No, Senator, Cold Kills More People Than Heat

Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield)

by Steve Haner

No more will Virginians have to suffer through hot summer days without the active intervention of Big Government.  Virginia’s Senate Democrats are proudly advancing legislation to demand state government develop a comprehensive statewide heat emergency response plan, and then seek to impose its leadership by “coordinating” with other state agencies and local governments.

“Extreme heat kills more Americans on average than any other weather-related hazard,” claimed Senator Ghazala Hashmi, D-Richmond, in a Tweet announcing the passage of her Senate Bill 936 on Thursday. The idea now goes to the House of Delegates.

First, the claim is demonstrably false, as plenty of solid data show that deaths from cold far exceed deaths from heat. More on that in a moment.

Second, the solution to the problem (not rocket science) is called air conditioning, and Hashmi is one of the more extreme of the climate warriors seeking to drive up the cost of the electricity that runs those air conditioners.  Her vision of a wind-solar-battery powered grid is already causing energy reliability problems during California heat waves.

In its fiscal analysis, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management reported it would need two additional employees to get all this done by this coming November, as the bill instructs.  But the bill has also cleared the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, so the money will probably appear in its budget next month.

One element of the plan will be developing “public cooling spaces.” The expense for that was not estimated. The good news is that those same spaces could be used during bitter cold spells, far more dangerous, which will also be times when the coming higher energy prices leave many Virginians tempted to go without. If the state is honest about doing that right, natural gas will provide the most reliable heat in those public shelters.

Click to expand.

The claim that “climate change” is making long heat spells longer and more common is a key part of the media fear narrative. It is false. The actual record in Virginia is quite clear that there is no indication that very hot days are increasing. We have always gotten quite a few days above 90 degrees, some years more than others.

You can eyeball the attached chart and see there is a fairly steady pattern. The data which indicate rising average temperatures is largely driven by an increase in the daily low readings, not the daily highs. The daily low readings in turn are often influenced by human development causing heat sinks near the measurement locations. Somehow all that brick and concrete and running jet engines at airports never get accounted for in the fear porn.

Click to expand.

The claim that excess heat is the deadliest natural weather phenomenon is even easier to disprove, with one of the most cited data sets published recently by the British medical journal Lancet. Again, I’ve included a copy of a table. Cold kills about ten times more people than heat. Lancet, by the way, is overall neck deep in climate catastrophism run amok. But this data is indisputable.

If the General Assembly in its wisdom thinks this is a job for state government, if Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) agrees, at least amend the bill to deal with both extreme heat and cold. Both are real problems when they happen, and fatal to some who lack or can’t afford heat or AC.

We already have public and private shelters. The federal and state governments already distribute billions in dollars for annual heating and cooling grants, with private funds available, too. The federal and state governments already spend more billions on supposedly weatherizing or insulating housing stocks. But, sure, pretend there is suddenly some new problem previously ignored that Hashmi has now solved.

The climate catastrophe narrative is the only new element here, and the purpose of the bill is to provide another platform to spread a false but politically useful message.


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Comments

107 responses to “No, Senator, Cold Kills More People Than Heat”

  1. how_it_works Avatar
    how_it_works

    ” The daily low readings in turn are often influenced by human development causing heat sinks near the measurement locations. Somehow all that brick and concrete and running jet engines at airports never get accounted for in the fear porn.”

    In the 11 miles between my house and Manassas, the temperature in the winter can increase by as much as 10 degrees, as verified with the outdoor temp display on my car.

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    “ The claim that excess heat is the deadliest natural weather phenomenon is even easier to disprove, ”

    Well, yes. Except for Australia, which is only 5 miles from the Sun (explains why it takes so long to fly there), no one would choose to live where it’s that bloody hot!

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    ‘“Extreme heat kills more Americans on average than any other weather-related hazard,” claimed Senator Ghazala Hashmi, D-Richmond…

    First, the claim in demonstrably false’

    Hmmmm….

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cc8cabc8ca7d80f0ced0c5ae6cebe9e84015a86cece05b85cf465af683b3be48.jpg

    1. Randy Huffman Avatar
      Randy Huffman

      Here are two links:

      1) The chart you showed above , but updated for 2021 https://www.weather.gov/hazstat/

      2) Detail statistics for 2021, both age demographics and where they were when they died, heat and cold

      https://www.weather.gov/media/hazstat/heat21.pdf

      https://www.weather.gov/media/hazstat/cold21.pdf

      They sort this out, and in 2021, only 1 person died at their permanent home from heat. The majority identified were outside, and the vast majority were simply unidentified. Look at cold for 2021, 38 died in their homes!

