Friday, November 1, 2019

Unintended Consequences

A new paper, Be Cautious With the Precautionary Principle: Evidence From Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, has been published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

While the entire paper is behind a paywall, the paper's Abstract is fascinating:

This paper provides a large scale, empirical evaluation of unintended effects from invoking the precautionary principle after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. After the accident, all nuclear power stations ceased operation and nuclear power was replaced by fossil fuels, causing an exogenous increase in electricity prices. This increase led to a reduction in energy consumption, which caused an increase in mortality during very cold temperatures. We estimate that the increase in mortality from higher electricity prices outnumbers the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production has contributed to more deaths than the accident itself.

The entire issue of energy is far more sensitive that many imagine. Great Britain has seen a large increase in wintertime deaths due to energy starvation caused by higher prices -- a direct result of 'green' energy. We need to keep in mind the safety of our fellow men and women should always be the highest priority.

Hat Tip: Dr. Judith Curry

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