Energy Poverty Kills More People Than Coal and Cecil B. DeMille… Combined!

Guest sequel by David Middleton

This is sort of a sequel to Environmental Groups Claim Coal Killed 7,600 People in Europe in 2016… Can’t Name Any of the Victims.

Air Pollution Kills More People Than Cecil B. DeMille

The World Health Organization estimates that ambient (outdoor) air pollution kills (premature deaths) about 4.2 million people per year.  At least some of these nameless deaths could possibly be chalked up to coal.  Although the power sector only accounts for a fraction of the anthropogenic sources of ambient air pollution and coal is just the largest fraction of that fraction.

Figure 1. Global anthropogenic emissions inventory of air pollutants by sector in 2000.  Modified from IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 109.
IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans.
Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2016.

Biomass burning and/or household biofuel yield more nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, black carbon, organic carbon, ammonia and nitrous oxide than the entire power sector.

In the area of fine particulate matter, we can also see that the energy sector, of which coal is a subset, is only responsible for a fraction of dreaded PM2.5 pollution:

Figure 2. PM2.5 sources. Attribution of anthropogenic PM2.5 to emission sources. Karagulian F. et al., 2017.

And the vast majority of PM2.5 pollution occurs in China and India, with residential and industrial sources contributing far more than the energy sector.

Figure 3. PM2.5 sources. Population weighted attribution of anthropogenic PM2.5 to emission sources. Karagulian F. et al., 2017.

WHO also estimates that indoor air pollution kills (premature deaths) about 3.8 million people per year. Pretty well all of the indoor air pollution deaths are due to energy poverty.

Energy poverty is a lack of access to modern energy services. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses).[1]

Access to energy is a prerequisite of human development. Energy is needed for individual survival, it is important for the provision of social services such as education and health and a critical input into all economic sectors from household production or farming, to industry. The wealth and development status of a nation and its inhabitants is closely correlated to the type and extent of access to energy. The more ready usable energy and the more efficient energy converting technologies are available, the better are the conditions for development of individuals, households, communities, the society and its economy. Thus, improving access to energy is a continuous challenge for governments and development organisations.[2]


Five Surprising Facts About Energy Poverty

Business as usual “will not remotely suffice” to meet goals of clean and universal energy, says a World Bank-led report.



The world needs to double or triple its current spending—estimated at about $400 billion a year—to meet the United Nations’ goal of bringing clean and modern electricity to all people by 2030, says a new report by a wide group of international agencies led by the World Bank.

Although nations are succeeding in bringing power to more people, those efforts have barely kept pace with population growth over the past two decades, said the report, released Tuesday in Vienna. As a result, about 1.2 billion people—nearly as many as the entire population of India—still live without access to electricity, while 2.8 billion people rely on wood, crop waste, dung, and other biomass to cook and heat their homes.


Cooking Smoke Kills

About 3.5 million people, mainly women and children, die each year from respiratory illness due to harmful indoor air pollution from wood and biomass cookstoves. That’s more than double the annual deaths attributed either to malaria (1.2 million) or to HIV/AIDS (1.5 million). (See related blog: “Cookstove Smoke is ‘Largest Environmental Threat.'”) In the past, international health and energy authorities looked to kerosene as a cleaner alternative, but the World Bank report pointed out that recent scientific study confirms that kerosene can emit troubling amounts of health-damaging pollutants, while posing a major burn and poisoning risk. For tracking progress in the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the report recommended that kerosene cookstoves be considered a low level of basic access; more preferable are alternatives such as biogas, liquid petroleum gas (propane), electricity, and natural gas. (See also: “Protecting Health and the Planet With Clean Cookstoves.”)


Sobering Picture on Rapid Renewable Growth

Even though worldwide wind power has grown at an average rate of 25 percent and solar energy at a rate of 11.4 percent since 1990, those two forms of renewable energy—along with geothermal, waste, and marine energy—contribute barely 1 percent of global energy consumption, the World Bank Report said. Instead, 80 percent of all renewable energy generated comes from hydropower. Burning of wood and biomass also account for a large share, even though the environmental sustainability of those practices is questionable. The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative relies on large growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency, so the world can extend access to power without worsening climate change. The World Bank report said renewables, including hydro and biofuel, now make up about 18 percent of the world energy mix, a share that would need to double to 36 percent by 2030 to meet the UN’s goals. At the current pace of growth, the world is on track to increase renewable energy’s share to just 19.4 percent, the report concluded. “Business as usual will not remotely suffice” to meet the UN’s goals, the report said.

The World Bank report recommended a broad array of initiatives to fight energy poverty and boost development of cleaner energy, including government actions such as a phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies and establishing a price on carbon. But the report said achieving the steep increases necessary in financing for energy is unlikely to be possible without “substantial investment” from the private sector.


Clearly, the solution to energy/fuel poverty is to make fossil fuels more expensive.  Do I need to use a SARC tag here?

Energy/fuel poverty doesn’t just kill people in Third World schist repositories.  It kills people in First World, industrialized, wealthy, modern, democratic nations too… Mostly poor people, mostly during winter.  Despite the best efforts of Al Gore and Jimbo Hansen, winter is coming…

You tell them winter is coming, and Hell’s coming with it!

Published: 08 December 2017

Winter is coming

Nature Energy volume 2, page 901 (2017) | Download Citation

Cold temperatures put financial strain on millions of households for whom sufficient heating is prohibitively expensive.

Across the Northern Hemisphere, days are getting shorter and colder. For millions of households, the approach of winter is a source of anxiety about how they will afford to heat their homes. Heating in the winter is not simply a matter of comfort. Cold indoor temperatures have been strongly implicated in the phenomenon of excess winter mortality, in which more deaths occur in winter relative to summer months. Cold indoor temperatures are also associated with less-catastrophic negative health effects, such as respiratory illness, particularly in young children1. Consequently, the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 21 °C in living rooms and 18 °C in all other rooms2. However, the costs of sufficiently heating a home in winter are not trivial, and are exacerbated by prolonged winters in some places, poor-quality housing stock, or, in the worst case, the combination of the two. Indeed, certain demographic groups, such as the elderly, people with chronic illness, and low-income households, spend a relatively greater proportion of their income on energy, leading to an uncomfortable choice: heat or eat.

Energy poverty refers to the inability to attain a socially and materially necessitated level of domestic energy services.


