The cold is dangerous for your health. In modern times, citizens of developed countries have neutralized the dangers of winter with affordable heating. But those days may be coming to an end. In Real Clear Energy, Vijay Jayaraj writes: “Winter Risks Raised by Irrational Energy Policies.” See original for links:
Being a species born in the tropics, humans are prone to greater morbidity and mortality in winter. People exposed to cold conditions are at “higher risk of stroke, respiratory infection and other injuries” due to reduced strength and dexterity in cold temperatures. Whether the threat is a flu infection or a fall, the risk is generally greater in the more challenging cold weather environment.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “mortality rates in winter months have been 8 to 12% higher than in non-winter months.” He adds that “even moderately cold days can increase the risk of death for many people.”
Heating homes and other buildings is what reduces winter risks.
But people’s ability to heat their homes, even in the most advanced economies, is threatened by irrational energy policies:
[I]It’s no surprise that the high cost of gas and electricity leads people in developed economies to turn down their heating in the winter. In New Zealand, fuel poverty is a contributing factor to the country’s high rate of excess winter mortality and hospitalizations. According to a European Parliament report, “In 2020, around 36 million Europeans were unable to keep their homes adequately warm”.
The UK’s National Health Service, the world’s second largest publicly funded health system, has issued a stark warning about rising energy prices.
“The country is facing a humanitarian crisis,” said the chief executive of the NHS confederation. “Many people could face the terrible choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, wet and very unpleasant conditions. This in turn could lead to disease outbreaks across the country and increase inequalities in health, worsen children’s life chances and leave an indelible scar on local communities.”
In the US, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “lower heating costs reduce winter mortality, mainly from cardiovascular and respiratory causes.”
Expensive energy equals more disease and death. And this is totally avoidable. The responsibility lies with the anti-human ecological movement:
[T]The current heating crisis is a direct consequence of “green” policies that have raised the price of energy in developed economies. An irrational insistence on the transition to wind and solar has driven up prices and reduced the reliability of energy supplies. Blackouts like the ones experienced by millions of people over the Christmas weekend are a serious threat to lives.
But human life and well-being are not valued by the left. It is up to the rest of us to try to avert the human disaster that threatens “green” energy.