Forensic science reports more deaths in Australia than Sweden due to cold

From the University of Adelaide , something nobody would have ever guessed.

Australian state has higher rate of hypothermia deaths than Sweden

Social isolation, lack of housing insulation are contributing factors

New research from the University of Adelaide shows that the state of South Australia has a higher rate of deaths from extreme cold compared with the northern European nation of Sweden.  

The study, by a team from the University’s School of Medical Sciences, analyzed forensic cases of hypothermia deaths from 2006-2011 in both South Australia and Sweden.

The results show that South Australia had a rate of 3.9 deaths for every 100,000 people, compared with Sweden’s 3.3 deaths per 100,000. In total, there were 62 fatal cases of hypothermia in South Australia and 296 cases in Sweden over the six-year period.

“Despite considerable demographic, geographic and climate differences, the death rate from hypothermia was slightly higher in South Australia than in Sweden, which is a very surprising result,” says the leader of the project, the University’s Professor Roger Byard AO.

Hypothermia is defined as a decrease in core body temperature below 35°C, with fatal hypothermia occurring at body temperatures of 26°C to 29°C.

“Most of the deaths from hypothermia in South Australia involved elderly women indoors who were living alone, often with multiple underlying illnesses and limited contact with the outside world. Many of them had been dead for at least a day before they were discovered,” Professor Byard says.

“This is in contrast with the majority of hypothermia deaths in Sweden, which usually occur outdoors and involve middle-aged males, commonly under the influence of alcohol. These bodies are often uncovered from snow drifts.

“The fact that South Australia has a much warmer climate than Sweden, with higher average temperatures and milder winters, does not stop people from being at risk of death from hypothermia. Elderly, socially isolated people are at greatest risk in this state,” Professor Byard says.

Medical Sciences PhD student Fiona Bright says descriptions of the houses were not available in the South Australian cases, so the reasons for the higher rates of indoor deaths in SA can only be speculated on.

“In addition to the many underlying medical conditions involved in these cases, it’s likely that poor heating and insulation, and lack of energy efficiency, are playing a role here. For example, only 2.6% of Australian homes have double-glazed windows compared with 100% of homes in Finland and Sweden,” Ms Bright says.

###

The results of this research will be published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences later this year.

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64 Responses to Forensic science reports more deaths in Australia than Sweden due to cold

  1. Les Johnson says:

    The consensus (dare I say 97%?) of the literature on temperature events is that cold events increases mortality, while warm events displaces mortality.

    Displaced mortality means that while mortality increases during the event, mortality decreases after, giving roughly the same rate over the entire period.

    Cold events, on the other hand, increases the rate both during and after the event, giving an elevated mortality rate over the period.

    This holds true even in places like Spain, Israel and California, where a cold event can be defined as a temperature as high as 10 deg C.

  2. Gary says:

    I’m not surprised at all. Swedes have more experience culturally with cold and most cases of hypothermia result from foolish behavior. Control for that and South Australia would rank even higher.

  3. Les Johnson says:

    Cold kills. Pollution, not so much.

    Multivariate analysis showed that only temperature was significantly correlated with AMI, which increased by 7% for each 10°C decrease in minimal temperature (odds ratio [OR]=1.07, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.04-1.11), and that there was no significant effect of air pollution (OR=1.01, 95%CI=1.00-1.02).”

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-09-cold-weather-heart.html

  4. Les Johnson says:

    Even in Africa (Naurobi), cold has a higher mortality.

    “”Overall, there are seasonal fluctuations in mortality, with the highest rates of death occurring during periods of relative cold.”” “”mortality risk over the year rises from the lowest mortality risk by about 40% in the 0-4 age group and by about 20% for all ages”” in response to a drop in temperature. “”the effects of low temperatures on mortality can last for days.”” And they add that “”although the world will get warmer in the future, the low temperature-related mortality is likely to remain an important concern.””