      So we need to ask, where were these people when they died? It would seem the majority dying outside from heat were outside doing things and had heat exhaustion or stroke, not inside trying to keep cool (pure speculation on my part).

      Haner’s point is well taken, you can survive in your home without air conditioning (granted its an issue, especially with older people and those with medical issues, I’m not suggesting it is not), but try and stay in your home without heat when its zero……

      Finally. Haners numbers were worldwide, not US.

      1. how_it_works Avatar
        how_it_works

        Entire neighborhoods of homes were built in Manassas, VA with no air conditioning in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

        1. Randy Huffman Avatar
          Randy Huffman

          My parents house in Chicago in the 60’s /70’s had no air, and it got over 100 more than you would think.

          1. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            My dad had to add air conditioning to the house we lived in when I was born, that house was in Lombard, IL a suburb of Chicago. He did the work himself. Seems that they once sold kits to add air conditioning to an existing furnace for DIY install.

            One thing that is different between there and here is that here it is much more humid.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Houses used to have overhanging eaves, porches, awnings, and jalousie windows, whole house attic fans, etc but as you say, the hunidity… growing mold, etc.

          3. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            I notice that the windows of my house will often be covered in dew on spring and summer mornings. Guess the overnight temp dropped below the dew point when that happens. I figure that, even if the outdoor temp is below the indoor temp, due to the high humidity it may not make sense to open the windows, because the AC unit is just going to have to pull all that moisture out of the house when it runs again. When an AC unit is pulling a lot of humidity out of the air, it’s not cooling as effectively as it would if the air were dryer, so it’ll run longer and more often. So there might not be ANY energy savings to opening the windows on a cool but humid day.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            No. But compared to not having or running an AC, lots of savings and misery. 😉

          5. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            I went to an un-airconditioned middle school in Virginia and I remember early dismissal for “hot days”.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            I remember classroom windows that opened slanted to direct the air above the desks.

          7. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            That’s what my middle school had.

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            building still stands. windows replaced,hvac installed. no longer a school

          9. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Yes, my middle school was replaced by a new building elsewhere and the old one was purchased by the Baptist church next door. I think the county school division installed HVAC at least a few years before it was sold.

          10. Randy Huffman Avatar
            Randy Huffman

            I grew up in Riverside, very close to Lombard.
            Yes, humidity is much higher here.

          11. LarrytheG Avatar

            gets worse, further south….

          12. Randy Huffman Avatar
            Randy Huffman

            yep, plus more bugs…..

          13. LarrytheG Avatar

            Used to camp a lot and some of the worst by far are marsh mosquitos like you’d see at Assateague and the black flies in the Canadian Wilderness….

      2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Yes, Haner’s numbers were worldwide. The quote he takes issue with references Americans only. Look, some of Haner’s comments are dead on (excuse the pun) but given the disdain communicated with his piece, I thought it important to point out that, no, the Senator is not incorrect…?

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          The table I attached shows US clearly.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            As does mine. Btw, your excess deaths study “did not control for the seasonal cycle in death rates; deaths are always higher in winter, due to influenza and other non-weather-related factors.” So there is that which helps to explain the different conclusions. My point again is that your mocking disdain for the Senator’s statement is unwarranted. Btw, your larger point that we should be just as concerned about extreme cold as extreme heat is legitimate in my opinion.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      So, Lancet and CDC vs. NOAA. I’ll take the folks in the business of health care. FYI, here’s another pretty interesting deep dive:

      https://thebreakthrough.org/issues/energy/human-deaths-from-hot-and-cold-temperatures-and-implications-for-climate-change

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        I just find it highly ironic that two Executive Branch Agencies have differing opinions on the same topic.

        People also often don’t understand that “extreme” cold is far more commonly occurring than “extreme heat”. A tree isn’t going to shelter you from 0 degree weather, it will shelter you from the sun.

        Edit: Good article as well.

        I grew up in NWPA, we certainly didn’t have any Central Air, but we certainly had heat.

        1. Lefty665 Avatar

          Lots of heat. My experience in NPA is more frequent extreme cold, -20 there is as cold as I’ve ever been, and that wasn’t close to a record. Everything gets funny quiet. The sun came up late over the mountain and went down early. Summers had some hot days, but not as many as really cold and little A/C.

