We worry about the seemingly ever-increasing number of natural catastrophes. Yet this is mainly a consequence of CNN - we see many more, but the number is roughly constant, and we manage to deal much better with them over time. Globally, the death rate from catastrophes has dropped about fifty-fold over the past century.
Winter regularly takes many more lives than any heat wave: 25,000 to 50,000 each year die in Britain from excess cold. Across Europe, there are six times more cold-related deaths than heat-related deaths...by 2050...Warmer temperatures will save 1.4 million lives each year.
Surely the biggest problem we have in the world is that we all die. But we don't have a technology to solve that, right? So the point is not to prioritize problems; the point is to prioritize solutions to problems.
If every country committed to spending 0.05 per cent of GDP on researching non-carbon-emitting energy technologies, that would cost $25 billion a year, and it would do a lot more than massive carbon cuts to fight warming and save lives.
I found university a little dispiriting. I thought I would enter the great halls of Plato, but instead I entered the halls of an intellectual sausage factory. I wanted to do something not on the main course, and chose the environment.