Frazer Nelson: It’s the cold, not global warming, that we should be worried about

Posted: March 29, 2013 by tallbloke in Analysis, Energy, government, Incompetence, Legal, Politics, propaganda, Robber Barons

This article by Frazer Nelson, editor of the ‘The Spectator’ eloquently expresses the issue which I find it hard to write about without lapsing into anglo-saxon. Please take the time to read it in full over at the Telegraph. This is a campaigning issue for me personally, and one which goes to the heart of the difference between ordinary people and those pushing the catastrophic man made global warming agenda.

It’s the cold, not global warming, that we should be worried about
No one seems upset that in modern Britain, old people are freezing to death as hidden taxes make fuel more expensive
Frazer Nelson 29 March 2013

old-coldA few months ago, a group of students in Oslo produced a brilliant spoof video that lampooned the charity pop song genre. It showed a group of young Africans coming together to raise money for those of us freezing in the north. “A lot of people aren’t aware of what’s going on there right now,” says the African equivalent of Bob Geldof. “People don’t ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people? Frostbite kills too. Africa: we need to make a difference.” The song – Africa for Norway – has been watched online two million times, making it one of Europe’s most popular political videos.

The aim was to send up the patronising, cliched way in which the West views Africa. Norway can afford to make the joke because there, people don’t tend to die of the cold. In Britain, we still do. Each year, an official estimate is made of the “excess winter mortality” – that is, the number of people dying of cold-related illnesses. Last winter was relatively mild, and still 24,000 perished. The indications are that this winter, which has dragged on so long and with such brutality, will claim 30,000 lives, making it one of the biggest killers in the country. And still, no one seems upset.

Somewhere between the release of the 1984 Band Aid single and Al Gore’s 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, political attention shifted away from such problems. The idea of people (especially old people) dying in their homes from conditions with which we are all familiar now seems relatively boring. Much political attention is still focused on global warming, and while schemes to help Britain prepare for the cold are being cut, the overseas aid budget is being vastly expanded. Saving elderly British lives has somehow become the least fashionable cause in politics.

The reaction to the 2003 heatwave was extraordinary. It was blamed for 2,000 deaths, and taken as a warning that Britain was horribly unprepared for the coming era of snowless winters and barbecue summers. The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. Such language is never used about the cold, which kills at least 10 times as many people every winter. Before long, every political party had signed up to the green agenda.

Since Sir David’s exhortations, some 250,000 Brits have died from the cold, and 10,000 from the heat. It is horribly clear that we have been focusing on the wrong enemy. Instead of making sure energy was affordable, ministers have been trying to make it more expensive, with carbon price floors and emissions trading schemes. Fuel prices have doubled over seven years, forcing millions to choose between heat and food – and government has found itself a major part of the problem.

Read the rest here

  1. w.w.wygart says:

    If you aren’t supporting the agenda you’re under the bus – its about as simple as that. Socialism Kills.

    Of course the self-sealing nature of socialist logic will always allow them to then deflect criticism away from themselves, blame their ideological adversaries for the logical outcome of their own agenda [they’re just trying to fix the problem YOU created, so its really all on YOU] and then propose ANOTHER government, taxpayer funded program to fix the fix to the problem they couldn’t fix because of YOU and YOUR resistance and unwillingness to fund their original fix the first time ’round.

    There’s a new paper out at Environmental Research Letters [no paywall] that suggests strongly that “Air conditioning versus heating: climate control is more energy demanding in Minneapolis than in Miami”

    I think we northern climate people already understand this: Cold Kills. It’s also more expensive.

    I thought the video was hysterical. Very funny, very tongue in cheek. Somebody spent some money on this production, this was not amateur night with the iPad.

    There seem to be some real ironies embedded in this production, Norwegian NGO’s funding and creating the whole thing. I wonder what they thought they were doing? I wonder if those expectations have been fulfilled?