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            When you can look out your window and see a bay frozen enough for Ice Fishing huts, heat is always a priority.

            People overestimate what is required to push your internal body temp over 106 for an extended period of time, I can say that as someone who during military training in Georgia in July ended up with heat stroke.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Well, for people who can’t be trusted to predict temperature using the correct data, they managed to do a reasonable job of predicting the opening and closing of the ozone hole about the banning of CFCs.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07b2101d824cfcfdb1a623220145d9f11f1948868c01f5d7128133a5d2cac7f0.jpg

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01860-2/fulltext

    We have had billions of people living in “extreme heat” for centuries, right? To take a break during the hottest part of
    the day?

    Some countries have long had a cultural tradition of “siesta”.

    Is the world getting warmer? If it is, and I realize that maybe disputed by some, but if it is , will it result it more deaths especially in urban areas where people live in multi-story buildings not air conditioned AND less deaths from cold from places no longer as cold as they used to be?

  6. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    Oh well just means with democrats in charge you can’t afford to heat your house or cool it.

  7. Whether heat kills more people than cold, or cold kills more people than heat, this bill is a bad idea. I have no doubt that the next step will be tax-payer funded air conditioners for those who “qualify”, including tax-payer funded electricity to run them.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Neither is high up on the list of causes of death, if the legislators really want to focus on that…But sure, I’m sure the utilities will be all in on more AC subsidies.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        They will certainly raise their rates according to those subsidies and double dip.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Said with all the confidence of someone who never got his local news from the middle pages of the Dallas Morning Snooze.

        I can predict the local headline for July 6, 2023; “Body of Missing Mountain Biker Found. The body was found clutching an empty pint sized water bottle.”

        1. Randy Huffman Avatar
          Randy Huffman

          That’s irrelevant to the issue. If someone is outside exercising or working and gets heat exhaustion, that is because they chose to do so (or perhaps its the only way to make a living, but still separate issue). Not some senior citizen or family with out resources to heat or cool their home.

          I think everyone agrees there needs to be assistance out there for folks with these needs (my church participates in a rotational program for housing homeless people in the winter), but don’t pin it on climate change.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            The other group that dies regularly in Dallas are the elderly, who fearing what an open window might invite, sit in a sweltering house when a storm knocks out the power for a week. Or, if they can’t afford the bill.

          2. Randy Huffman Avatar
            Randy Huffman

            I’m sure that happens everywhere, fair point.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            It certainly does not help that the elderly often lose their internal heat regulating abilities as time goes by. My 96 year old mother wears a sweater in peak summer outside because she is cold…

          4. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            I’m 70, and you’ll not find me without socks except in the shower and that’s slipping.

        2. That’ll be the mountain biker’s fault for mountain biking in extreme heat…

          😉

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            They always do… they always do. Nutsacks fill that pint bottle on the crossbar and think that with a heat index of 130 it’s enough. When we were there, the spousal unit decided that we should go to the Arboretum in 110 with a 130 heat index. I must’ve drank a gallon of water. Handled it all in stride until I said, “You guys wait here in the air conditioned gift shop, and I’ll get the car.” I learned that Honda’s AC sucks. Damned near passed out before driving back to the gift shop.

          2. When I was roadracing motorcycles in hot weather, I’d take in 1-1/2 to 2 gallons of fluids over the course of a single day at the track.

            And I still lost 5-10 lbs during a race weekend.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            When I was actively racing sailboats, I always carried 72oz of fluids per person per day on the boat. Of course it came in 12oz dispensers and was a diuretic, but hey, still counted! There’s always melt water if you’re that desperate.

    2. how_it_works Avatar
      how_it_works

      Would these people who “qualify” be the ones who set the thermostat at 68F in the summer and 75F in the winter, especially when someone else is paying the bill?

      1. Lefty665 Avatar

        That was the argument when my family was growing up. They felt I was horribly unreasonable to tell them they could set the thermostat anywhere they wanted but it had to be the same year round.

    3. how_it_works Avatar
      how_it_works

      Would these people who “qualify” be the ones who set the thermostat at 68F in the summer and 75F in the winter, especially when someone else is paying the bill?

    4. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      I fear it will come with paychecks being renamed “What the Government Thinks You Deserve” WGTYD.

  8. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    Excellent work.

