PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet SPECIAL: NATURAL CATASTROPHE THAT IS KILLING THOUSANDS
               WHILE MEDIA IS TURNING A BLIND EYE
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    "The worst winter storms for a generation have left Europe blanketed
    in snow from the Bosphorus to the Baltic, leaving hundreds dead,
    cutting off thousands of communities and severing major transport
    links."
          --Julius Strauss, The Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2002


    "More than 20,000 old people died of cold-related illnesses in
    England and Wales last winter, according to Help the Aged statistics
    published yesterday. The charity said the Government's fuel poverty
    strategy would fail to reduce this number if further urgent action
    was not taken."
            --The Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2001

     "In George Orwell's novel `Nineteen Eighty-Four', the concept of
     `doublethink' was first introduced, the notion that mutually
     exclusive concepts could co-exist in the minds of even the best
     intellectuals of the day. Orwell's day of DoubleThink has already
     arrived. The close of 2001 has seen an unprecedented outbreak of
     cold events. Long-standing cold records are being broken all over
     the world, not just from the northern winter, but also from the
     southern summer. December is proving to be the coolest first summer
     month in much of southeastern Australia, the Sydney arsonist-lit
     bushfires notwithstanding. But the industry has quickly put on its
     blinkers. "2001 is the 2nd warmest year on record" they tell us. If
     this is the `2nd warmest', Heaven protect us all from a `normal'
     year, or even worse - a colder year than `normal'."
            --John Daly, 31 December 2001


(1) WORST WINTER STORMS FOR A GENERATION HIT EUROPE
    The Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2002

(2) CLIMATIC CATASTROPHES STRIKE
    Yahoo! News, 28 December 2001

(3) STATE OF EMERGENCY: ATHENS SNOWED IN
    News 24, 5 January 2002

(4) EASTERN EUROPE DIGS OUT FROM SNOW AS COLD DEATHS CLIMB
    Center for Desease Information, 4 January 2002

(5) SOUTHERN U.S. CHILL EXTENDS AS FAR SOUTH AS MIAMI
    Reuters, 5 January 2002

(6) COLD 'KILLED 20,000 OLD PEOPLE LAST WINTER'
    The Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2001

(7) GLOBAL WARMING AND CHEAP FOSSIL FULES: THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU!
    CO2 Science Magazine, 2 January 202

(8) FREAK STORMS KILL FIVE IN EUROPE
    Reuters, 5 January 2002


================
(1) WORST WINTER STORMS FOR A GENERATION HIT EUROPE

>From The Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2002
http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/01/05/wcold05.xml&sSheet=/portal/2002/01/05/por_right.html

By Julius Strauss, Central Europe Correspondent

THE worst winter storms for a generation have left Europe blanketed in
snow from the Bosphorus to the Baltic, leaving hundreds dead, cutting
off thousands of communities and severing major transport links.

In normally balmy Athens there were the first snowfalls in more than a
decade. As much as a foot of snow let children snowboard in the city's
streets and left many workers stranded at home. "It looks like a
holiday," said one Athenian.

On the Acropolis hill, snow swirled around the Parthenon and guards
threw snowballs while Japanese and Spanish tourists huddled against the
weather.

In Istanbul, Turks woke up to a foot of snow. "We advise our citizens to
stay home unless they absolutely have to go out," the city governor,
Erol Cakir, said. "This is a natural disaster."

Local television reported that around 9,000 Turkish villages were cut
off by snow, some without power.

The cold snap extended as far south as Cyprus yesterday. There were
heavy snowfalls on the mountains, strong winds, thunderstorms and rough
seas.

The bad weather also hit hard in Central Europe, with a total of 71
people reported to have died in Hungary as a result of the cold.

In Poland, more than 220 deaths have been blamed on the storms and
temperatures have plunged to as low as -29C. Authorities said many of
the victims were homeless people, or drunks who fell over and were
unable to get up in the cold. A number also died in avalanches.

More than 500 Polish villages were cut off and many villagers said food
supplies were dwindling fast.

Around 3,500 schools closed yesterday for a second day as children
stayed at home rather than brave the freezing weather.

Lorries jack-knifed on icy roads, blocking them for hours. Motorists
reported that the journey from Warsaw to Krakow, normally four hours,
was taking 18.

The Polish interior ministry said the weather was the worst since 1979.

In the Czech Republic temperatures dropped to as low as -25C. A third of
the country's inhabited areas were reported to be cut off by heavy
snowfalls and had declared a state of emergency.

