By Paul Homewood
The latest rubbish from Mr Harrabin:
The current heatwave could become the new normal for UK summers by 2040 because of climate change, MPs say.
The Environmental Audit Committee warns of 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the government doesn’t act quickly.
Higher temperatures put some people at increased risk of dying from cardiac, kidney and respiratory diseases.
The MPs say ministers must act to protect people – especially with an ageing population in the UK.
Scientists differ on whether the current global rash of heatwaves is definitely caused by climate change.
But all agree that future heatwaves will be hotter and more frequent thanks to carbon emissions.
The MPs highlight a warning from the Met Office that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5C by the 2040s.
An objective reporter might point out that summers are not getting hotter:
He might point out that extreme hot days have become a relatively rare event in the last decade:
Or he might point out that death rates in Britain are actually lowest in summer months:
But, as we know, Harrabin is not an objective journalist.
He does at least mention excess winter deaths, but in true BBC fashion blames it all on the wicked government:
What about cold weather?
In the UK, many more preventable deaths happen because of cold weather than hot weather, but the government has failed to deliver its targets for insulating homes.
If the UK’s winters get warmer, as generally predicted, winter deaths will be reduced. But in a year like this one, the UK has suffered extremes of cold and heat.
Both heat-related and cold-related health burdens in future will be amplified by population ageing.
He obviously has not realised that insulating houses will actually trap heat in all of those heatwaves to come!
In fact, there is little correlation between winter deaths and temperatures.
The causes of excess winter deaths are extremely complex, as the ONS attempt to explain.
In my view, one important factor is the combination of cold and damp, which certainly has an impact on respiratory problems. The wet winters we regularly experience here may help to explain why countries with lower winter temperatures, such as in Scandinavia, tend to have lower winter death rates. To address problems of damp, homes need to be well heated and properly ventilated.
Either way, it is therefore critical that elderly people can afford to heat their homes properly. But Harrabin would much rather increase energy prices, in order to subsidise the renewable sources he is so besotted with.