  9. What a strange metric in this graph Haner likes to reference. Why only the percent of 90+° days?

    Oh right, because it would ignore pretty much days with warmer than average temps in the colder seasons. Global Warming isn’t going to give us many 90° or higher days in January, at least not in the near future. So even if temperatures are twice as high as normal, a whole winter of 80° days wouldn’t register. It also means we don’t know how high those 90° days get. 20 days around 95° is different from 12 days at 100° and 6 at 95°. But on your graph it implies no warming. Cute trick, which energy executive came up with it? I’m kidding, of course, we all know they pay people to do that.

    If we look at averages, then VA is getting hotter (https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/2021-weather-in-review-colo.htm).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/548a6a10552ac62f510603af11ede0a788505415b843407a57c7c6e239c7ddba.png

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      I think John Christy, professor at U of Alabama Huntsville, did that chart for CO2 coalition. I think 90 degree plus days is valid. If there were steady warming, that would steadily rise. I’ve explained what is a main contributor to the averages. There is steadier warming of the lows than the highs.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        What happens if > 90 degree days is a lagging indicator in Virginia? Not sure why a clear trend of increasing average temperatures is a “meh” thing to you…. does the house have to be burned to the ground before you call the fire department…?

  10. What a strange metric in this graph Haner likes to reference. Why only the percent of 90+° days?

    Oh right, because it would ignore pretty much days with warmer than average temps in the colder seasons. Global Warming isn’t going to give us many 90° or higher days in January, at least not in the near future. So even if temperatures are twice as high as normal, a whole winter of 80° days wouldn’t register. It also means we don’t know how high those 90° days get. 20 days around 95° is different from 12 days at 100° and 6 at 95°. But on your graph it implies no warming. Cute trick, which energy executive came up with it? I’m kidding, of course, we all know they pay people to do that.

    If we look at averages, then VA is getting hotter (https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/2021-weather-in-review-colo.htm).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/548a6a10552ac62f510603af11ede0a788505415b843407a57c7c6e239c7ddba.png

  11. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Uh yep, it’s hot. But as long as the swimming pool is cool it’s not a problem. Oh wait, the pool has warmed by 0.6C over the last 40 years. Sinks and sources.

  12. There you go throwing facts into the emotional dribble…..

  13. We look at weather patterns from the last 100-130 years and forget there are larger scale patterns over millions of years. How often do we read about the fossils and recent DNA studies showing Greenland was “…neither boreal forest, as is found in modern Scandinavia, nor temperate forest, but instead a unique mix. They found traces of over a hundred different plant species; insects; marine species; and most excitingly, nine vertebrate species whose fossils had never been seen in Greenland, from small rodents to springy rabbit ancestors to a single trace of a mastodon.”
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/2-million-year-old-dna-greenland-disovery-ancient

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      A key difference is over what period of time the changes and adaptations took place.

      Changes that occur over much shorter periods of time – like centuries or even decades, have much bigger impacts that cannot be easily adapted to.

      Rivers change direction. Mountains get ground down to hills. land is flooded to be
      a great lake.

      Over millions of years, the changes are gradual and critters including humans can adapt.

      Shorter term changes are much harder to adapt to. A port in Norfolk that floods in a century is very different than the same place flooding over a million years.

    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Yes and 90 million years ago, North America looked like this…

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ce61ac60b5d0e1d867d09031aee7bc712c158077472f057e69704ddf74bd14d.jpg

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Unbelievable that people do not distinguish the difference between changes over millions of years versus over decades or centuries…

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f1b8151b0be9f321ef5af928797f8c9cda504a143bb9e1dc4993cdf05d0276da.jpg

        1. Larry, the point you’re missing is that weather patterns do not only run in 100 year cycles. We have no records to see overlapping cycles that extend for longer periods or that may recur every 200 or 500 years to create major changes a little at a time.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Not entirely true. We do know what the weather and climate has been in the past through things like tree rings , snow/ice deposits, fossils and other artifacts. There is a lot we don’t know, which is all the more reason why we should not assume we do know without a doubt that climate change is not a threat at all. That’s just plain dumb IMO. The “science” could actually be wrong – in the WRONG direction , that the estimates are actually on the low side and the reality might be faster change with bigger consequences. When one’s beliefs require there to be a conspiracy of the world’s climate scientists as well as govt agencies like NOAA and NASA – one is off in LA LA LAND IMO. It’s a bad bet to think that most of the world scientists are wrong and that govt is acting as a conspiracy to lie to people.