    Egondi, T., Kyobutungi, C., Kovats, S., Muindi, K., Ettarh, R. and Rocklov, J. 2012. Time-series analysis of weather and mortality patterns in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Global Health Action 5: 23-31.

    http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/may/7may2013a1.html

  5. Do the hypothermia deaths correlate with Carbon Taxes?
    Just ask’in.

  6. Les Johnson says:

    Excess Mortality in the UK was 40,000, in the winter of 08-09. For every 1 degree C below 18 deg C, mortality increases 1.5%.
    Also a mention on heat related deaths, and how they are “”displaced”” mortality. Cold increases the mortality rate during and after the cold event. Mortality increases during a heat event, but falls afterward.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8442413.stm

  7. Les Johnson says:

    These researchers say their results:

    “”point to widely different impacts of cold and hot temperatures on mortality.””
    “”hot temperature shocks are indeed associated with a large and immediate spike in mortality in the days of the heat wave,””
    “”almost all of this excess mortality is explained by near-term displacement,””
    “”in the weeks that follow a heat wave, we find a marked decline in mortality hazard, which completely offsets the increase during the days of the heat wave,””
    “”there is virtually no lasting impact of heat waves on mortality.””

    My emphasis.

    In the cold, they found:

    “”an immediate spike in mortality in the days of the cold wave,””
    “”there is no offsetting decline in the weeks that follow,””
    “”the cumulative effect of one day of extreme cold temperature during a thirty-day window is an increase in daily mortality by as much as 10%.””
    “”this impact of cold weather on mortality is significantly larger for females than for males,””
    “”for both genders, the effect is mostly attributable to increased mortality due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.””

    Further:

    “”the aggregate magnitude of the impact of extreme cold on mortality in the United States is large,””
    “”roughly corresponds to 0.8% of average annual deaths in the United States during the sample period.””
    “”the average person who died because of cold temperature exposure lost in excess of ten years of potential life…””

    While heat related fatalities lost a few days or week of potential life.

    Further:

    “”each year 4,600 deaths are delayed by the changing exposure to cold temperature due to mobility,””
    “”3% to 7% of the gains in longevity experienced by the U.S. population over the past three decades are due to the secular movement toward warmer states in the West and the South, away from the colder states in the North.””

    Reference
    Deschenes, O. and Moretti, E. 2009. Extreme weather events, mortality, and migration. The Review of Economics and Statistics 91:659-681.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N47/EDITb.php

  8. philjourdan says:

    Bu-bu-but! They just had their “hottest” year on record!

    On a serious note. Man can survive cold (thrive is a different issue). It does take preparedness however. That is why another glacial period would be more deadly than the mild temperatures we have experienced. But that does not fit the alarmist meme.

  9. Les Johnson says:

    Mortality Studies

    Alberdi, J.C., Diaz, J., Montero, J.C. and Miron, I.  1998.  Daily mortality in Madrid community 1986-1992: relationship with meteorological variables.  European Journal of Epidemiology 14: 571-578.

    Behar, S.  2000.  Out-of-hospital death in Israel – Should we blame the weather?  Israel Medical Association Journal 2: 56-57.

    Eng, H. and Mercer, J.B.  1998.  Seasonal variations in mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases in Norway and Ireland.  Journal of Cardiovascular Risk 5: 89-95.

    Feigin, V.L., Nikitin, Yu.P., Bots, M.L., Vinogradova, T.E. and Grobbee, D.E.  2000.  A population-based study of the associations of stroke occurrence with weather parameters in Siberia, Russia (1982-92).  European Journal of Neurology 7: 171-178.

    Goklany, I.M. and Straja, S.R.  2000.  U.S. trends in crude death rates due to extreme heat and cold ascribed to weather, 1979-97.  Technology 7S:165-173.

    Huynen, M.M.T.E., Martens, P., Schram, D., Weijenberg, M.P. and Kunst, A.E.  2001.  The impact of heat waves and cold spells on mortality rates in the Dutch population.  Environmental Health Perspectives 109: 463-470.

    Keatinge, W.R., Donaldson, G.C., Cordioli, E., Martinelli, M., Kunst, A.E., Mackenbach, J.P., Nayha, S. and Vuori, I.  2000.  Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: Observational study.  British Medical Journal 321: 670-673.

    Kloner, R.A., Poole, W.K. and Perritt, R.L.  1999.  When throughout the year is coronary death most likely to occur?  A 12-year population-based analysis of more than 220,000 cases.  Circulation 100: 1630-1634.

    Kunst, A.E., Looman, W.N.C. and Mackenbach, J.P.  1993.  Outdoor temperature and mortality in the Netherlands: a time-series analysis.  American Journal of Epidemiology 137: 331-341.