Nature Energy

The United Kingdom

Fuel poverty crisis: 3,000 Britons dying each year because they can’t heat their homes, study shows

Campaigners call for action to end ‘entirely preventable’ tragedy that kills as many people as prostate cancer or breast cancer

Ben Chapman
Thursday 22 February 2018

More than 3,000 people are “needlessly” dying each year in the UK because they cannot afford to properly heat their homes, new research has revealed.

The UK has the second-worst rate of excess winter deaths in Europe, a study by National Energy Action and climate-change charity E3G found.

The organisations called for urgent action to end to the devastating but “entirely preventable” tragedy that they say amounts to a “cold homes public health crisis”

The death toll looks set to rise next week as the UK braces for an imminent “polar vortex” predicted to bring harsh frost, snow showers and freezing temperatures.

A total of 168,000 excess winter deaths have been recorded in the UK over the latest five-year period. Of 30 countries studied, only Ireland has a higher proportion of people dying due to cold weather.

Almost 17,000 of those people are estimated to have died as a direct result of fuel poverty and a further 36,000 deaths are attributable to conditions relating to living in a cold home, the research found. The number dying through cold each year is similar to the amount who die from prostate or breast cancer.


The Independent

Is there a ribbon for energy/fuel poverty deaths?

Cold homes caused 9,000 deaths last winter, study suggests

21 March 2016

It found a fifth of the 43,900 excess winter deaths in 2014-2015 were caused by low indoor temperatures, BBC Panorama has learned.

Cold homes increase the risk of respiratory infections, heart attacks and strokes, the researchers said.

Ministers say £1m has been invested to help those who are ill from cold homes.

‘Entirely preventable’
The University College London (UCL) study calculated that 9,000 deaths was the highest number for 15 years.


Dr Jessica Allen, whose team conducted the study, told BBC Panorama: “This was not the coldest winter on record. People dying from cold homes are a result of high fuel prices, low incomes and poor insulation. It’s entirely preventable.

“If that was an epidemic of some disease there would quite rightly be people marching in the streets and causing an outrage, but this is because of the cold.”


Olive Naismith, 77, is no longer considered fuel poor in the official statistics. She has moved her bed into the living room because she can only afford to heat one room of her bungalow.

Because Olive lives alone and receives the full state pension, under the government’s new definition her income is too high for her to be classed as someone in fuel poverty.



Is it 3,000 or 9,000?  Does it matter?  Energy/fuel poverty kills people with “respiratory infections, heart attacks and strokes”… Three of the same causes of death attributed to  PM2.5 pollution from coal-fired power plants in Europe.  Do you think there might be a significant overlap?  Since they can’t identify any of the coal victims, there’s no way to know if some or all of the 3,000 fuel poverty deaths in the UK were also counted among the 7,600 coal-fired deaths in Europe.

The Pain in Spain

This couldn’t possibly be related to Spain’s misguided adoption of solar power… Or could it?

7,000 premature deaths are associated with energy poverty

by Carlos Sánchez 04/25/2016

According to the III Energy Poverty Study presented today by the Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA) in 2014 more than 7,000 people died in Spain from causes associated with energy poverty. 11% of households in Spain, 5.1 million people declare to be unable to maintain their housing at a suitable temperature at this time of year.

The ACA study focuses on data obtained during 2014 and discovers an increase in energy poverty by 22% to reach 5.1 million people in our country who are unable to keep their home at a suitable temperature in winter, 10.2% above the European average.


Energy News Todo Energia

The World Wrestling Federation World Wildlife Fund even chimed in…

Energy poverty rises in Spain

A sharp rise in the number of Spaniards living in the risk of energy poverty was revealed in a report published by the Spanish Association of Environmental Sciences (ACA). According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 the number of households that need to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on electricity and gas bills increased to 16,6% from 12.4% in 2010. In real life, these percentages translate to 7 million people who live in unhealthy conditions of homes that are very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Coupled with mold and humidity and electricity cuts, due to unpaid bills, energy poverty is a social crisis resulting from rising energy prices (roughly 60% since 2007) and decreasing incomes. An annual 7,200 deaths can now be attributed to energy poverty in Spain, in accordance with the measurement system established by the World Health Organisation.

According to ACA, energy poverty is defined as the inability of a household to meet a minimum amount of energy services that satisfy basic needs, such as maintaining a home temperature of 18-20oC in the winter and 25oC during the summer.


I guess energy/fuel poverty even threatens wildlife in Spain.

Unlike the 7,600 Europeans killed in 2016 by coal-fired power plants, at least some of these 7,000 Spaniards have names…

Spain anger over ‘energy poverty’ deaths

By James Badcock

20 November 2016

“Rosa PV” (as she is described in the media) died alone, choking on fumes from a fire started by one of the candles she used for light in her flat in the city of Reus, south of Barcelona, early last Monday.

It emerged that her electricity had been cut off for non-payment of bills. Rosa’s solitary plight caused protesters’ voices to be raised in unison against energy poverty as winter approaches.

There have been demonstrations of sorrow for Rosa and anger at the failure of the authorities to take care of such an elderly citizen, in Reus, Barcelona and elsewhere this week.

The leader of the anti-austerity Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, said his “blood was boiling” over the failure of Spain’s administrations to stop companies cutting off basic supplies to the vulnerable.

A week before the death of Rosa, fire also claimed the life of 12-year-old Lucia Fuoli after an apparent short-circuit. The blaze was possibly caused by the use of a defective electric heater and it engulfed the fifth-floor Zaragoza apartment.



We’ll have more on the story of “Rosa PV” later.

But the UK and Spain are “over there”… Despite this being the 100th Anniversary of The War to End All Wars, does anybody really care about what goes on “over there“?

Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming
The Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We’ll be over, we’re coming over
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there

Well, guess what? The Yanks don’t have to go “over there” to fight this war.  Energy/fuel poverty is killing people “over here” too!

Oh Canada!


Energy poverty and mortality in Ontario: are rising electricity prices putting the poor at risk?

by Stephen E. Aplin • February 6, 2017

The ice storm that knocked out electricity to parts of New Brunswick has killed people, at least indirectly, and has placed many thousands in mortal danger. The indirect deaths were from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO, when it is not being deliberately manufactured (it is a very valuable industrial chemical), is a product of incomplete combustion, and it is, as far as toxins are concerned, among the most prolific killers in human history.

