The Lancet seems to be accelerating its mutation from respected medical journal to lefty campaigning rag.
A few months ago it was trumpteting the publication of the WHO's execrable report on the Social Determinants of Health.
This week it turns its humourless gaze onto climate change, which it alarmingly describes as "the biggest threat to health of the 21st century".
Its major new report, written in association with University College London, makes the usual tired claims about killer heatwaves, malaria moving into highland and northern areas, and increased hurricanes and other weather mayhem - unless, of course, governments intervene massively at the local and global levels.
I've written at length on the climate change / health nexus before, so I'm not going to rehearse the old arguments. But the facts remain:
- Climate has little to do with the range of the malarial parasite, which is more down to sociological and economic factors
- Deaths from 'extreme weather events' have actually decreased by 95% since the 1920s
- Cold is far worse for health than heat, as any shivering pensioner will tell you.
Check out my article for a longer exposition on these themes.
I understand that the Lancet see itself as a catalyst of change or something equally grandiose, but it really needs to start tempering its hyperbole if it wants to continue being taken seriously by anyone outside the global public health bubble.