    The credits read:

    A film by: SAIH, the Norwegian Students and Accademics International Assistance Fund.
    Music: Wathiq Hoosain & Lyrics: Bretton Woods
    Supported by: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation [NORAD],
    The Norwegian Children and Youth Council [LNU]

    I love it, Bretton Woods and NORAD both taking part!


  2. Galvanize says:

    The strange thing is, iindustries most adversely affected by the weather have been taking the steps necessary that support evidence of cooling rather than warming.

    I can give the specific example of the power industry where we had power stations shutting down due to water pipes and condensers freezing. After the second winter in a row, we developed operating regimes to ensure the condenser remained unfrozen, carried out extensive lagging and trace heating of exposed pipework, and put up a lot of strategically placed wind shields around vulnerable items of plant. I can`t think of one example of steps taken to adapt to a warming world.

    A lot of airports in the UK have upgraded and increased their snow clearing and de-icing equipment, having been caught out by paying heed the Met Office foretelling of a Mediterranean climate for the UK.

  3. michael hart says:

    If needed, I’m willing to do your swearing for you by proxy, TB. 🙂

  4. tallbloke says:

    Michael. I think in the circumstances, the worst swear word in the universe according to the hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy is very apropos and we should make use of it frequently.

    As in, “What the belgium do those eurocrats think they’re doing” or “I don’t give a belgium what the civil servants say european directives force us to do…” Etc… 🙂

  5. Roger Andrews says:

    You can make belgium into a verb and have “belgiuming”. As in “those stupid belgiuming bureaucrats”. 🙂

  6. A C Osborn says:

    Is it just me or has there been a notable shift in MSM criticism of CAGW over the last few months, particularly in Europe?
    If so is it just the depth of the winter that is causing it, or do you think it is recognition of the amount of errors in the theory showing up?

  7. tallbloke says:

    @ Roger A:
    Numptys engaging in numpetry.

  8. tallbloke says:

    ACO: I think the story we broke here at the talkshop at the beginning of January about the MET Office quietly slipping out their ‘update’ to the global warming forecast for the next 5 years on Christmas eve has opened some eyes wide, causing the scales to fall off.

    Regarding ‘adaminberlinio’. I think he was hoping to get a rise out of us and when he got well reasoned polite replies, he soon realised his tack and the outcome to it was counterproductive to his purpose.

  9. cosmic says:


    There is a more critical attitude to CAGW in the MSM.

    I think it reflects a realisation that climate change policies are likely to cause immense economic disruption and misery whilst doing nothing to fix what’s supposed to be a global problem. Certainly, people can see that it’s ridiculous to close a couple of dozen coal fired power stations in the UK while 1,200 new ones are planned in the rest of the world.

    Also their readership is getting fed up with it. The idea that global warming causes cooling in the UK is the point where a lot of people roll their eyes and examine the ceiling. Then there are all these scary predictions which are made and then forgotten, hurricanes, drowning coral islands, spread of diseases, the death of the polar bears.

    The errors and misconduct in the field filter down and have a corrosive effect.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Re the 2003 heatwave: ten years on we’re still talking about it, because the UK has seen no repeats.

    Can you name 3 famous Belgians? Excluding of course, Hercule Poirot and Stella Artois 😉

  11. michael hart says:

    I’ve just considered it prudent to change a password on my email account because of you TB 😦

    Beljum, man.

  12. Roger Andrews says:

    A C Osborn

    “Is it just me or has there been a notable shift in MSM criticism of CAGW over the last few months, particularly in Europe?”

    Maybe in Europe, but not in the USA. Of twelve articles recently published in the MSM (Washington Post, Huffington, NPR. NYT, NBC etc) eleven continued to toe the CAGW line and only one (Forbes) didn’t.

    “If so is it just the depth of the winter that is causing it, or do you think it is recognition of the amount of errors in the theory showing up?”

    I don’t have any comparable data for Europe, but a recent poll conducted by the University of Michigan in the US showed that only 12% of the 67% of respondents who believe that the earth is warming listed “scientific research” as the primary reason. (The winner, with 24%, was “warmer temperatures”. Duh). The criticism in Europe also seems to be targeting the impacts of climate change legislation rather than the underlying science, or lack thereof.

    Public conceptions of global warming are known to be conditioned by what the weather is doing at the time, so I think what you have is a “surge” cause by cold temperatures combined with the damage being done by the climate change policies of the brain-dead bottom-feeding belgiuming bureaucratic blackguards in Brussels and elsewhere. But CAGW theory remains debunked only in the minds of the skeptics.

  13. oldbrew says:

    In parts of northern Germany the average for March is minus 2C.

    White Easter: Germany Faces Coldest March Since 1883

  14. Sparks says:

    First Things First, Happy Easter everyone! 🙂

    In my opinion the article used the plight of pensioners this winter and spring to unwittingly bring more hardship on them.

    At the end of the article Frazer Nelson suggests taking away more money from pensioners to pay for the insulation of their homes, this is another silly idea. I own a home that is very well insulated, during winter and this cold spring if I have no heating on the temperatures can fall as low a 3-4 C Ive seen it fall as low as 1C but that was by the back door on the floor in the kitchen at night time.

    People may end up with energy efficient and better insulated homes in the long term, this will happen anyway, people are always improving their living environment, this all takes financing, many people like pensioners and the poor may need help with this, But, they still need to be able to afford to heat their homes and feed themselves.

    If the logic is to strip money from all pensioners because a well-off millionaire can afford to buy “a magnum of claret” in protest of the winter fuel payment, then the logic is flawed and arrogantly so. The only scandal here is the point being made to scrap a miserable £10-£20 cold winter payment for pensioners which only the poorest would actually see the benefit of, of such a miserable payment (did I mention; it is a miserable payment), and this millionaire wants no one to have it. Instead of giving the payment he received to someone less-fortunate than himself he turned his nose up at it and wants it scrapped.

    The issue is clear, we need cheap affordable energy for everyone, the poor need money in their pockets to keep warm and feed themselves, this isn’t a privilege it’s a necessity, our whole infrastructure revolves around the flow of currency not the accumulation of it, but the pipelines of this currency are being plumbed straight into the reservoirs of the wealthy where it stagnates.

    I see nothing wrong with being wealthy or the accumulation of wealth, but the issue is about people who are cut off from the flow of currency and have to depend on the government for a lump of coal and some bread. If the issue is that; impoverished people more-so pensioners are finding it harder to survive, surly alleviating this poverty and breaking this cycle is the key!

    People can still die in a well insulated home and they can still die wrapped up in blankets, should over half the population of the United Kingdom have to hibernate when winter comes around every year or do we deal with the real threat which is poverty and fuel poverty is now a large part of the overall problem we face.

  15. tallbloke says:

    @ Michael, just re-assure me you didn’t change it to ‘foetiddingoskidneys’ 🙂

  16. J Martin says:

    As our winters become ever colder and our summers more dismal, as they must if sunspots remain on track to more or less disappear, then public support for green policies will wane and political support will follow voter sentiment.

    Since the general public associate climate with weather, then funding for climate change (global warming alarmism) will be reduced, until public concern about an impending “ice age” grows driven by the MSM, then funding for climate change (global cooling alarmism) will grow.

    No doubt many of the same clowns will be trying to make or retain funding and a name for themselves, justifying their past mistakes by saying that co2 driven temperature rise is merely on hold until the sun becomes more active, or they will say that mankind was too late in reducing co2 and the increase in co2 caused the mini ice age and that the sun has nothing to do with temperatures.

    Not long ago back in 2008 /9 when we had the last solar minimum and sunspots went absent for 2 years instead of the normal one year, minimum winter temperatures in parts of the UK clipped all time records. What temperatures are we likely to see should sunspots decline to a low never previously witnessed by modern science ?

  17. Frank White says:

    Seems not so long ago, the last smogs of the early 1960s and the cold winters. I remember freezing in a London bedsit with no coins to put in the electric meter.

    Pity the old and the poor who are doing the same now the cold is returning.