How did the ice storm cause CO-related deaths? It knocked out the electricity, which is how a lot of people heat their homes in New Brunswick. When there is no electricity and it is cold outside, you will do practically anything to stay warm. This includes

  1. Running a camp stove or barbecue inside for heat.
  2. Running a gasoline powered emergency generator in a garage with its door partially closed.
  3. … and a lot of other things that involve burning stuff.

As spectacularly dire as the situation in New Brunswick is, you don’t need an ice storm to drive you to such desperation that you will try these desperate things to stay warm. You could have electricity that is so expensive that you shudder when the monthly bill arrives. The bill can be so high that you start searching for alternatives to paying it.


Canadian Energy Issues

The United Fracking States of America

While it may seem like an oxymoron, the People’s Republic of Vermont is still part of these United States of America.

Fuel poverty, excess winter deaths, and energy costs in Vermont: Burdensome for whom?

Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, Benjamin Sovacool, Taylor Smith, Emily Laine


  • Those spending 10 percent of their monthly income or more on energy services are in “fuel poverty”.
  • In this study we analyze the energy burden in Vermont by household income deciles.
  • We calculate that excess winter deaths caused potentially by fuel poverty kill more Vermonters each year than car crashes.
  • We conclude with implications for energy planners and policymakers.

Energy, whether from electricity, natural gas, heating oil, propane, kerosene, or wood, is essential for the well-being of many Americans, yet those who spend more than 10 percent of their income of energy services can be considered “fuel poor.” This study assesses the extent and severity of fuel poverty in Vermont. It analyzes energy burdens in Vermont by household income deciles, using data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Approximately 71,000 people suffered from fuel poverty in Vermont in 2000, and in 2012 the number rose to 125,000, or one in five Vermonters. Startlingly, fuel poverty grew 76 percent during this period. Excess winter deaths, caused potentially by fuel poverty, kill more Vermonters each year than car crashes.


Energy Policy

In addition to being afflicted with energy poverty, Vermont is also afflicted with energy stupidity.  In August 2018, the average residential electricity rate in Vermont was 17.93 ¢/kWh, 35% above the national average of 13.30 ¢/kWh.  Shockingly, Vermont has the second least expensive electricity in New England.  Residential natural gas prices are also high in Vermont ($12.93/mcf), 32% above the national average of $9.78/mcf.  Not that there’s any rocks in Vermont worth frac’ing, but this sort of mentality probably factors heavily in Vermont’s fuel poverty and excess winter deaths…

Vermont first state to ban fracking

By the CNN Wire Staff

Updated 4:35 PM ET, Thu May 17, 2012

Vermont’s governor has signed a bill making it the first U.S. state to ban fracking, the controversial practice to extract natural gas from the ground.

“This is a big deal,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday. “This bill will ensure that we do not inject chemicals into groundwater in a desperate pursuit for energy.”

Shumlin said fracking contaminates groundwater and the science behind it is “uncertain at best.” He said he hopes other states will follow Vermont’s lead in banning it.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has unleashed a boom in energy production in the United States by allowing the extraction of oil and gas from shale rock. Supporters say it has reduced the country’s oil imports, boosted natural gas production and provided thousands of jobs.


Clinton News Network

Vermont’s energy stupidity doesn’t stop at mental frac****ation…


State Profile and Energy Estimate


  • More than one-third of Vermont schoolchildren attend facilities heated by wood products, and almost one in six homes in Vermont heat with wood.
  • Vermont produces 40% of the electricity it consumes and depends on power from Canada and neighboring states to meet customer demand.
  • Vermont’s electricity generation comes almost entirely from renewable resources, and more than half of it is hydroelectric power.
  • In the years 2011 through 2017, 74.2 megawatts of utility-scale solar photovoltaic capacity and 89 megawatts of small-scale PV capacity were installed in Vermont.
  • In 2015, Vermont enacted the nation’s first integrated renewable energy standard (RES), which requires 75% of retail electricity sales to come from renewable sources by 2032.

Last Updated: July 19, 2018


What happens to a State that generates almost no energy?

Profile Analysis

Last Updated: July 19, 2018


Vermont’s forested mountains and fast-running rivers are home to substantial renewable energy resources, but the state has no fossil fuel reserves.1 The Green Mountains, a part of the Appalachian chain, occupy most of Vermont, rising between the shores of the Connecticut River on the state’s eastern border with New Hampshire and Lake Champlain and the Hudson River Valley on the state’s western border with New York. The mountains run the length of Vermont, from Canada in the north to the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts in the south.2 Rivers that descend from the mountains and those that border the state provide hydroelectric power.3 Forests that cover almost four-fifths of the state support the forestry industry, whose byproducts fuel electricity generation and home heating.4 A significant share of the state’s power generation uses wood or wood waste.5Nearly one in six Vermont households use wood for space heating.6 However, more than one in six homes are occupied only seasonally.7 Vermont is the second-smallest state by population, after Wyoming, and the sixth-smallest state by area.8,9 More than one-fourth of the state’s residents live along Lake Champlain in the northwestern county that includes the city of Burlington.10 Most other Vermont residents live in small towns and on farms.11

Vermont consumes almost five times as much energy as it produces, but total energy consumption in the state is the smallest of all states, and per capita energy consumption is among the lowest one-fifth of states.12,13,14



Vermont’s electricity generation comes almost entirely from renewable resources, and more than half of it is hydroelectric power.20 However, the largest share of electricity consumed in Vermont is from hydroelectricity generators in Canada and neighboring states.21 The state’s electric utilities own little generating capacity, and they rely primarily on electricity imports and on contracts with independent producers to supply customers.22,23 With the permanent shutdown of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station at the end of 2014, Vermont lost about half of its electricity generating capacity and the source of as much as four-fifths of the state’s net generation during the previous decade.24,25,26


Renewable energy

Nearly all the electricity generated in Vermont—about two-fifths of the electricity consumed in the state—comes from in-state renewable resources.44 Vermont has almost 50 hydroelectric power plants at dams around the state that account for nearly three-fifths of Vermont’s net electricity generation. Biomass, almost all of it from wood and wood waste, is used to produce one-fifth of the electricity generated in Vermont.45,46 More than one-third of Vermont schoolchildren attend facilities heated by wood products, and almost one in six homes heat with wood.47,48 Vermont also obtains renewable electricity from wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), landfill methane, and methane digester facilities.49 Vermont’s commercial wind resources are concentrated along the spine of the Green Mountains.50 In 2017, Vermont’s five utility-scale wind farms contributed about one-eighth of the state’s net electricity generation.51,52 Vermont also hosts a number of municipal and distributed (small-scale, customer-sited) wind facilities.53

