…from Russia Today, Moscow

[ Editor’s Note: This is a sad story in itself, but what makes it worse is the government attitude of “doo doo happens”. There is a financial crunch on vulnerable segments of society, while the fat cats are fed with a silver spoon because they are viewed as contributing to the economy. Not only are their lives more valuable, but their livelihoods, also. Ask any Tory.

The article below is sparse on the needed demographic details. I knew instantly that the majority of those dying from cold weather would be senior citizens, mostly living alone, and already suffering from health issues.

So I did a little searching and quickly found that the 16,000 deaths mentioned in the current article is just the tip of the iceberg. When poverty hooks up with freezing, the Grim Reaper wins out even more. From The Guardian in 2016:

“Over the last four winters, according to the latest official figures, nearly 120,000 people in England and Wales have died of cold weather, or factors associated with cold weather such as a virulent strain of influenza.

But campaigners argue that these excess winter deaths, defined as the difference between the number of deaths that occur each winter (from December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the subsequent four months (April to July), have more to do with poverty than freezing temperatures.”

And for the callous “doo doo happens” Tory crowd who could not give a crap about this issue, let’s take a look at how dying in freezing weather compares to a few other causes.

 ‘Cold homes are a bigger killer across the UK than road accidents, drug abuse or alcohol abuse,’ says Maria Wardrobe of National Energy Action. 

What is going on here is the usual public focus on the never-ending cycle of mass media diversion stories that run on forever (Brexit, trade wars, the holocaust, etc.) and stories like this just get buried, and many more like them. That I found this on Russia Today is another symptom, and a reason why we check foreign mediaJim W. Dean ]

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– First published … October 04, 2019

Staggering energy prices are taking a toll on those unable to pay their bills, a UK regulator has admitted, confirming that thousands of people may have died because of fuel poverty and lack of heating during winter.

The most vulnerable households spend more on their energy bills than wealthier ones, and “can therefore be at greater risk of fuel poverty,” according to a comprehensive new study by the Office of Gas and Energy Markets (Ofgem) on Thursday.

Fuel poverty, a common UK term for customers who cannot afford to keep adequately warm at an affordable cost, “increases the risk that people [will] develop ill health,” it acknowledged.

Over winter 2017-18, we estimate that fuel poverty may have contributed to 5,500 excess winter deaths and that 16,500 excess winter deaths may have been linked to people living in cold homes.

The shocking death toll occurred despite the government trying to make energy more “cost reflective” for disabled people, seniors and those living on income support. £2.5 billion ($3.8 billion) was spent on that effort, and maximum prices for standard tariffs were cut.

The revelation comes as the UK braces itself for the consequences of its departure from the EU, which – as the government’s own findings suggest – will herald bad news for “low-income groups” in case of a “no-deal” scenario.

A hard Brexit will hit them most because a bigger proportion of their money is spent on food and fuel, according to the Operation Yellowhammer files disclosed at the demand of opposition MPs.

Supermarkets are expected to increase prices as supplies of food, including fruit and vegetables imported from continental Europe, will be delayed at customs borders.

And while no disruption to electricity or gas supplies is expected, there will “probably be marked price rises for electricity customers with associated wider economic and political effects,” the dossier warned.


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  1. Maybe they need barrel stoves so people can burn scrap lumber, cardboard, and other refuse that the children go out and collect, as well as hauling in firewood on sleds? And winter boots, snowmobile suits, and gloves can be worn inside during the winter.

    Before anyone thinks I am being insensitive, that was the childhood of myself and quite a few other in the rural Upper Midwest during the Carter “stagflation” and Reagan recession (official unemployment was over 40% in the county I lived in). We also ate a lot of “government cheese” on thrift store bread sandwiches.

  2. After reading the article, the first thing I thought: how is Ian Greenhalgh there? Should I send him a warm sweater and knitted socks by mail?
    Earlier I was not interested in how they are heated there in Europe, the USA and Britain. I read several articles in the Russian media that in Britain, in particular, many people stay at home in warm clothes and even sleep like that. Was surprised. In European countries, this is also like that. And once, in the winter, I talked to my lady-friend from Charlotte (NC) through a video through WhatsApp, she was in a house in a warm sweater. I asked why? She replied that gas was expensive and needed to be saved, because gas bills are noticeably high for them. So, for the first time I learned that the bills abroad are “biting”.

    • For comparison, I live in the south of Russia (where palm trees grow near Sochi, but i live in the city Armavir ~ 400km from the Black Sea) and rarely in winter there are frosts up to -20С. Now we have during October
      + 30C. I live in an apartment and we have central heating. The apartment is so hot in the winter that you have to open the windows. For heating in winter (’cause it is turned off from spring until autumn), we pay about
      $ 50-60 per month. For the gas stove in the kitchen yesterday I got the bill – $ 2.50 per month, electricity –
      $ 5. This we pay in the cities for apartments. Payment in private homes (with gas) is different, but usually even cheaper. And this despite the fact that even as the country-exporter of gas, about 30% of villages are not gasified in my country. There, people warm their homes with wood and coal. But they have to pay 1 time a year around $700 for the firewood to be provided during the winter.

    • I don’t believe that 16,000 died last year due to unheated homes, that number sounds ludicrously high. Almost all homes here are heated, I struggle to think of any in my town that aren’t. Gas and electricity prices are high, but still, the vast majority of people can afford to pay for heating. British winters are pretty mild, due to our being an island surrounded by the sea, our winters are milder than continental Europe.

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