        2. Larry, the point you’re missing is that weather patterns do not only run in 100 year cycles. We have no records to see overlapping cycles that extend for longer periods or that may recur every 200 or 500 years to create major changes a little at a time.

    3. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      On the cool side, cool as in neat, they discovered a 1.2 million year old “handax workshop” in Ethiopia. A bunch of obsidian ax heads designed to be held in the hand.

      1. Very cool! I held a stone hide scraper about 20,000 years old
        at the museum in Calico, CA Early Man site in the Mojave Desert.

  14. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    One of the more useful strings of debate recently. Glad I kicked it off. 🙂 I am not shaken from my conclusion that both extremes are dangerous, neither are really changing in frequency, and the solution to both is reliable, abundant and inexpensive energy.

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “..,and the solution to both is reliable, abundant and inexpensive energy…”

      Renewables it is then!!

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Oh, that’s EASY. Look at the start date, and then go back to the chart I used. Forgot about the period of global cooling have we? Forgot about the Dust Bowl years of the 30s? I prefer data that goes back at least a century, when you have enough points of data. But a few thousand years is the real measure of “climate” and then you pick up periods far, far warmer than now. That end point fallacy is very common (and both sides can be guilty.)

        Whoever put that together chose that start date with the intention to bolster a POV, not to inform. That is why I really have issues with NOAA/EPA on this. They are advocates first, scientists last.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          Gee, Haner, what could have been happening in the mid-West US during the Dust Bowl years that might change the local climate temporarily…? That’s a real head scratcher there. There are reasons for tossing obvious outliers when looking at trends in datasets…

          As to cooling… bring back acid rain…??

          The pattern from the low is pretty much straight line (as opposed to before then)… plenty of evidence of a trend…

          1. Droughts happen, but inexperienced homestead grant farmers turned it into a disaster. “Crops began to fail with the onset of drought in 1931, exposing the bare, over-plowed farmland. Without deep-rooted prairie grasses to hold the soil in place, it began to blow away. Eroding soil led to massive dust storms and economic devastation—especially in the Southern Plains.” https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/dust-bowl

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            so what is different today from then if it needed prairie grass to survive the drought rather than farming and crops?

            Don’t we now farm the same area rather than let the prairie grass return?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ef996a774f6b05e8694f6b6980dcaba49e03939ddde1e47a0ee9764360b140a.jpg

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Definitely not wrong. I think that disaster led to our farm subsidy program (or helped justify it) which is about the only reason I see for it… but an important reason to be sure.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            so what is different today from then if it needed prairie grass to survive the drought rather than farming and crops?

            Don’t we now farm the same area rather than let the prairie grass return?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ef996a774f6b05e8694f6b6980dcaba49e03939ddde1e47a0ee9764360b140a.jpg

            If the same drought conditions returned today, would the same thing happen again if we didn’t stop farming and let the prairie grass return?

            What knowledge/experience do we have today that they did not have back then if the choice was prairie grass or crops?

          5. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            What’s different today is irrigation. A lot of groundwater is pumped up to water crops.

            On that subject, the only place I’ve ever seen a farm with an irrigation system in Virginia is a sod farm down somewhere around Richmond.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            along the lower Rappahannock. But many, many places in places like Nebraska, Iowa, etc don’t
            use irrigation which you can tell easily with a satellite photo. green and square = no irrigation. green/circular equal irrigation. If you look at the map where the worst of the dust bowl occurred, some of it lacks the groundwater needed for irrigation – like the Texas Panhandle.

          7. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            You can’t always tell from a satellite photo.

            For example, if you look at a satellite photo of the areas around the Ohio Turnpike, it won’t look like they use irrigation.

            But if you drive the Ohio Turnpike and look, many of the farms adjacent to the turnpike DO have irrigation.

            What you say may be true for farms in a more arid/desert climate, where nothing green grows without irrigation.

            I think there are also irrigation systems that travel from end to end and aren’t a center pivot type. These would look square in a sat photo.

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            You are correct about “drip” irrigation , they are green and square. You see them where
            there are canals and usually coming from rivers like the Colorado and they are year-round for
            vegetable crops (as opposed to grain like you see in the midwest.