In 2017, utility-scale solar facilities accounted for more than 6% of Vermont’s net electricity generation, and customer-sited facilities smaller than 1 megawatt accounted for an additional 5%.54 As of June 2018, Vermont had more than 224 megawatts of solar capacity installed at residential, commercial, and industrial sites across the state.55The state’s five largest solar farms, with about 5 megawatts of capacity each, began operating in 2016 and 2017, and larger projects are in development.56,57,58



Vermont has no petroleum reserves, production, or refining.70 However, about three-fifths of the energy consumed in the state is petroleum-based.71 There are no petroleum product pipelines in the state. Refined products are brought in by railroad and truck from neighboring states and Canada.72,73 One crude oil pipeline crosses Vermont. The World War II-era Portland-Montreal Pipeline carries crude oil from tanker docks at Portland, Maine, to refineries in Montreal, Canada.74 However, several of those refineries have shut down and the remaining one in Montreal is now supplied with crude oil from western Canada. Shipments across Vermont from Portland have almost stopped.75 A proposal to reverse the flow in that pipeline and bring crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to Portland for shipment to refineries elsewhere has encountered opposition in Vermont and other states because of environmental concerns.76,77


Natural gas

Vermont has no natural gas reserves and no natural gas production.87 Vermont’s single natural gas utility receives its natural gas from a small-capacity pipeline that brings natural gas south from Canada.88 The utility distributes natural gas in three counties in the Burlington, Vermont, area.89 That region is the only area of the state with access to natural gas. Expanding access to natural gas in the rest of the state has been considered when the cost of fuel oil has risen, and a major expansion into Addison County, south of Burlington, was completed in 2017.90,91 Limited access makes Vermont the second-smallest natural gas consumer, and the second-smallest natural gas consumer per capita, among the states. Only Hawaii uses less natural gas.92,93 However, because much of the state’s population lives in the Greater Burlington area, almost one in five Vermont households use natural gas as their primary home heating fuel.94


Vermont has no coal reserves or coal mining.95 Vermont is part of the six-state Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE) regional grid, which receives a decreasing share of its power from coal, but remains dependent on out-of-state coal facilities during periods of peak electricity demand.96 Vermont does not have any operating coal-fired power plants.97,98


You wind up with a State that kills more people through energy stupidity than in automobile accidents.  Vermont is close enough to the Marcellus/Utica natural gas fields that they should be awash in cheap natural gas.  However mental frac****ation rules the day in the Green Mountain State…

Irrational Fossil Fuel Hatred in Bristol, VT re Local Gas Line

August 17, 2018

It took Vermont Gas Systems three years to build a 41-mile, $165 million natural gas transmission pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. The pipeline went into service in April. Vermont Gas is now working to complete several local distribution spurs–short, small pipelines to deliver the gas to homes and businesses. One of those spurs goes to Bristol, VT. A handful of Bristol residents are suing the town board for approving the local distribution pipeline without first holding a townwide vote. When you read the objections of those against the project, they don’t talk about exploding pipelines and safety issues, or running pipelines through pristine areas. How can they object on that basis? There are literally tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of miles of this very same kind of pipeline in every major and most minor cities and towns across the country. When you read the comments of those in Bristol objecting, they talk about natural gas as “a big, dirty fossil fuel” and fracking as an abject evil, contaminating water, filled with chemicals, yada yada yada. In other words, they are clinically insane. They irrationally hate fossil fuels, even though their very lives and existence depend on those fossil fuels every minute of every day. We’ve run out of words to describe such lunacy…


Marcellus Drilling News

The mind is a terrible thing to frac****…

Vermont Gas Pipeline Fined $58K for Killing 77 Sunflower Plants

May 31, 2017

How long does it take to lay 43 miles of natural gas pipeline? If you live and work in the socialist paradise of Vermont, it takes at least two years. In May 2015, MDN reported the following: “The fossil fuel hating nutjobs are out in force in Vermont. Anti-drillers who hate fracking because they hate natural gas because natural gas is an evil, nasty ‘fossil fuel’ are trying to stall progress on a 43-mile natural gas pipeline Vermont Gas Systems is laying between Chittenden and Addison counties to deliver clean burning natural gas to Vermonters. Those opposing the pipeline include the wackos from a group called Rising Tide Vermont. But unfortunately, the pipeline is also being opposed by the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association (companies that deliver fuel oil) and opposed by even the socialist Vermont AARP.”


Here’s the latest twist: Vermont’s contractor, hired to help build the pipeline, “accidentally” mowed down 77 sunflower plants that are (supposedly) “rare” and protected. It will cost Vermont Gas $58,687.50 in fines. That’s $762 for each of the sunflowers mowed down that, according to state officials, will grow back anyway. Excuse us while we spit out sunflower seed shells we’ve been munching on as we write this…


Marcellus Drilling News

Solutions from the sublime to the ridiculous

Remember when I said we would get back to Rosa PV?  This is just fracking mental…

Spain: 81 year-old woman dies in fire caused by a candle she used as electricity had been cut off

Jorge Martín 16 November 2016

An 81 year-old woman died in a fire in her flat in Reus, Catalonia in the early hours of Tuesday, November 15. The fire was caused by a candle she kept by her bed. Two months ago, the electricity company had cut off her supply as she was unable to pay. This tragic incident reveals the barbarism of a system which puts private profit above the needs of the people and highlights the brutal impact the crisis of capitalism is having on millions of families in Spain.

The company which cut the electricity supply to this woman’s house is Gas Natural Fenosa, a Spanish multinational company operating in over 30 countries and whose main shareholders are La Caixa and Repsol. Gas Natural is the third largest supplier of gas and electricity in Spain and had profits of over €1.5 bn in 2015.


In Defence of Marxism

Clearly Gas Natural Fenosa killed Rosa PV in order to increase their profit margin.

In Defence of Marxism hilariously provided this chart to back up their socialist nonsense…

Electricity prices for household consumers second half 2015 ¹ EUR per kWh Source: Eurostat

Assuming Rosa was an average electricity consumer in Spain, she was paying about €0.23/kWh (~26¢/kWh).  We have a pretty strong profit motive here in the USA too.  Why would electricity cost twice as much in Spain as it does here?

