It’s wintertime in the United Kingdom once again, meaning that the long-observed and ancient customs of looking at the first new moon through a silk handkerchief to determine when one will be married, eating neaps, tattis and haggis on Burns Night, holding parties with wassail punch and twelfth night cake — is now making room for a new and strangely incongruous tradition.
These days, 3,000 elderly Britons are consigned to their untimely deaths every single winter, sacrificial offerings to the new eco-extremist religiosity that has subverted the common sense and decent instincts of one of the oldest and most revered cultures on Earth.
According to studies carried out by the National Energy Action in the UK and E3G in Brussels, Britain has a “cold home public health crisis.” The aged in Britain, facing energy bills they struggle to pay, simply wrap up and make do in frigid domiciles.
And thus three thousand Britons every year pay the ultimate price for the enforced energy poverty foisted on them by their leaders, succumbing to otherwise “needless deaths.” Those elderly victims are perishing from the exacerbation of health issues, having been constrained to live in ice-boxes — with cheap and abundant natural gas having been withheld from the infirm in order to check the anti-fracking political box to which all dithering British politicians must adhere.
Over the last few weeks as I brought this matter to the attention of North American newspaper and radio audiences, call-in listeners took to their phones to relate personal anecdotes, describing how many senior citizens in Britain stay in bed under covers for as long as possible and then go to the extent of riding around aimlessly on public transport simply to keep warm.
Such a scandalous state of affair hasn’t caused British politicians to blush. To the contrary, just last December they responded to the yearly deaths of thousands of their own grandparents owing to fuel poverty by — astoundingly — acting to make natural gas even more scarce and more expensive by banning the last fracking well operation in the UK just north of Liverpool.
But ignoring the real needs of people, not only in Britain but across the world, is a hallmark of an ecological radicalism that is convinced it knows what’s best for everyone, and is determined to enforce the infallible opinions of the environmental elitists on everything upon everyone. In Africa and other regions of the tropics, for example, one of the most requested of all charitable items are simple, inexpensive and primitive mosquito nets, since some one million people still die every year from malaria.
There are no great shipments of cheap nets arriving however across the developing world. In too many cases the gifts being sent are costly solar panels and other high-tech accoutrements, to be set up in villages abutting disease-incubating swamps that may not have even a source of clean, safe, and potable drinking water.
Lofty eco-crusaders, having ignored British elderly freezing to death and the ongoing plague of malaria across much of the world, have been busy elsewhere though. Demonizing the natural gas industry, to point to just one of their achievements, does require time, energy, focus and money. Again, though, the people paying the cost are the ones dying in their millions so that actors in Hollywood and think-tank intellectuals in Washington and New York can be seen to be making a point.
As clean-burning natural gas is bizarrely scorned, billions around the world are therefore obliged to use wood, dried dung, and other unhealthy combustibles for their indoor cooking. The World Health Organization has calculated that the indoor air pollution of soot and dangerous particulates connected with this practice causes four million premature deaths every year due to pneumonia, stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.
Yet, lecturing activists giving out with imperious directives — even as death tolls soar from civilization being harangued into towing their line — are certain of their incontrovertible opinions. Indeed, they’ve never yet admitted to being wrong, in spite of the fact that they’ve hardly been right about anything so far.
When the global mass-starvation they predicted in the 1950s turned into the current obesity crisis they never made mention of how things went the other way. The population bomb of the 60s fizzled too without an explanation of any kind afterwards. Likewise, the coming ice age of the 70s that never arrived and the “peak oil” of the 80s that never peaked didn’t warrant a single apologetic communiqué from the very people who screamed it on the public forum from one end of the planet to the other.
They imagine themselves perpetually right because they don’t consider anyone but themselves — be their victims British, African, or anyone else.
David Nabhan is a science writer, the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three previous books on earthquakes. Nabhan is also a science fiction writer ("Pilots of Borealis," 2015) and the author of many scores of newspaper and magazine op-eds. Nabhan has been featured on television and talk radio all over the world. His website is www.earthquakepredictors.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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