Cold weather is hazardous to 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. At Real Clear Energy, Vijay Jayaraj writes: “Winter’s Risks Increased 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 have a “higher risk of stroke, respiratory infection and other injuries” due to reduced strength and dexterity in low temperatures. Whether the threat is a flu infection or a fall, the risk is generally greater in the more challenging environment of cold weather.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Death rates in winter months have been eight to 12% higher than in non-winter months.” It adds that “even moderately cold days can increase the risk of death for many people.”
The heating of homes and other buildings is what reduces winter risks.
But the ability of people to heat their homes, even in the most advanced economies, is threatened by irrational energy policies:
[I]t is unsurprising that a high cost of gas and electricity leads people in developed economies to cut back on winter heating. In New Zealand, fuel poverty is reported to be a contributing factor to the country’s high rate of excess winter mortality and hospitalizations. According to a European Parliament report, “In 2020, about 36 million Europeans were unable to keep their homes adequately warm.”
The UK’s National Health Service, the second largest publicly funded healthcare system in the world, has issued a stark warning about increasing energy prices.
“The country is facing a humanitarian crisis,” NHS‘s confederation chief executive said. “Many people could face the awful choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions. This in turn could lead to outbreaks of illness and sickness around the country and widen health inequalities, worsen children’s life chances and leave an indelible scar on local communities.”
In the U.S., a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “a lower heating price reduces winter mortality, driven mostly by cardiovascular and respiratory causes.”
Expensive energy equals more sickness and death. And this is totally avoidable. Responsibility lies with the anti-human environmental movement:
[T]he current heating crisis is a direct consequence of “green” policies that have pushed up the price of energy in developed economies. An irrational insistence to transition to wind and solar has increased prices and reduced reliability of energy supplies. Blackouts like ones experienced by millions 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 stave off the human disaster that “green” energy threatens.