I don’t suppose that this sort of analysis would ever occur to Marxists or green****s…

Willis Eschenbach, WUWT

Clearly the profit motive in these  United States is what keeps our electricity rates down around half that of Spain.  If we just had socialized energy, we could pay twice as much as we do… {Insert SARC Tag}

Here’s a novel idea… make energy a right!

Energy as a basic social right

A progressive alliance against energy poverty in the EU. Report of the energy policy workshop “Affordable Energy, a Basic Social Right – How to Abolish Energy Poverty?”

29 May 2017 | European Parliament, Brussels
Malte Fiedler , 20.11.2017

A cold home in winter and no light after dark. It is estimated that 11 per cent of the EU’s total population directly suffers from, or is at high risk of, energy poverty.(1) According to other estimates, up to 125 million EU citizens are affected.(2) Even in a wealthy country like Germany some 350,000 people are forced to live without electricity. Up to 600,000 people are at risk of having their electricity cut off. While the European Commission is striving to establish an internal energy market in the EU and to further integrate energy policy, the plight of large numbers of people in the EU is being disregarded. In the Commission’s view, inadequate energy efficiency is the chief cause of increasing energy poverty. Accordingly, the Commission’s “Winter Package” on energy policy proposes to combat energy poverty by means of improved building renovation. However, rather than a consequence of inadequate energy efficiency, energy poverty is both a socio-economic and technical problem, as quickly became clear during the workshop Affordable Energy, a Basic Social Right – How to Abolish Energy Poverty?


Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

Yea… that’s the ticket!  Make energy a right! Just pass an ordinance abolishing energy/fuel poverty.

Who in the Hell is Rosa Luxemburg?

Rosa Luxemburg; Polish: Róża Luksemburg; also Rozalia Luxenburg; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

In 1915, after the SPD supported German involvement in World War I, she and Karl Liebknecht co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund), which eventually became the KPD. During the November Revolution she co-founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne (“The Red Flag”), the central organ of the Spartacist movement.



The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is a flaming left-wing radical Marxist Communist group, originally known as the “Social Analysis and Political Education Association”.  This explains how they could think that goods and services could be a right.

Real world solutions

A rare bit of common sense from Scientific American

Using Natural Gas to Reduce Energy Poverty

It’s not carbon-free, but it has a transformative role to play in energizing developing nations

By Tisha Schuller on March 3, 2017


There is a dominant school of thought that energy access can be achieved around the world with only carbon-free sources. This paradigm envisions effectively “leapfrogging” traditional development patterns, skipping industrialization, and transforming economies with green energy and a service economy. While compelling in theory, this vision lacks several critical factors: the need to manufacture the goods that will build the economy, the scalability of energy sources, and the affordability of that energy.

The developing world will gain access to energy.
This transformation is currently underway and its progress is inevitable. The urgency is created by individuals’ current, difficult conditions and the availability of abundant, affordable energy, particularly coal. All new energy demand will come from the developing world. Without a thoughtful conversation about the projected doubling of world energy demand, energy consumption will continue as it is currently underway, in two parallel paths. One path prioritizes carbon-free sources, and sets goals and policies that incentivize those. The other path responds to the supply and demand inherent in a world economy and is resulting in the massive development of coal-fired electricity generation.

The reality of energy development can be summarized in the example of India’s projected energy development. By 2022, India is planning 100 GW of new solar and a relatively tiny 50 MW of new coal. However, a simple calculation of the likely emissions of these two new sources of energy conducted by a colleague at Stanford indicates that if all this new electricity generation came from natural gas, the result would be 20 percent fewer emissions. This is a conversation worth having.

Although not a carbon-free source, natural gas has a transformative role to play in the energizing of developing nations. Abundantly available around the world, and more transportable than ever, a world natural gas market is creating a more stable, affordable supply. As an electricity generation fuel, it is both a baseload alternative to coal and a backup for renewable generation. In this capacity, natural gas provides carbon and non-carbon air emissions benefits. When used as a transportation fuel, natural gas provides significant air quality benefit to traditional fuels and can be equally affordable. When deployed as a cooking fuel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), provides dramatic health benefits and could reduce the unnecessary 4 million annual deaths attributed to cooking over inefficient, biomass fuels. As an economic cornerstone, natural gas can empower industrial development as a chemical feedstock, fertilizer component, direct energy source, and electricity provider.

Trying to boost energy development without fossil fuels creates a critical conundrum.
Natural gas cannot improve individual, community, and country outcomes without planning. Natural gas is expensive to develop and requires the appropriate scale to create affordable results for consumers. To realize the benefits of natural gas, we must be willing to acknowledge the possibilities and tradeoffs of this relatively better fossil energy source.


Scientific American



Natural gas is great.  Even with the recent jump in prices to over $4/mcf, natural gas is cheap, at least here in these United States.  However, it’s probably not the most cost-effective solution for most of the underdeveloped world.


The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels

By Bjorn Lomborg
Dec. 3, 2013

PRAGUE — THERE’S a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.

About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes — about 200,000 more than the number who die prematurely each year from breathing polluted air outside, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

There’s no question that burning fossil fuels is leading to a warmer climate and that addressing this problem is important. But doing so is a question of timing and priority. For many parts of the world, fossil fuels are still vital and will be for the next few decades, because they are the only means to lift people out of the smoke and darkness of energy poverty.


Over the last 30 years, China moved an estimated 680 million people out of poverty by giving them access to modern energy, mostly powered by coal. Yes, this has resulted in terrible air pollution and a huge increase in greenhouse gas emissions.


The last time the World Bank agreed to help finance construction of a coal-fired power plant, in South Africa in 2010, the United States abstained from a vote approving the deal. The Obama administration expressed concerns that the project would “produce significant greenhouse gas emissions.” But as South Africa’s finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, explained at the time in The Washington Post, “To sustain the growth rates we need to create jobs, we have no choice but to build new generating capacity — relying on what, for now, remains our most abundant and affordable energy source: coal.”


The developed world needs a smarter approach toward cleaner fuels. The United States has been showing the way. Hydraulic fracturing has produced an abundance of inexpensive natural gas, leading to a shift away from coal in electricity production. Because burning natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, this technology has helped the United States reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the lowest level since the mid-1990s, even as emissions rise globally. We need to export this technology and help other nations exploit it.