Farmers said they feared for their livestock after animals were caught
in drifts and food supplies were unable to get through. Snowploughs were
struggling to clear drifts up to 15 feet high on motorways.

In Slovakia 40 villages in the central Zilina region were cut off and
local authorities described the situation in some as critical.

The Slovak president, Rudolf Schuster, and his wife were slightly
injured when their car slid on ice.

In Germany heavy snowfalls were blamed for an avalanche which killed one
skier and left three others missing.

At the Black Sea ports of Constanta and Mangalia in Romania maritime
traffic was suspended because of high winds. Waves reached 23 feet and
some ships were damaged.

There were huge delays on trains and a freight engine was derailed
because of snow.

In Sweden, Stockholm offered residents free undercover parking in an
attempt to clear cars from snow-clogged streets.

In Italy temperatures in the Dolomites fell to -22C, damaging fruit and
flowers in the Liguris region.

In France several roads were blocked by flooding including a section of
motorway between Paris and Strasbourg. Trains were disrupted between
Metz and Dijon.

Christmas shooting was cancelled in France because ice on swamps had
deprived birds of their natural food.

Yves Cochet, the environment minister, said the birds were not a fair
target and should be allowed to "build up their health again".

Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001.

=============
(2) CLIMATIC CATASTROPHES STRIKE

>From Yahoo! News, 28 December 2001
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/011227/1/27qux.html
 
Countries around the world were trying to cope with climatic
catastrophe, as a big freeze chilled Europe and North America, Brazil
recovered from torrential rains, bushfires blazed in an Australian
heatwave and Saudis prayed for rain to slake an ongoing drought.

North America was plunged into the throes of an intense cold front that
buried Buffalo, New York in almost one metre (three feet) of snow and
saw temperatures slide well below freezing.

In Europe, the chill has claimed hundreds of lives. A winter coldsnap in
Poland has claimed 178 lives since October, according to local police, a
figure well above the 112 killed by the cold last year.

Authorities in Bulgaria declared a state of emergency in the northeast
of the country after the worst snowfalls in 30 years, where three more
people died in the intense cold, according to the civil defense
department.

And in Russia, no stranger to bitter cold, Moscow authorities said three
people had died in sub-zero temperatures, bringing to 250 the number to
perish in the city's icy chill this winter....

Countries which usually fairly modest temperatures, such as Germany,
have reported intense lows, with the southern region of Bavaria seeing
temperatures of almost minus 46 degrees Celsius (minus 51 Fahrenheit) on
Monday.

The chill is the lowest recorded in the region since 1870, while
hurricane-force winds hit mountainous regions and a heavy blanket of
snow forced many motorists to stay at home, according to weather
services.

Temperatures in Moscow dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four
Fahrenheit) this month, where heavy snowfalls have been recorded.

But, as in Poland, most of those reported to have been killed by the
bitter weather are homeless people who fall asleep in the open after
drinking large quantities of alcohol, according to officials.

In Warsaw, where temperatures have fallen well below freezing, police
say they pick up about 200 people from the streets every day and take
them to detoxification centres.

In Bulgaria, which is one of Europe's poorest countries and where the
heaviest snowfall in decades has covered the country, two men were found
dead in their unheated homes.

Copyright 2002, AFP
 
============
(3) STATE OF EMERGENCY: ATHENS SNOWED IN
 
>From News 24, 5 January 2002
http://news.24.com/News24/World/Europe/0,1113,2-10-19_1127193,00.html

Athens, Greece - Officials declared a state of emergency in the Athens
area on Saturday after the heaviest snowfall in a decade blanketed the
capital and disrupted air and road traffic in central and southern
Greece.

Hundreds of cars and passengers were trapped for nearly 20 hours by snow
along the main highway connecting Athens with the northern port of
Thessaloniki. Police, firefighters and army troops were working to open
the highway and clear the road of trucks that had jack-knifed and
blocked the highway.

Athens received about 15cm in the city centre to about 50-60cm in the
northern suburbs.

Athens' international airport was closed and snow ploughs worked to
clear runways and clear aircraft of ice. Highways leading to the airport
were also blocked by heavy snow. Airport officials said they expected
flights to resume by early afternoon.

Hospitals in the Athens area were placed in a state of heightened
readiness to deal with any problems.

More than 100 towns in central Greece were cut off by snow and the
region was also affected by sporadic power outages.