    Martens, P. and Huynen, M.  2001.  Will global climate change reduce thermal stress in the Netherlands?  Epidemiology 12: 753-754.

    Rooney, C., McMichael, A.J., Kovats, R.S. and Coleman, M.P.  1998.  Excess mortality in England and Wales, and in greater London, during the 1995 heatwave.  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 52: 482-486.

  10. A.D. Everard says:

    I’ve lived in rural South Australia. The houses are old with little or no insulation. Many are almost ruins, which is why they are so cheap. Also, most houses here are designed with Summer in mind, with ample shading, which backfires in Winter. My mother, who came to Australia as a young woman, always said she was far colder in Australia than she was in England or Canada.

  11. Pat Frank says:

    It’s clear, though, that the Swedish men have a culturally sophisticated approach to cold amelioration, in that they apparently had liberally applied anti-freeze before succumbing.

    More seriously, one wonders whether the incidence of hypothermia deaths in Australia show any trends following Julia Gillard’s energy policies.

    If there were more hypERthermia deaths in South Australia (30 degrees south), compared to, say, southern Texas or Israel (30 degrees north), an Australia unprepared for “climate change” would find a diagnostic pride of place in a 2ist century forensics article.

  12. The Malthusian warmunists must be gleeful.

  13. ghl says:

    South Australia has the most wind farms and the most expensive electricity of all australian states.

  14. Les Johnson says:

    Stephen/Pat: Yes, higher costs (carbon taxes and high renewable content) results in more cold related deaths. “Fuel Poverty”, especially among the elderly, often leads to an “eat or heat” decision.

  15. A.D. Everard says:

    ghl says:
    February 12, 2014 at 11:40 am

    South Australia has the most wind farms and the most expensive electricity of all australian states.

    *

    This is our understanding of it also. We’re looking at retiring in early 2016 and moving deeper into the country. We have ruled out South Australia as a place to go for being the most Green state with strict idiotic environmental laws (such as no burning off around your house before Summer hits). I’m sure all that will change. Currently, though, South Australia is out, and so is Tasmania for being heavily under the Green thumb, too.

  16. Box of Rocks says:

    Les Johnson says:
    February 12, 2014 at 11:48 am
    Stephen/Pat: Yes, higher costs (carbon taxes and high renewable content) results in more cold related deaths. “Fuel Poverty”, especially among the elderly, often leads to an “eat or heat” decision.
    ***

    Not only is it fuel poverty it is the poverty imposed on by the elites – period.

    I never did understand social security here in the states, The attitude is here is money now go away old people…

    Old ladies dying due to cold to me is a crime against humanity.

  17. Jeff L says:

    Having lived in Melbourne for 4 years, this doesn’t surprise me. The house were all built as if we were living in tropical Queensland – drafty, no insulation. We were always cold all winter long. I live in Colorado now & never feel as cold (inside) like we did when we lived in Aus.

  18. Snarky says:

    “In addition to the many underlying medical conditions involved in these cases, it’s likely that poor heating and insulation, and lack of energy efficiency, are playing a role here. For example, only 2.6% of Australian homes have double-glazed windows compared with 100% of homes in Finland and Sweden,” Ms Bright says.

    Ah yes, energy efficiency. The little old ladies on a fixed income failed to buy the latest high-tech windows from one of Al Gore’s companies and perished as a result. Let this be a lesson to all of the elderly out there. If you resist embracing the proper “sustainable” life style, you will die. Had they only been driving Priuii, buying carbon credits and in general transferring more of their limited wealth to the global warming opportunists, the gods would have looked more favorably upon them. It has nothing to do with the fact that they couldn’t afford fuel because of the misguided public energy policy in Australia. No, no, no. Move along, nothing to see here.

  19. Latitude says:

    …they just said that south Australians do not drink enough

  20. Stephen Richards says:

    Same in Northern India. If the temperature drops to 10°C /50°F the death rate increases rapidly. It’s called an inability to adapt.

  21. Bryan A says:

    I can hear the Warmunists now,
    “There’s your proof Climate Deniers, the climate warms causing more extreme cold events, the cold events eliminate climate deniers causing a net drop in human CO2 production, CO2 decreases (doesn’r rise as fast) and the world suffers less. Nature fights back to self correct.” /sarc

  22. John Day says:

    Don’t we have to give some debate-point credit to alarmists (can’t always call them ‘warmists’ anymore) for successfully owning both sides of temperature catastrophes?