But until then they should not stand in the way of poorer nations as they turn to coal and other fossil fuels. This approach will get our priorities right. And perhaps then, people will be able to cook in their own homes without slowly killing themselves.
Bjorn Lomborg is the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a nonprofit group focused on cost-effective solutions to global problems, and the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

New York Times

Poor nations without natural gas production and/or infrastructure are best-served by coal-fired power plants.  However, maximizing access to affordable fossil fuels, of all flavors is the only pathway to alleviating the inexcusable continuation of energy/fuel poverty in the world.

Today’s Poor Need More Oil, Natural Gas And Coal

Jude Clemente

Simply put, the world has no problem greater than energy deprivation and poverty. They shorten human lives by decades. I’m going to use this post to put some horrifically sad numbers to you because ending poverty today is our most critical global goal. I’ve written peer-reviewed journal articles on this stuff and have come to realize that we rich Westerners know almost nothing about how poor the world really is. In short, climate scientists are everywhere; poverty scientists are nowhere. So this piece is vital to our energy-environment conversation, which has been decidedly one-sided in environment’s favor.


Let’s hope the world’s climate is indeed changing: Six in every seven humans today live in undeveloped nations, perpetually burdened with having just 5% of the income that we Americans enjoy (“developed” defined as OECD).

The Paris-based International Energy Agency has been reporting for years that 1,300 million humans have no electricity. And it’s actually far worse than that: IEA’s data are based on a pathetically low threshold of 75 kWh consumption, or what Americans use in two or three days. Thus, in reality, billions of people lack adequate access to electricity – the enabling force of a modern life.


Around three billion people – 40% of the world – cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste), here. That’s the equivalent of smoking 400 cigarettes every hour, here. Thus, every day, 11,000 people die from cooking smoke, here.


More renewable energy cannot be the primary energy goal for the developing world that is so drastically energy deprived: Renewables are too expensive and are naturally intermittent and therefore less reliable. To illustrate, Germany and Denmark are the wind capitals of Europe, and home power rates there are respectively approximately 40 and 42 cents per kWh, compared with 12 cents here in the U.S.

Maybe most unfortunately, to me,  the reality of the “we must end poverty today through modern energy” concept has been lost on the fossil fuel companies. They need entire divisions on how oil, gas, and coal have helped the world. For example, I’ve already shown how oil and gas companies could be heroes in Africa.


Mr. Clemente is right.  Fossil fuel companies (AKA the Climate Wrecking Industry) should be the loudest advocates for the victims of energy/fuel poverty.  Maybe we should even adopt the tactics of the Warmunists and start labeling, Greenpeace, WWF, NRDC, etc. as energy poverty deniers and demanding that they stop killing poor people in their futile Gorebal War Against Weather. But, we have real jobs and don’t have much time for that sort of thing.

“Beautiful, Clean Coal”

While air pollution from coal-fired power plants may lead to some premature deaths, this number pales in comparison to the number of people who needlessly die as the result of energy/fuel poverty.  And it is actually possible to operate coal-fired power plants in ways that minimize the risks of air pollution, without skyrocketing electricity rates. We do that right here in these United States of America.

While these numbers are probably wildly exaggerated, and the reduction in deaths is probably unrelated to the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (MATS) or the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR)…

This latest report finds that over 3,000 deaths each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants. This represents a dramatic reduction in power plant health impacts from the previous studies. Our initial study in 2000 estimated the number of attributable deaths at 30,000 per year. In 2004, the number of attributable deaths in the 2010 study was 24,000. By 2010, the number was roughly 13,000 deaths per year. In 2014, that number had fallen to 7,500 deaths.

Clean Air Task Force

3,000 represents a 90% reduction from 30,000.  This 90% reduction in deaths “attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. power plants” occurred over a period in which US coal consumption only declined by 35% (BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy.

These United States rank first in petroleum and natural gas consumption and second only yo Red China in coal consumption, yet we have managed to reduce many air pollutants to nearly irreducible levels.

From Putting the Clean Air Act on Ice:

I downloaded the latest EPA data for lead (Pb), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10 & PM2.5) and tied those data into ice core records of comparable “pollutants.”

For each pollutant, I determined a “geological background” (the Earth puts a lot of schist in the air without any human assistance) by calculating the 1772-1850 average ± two standard deviations.  The ice core lead (ng/g) correlated very well with the overlapping EPA lead (ppb) data:

Figure 2.  Current US atmospheric lead (Pb) levels appear to fall well within the geological background.  Data from McConnell, J.R. and R. Edwards. 2008 and US EPA.

Atmospheric lead in the US is clearly at or near an irreducible level.  For SO2 and NO2 I used data from Geng et al. 2014. I found a good correlation between the EPA SO2 and Geng’s SO42-.

Figure 3.  Current US SO2 levels appear to be well within the geological background.  Data from Geng et al., 2014 and US EPA.

I didn’t find a good correlation with the EPA’s US NO2 data. Neither HNO3 nor NO3 fit very well.

Figure 4.  Unlike Pb and SO2, the overlapping data did not correlate very well.  Current US NO2 levels appear to be barely above the geological background and are falling.  Data from Geng et al., 2014 and US EPA.

The most we can say about NO2 is that it’s dropping rapidly and probably near the geological background range.

For particulate matter, I referred to Zielinski & Mershon, 1997.  Unfortunately there was only one overlapping point with the EPA’s PM10 data.  So, I multiplied the PM10 and PM2.5 data by 246 to put it roughly at the same scale as the ice core data.

Figure 5.  Insoluble microparticle concentrations from the GISP2 ice core and EPA PM10 and PM2.5.  It appears that particulate matter is also within the geological background range.  Data from Zielinski & Mershon, 1997 and US EPA.

Reducing particulate matter has become the EPA’s primary focus in their never-ending quest to statistically save statistical lives.  Oddly enough, most of the serious particulate matter pollution is outside the EPA’s jurisdiction and a lot of it appears to be related to deserts and other arid climatic zones.

Figure 6.  Global satellite-derived map of PM2.5 averaged over 2001-2006. Credit: Dalhousie University, Aaron van Donkelaar

What have we learned here?  We’ve learned the the Clean Air Act has been wildly successful.  The EPA deserves a pat on the back for reducing key air pollutants down to nearly irreducible levels.  So, why has the EPA been continuously pushing to further reduce these pollutants further below the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and often pushing to lower the NAAQS levels?

