Matthew Brown, Associated Press
Sunday's paper featured a letter claiming that 4.5 million people died each year from climate change and that if the U.S. Senate didn't do such things as stop the Keystone pipeline they were the moral equivalent of mass murderers ("Climate change deaths," April 7). This seemed a little over-the-top, so I did a little digging. The 4.5 million figure comes from a report put out by an advocacy group from Spain called DARA. The report they put out claims that 4.9 million people died in 2010 because of climate change. The largest single factor was 3.1 million people dying from indoor smoke caused by burning wood or some other combustible for heating and cooking.
I fail to see how human-caused climate change can be blamed for this. It's just this kind of over-the-top exaggeration that calls into question the whole human-caused climate change is taking us down the road to disaster scenario.
I would respectfully suggest to the letter writer that rather than call U.S. senators mass murderers, you might look for ways to get clean water and electricity to those having to burn wood for cooking and heating.
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