    If it gets too hot, they say “CO2 Induced Global Warming!”. Or too cold, then they say “Climate Change [due to cough-CO2]!”.

    There’s even a “third side”: if _nothing_ happens, then they can say: “See! The CO2 is hiding in the oceans!”.

    So the new meme is Universal Carbonism: if anything happens, it reinforces the truth of Carbon-based Catastrophe. Only Wealth Redistribution can save us from freezing/burning to death.

    And the media and establishment gobble up all of this nonsense as Gospel Truth.
    :-|

  23. Coldlynx says:

    “There were 58 deaths caused by the heat of sauna. Seventy-five persons died of cold.”
    Ofiicial statistic from Finland, land of the very hot sauna.
    http://www.stat.fi/til/ksyyt/2012/ksyyt_2012_2013-12-30_kat_005_en.html

  24. David Joss of Downunder says:

    GHL (11:40am) has nailed it.
    Most of the deaths would have been old people living alone — frugally, because of their state’s heavy reliance on very expensive “renewable energy.”
    Their government should be tried for criminal negligence.

  25. Gail Combs says:

    Box of Rocks says: @ February 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    …Not only is it fuel poverty it is the poverty imposed on by the elites – period.

    I never did understand social security here in the states, The attitude is here is money now go away old people…

    Old ladies dying due to cold to me is a crime against humanity.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Fitchburg MA had a nasty episode back in the early 1990′s.
    MA had a bad winter, blizzards cold… A businessman in Fitchburg donated an empty warehouse which the local churches outfitted with beds etc. to get the homeless off the streets into some place warm. Social services and the town shut them down. The homeless were kicked out and died in droves… This in the state that is the home of the foremost Marxist scholars in the world (Quote from a communist buddy – he helps run Bread and Circuses)

    That episode still leaves a nasty taste.

  26. tommoriarty says:

    The Southern Hemisphere in headed for serious climate trouble. See…
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/time-to-recognize-approaching-southern-hemisphere-disaster/

    To understand why environmentalists worry far more about the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemispere, you have to understand their psyche. Here it is…
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/5066/

  27. dearieme says:

    International medical comparisons are fraught with the difficulty/impossibility of checking that diagnostic criteria are near-enough identical. So I say “Pah!”, though I must admit that I haven’t lived in Sweden.

  28. Jimbo says:

    For example, only 2.6% of Australian homes have double-glazed windows compared with 100% of homes in Finland and Sweden,” Ms Bright says.

    Small nit pick triple glazing is common in many homes Sweden and Norway. In 1977 strict new standards came into force in Sweden and almost all new homes have triple glazing.
    http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/key-choices/green/triple-glazing

  29. ghl said @ February 12, 2014 at 11:40 am

    South Australia has the most wind farms and the most expensive electricity of all australian states.

    The Gits’ electrickery bill for the last quarter was $512.06 for 1,492 kWh (95 days). In SA it would have been $531.79, but you get an 11% discount for paying before due, or $473.29. So here in Tasmania it cost us $5.39/day compared to SA where the same consumption would have cost us $4.98/day. What makes you think $4.98 is more than $5.39? When The Git went to school $5.39 was 28% greater than $4.98!

  30. dearieme said @ February 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    International medical comparisons are fraught with the difficulty/impossibility of checking that diagnostic criteria are near-enough identical. So I say “Pah!”, though I must admit that I haven’t lived in Sweden.

    You might not want to. When my brother lived there (he was working for the Nobel Foundation, he said he and his wife had to go to Denmark or the UK to enjoy themselves, it being illegal to do so in Sweden ;-)

  31. Jimbo said @ February 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Small nit pick triple glazing is common in many homes Sweden and Norway.

    Double-glazing is more than good enough in most of Australia. The Git’s world-famous House of Steel is double-glazed, super-sealed and well-insulated. That’s why our electrickery consumption is less than for a small one-person household even though it’s a medium-sized, two-person household.

  32. Boadicea says:

    The climate in SA is one of long cold and wet winters with shorter hot summers. The old houses were built to survive the heat, and had wide verandahs . The newer MacMansions have no verandahs…and lots of glass facing into the sun… and poor insulation.

    The Guvmint being of a lefty greeny persuasion has spent up big on promoting renewables such rotating bird killers and solar…with the end result that SA has the highest electricity prices in Australia and probably the world.