I guess the EPA figures that so long as there are statistical lives to be saved, they have a duty to statistically save them.  But… Is that any way to measure the cost to benefits ratios for new regulations?  Unfortunately, that’s exactly how the EPA performs cost-benefit analyses.

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November 27, 2018 4:38 pm

Africa is split into four in Figure 5, near the top. If you concatenate the four “Africas”, it looks like it comes out on top ahead of China and India.

November 27, 2018 5:00 pm

“, those efforts have barely kept pace with population growth over the past two decades,”

So population growth out performed deaths….someone is getting healthier

“It found a fifth of the 43,900 excess winter deaths in 2014-2015 were caused by low indoor temperatures,”

Excess winter deaths….what was the other 4/5th….tobogganing accidents?

November 27, 2018 5:03 pm

This is the longest article in the history
of Watt’s Up With That, I would guess.

Where is Charles the Moderator / Editor
when you need him?

Probably in his “office” (a stool in a bar)
proofreading the label on his bottle
of whiskey.

The “1,2,3,4” summary (box) should have been
at the beginning of the article.

My partial solution for the one billion people without electricity:
Solar water heaters

mike the morlock
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 6:01 pm

Richard Greene November 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm
Hello Richard, insults so quick?
Your partial solution is inadequate. Actually it is worse than the measures these people use presently, with small success. Maybe until your brain starts to have more than three connecting cells and neurons, you should just shut up. You and those of your philosophy are menace to the most vulnerable people on the planet.
I most stop here lest ctm has to snip my comment.

With contempt and disdain


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 6:39 pm

I must admit I was getting impatient towards the end of the article. It probably should have been two articles.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 6:46 pm

Sure the one billion people without electricity have the money to install your partial solution. Don’t ask for the moderator.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 8:28 pm

@ Richard Greene:
Next we can burn all the books, and condense whole libraries into 140 characters.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 8:29 pm

That will work really well in your electric cooktop. BTW, solar cells don’t work on an electric cooktop either, because when you get home and want to start cooking in the late evening, there’s no solar power.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 28, 2018 6:03 am

Ok, Richard. I’m trying it. It’s minus 14 today and the hot water is coming out of the taps as a slush. Now what? The places with energy poverty are cold, Richard. Good grief!!

November 27, 2018 5:21 pm

Excellent post, and thoroughly supported with facts and non-fake news.

The Left has little difficulty with Ebeneezer
Scrooge’s manifesto, “If he’s Going to die, let him do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Abundant natural gas and that pariah of energy (nuclear) could go a very long way to alleviate the energy poverty of the world, except for terminal stupidity.

The left and greens think only of using climate fears to grow government and kill capitalism. They care nought for the peasants.

Reply to  Kalashnikat
November 28, 2018 3:01 am

I agree – an excellent article – thank you David M.

I just posted the following, before reading David’s article:

RT wrote:
“1% of them are criminal traitors, 99% of them are simply useful idiots.”

Perhaps so, but idiocy has never been an adequate defense against criminal conduct.

Radical Greens have now caused the deaths of more people than the ~50 million killed in WW2. Leading causes of death are the 30-year DDT ban, costly failed green energy schemes, and the gross misallocation of scarce global resources on false, fabricated crises like runaway global warming.

Most of the defendants at the Auschwitz Trial were hung – “I was just following orders” did not suffice.

November 27, 2018 5:23 pm

“Assuming Rosa was an average electricity consumer in Spain, she was paying about €0.23/kWh (~26¢/kWh). We have a pretty strong profit motive here in the USA too. Why would electricity cost twice as much in Spain as it does here?”

Uh, twice as much? $0.26/KwH is more than 4 times what I pay for electricity, which is $0.62/KwH. That is barbaric. How much is Spain’s government getting out of that charge?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sara
November 27, 2018 6:37 pm

I think that you need to correct your numbers. As they stand, they don’t support your claim of 4X. Did you mean $0.062?

David Chappell
Reply to  Sara
November 27, 2018 7:37 pm

“$0.26/KwH is more than 4 times what I pay for electricity, which is $0.62/KwH.”

A bit of an arithmetical conundrum there. Do you mean $0.062/KwH?

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Sara
November 27, 2018 9:48 pm

Here are the costs for central Washington State
Residential rate, monthly (aka what a homeowner pays)
Facilities Charge . . . . . $21.25
Energy Charge … . . . . $0.0908/kWh

Note the “facilities charge” that must be paid regardless of usage.
Anyone stating rates should include this, or not, as necessary.
Also, the abbreviation is “kWh” without a CAP.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
November 27, 2018 10:06 pm

For this past October the total cost works out to $0.1068/kWh.
This number varies by month, and there was a small general increase in April.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Sara
November 27, 2018 10:11 pm

Spain was an “early adopter” and invested heavily in the Green Economy. It was the toast of the renewable set (members of which are regularly replaced, apparently, because they are renewable).

They were forced by the sheer uneconomic manner in which the power system developed to abandon everything, cancel and rewrite all feed-in tariff contracts, and stop throwing good money from other parts of the economy down the energy drain. Analysis showed that for every “green job” created, they lost 2.2 regular jobs that presumably contributed something to the actual economy instead of draining it.

All said and done, the government was let with a massive physical investment and 29 billion Euros of debt just for the renewables and no way to pay it off. So, the whole population will have to cough up, just as they do in Denmark and Germany, to retire the debt. Danes pay twice as much as the Spaniards.

Reply to  Sara
November 28, 2018 6:26 am

This opens up a whole other question. Where I live there is a base fee on the bill for the account. More or less an infrastructure fee, I think, to keep people from disconnecting and reconnecting repeatedly. In spring and fall it is probably half the bill. We heat with gas around here. Is this a common thing? It has gone up quite a bit in the last few years as they are using it to blunt the charge per kw, I believe.

November 27, 2018 6:19 pm

There are even more benefits than those you mention which is why we burn fossil fuels. That was the problem with Mosher and the other dropkicks arguing on the attributed deaths argument is they want to ignore those empowered, saved and better off.

As I said the obvious argument to throw up is vehicle use which if you follow the logic can only lead to killing people. So we should immediately ban all vehicle use because it kills people and those bodies are clear and counted at the morgue. In the vehicle case unlike burning fossil fuels it’s hard to even argue it saves more people than it kills, so now ask Mosher and his group why they drive a car, ride a bike or use any vehicle?

