Some chilling figures were trotted out at the Forum on Advancing Science and Technology in the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, one of the few times in life when an acronym would have been helpful (FASTISFDRR is too clunky, so we’d suggest making it fit FASTNFURIOUS instead. Or FASSBENDER).
Except it was the opposite of chill. Tord Kjellstrom, who presented a paper on the impact of heat stress on productivity, said that rising temperatures due to global warming could cost Malaysia about RM 988 billion by 2030, because it will be too hot to work.
Kjellstrom, who is a visiting professor at the International Institute for Global Health here, told The Independent that “the hotter it is, the slower you work.” Even within a short time span, Kjellstrom added, this can translate into billions in lost productivity. And that’s not even accounting for lepak being the unofficial religion of the country.
Scientists, of course, found that last June was the hottest June ever recorded, the 14th consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures. 2016 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded, beating records set in 2015 and 2014… you see where this is going.
The consolation (if any can be taken from this) is that we will neither be alone, nor worst off. Kjellstrom predicts that Indonesia will lose roughly the same amount as us, while Thailand will lose about USD 147 billion (RM 772 billion). India, which already recorded an eyeball-popping 51 °C temperature last May, stands to lose about USD 444 billion (RM 1.79 trillion) by 2030.
Kjellstrom also said that while increases in temperature until about 2050 are inevitable, increases beyond that date can still be reined in somewhat if we make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions now.
But by 2050, the remnants of humanity would have to death race Proton Wiras with tractor tyres to win food and water under the tyrannical rule of an Immortan Joe from the Kardashian-Trump bloodline, so the heat will be the least of our problems. We joke of course. Or... are we?