    I wouldn’t have taken many neurones to have predicted this would happen…but its still a great place to live and bring up kids… despite the dopey guvmints.

    Too many lawyers masquerading as politicians and not enough common sense.

  33. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Can’t say I saw that one coming…

  34. Bruce Hall says:

    Cold event = weather; hot event = proof of global warming/climate change. Never forget; always remember.

  35. “The study, by a team from the University’s School of Medical Sciences, analyzed forensic cases of hypothermia deaths from 2006-2011 in both South Australia and Sweden.”

    The timing of this study just happens to be when electricity prices almost doubled in South Australia. Little wonder their are more deaths. Little old ladies on fixed incomes would find it difficult to afford those increases, cut back on their heating. Refer to the last graph on the link.
    http://eyesonbrowne.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/why-we-have-to-pay-so-much-for-electricity/

  36. ShrNfr says:

    Well, I do not find this at all surprising. The CAGW loon of Adelaide, Barry Harrop, always left me a little cold too.

  37. 4 eyes says:

    I’m from SA. We don’t live our lives around cold here because we have such a pleasant climate so it is not surprising that occasionally less abled people succumb to the occasional cold spell.

  38. Eric Worrall says:

    Try to sleep overnight in the cool southern states, in any Aussie house built in the 1930s and you will freeze your nuts off. Why? Because houses built in the 1930s were designed for a much warmer climate.

  39. MarkW says:

    It really isn’t all that surprising, the people in Sweden are used to dealing with cold and houses are built with the cold in mind.
    Here in the states, everytime it gets cold, there are always messages going out to check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are alright. I’m sure something similar happens in Sweden as well.

  40. DD More says:

    Pat Frank says: February 12, 2014 at 11:34 am
    It’s clear, though, that the Swedish men have a culturally sophisticated approach to cold amelioration, in that they apparently had liberally applied anti-freeze before succumbing.

    Not to be confused with the Russians who may have mistakenly thought that alcohol, being lighter than water, would help them float during the excessive heat wave a few years back. It didn’t.

  41. Mike Jonas says:

    March 2012 “South Australia’s power prices set to become highest in world says Energy Users Association of Australia
    SOUTH Australia will have the world’s most expensive electricity as soon as July this year, energy experts predict. [..] From July 1, prices will rise further when the carbon tax is introduced – and with rises in network charges and additional fees for renewable energy. [..]
    ?”.
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/power-prices-to-be-highest-in-the-world/story-e6frea83-1226305741810

  42. Betapug says:

    Having measured the June overnight temperature in my widowed mothers Adelaide bedroom at 10C, I can easily support this. With only reverse cycle ceiling ducted air con as heating, an un-insulated slab floor (in a brand new 1200 sq/ft retirement villa unit) her $700/quarter avg electrical bill, (despite the 3 solar panels on the roof) frightened her so much, she shut everything off over night. She could never get warm during the winter, a factor in her death 2 years ago from heart failure.

  43. Eric Worrall said @ February 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Try to sleep overnight in the cool southern states, in any Aussie house built in the 1930s and you will freeze your nuts off. Why? Because houses built in the 1930s were designed for a much warmer climate.

    Don’t forget the cheapest form of insulation back then was firewood. In Sunbury, Victoria in 1965 my dad’s false teeth froze in the mug he’d put them in to soak. That never happened in UKLand even during The Big Freeze in 1962/3.

    My neighbour Porky Hay used to sleep on the verandah year round because he said it was too hot to sleep indoors. Temperatures occasionally dip to -5°C here in Southern Tasmania. I never saw Porky wearing anything other than a blue singlet to keep his trunk warm even on the coldest days. How he managed cutting cane in Queensland I’ll never know.

  44. Stephen Richards says:
    February 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Same in Northern India. If the temperature drops to 10°C /50°F the death rate increases rapidly. It’s called an inability to adapt.

    Embrace Natural Selection!

  45. Jeff says:

    ““Most of the deaths from hypothermia in South Australia involved elderly women indoors who were living alone, often with multiple underlying illnesses and limited contact with the outside world. Many of them had been dead for at least a day before they were discovered,” Professor Byard says.”