Rare occurrence

The snowfall and subfreezing temperatures were part of a rare winter
storm affecting many parts of the southern Balkans. Greece's National
Weather Service forecast improved conditions and an end to the snowfall
around the country starting late on Saturday and early on Sunday.

In Athens, police warned that snow chains were required for all vehicles
driving in the centre of the city and appealed for all residents in the
capital's northern suburbs, most located on the foothills of Mount
Parnas and Mount Penedli, to remain in their homes.

"It is ridiculous for anyone to leave their homes," said regional Athens
governor Eleni Besbea, who declared the state of emergency.

She said more than 20 snow ploughs and earthmoving vehicles were
clearing main streets in and around Athens, while Athens mayor Dimitris
Avramopoulos ordered salt to be spread on capital's main avenues. -

copyright 2002, Sapa-AP

===============
(4) EASTERN EUROPE DIGS OUT FROM SNOW AS COLD DEATHS CLIMB

>From Center for Desease Information, 4 January 2002
http://www.cdi.org/russia/187-2.cfm

AFP
January 4, 2002

>From the Baltics to the Balkans, eastern Europeans dug out from heavy
snowfall that blanketed the region as plunging temperatures caused a
spate of deaths from severe cold.

With southeastern Europe lashed by the most severe snowstorms in three
decades, dozens of towns and villages in northeastern Bulgaria remained
cut off Thursday by snowdrifts up to two metres (six feet) deep.

Several dozen Polish villages also remained completely cut off, while
180 towns in western Ukraine have remained without electricity since the
New Year after heavy snowfall and severe winds created drifts three
metres (nine feet) deep.

Skies cleared across much of eastern Europe Thursday, allowing road
crews a chance to catch up after a week of intermittent snow, but
temperatures plunged causing a number of deaths from cold.

Seven people were found dead from the cold in Turkey Wednesday, bringing
the casualty toll from heavy snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures across
most of the country since the weekend to at least 19, authorities said.

In Bulgaria a 67-year-old pensioner was found frozen to death in the
snow near her home outside Burgas, while a tramp died sheltering near
the entrance to a building, his feet wrapped only plastic bags.

In Moscow, authorities said 14 people had died from cold since New Year,
including 10 overnight Wednesday, bringing the death toll in the Russian
capital to 281 since the start of the winter, according to the Interfax
news agency.

Polish police said a dozen people have died from cold since the start of
the year, bringing the death toll since October to 221.

Two deaths from hypothermia were reported in the Latvian capital Riga
over the holidays as temperatures plunged to minus 25 degrees Centigrade
(minus 13 Fahrenheit).

Rescue workers also had their hands full in several countries on
Thursday.

Twenty seven school children who spent 17 hours trapped in a bus under
an avalanche in mountainous eastern Turkey were rescued, Anatolia news
agency reported.

A snowplow managed to free on Thursday a train that got stuck Wednesday
evening near the Bulgarian city of Silistra. The passengers were
unharmed.

But some 60 tourists remained blocked for a fourth day in a mountain
hotel near Veliko Tarnovo in central Bulgaria, civil defence authorities
said.

Several dozen secondary roads in northern Romania remained impassable
Thursday, with snow removal efforts hampered by wind gusts of up to 80
kilometers (50 miles) per hour.

In the northern region of Iasi patients had to be taken to hospital by
sleigh after ambulances could not reach homes.

In Turkey the people of Izmir on the Aegean, known for its temperate
climate, woke up to their first snowflakes in half a decade, local
reports said.

In the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the country's only subtropical
city, palm branches were breaking from the weight of heavy snow, with
traffic at a near standstill.

Some 6,000 residents of the city of Volkov near Saint Petersburg were
living without heat after a pipe burst as the temperature sank to minus
25 degrees Centigrade (minus 13 Fahrenheit).

In the Czech Republic, school was cancelled until Monday in what the
private TV station Nova termed "snow holidays".

To the west, many routes were impassable over the German border and icy
conditions were responsible for a number of fatal road accidents
particularly in the eastern region of Moravia, police announced.

Polish police appealed to drivers to travel only if necessary as many
secondary roads remained impassable. They recommended drivers leave
children at home and bring with them a shovel, sand, rope, hot beverages
and a mobile phone.

About a quarter of Lithuanian secondary roads remained impassable on
Thursday, with the army on alert to help rescue services if needed, the
Baltic News Service reported.