            THe thing about a long drought is that at some point the water runs out either river or aquifer.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93740f08c976563a80c21d5c29bea32df61c7e5d2b9d1d339c527b5e52eb6ec5.jpg

            https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/12/kansas-aquifer-ogallala-water-crisis-drought/621007/

          9. LarrytheG Avatar

            usually in places that are arid (or in drought), the “green” is evident. Easily seen along creeks and such and farm fields adjacent to other land not irrigated. I can’t imagine irrigation going on in Ohio.. true?

          10. LarrytheG Avatar

            Not shocked. Seen it along the Rappahannock for things like strawberries. and other produce veggies.

          11. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            I think the irrigation on farms in Ohio (Indiana too, can see them along the Indiana toll rd as well) is an insurance policy against a drought. Could also be that increased irrigation over natural rain was determined to increase crop yield and quality to a degree that pays for the irrigation system.

            I mean, even at my house the grass in the drainfield (drip irrigation from an advanced treatment septic system) always seems to grow faster and greener than the rest of the yard (I do not water my lawn). And it’s not because the water from my septic system is loaded with nutrients–I have to get the system inspected every year and every 2 years they take a water sample.

            The water that my system is sending to the drainfield is clean enough to swim in (that is, if water in a lake tested as clean as the water from my septic system, it would be deemed safe for swimming).

            That septic system cost about $40K in 2017 dollars. Soil wouldn’t perc so a conventional septic was not an option.

          12. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yes, agree about the “insurance” irrigation, usually for vegetables and the like , “truck farming”. Thanks for filling me in on your advanced treatment system. I’ve had a conventional one for 30+ years and
            have it pumped every two years or so even though the county/state requires every 5. I would not
            consider the outflow to be safe to drink having seen it when it is pumped! 😉 Septic systems working properly are supposed to return “clean” water to the water table. They can and are sited 100 ft from wells but a lot depends on the soil and as you know, some soils will not do the job and a constructed system is necessary. From what I understand neither of the two types remove nutrients , nitrogen and phosphorous just stuff like bacteria and viruses, etc. Do you have to periodically “recharge”/change the’
            filtering media for your system?

          13. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            The only replacement parts my septic system has needed in 6 years of operation is a UV bulb, twice. The UV bulb is for disinfection. Some systems use chlorine. A UV bulb is probably less expensive in the long run. It only uses 30 watts.

          14. LarrytheG Avatar

            so basically, it’s a mini wastewater treatment plant? Just add $40K in 2017 money?

          15. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            That’s exactly what it is, a small-scale wastewater treatment plant. The main difference between it and a regular septic is that it uses aerobic (consumes oxygen) bacteria while a regular septic uses anerobic (does not consume oxygen) bacteria. Aerobic bacteria provides superior treatment compared to anerobic bacteria. I think a regular system uses aerobic bacteria in the drain field to complete the treatment process, and this of course requires soil suitable for that purpose, hence the need to “perc”.

            If you had a large enough lot, you are allowed to use spray irrigation, which probably reduces the cost compared to drip irrigation (my $40k cost includes the installation of drip irrigation). With spray irrigation your spray area has to be at least 100 feet from the nearest property line by Virginia regulations.

          16. LarrytheG Avatar

            did a little more reading and saw this:

            ” Nitrogen removal
            Nitrogen removal treatment systems typically work through a sequential process of mimicking the natural nitrification process through engineered systems. In the first step, aerobic processes are employed to transform organic nitrogen and ammonia products in the effluent from the septic tank into nitrites and nitrates. This is therefore referred to as the nitrification stage. In the second step, the processes change from aerobic to anaerobic. When the nitrites and nitrates are put in an environment that has no oxygen but has a carbon source, the oxygen molecules are stripped of them and that leaves harmless nitrogen gas.”

            https://www.bio-sol.ca/blog/en/what-are-the-options-of-advanced-septic-systems/

            which is pretty interesting in that the Chesapeake Bay folks say that conventional septic systems do
            not remove nitrogen and phosphorous, and actually are contributors to excess nutrients in waterways.

            The other thing is that for municipal wastewater treatment plants, it’s the nutrients that are the focus nowadays and said to be the primary problem with the Chesapeake Bay and as such the standards for nutrients have been made tighter and tighter which translates into more expensive for such plants if they have to upgrade and/or build new.

            But the article seems to claim that there is a process that works yet apparently that process is not in place in municipal wastewater treatment plants as far as I can tell. So, something needs more info.