    Whether or not it’s because houses, etc. were not built with enough insulation, one thing this makes me think of (in this time of the Beatles’ 50th anniversary or whatever), is Eleanor Rigby. Note that they speak of “elderly women…living alone….limited contact”.

    Folks, whether it’s family or not, if you know someone who’s alone or mostly alone, give them a call now and then, see if they’re warm (or cool in the summer), and OK.

    You might very well save someone’s life…

  46. SMS says:

    Having lived in Adelaide for a few years, I believe that one of the underlying problems with high power rates is the SA program for getting home owners to invest in solar power. The buy back rate is approximately double the sale price. The difference between the two rates is added back into the overall price of power which is then distributed to all the rate payers. Middle income and upper income wage earners can afford solar power panels and the feedback switch gear in order to keep their power bills down.

    The poor cannot. But their power bill keeps increasing to support the solar power program. Everyone lives in their jumpers rather than turn up the heat to a minimum comfortable level. Those on fixed incomes are forced to rug up and suffer through the cold nights.

  47. bushbunny says:

    Well I’m not sure of this. My house is brick and tile, on a concrete slab, and with roof insulation.
    But although I have ducted oil heating, I refuse to use it. But we use the winter sun to warm rooms and have just a few small electric fires if it gets very cold. Mainly only for guests who come from Queensland and Sydney. My son and I don warm clothes, and my whippet has a sheepskin coat for winter indoors. As we live on the Northern Tablelands of NSW, our temps are cooler and colder than Tamworth down the hill. At present my thermometer is registering 27 C inside and we have the back door open. In winter the same room drops to sometimes 8 C at night and I have to watch the welfare of my bonsai and indoor plants.But generally it stays around 12 C sometimes when no sun 10C. But we have acclimatized and are not ‘hot house flowers’ . SA is a hot and humid state but we are on a plateau 3,500 ft above sea level in parts, sometimes higher further north of the region. We occasionally get snow but we haven’t seen that for some years other than a shower of it or two. But I will admit some of our pensioners go to bed with an electric blanket to watch TV in winter, as they can’t afford heating. But generally we have welfare groups that will keep an eye on them, I recall that Sweden has very cold weather but their houses have central heating and a friend has just been to UK and Europe and said, it was not too cold, as all buildings and buses etc., are warm. So horses for courses, I have been lobbying for heating subsidies like in UK for pensioners but no avail yet, as only some parts of Australia get minus C in winter. PS. Even though it is hot here and very dry, I sometimes still put my electric blanket on at night. Because after sunset the temps do drop to sometimes 10C even in the summer because of our elevation.

  48. Box of Rocks says:

    ShrNfr says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm
    Well, I do not find this at all surprising. The CAGW loon of Adelaide, Barry Harrop, always left me a little cold too.

    ****

    I wonder if he will ever grace us with his presence or will he just amuse the folks at the Wall Street Journal.

    He has even made it into the ‘Urban Dictionary”!

  49. Mark Luhman says:

    Why is that a surprise in the United States the majority of hypothermia deaths come from the southern states not the northern. That been know for years, yes I was surprised when i first heard about it but as I though about it it mad perfect sense. To coin the phrase cotton the silent killer, I only had to wear my cotton thermals once after using polypropylene ice fishing to permanently retire the cotton thermals.

  50. rocket stove mass heater

    rocket mass heaters in a nutshell:

    heat your home with 80% to 90% less wood
    exhaust is nearly pure steam and CO2 (a little smoke at the beginning)
    the heat from one fire can last for days
    you can build one in a day and half
    folks have built them spending less than $20

    the verbose details on rocket mass heaters:

    This could be the cleanest and most sustainable way to heat a conventional home. Some people have reported that they heat their home with nothing more than the dead branches that fall off the trees in their yard. And they burn so clean, that a lot of sneaky people are using them illegally, in cities, without detection.

    When somebody first told me about rocket mass heaters, none of it made sense. The fire burns sideways? No smoke? If a conventional wood stove is 75% efficient, doesn’t that mean the most wood you could possibly save is something like 25%? How do you have a big hole right over the fire and not have the house fill with smoke? I was skeptical.

    And then I saw one in action. The fire really does burn sideways. The exhaust is near room temperature – and very clean. The smoke doesn’t come back up because a huge amount of air is getting sucked into the wood hole. Neat! I sat on one that had not had a fire in it for 24 hours – it was still hot!
    http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp

  51. John F. Hultquist says:

    Gail Combs says:
    February 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm
    “I never did understand social security here in the states,

    Social Security became law August 1935. The great reference source, Wikipedia, says “an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children.

