an statement, even if it is one only supported by suppositions, i.e. a lie. We have no idea how much change in temperature it takes to cause premature birth, presumably not the 1-2 degrees warming that pregnant women will have seen in their lifetime. Given how much temperature fluctuates daily and annually outside the tropics, how could their bodies possibly notice?

Also, who would have suspected that the poor get the shitty end of the stick when it comes to air quality? It's not as if that hasn't been obvious for centuries from the way that London is laid out, or anything.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, I find the G rather adorable, like a small child you lives in a fantasy world and believes in the Tooth Fairy. You don't want to shatter their illusions too soon.

Sh, that's what we assume.

B, last statement, correct, we have to distinguish between actual pollution which is largely a local thing and 'climate change', which even if it exists, affects everybody the same.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, also the thing with local air quality is poorer people live where it's polluted because it's cheaper. If they cleaned up the air, then wealthier people would move back to city centres or downwind of former factory sites and price them out.

Lola said...

The evidence is that as societies / economies get richer they get healthier. More children survive infancy so less children need to be conceived to act as the parents carers/pension payers and anyway wealthier societies will save (until the idiot lefties get stuck into the envy culture of 'equalities' and welfarism). So you tend to have an older healthier population. What's more food production increases - no more subsistence farming - so better diet. Plus 'pollution' goes down - a lot. Clean water in and foul water out are probably the greatest contributors to healthiness and reductions in infant mortality. In other words the whole thing is 100% the reverse of what the Gruniad states.

Frank said...

"Scientists discovered increased heat was linked to fast weight gain in babies, which increases the risk of obesity in later life."

OK. Let's test that hypothesis. Old people in warmer countries should be fatter than old people in colder countries. Is that so? Yes or no.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, those are many of the reasons for lower birth rates and better health in developed countries. It's a huge topic with lots of probable explanations.

F, excellent question, and "no".