Copyright 2002, AP 

==============
(5) SOUTHERN U.S. CHILL EXTENDS AS FAR SOUTH AS MIAMI

>From Reuters, 5 January 2002
http://news1.iwon.com/article/id/199072|top|01-05-2002::03:29|reuters.html

By Frances Kerry

MIAMI (Reuters) - The tentacles from winter weather that glazed the U.S.
South with snow, disrupting air travel and making driving hazardous,
extended Friday even to usually balmy Miami, where residents pulled on
sweaters and jackets to deal with south Florida's version of a big
chill.

Miami temperatures dipped near 40 degrees in the early morning. The
National Weather Service reported some record lows for the day in south
Florida, with West Palm Beach touching 36 degrees and Miami Beach
chilling down to 40 degrees overnight.

"For south Florida, this is very cold," said meteorologist Pablo Santos,
saying icy air had funneled unusually deep into the Florida peninsula
but predicting milder weather over the weekend.

Friday's misery was short-lived as afternoon temperatures bounced up to
60 degrees in south Florida and 49 degrees near Orlando, home to giant
theme park Walt Disney World.

Still, forecasters warned north Florida could see a repeat of Friday
morning's freezing temperatures early Saturday. Parts of the Florida
Panhandle saw a rare dusting of snow on Thursday.

The area is better known for its beaches, vacationers and "snow birds"
-- retirees from northern cities such as New York and Chicago who
migrate every winter to escape snow shovels and heating bills.

The state's tourism marketing agency boasts that Florida's idea of "the
white stuff" is sand, not snow.

Elsewhere in the usually mild South, states were still icy after a
winter storm that dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of North Carolina
and Virginia and killed at least 10 people in the past two days in
traffic accidents in the Carolinas, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia.

The storm eased off by Thursday night but icy conditions persisted. In
North Carolina, driving was a treacherous ordeal and schools in many
areas remained closed.

In neighboring South Carolina, most of the 64,000 state employees were
told to stay home for a second day and residents were told to avoid
snow-covered roads. Schools in many areas were still closed.

In Richmond, Virginia, state police said all interstate highways in the
area were clear by Friday though many back roads were still blocked and
many schools remained closed.

State officials in Georgia were keeping a wary eye on weather forecasts
that predicted more snow and possible freezing rain over the weekend.

"They are saying there is going to be moisture and if that turns out to
be freezing rain or sleet, our primary concern is that we will start
seeing tree limbs breaking and power lines affected," said Lisa Ray, a
spokeswoman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. 


Ray said power had been restored to about 5,000 people in the state who
were without electricity Thursday. The snowfall in Atlanta was the
heaviest in nine years.

Officials at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, which was
virtually paralyzed by the storm Thursday, said Friday afternoon that
operations were close to normal, with most stranded passengers having
boarded rescheduled flights.

"All four of the runways are open and operational and we are almost back
to normal operations and planes are taking off and landing," said
Yolanda Clark, a spokeswoman for Hartsfield, one of the world's busiest
airports.

Clark added that the airport's manager, Ben DeCosta, would be "reaching
out" to Delta Air Lines and other airlines that operate at the airport
to discuss how to better deal with future weather-related problems.

Thousands of passengers were stuck at the Atlanta airport Thursday after
snow and ice forced airlines to cancel about 600 flights. Some travelers
had to wait for hours on planes that were stuck on the airport tarmac.

Delta, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, has apologized to customers for the
inconvenience and pledged to conduct a thorough review of its operations
and performance during the storm.

Copyright 2002, Reuters

===============
(6) COLD 'KILLED 20,000 OLD PEOPLE LAST WINTER'
   
>From The Daily Telegraph, 28 December 2001
http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2001%2F12%2F28%2Fncold28.xml

MORE than 20,000 old people died of cold-related illnesses in England
and Wales last winter, according to Help the Aged statistics published
yesterday.

The charity said the Government's fuel poverty strategy would fail to
reduce this number if further urgent action was not taken.

The statistics were reached by taking the number of deaths of people
over 65 between December 2000 and March this year, and comparing them
with the average for the summer and autumn in 2000. A breakdown shows
that the highest number of "excess deaths" was in the North-West
(3,600), while the North-East had the fewest with 1,400.

Mervyn Kohler, the charity's head of public affairs, said there was no
excuse for "a staggeringly high number" of winter deaths compared with
countries with colder climates.

"This 'bulge' of winter deaths is a peculiarly British problem," he
said. "When countries with much more severe winters than ours have much
lower death rates, it becomes obvious that something is badly wrong."