          17. Going off topic. To wrap it up, aerobic=with oxygen. Oxygen is the key factor in effective septic system function. VDOT’ failed drainage systems do not maintain watershed functions and saturate drainfields which causes septic system failures as well as preventing oxygenated stormwater from reaching the Bay.

          18. LarrytheG Avatar

            VDOT?

          19. Yes. In reply to your septic system comment– VDOT road drainage failures impact septic systems and the Bay. That’s why I wrote the Drowning a County book. If weather patterns lead to more rain, it will get worse.

          20. Yes. In reply to your septic system comment– VDOT road drainage failures impact septic systems and the Bay. That’s why I wrote the Drowning a County book. If weather patterns lead to more rain, it will get worse.

          21. LarrytheG Avatar

            I don’t think you ever proved that assertion. Seems like if VDOT actually caused damage to your property, you’d be able to legally sustain that claim. Otherwise, it’s pretty much your belief. Do you know of any other cases of it? Seems like there would be a bunch down your way if your basic assertion is true, no?

          22. Read the book. All the citations are main stream governmental and scientific sources. It’s still a valid reference work. The ebook is still Amazon rank #156 in Environmental Hydrology. You can also get it on interlibrary loan from the Library of Virginia.

          23. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            My house has an EZ-Treat system about which their website says:

            E-Z Treat Company is pleased to announce the E-Z Treat Re-Circulating Synthetic Sand Filter is the First and Only, biological based treatment system to pass the NSF-350 Water Reuse, NSF-245 and NSF-40 testing.
            Certified ANSI/NSF-350 Water Reuse
            Certified ANSI/NSF-245 Nitrogen Reduction
            Certified ANSI/NSF-40

            They describe it as a “recirculating sand filter” but it doesn’t use sand. I think that’s just a generic description of this type of system no matter what treatment media it uses.

            It uses styrofoam beads.

          24. LarrytheG Avatar

            thanks! I did not realize that these systems were this common and can basically make any lot buildable even if it won’t perk.

          25. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Yes, it’s pretty amazing…and the systems aren’t that complex. There is nothing in this system that couldn’t have been done 40 years ago. It’s pumps, tanks, pipes and timers.

          26. LarrytheG Avatar

            Not that long ago, I don’t think, VDH would not approve them. Not sure when EPA did.

          27. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            It doesn’t seem like the R&D which lead to the development of these systems really started prior to about 20 years ago.

          28. LarrytheG Avatar

            thanks for the article. The thing is the farming practices of that era were pretty much the same
            everywhere. It was not a situation of bad farming practices only in one region that then resulted in the dust bowl.

            The difference was the extended drought in the dust bowl region. Even modern farming practices
            would not have staved it off because it drought was for a decade or more.

            We already see the return of extended drought to the west and actually now in the Mississippi
            drainage. Farming practices alone won’t fix it if the drought continues in the extreme:

            Estimated it will take a decade or longer of a return to normal rainfall for Lake Mead to refill. That
            even the extreme wet weather this year won’t change much, just hold it off another year.

            If you have ever traveled to that region, you’ll know just how arid it is. Eastern Colorado, North East New Mexico, Western Kansas are all pretty darned arid right now. They really are limited in what crops they can grow without irrigation, and the aquifers in those regions are not abundant and the extra cost makes many crops not competitive against crops grown in places that don’t need irrigation.

          29. Wrong place for methods used. The farming practices caused the wind erosion of the topsoil fueling the dust storms.

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      By “extremes”, do you mean “we’re doomed” and “it’s a hoax”? Because then, you’d be right.

    3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “..,and the solution to both is reliable, abundant and inexpensive energy…”

      Renewables it is then!!

  15. LarrytheG Avatar

    Where is the Lancet getting it’s data from?

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      Lancet’s analysis is based on excess deaths during periods of cold and heat but they do not correct for seasonal cycles in death rates … there are always more winter deaths due to other factors than extreme cold… pretty major flaw, imo.

  16. disqus_VYLI8FviCA Avatar
    disqus_VYLI8FviCA

    Government overreach and meddling in our economy and our energy grid is far more dangerous than any threat posed by climate change.

    It is impossible to get a balanced perspective of the potential impacts of climate change, assuming it is to be believed. Like everything in our world, rising temperatures would cause problems but also create opportunities. I have far more faith in the human capacity for innovation and ingenuity than I do in heavy-handed, agenda-driven politicians.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      How about how ozone holes were dealt with?

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