The answer is obvious which is why we all do it 🙂

The whole problem with attribution death studies is it usually ends up as a non sequitur argument because they never layout the whole argument nor provide any evidence of a direct link. Medicine is going thru this fight at the moment where the important publications are trying to limit these sorts of studies getting publication.

Reply to  LdB
November 28, 2018 6:48 am

The Left is rampant will sad tales of how poverty causes all sorts of other problems such as crime, disease and child neglect ( virtually none of which stand up to scrutiny). You’d think they might extend their thinking to the possibility that energy poverty might exacerbate the problems that they convince themselves are caused by poverty.
Their logic works like this: Tax energy! Give tax money to people who now can’t afford energy! Hire more government employees to collect taxes and distribute the money!
They see nothing wrong with this formula.

John F. Hultquist
November 27, 2018 9:39 pm

Good reading, thanks.

A thought sparked by this post => Can I still use my grill?
Both the production of charcoal and its use seem to cause issues.
An example:

Israel raids Palestinian charcoal plants over pollution

A short search did not yield anything much as to the amount used by backyard chefs. Some places have banned charcoal grills, usually because of fire prevention, not air pollution.

November 27, 2018 11:07 pm

Its ironical that over 80 % of of renewable electricity comes from Hydro, the Greens are violently against building Hydro electric schemes, stating that some tiny creature will be endangered.

The truth is that they are against the only two practical ways of producing clean carbon free electricity, both Hydro and Nuclear.

This clearly shows that “Saving the Planet”is not on their agenda, they want to destroy the Western Countries economy as a way to force “World Government onto us.


November 28, 2018 3:21 am

David Middleton

“We’ll have more on the story if (of) “Rosa PV” later.”?

Great post as always..

November 28, 2018 3:29 am


“Shockingly, Vermont has the second least expensive electricity in New England.” ?
Last time I checked Vermont was state. : )

November 28, 2018 3:40 am

Climate extremists are the bigots with Mommy issues who like to see the poor starve and the elderly die off so they can profit from their high cost ineffective energy plans.
Thank you for a great essay.

Crispin in Waterloo
November 28, 2018 7:24 am

“And the vast majority of PM2.5 pollution occurs in China and India, with residential and industrial sources contributing far more than the energy sector.”

I doubt this is true. The majority is emitted by the agricultural sector, which can hardly be classified as “domestic”. The annual burning in India of 550m tons of biomass in the field (and burning it badly) creates an enormous amount of PM, known as the Brown Cloud of Asia. Indonesia has massive emissions from the same sources.

The same problem exists in China. There, a larger % of the total agricultural residue is burned in homes for heating so that fraction shifts from agricultural to domestic.

It is true that in certain urban areas the major source of pollution is domestic combustion of fuel in poorly designed and perhaps poorly made combustors. It is trivial to demonstrate that emissions from modern appliances using the same fuels are a tiny fraction of the common experience. The reductions for CO (>90%) and PM (99-99.9%) are impressive and are the result of bring modern science and engineering to the problems of the poor – a rare event even in modern times.

Rud Istvan
November 28, 2018 7:55 am

Great post, DM. TY.

November 28, 2018 8:09 am

Declaring that something that has to be provided by others is a RIGHT, is the equivalent of declaring that slavery is a right.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2018 1:37 pm

MarkW, wrong adress – not David Middleton declares a RIGHT – but read / again / for yourself :

Here’s a novel idea… make energy a right!

Energy as a basic social right

A progressive alliance against energy poverty in the EU. Report of the energy policy workshop “Affordable Energy, a Basic Social Right – How to Abolish Energy Poverty?”

29 May 2017 | European Parliament, Brussels

Malte Fiedler , 20.11.2017

Samuel C Cogar
November 28, 2018 8:22 am

Excerpted from published commentary:

The World Health Organization estimates that ambient (outdoor) air pollution kills (premature deaths) about 4.2 million people per year.

WHO also estimates that indoor air pollution kills (premature deaths) about 3.8 million people per year. Pretty well all of the indoor air pollution deaths are due to energy poverty.

So, the WHO claims that 8 million people die each year due to air pollution.

But guess what, to wit:

The CDC claims that: “ Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030..

So, 8 million deaths each year due to “particulate” air pollution ….. and …. 6 million deaths each year due to “cigarette smoke” air pollution, …… which begs the questions of:

1. Is the 6 million cigarette deaths/year part of the 8 million particulate deaths/year?

2. Is it actually 14 million deaths/year due to air pollution (particulate + cigarette smoke)?

3. How do they determine a death due to “particulate” verses a death due to “cigarette smoke”?

4. Given the fact that autopsies are seldom performed, how do they know actual cause if death?


If you live in the USA and are curious about cancers rates in your locale, “click” the following url.

State Cancer Profiles – create dynamic views of incidences of cancer

Joel Snider
November 28, 2018 9:42 am

Has anybody ever attempted a tally of the deaths caused by self-righteous environmentalists? My guess is that the DDT ban alone beats out all the wars in history put together.

And that’s just one policy – and only since the seventies.

November 28, 2018 11:25 am

The great thing about estimating “premature deaths” from PM 2.5 is that you can make up any number you want. To date, PM 2.5 is not listed as the cause of death on anyone’s death certificate. The reason is that it doesn’t cause death. It may—underline “may”—exacerbate lung problems in people who are already sick and whose life expectancy is diminished by…wait for it…their illness. The primary cause of their shortened life is illness. There are lots of environmental factors that can exacerbate lung conditions, for example pollen, cat dander, dust, temperature inversions. The list is long. Please, please, please do not dignify these ridiculous claims of premature deaths from PM 2.5 with words like “probably”, “maybe”, etc. They are scientifically unsupportable; just statistical voodoo.

November 28, 2018 7:45 pm

A tour de force – thank you!

David Stone
December 2, 2018 4:35 am

In the UK there as never been a death due to air pollution. The figures that keep being banded about are produced by taking the population, estimating how many weeks “might” be lost from each person, summing them, and dividing this number into the average lifetime. This is clearly statistical nonsense, but those using these figures don’t care about that, they just want a shocking number, and will never admit that the number is actually zero.

At least the cause of death on the certificate must be able to be proved in the UK, it is not a random comment I am extremely skeptical as to whether particulates in normal quantities can cause lung problems as we have an extremely effective method of removing debris from the mouth, throat and lungs built into us, otherwise our survival of wind blown “stuff” would be very poor. People who are already ill may be affected by pollution, but again this is very case dependent.

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