    I heard stories on my Mama’s knee; like seen here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lHdXQAQHjd8

  52. James Bull says:

    Having watched a TV program from down under called Surveillance Oz showing the police using thermal imaging camera from a helicopter to track a naughty person I was surprised at just how hot some of the house roofs were, showing just how little insulation they have. It helps in the winter to keep you warmer for less heating and cooler in summer especially if you have AC.

    James Bull

  53. robjoh says:

    I recall that Sweden has very cold weather but their houses have central heating and a friend has just been to UK and Europe and said, it was not too cold, as all buildings and buses etc., are warm.

    In Sweden we also have proper isolation in our houses, for the moment we are even experiment with houses that does not need any heating and still hold around 18 deg C in the winter. UK on the other hand is cold, damn I cannot even stand London.

  54. DirkH says:

    Boadicea says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    “The Guvmint being of a lefty greeny persuasion has spent up big on promoting renewables such rotating bird killers and solar…with the end result that SA has the highest electricity prices in Australia and probably the world. ”

    I just checked with an Aussie market compare tool. Looks like you pay about the same as we do in Germany (I got about 900 AUD for one year, 2500 kWh consumption, which translates to 600 EUR or 50 EUR a month which is slightly lower than my bill for that consumption)

  55. Brian H says:

    As I cautioned a commenter a few days ago, it is less adapted and prepared warm climate residents most subject to hypothermia. The much bandied-about excess elderly winter deaths are more like 6K in the UK, not 32K. As I noted, Brits and Germans are far harder to kill with cold than, e.g., Algerians. Like fish, given time humans can adapt to extremes. E.g., the original Tierra del Fuego natives (just n. of Cape Horn), who lacked clothing materials, and housing, and survived winters far below freezing.

  56. ozspeaksup says:

    I average around 271$au a quarter for an insulated but draughty wooden home, and fixing draughts would mean every window door and all the wooden exterior to be major upgraded.
    single on a pension
    my bills used to be half that when I moved here in 2007
    fully ONE THIRD! of my bill is massive increase in service charges! sine FORCED SMART METERS added to states costs,
    and
    privatisation of power co.
    and iIrun wood I scrounge in winter a 40watt fan in summer no aircon very little power use except on OFF peak times
    I adore doing my baking after 11pm and washing on the weekends.
    well…NO I do NOT! but if I want to run the oven to bake at the standard fees I cannot afford it!!

  57. TonyG says:

    Gail Combs says:
    Fitchburg MA had a nasty episode back in the early 1990′s.

    Gail – any links on that? I tried searching but had no luck.

  58. Rod Everson says:

    The Pompous Git says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm
    When The Git went to school $5.39 was 28% greater than $4.98!

    Methinks The Git needs to go back to school….*s*

  59. GregM says:

    Have they looked at Russia? Very cold and lots of vodka.

  60. Rod Everson said @ February 13, 2014 at 9:08 am

    The Pompous Git says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm
    When The Git went to school $5.39 was 28% greater than $4.98!

    Methinks The Git needs to go back to school….*s*

    Typo… 8%. But it is greater, not less as claimed.

  61. Ray Campbell says:

    Of course our carbon tax which the Greens and ALP seem to want to cling onto so badly that is affecting power & gas prices making them exhorbitantly high and thereby causing vulnerable people such as the poor and elderly not to be able to afford sufficient heating would have no bearing on these results.

  62. bushbunny says:

    I was told heating and cooling are the most expensive forms of electricity. Air conditioners are expensive to run, so what is wrong with the old fashioned electric fan. Close your curtains during winter at night, and insulate one’s roof. But early pioneers in Armidale reckoned the weather was healthy and had plenty of rain for crops and pastures. That’s why the Federal seat is called New England. And usually it is green but browns due to frost and drought. Sorry to the Scots that came here and wanted to called it New Caledonia, but the Brits said that was not going to be as they were in charge.

  63. bushbunny says:

    Why do the Bedouin have black tents, not because it gets bleedin’ hot in the desert, but to protect them from the cold nights. No clouds to keep them warm at night.

  64. Denier says:

    Damn! Another one of Corbyn predictions coming to past I dare say!

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