The charity believes that money needs to be invested in improving energy
efficiency in old people's homes and to help to pay for central heating.
It said the current policy of winter fuel payments cost the taxpayer
several times more than the amount earmarked for housing and heating
improvements.

Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001.

===========
(7) GLOBAL WARMING AND CHEAP FOSSIL FULES: THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOU!

>From CO2 Science Magazine, 2 January 202
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2002/v5n1c1.htm

Reference
Gemmell, I.  2001.  Indoor heating, house conditions, and health.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 55: 928-929.

What was done
The author conducted a detailed analysis of the answers of 858
respondents to pertinent health and housing questions put to them in the
second sweep of the "West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study," which was
conducted in 1991. The response rate to this survey was 82%, while the
average age of respondents was 59 years.

What was learned

Gemmell's analysis showed that "over and above socioeconomic factors and
house conditions, inadequate home heating is associated with poor health
in those aged 55-60."  He says, for example, that "respondents who
reported feeling cold in winter 'most of the time' were over three times
more likely to suffer from a limiting condition and almost five times as
likely to report 'fair' or 'poor' self assessed health."  Also noted was
the fact that "living in a cold house will almost certainly exacerbate
existing conditions and may lead to early mortality."

What it means

In the words of the author, "affordable efficient methods of home
heating could help reduce the number of people living in homes that are
detrimental to their health." So also would increases in minimum air
temperatures help in this regard; while anything that tended to make
methods of home heating more expensive would be counterproductive.

On this basis, therefore, the Kyoto Protocol and other such regulatory
schemes clearly have three strikes against them: (1) their stated
objective of combating global warming, which appears to be most robust
at the low end of the temperature scale, (2) their inclination to make
fossil fuel use more costly, and (3) the fact that this policy will hurt
most those who can least afford to heat their homes, i.e., the world's
poor.

So it has ever been; and so, it seems, it ever shall be: the poor are
always the ones to suffer most.  And unless enough good people step
forward to do something about it, the cycle will not be broken.
 
Copyright 2002. Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global
Change

==========
(8) FREAK STORMS KILL FIVE IN EUROPE

>From Reuters, 5 January 2002
 
ATHENS (Reuters) - Freak winter storms have paralysed parts of
southeastern Europe, claiming five lives and prompting Greece to declare
a state of emergency in some areas.

The storms blanketed much of Turkey and central and southern Greece with
heavy snow, blocking roads and disrupting flights for a second day
running.

In Turkey, two men froze to death in the southeast of the country,
Turkish television reported. Two more died in the capital, Istanbul, in
the icy temperatures.

Greek police found the body of an elderly woman partly covered by snow
who had apparently died from the cold in a suburb of the capital,
Athens.

>From the Aegean coast in the west to northern Black Sea shores,
thousands of Turkish villages were snowbound. The blizzards were
expected to move east across the country in the coming days and
officials warned people not to leave their homes unless it was
necessary.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis told reporters it was the worst
weather in 40 years and asked citizens to take care and limit their
travel.

"I would like to call on all citizens to be careful and limit their
movements. This is an unusual phenomenon and beautiful to watch but also
dangerous," he said.

Athens was covered by up to 20 cm (eight inches) of snow early on
Saturday, a rare occurrence which left streets almost deserted and shut
down much of Saturday shopping.

The Parthenon temple on top of the Acropolis was closed to visitors and
children built snowmen and hurled snowballs in Athens' central Syndagama
square.

FLIGHTS, FERRIES DISRUPTED

In the city's northern suburbs, where it was still snowing heavily
mid-afternoon, roads were impassable and electricity blackouts were
frequent.

A Public Power Corporation official said electricity would be restored
throughout the country by the end of the day.

Flights from Athens international airport were severely disrupted,
although one runway was open with some planes taking off and landing.

In Istanbul too, some international and domestic flights were cancelled
on Saturday as blizzards resumed, airport officials said.

Roads were blocked and ferries across the Bosphorus straits were
cancelled for a second day, Turkey's NTV television said.

The storm, which hit the region on Friday and continued into Saturday,
forced the Greek government to declare states of emergency in Attika,
the province in which Athens is located, and two neighbouring provinces.

Police said hundreds of people had been stranded in cars, some for as
much as 18 hours, on the main highway leading north from Athens. They
were freed when crews either cleared the snow or broke down the central
barriers, allowing them access to other lanes.

Greece's National Meteorological Service said the storm was expected to
ease later on Saturday.
 
Copyright 2002, Reuters


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