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So to me this data is like presenting the only number of deaths from Covid, but ignoring all the people who were infected/hospitalized, ignoring all the medical costs, and ignoring all the costs to the economy.

True - but if the death rate from Covid was falling rather than rising, it would be a significant indicator that the pandemic was not getting worse. Especially since the death rate is very much correlated to those other factors, like infections and hospitalizations. In fact, in circumstances where we were not confident in our ability to directly measure other aspects of Covid (like when we weren't doing enough testing to accurately measure infections), we used deaths rates as a heuristic to assist us in trying to derive infection rates.

It is laughable to only measure climate disasters by number of deaths.

True, but that's not what's happening here. No one is suggesting that climate disasters be measured only by the number of deaths.

However, climate disasters - like natural disasters generally - do cause deaths. One of the forecasted consequences of climate change is that more people will die from floods, droughts, and adverse weather events like windstorms or heat wave. If climate change is resulting in more climate disasters, or worse climate disasters, then we would expect the death rate to be climbing.

That's not what we see in the data in that link. The years leading up to 2016 were vastly hotter than decades before - but we don't see an appreciable increase in the number of deaths caused by natural disasters that can be affected by climate. That is contrary to what we would expect if those climate-affected natural disasters are getting more intense or more frequent.

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