Canada’s Carbon Tax Will Kill People

I referenced this  paper a few days ago. This blog post extrapolates the numbers to Canada.

After collecting reams of data, and performing careful calculations, the researchers conclude that US heating bills declined noticeably between 2005 and 2010 “due to the boom in shale production of natural gas.”

That price decline, they write, “caused a 1.6% decrease in the winter mortality rate for households using natural gas for heating.”

Only 58% of American households heat with natural gas, so the drop in the death rate for the US population as a whole over a full calendar year works out to about half a percentage point. The bottom line: lower energy prices saved 11,000 lives annually.

Which brings us to the carbon tax recently imposed on all sources of home heating here in more northerly Canada. Enbridge, the company which supplies natural gas to Ontario homes, says it needs to raise the price it charges households by 11% just to pay for this carbon tax.

If deaths drop when heating costs decline, they’ll surely increase when heating costs spike. So let’s not beat around the bush: Canada’s carbon tax is going to kill people.

Extrapolating from those US numbers, 1,100 Canadians will die unnecessarily next winter. And the winter after that. And the one after that. As the size of the carbon tax increases, the number of annual victims may well rise in tandem.

Cold Kills: Rhode Island

The Good News: Invasive species dying off because of cold snap

The good news about the cold:

DULUTH, MN — When it’s so cold your face hurts, and it’s hard to talk, it’s easy to forget there are actually some positives that come with these extreme cold temps.

We’re all-too-familiar with the Emerald Ash Borer in our region.

We’re also familiar with the bitter January cold, which right now, may be killing off the larvae of the invasive species.

“When temperatures get to about 20 below zero Fahrenheit, we see about 50% of the Emerald Ash Borer Larvae begin to die,” said Rob Venette, director of the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center with the University of Minnesota.

Researchers at the U of M have been studying the effects cold weather may have on the Emerald Ash Borer for years.

Experts say at 30 below and colder, as much as 90% of the ash borer larva could be dying off.

“Once ice begins to form in their bodies, that kills the insect,” said Venette.

The insects are not impacted by wind-chill. So, the actual temperature is what must be considered, which can oftentimes be colder than where insects burrow for the winter.

“Although we may be experiencing minus 40, it may only be maybe minus 35 under the bark of a tree. So, that helps the chances of an insect to survive,” said Venette.

Venette added, even though they are expecting large amounts of Emerald Ash Borers to die off as a result of this cold snap, that won’t impact how they survey the population in the spring.

Dr. Robert Sterner, director of the Large Lakes Observatory, says the cold could be putting a dent in the aquatic invasive species in Lake Superior, as well.

“The invasive species are coming from places in the world that typically aren’t as cold as we experience in a cold winter here,” he said.

Meaning the cold could be enough of a shock to kill at least a portion of them.

“We believe there is a relationship between warming conditions and the success of invasive species. So, weather like this is only good news as far as the native species go,” said Dr. Sterner.

And when lakes are covered in ice, water evaporation dramatically decreases, and typically, the water temperature is cooler in the summer.

“The combination of reduced winter evaporation and cooler summer surface temperatures means we keep more water within the lake volume,” said Dr. Sterner.

Increased water volume can be good for the shipping industry, and ecological systems within the lake. However, it is not very popular amongst shoreline homeowners as it can contribute to shoreline erosion.

More ice can also mean ice-out occurs later than normal, meaning colder lake water in the summer, which officials say could reduce the chances of algae blooms in lakes, as well.

That is contingent on the thaw and warming cycle in the spring and early summer.

 

Cold Waves in the Eastern USA Are Down

Cold waves in Eastern USA are down according to Dr Roy Spencer.

As can be seen in the plot below, there is no evidence in the data supporting the claim that decreasing Arctic sea ice in recent decades is causing more frequent displacement of cold winter air masses into the eastern U.S., at least through the winter of 2017-18:

Nov-Mar-cold-waves-550x413

The trend is markedly downward in the most recent 40 years (since 1979) which is the earliest we have reliable measurements of Arctic sea ice from satellite microwave radiometers (my specialty).

Now, I suppose that Arctic sea ice decline could have some influence. But weather is immensely complex. Cause and effect is often difficult to ascertain.

At a minimum we should demand good observational support for any specific claim. In this case I would say that the connection between Eastern U.S. cold waves and Arctic sea ice is speculative, at best.

Just like most theories of climate change.