Climate change and ageing population creating ‘a perfect storm’

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Heatwaves are killing more Australians than any other natural disaster and are expected to become more frequent and last for longer. And particularly at risk are over-65s.

An Actuaries Institute paper says that deaths from heatwaves could rise by 12 per cent among over 65-year-olds, with heatwaves expected to triple in some regions.

“More frequent, longer and hotter days will drive a significant increase in mortality, with Australia’s ageing population amplifying the number of people who will die as a result of climate change,” the paper says.

It also canvases the financial implications of climate change for investors, warning of long-term negative returns.

The paper, The Impact of Climate Change on Mortality and Retirement Incomes in Australia, was written by Ramona Meyricke, a senior actuary and associate investigator, and Rafal Chomik, a senior fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Population Ageing Research at the University of NSW.

“Understanding the potentially significant implications of climate change is crucial to Australians’ wellbeing,” said Actuaries Institute president Nicolette Rubinsztein. “Many Australians understand the physical risks posed by climate change, but few appreciate the impacts it could have on their mortality risks and their retirement savings.”

The paper examines how climate change will affect Australians in broad ways, including the impact on economic growth, health and mortality, government spending and investment returns. It explores the consequences for individuals and businesses, including health, general and life insurers, pension providers, investors and emergency services and governments.

It states that climate change and ageing populations are interacting to create “a perfect storm”.

“Without proper risk management, these megatrends have the potential to overwhelm individuals, private companies and government balance sheets over the course of this century,” the authors state.

“In terms of public policy, the wide-ranging consequences of climate change on mortality, public health and the economy mean that system-wide policy responses are necessary to mitigate the risks posed.”

Heatwaves have killed more Australians than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined, and are the main threat to Australians’ mortality from climate change, the authors say, warning that population ageing is a major contributor to the numbers.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) projects that by 2050, the population of over-65s and over-85s will nearly double and triple respectively.

“Population ageing will amplify the burden of heat related mortality and health risks in a warming climate – an interaction that policymakers and insurers have not yet fully taken into account,” the report states.

It says that the potential impact of climate change could also extend to lower superannuation contributions and investment returns due to negative long-term returns for investors whose portfolios are not diversified. This, in turn, could lead to lower superannuation balances.

“Illustrative scenario modelling suggests that an individual earning around $75,000 per annum could retire with 11 per cent to 18 per cent less, or a superannuation balance of $40,000 to $70,000 less, because of lower contributions and/or lower investment returns. The impact would be greater for those who experience both reduced contributions and investment returns,” according to the study.

The predictions also have major implications for pension providers, including the Federal Government. The authors say there may be a greater reliance on the Age Pension if climate change seriously diminishes superannuation balances, and a higher cost of provisioning for future Age Pension liabilities if investment returns are lower.

Have you considered the implications of climate change on your income?

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Written by Janelle Ward

138 Comments

Total Comments: 138
  1. 0
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    What a load of codswallop. We have always had heatwaves, so the media has now picked up on them and want to make something out of them. Grow some you know what and report on some real news.

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      You are wrong! The science is certain and we have now entered the emergency phase.
      If you still are a sceptic, consider the possibility you are wrong and the price for that is inconceivable. Just do it because the alternative is unthinkable especially if you have grandchildren.

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      Way too many people are believe the hysteria being drummed up by the media. I do feel for those kids today that are being brain washed by our education system and media and not forgetting to mention that child with mental issues turning up everywhere now.

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      VCBB or Old Geezer, our kids are far from being brainwashed by our education system. Kids these days can see more clearly what is happening and the education system is giving them the education to make up their own minds & are able to see what the governments of the world are doing, which is absolutely NOTHING apart from inaction & denial al because of the greedy rich who can’t see past the dollar sign.
      We all know you are an LNP paid stooge Old Geezer, different name but same old same old from the LNP troll.

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      Oh dear some people are certainly brain washed today.

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      VCBB, Greta does not have a mental problem, she has Aspergers Syndrome and people with this condition are usually very intelligent. Today Prince William and Prince Harry have both said Climate Change is real so are you going to say they have a mental problem too? and all the farmers who havea petition going to send to the govt about their climate change worries, do they all have a mental problem too?. Better to be safe then sorry don’t you think VCBB?.

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      I never thought I will see a day when I would agree with VCBB! But, here it is! He didn’t say Greta has mental issues, however these fear-mongering tactics will do that to young people with limited knowledge of the world who are being brain-washed on a mass scale. This brain-washing MUST be reversed by the stupid Govt instructing Education Depts to issue out calming advice to schools with real facts. Notice most such articles talk about effects by the end of the century – which can’t be verified till most of the current people are dead and long gone!

      Ted, you are correct. In fact, this article does not show any link between the claimed climate change outcomes to investment contributions and returns. Clearly the Actuaries Institute has also been infiltrated by these crazies. My bigger concern is that these people are latching onto every such issue to justify poor investment returns i.e. poor performance by Funds.

      Also, I remember seeing a Chart recently which showed Deaths due to Climate Change have reduced drastically in the last few decades, NOT increased. Also, lower temperatures cause more deaths due to lack of heating caused by high energy prices, and increased temperatures (we are talking of 1-2 degrees) may actually have positive effects.
      Extreme isolated weather events are simply cyclical changes, not due to climate change – too much brain-washing is rampant. Yes, climate is always changing, just get used to it, nature does that and nature is much stronger than the puny humans. All we can and must do is to reduce pollution in our environment by people & industries for the sake of the health of the people which is of more direct relevance.

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      Ted, yes we have had heatwaves BUT, as the article says, “Heatwaves………….. are expected to become more frequent and last for longer”.

      I will not debate those who say the science is wrong on climate change, the shape of the earth, the solar system or anything else. Facts are facts.

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      Anyone who knows anything about science would never say, “the science is settled.” Anyone who anything about history would never say, “the science is settled.”

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      GeorgM please reread VCBB’S comment, he does say,”that child with mental issues turning up everywhere”.

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      Misty, you are right about that, I read that in a hurry. People with Aspergers syndrome have a tendency for anxiety and depression issues, and I would be more concerned about such a child suffering such mental health issues, and people around her are clearly responsible for child abuse if they don’t get her out of this situation (exposure to scaremongering by adults with their own interests) and back to a normal happy childhood.

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      Aye, me auld Paddo – but what if he’s Right?

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      “We have always had heatwaves”

      Haha, yes except each year they are getting longer, hotter and the extremes are more pronounced.

      Instead of sticking your head in the sand and just “remembering” what happened years ago (because your mind tricks you into thinking these were worse or the same) look at some charts through history. Look at the TREND in the weather, not just one year here and there to suit your purposes, look at the trend – like the stock market over time the overall trend is UP.

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      Perhaps you climate change deniers can explain:
      – Why are the Glaciers disappearing? Greenland held a funeral for one of theirs that is now completely gone. First time in recorded history all Glaciers are retreating at a rate never before recorded.
      – Why are the Nordic Nations now being able to catch temperate fish in their waters, first time ever.
      – Why are the Nordic Nations now being able to grow temperate climate crops.
      – Why are mineral companies now moving in to Greenland and Iceland due to the ice shelves and tundra disappearing.
      I always thought Ice melted faster as it got hotter, that’s what I was taught during my Thermodynamics class. