HURRICANE Ian left 131 people dead, but according to the BBC that disaster was nothing compared to the few days of hot weather we had this summer!
A BBC report last week claimed: ‘As the UK endured record high temperatures of 40C this summer, there were around 3,000 more deaths in the over-65s than usual in England and Wales – the highest figure since 2004. Many happened during the hottest days towards the end of July and in early August.
‘The data comes from a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Experts say it shows just how dangerous hot weather can be. “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” said Isabel Oliver, chief scientific officer at the UKHSA. “A warming climate means we must adapt to living safely with hotter summers in the future.”
‘There were five heat-periods between June and August 2022, defined as days when the average temperature is greater than 20°C in central England. During those periods, there were 3,271 excess deaths – 6.2 per cent above the five-year average – out of a total of 56,303 deaths in England and Wales.’
You would be forgiven for asking why death rates are actually always much lower during summer than any other time of year if people are going down like flies whenever the sun comes out!
And it will come as no surprise to learn that the BBC have grossly and deliberately misinterpreted the findings of the ONS report which they quote.
In simple terms, although daily death rates spiked during the hot spells, they quickly dropped below normal, indicating that people died a few days earlier than they would have anyway. They did not die from the heat, but from pre-existing conditions. Such spikes are just as likely to occur during spells of cold, wet weather.
As the ONS go on to explain, nearly all of these ‘excess deaths’ were due to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Most occurred between July 10and 25, a total of 2227. Yet the mortality rates for July as a whole were not unusually high, indeed statistically the same as July 2021, and similar to other recent years.
Moreover, the ONS calculate their supposed excess deaths with reference to the five-year average, currently defined as 2016-19, plus 2021. But as they admit, deaths in England and Wales have been running well above that five-year average since April this year. Clearly this is not weather-related, as people did not start dropping like flies as soon as we had a bit of mild weather in spring!
And as the chart below shows, we are continuing to see these excess deaths now in autumn. The BBC and ONS are quick to blame these deaths on the weather, but maybe they should be looking for the real reasons.
Wind farm rip-offs
The consumer continues to be ripped off by the renewable energy industry. In the last ten years, according to data from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the public have been forced to pay £78billion to subsidise the wind, solar and biomass sector, equivalent to more than £2,800 for every household in the country. Most of this is added to the price of electricity.
These figures don’t include the tens of billions of our money spent on building new transmission lines to carry wind power from remote parts of the country, balancing the grid which otherwise would not be able to cope with the problems of intermittency, and the roll-out of smart meters. And the OBR say we will all have to fork out another £68billion in the next five years.
Meanwhile wind and solar farms are making windfall profits of £16billion a year at current market prices, in addition to a subsidy of £6billion. All this is because of a poorly designed subsidy structure, introduced 20 years ago by Blair’s Labour government, who were desperate to roll out renewable energy regardless of the cost.
Now an investigation reveals that some wind farms have found another way to fleece customers. According to Net Zero Watch: ‘New research reveals that a loophole in the rules governing the electricity grid allows renewables generators to charge consumers twice for the same electricity. The loophole is centred around so-called constraints payments, which are triggered when the grid has insufficient capacity to take the power generated by renewables – mostly windfarms. While the soaring cost – more than £2billion per year – has regularly hit the headlines in recent years, it has widely been understood as being a payment to get the windfarms to “switch off”.
‘But Net Zero Watch has now revealed that grid rules do not in fact force windfarms to switch off – they are free to sell or use the electricity so long as they don’t inject it into the transmission grid. Net Zero Watch’s Andrew Montford explains: “All over the country, batteries and flywheels are being installed next to windfarm grid connections, because the operators can get a constraint payment and still sell the electricity. The consumer is therefore paying twice for the same electricity – firstly in the form of a constraint payment to divert the power from the transmission grid and then a second time when the battery releases power to the grid at a later date”.’
It’s actually even worse than Net Zero Watch say, because those battery and other storage systems earn subsidies from the National Grid as part of the balancing costs mentioned above.
In short, a wind farm can be paid typically £60/MWh to ‘switch off’, then sell its electricity to a battery storage unit. The battery unit not only sells that electricity when it is returned to the grid, it also receives a subsidy from the National Grid for providing an emergency standby service.
None of this expense would have been necessary before the days of intermittent, unreliable renewable energy. And we all pay the cost.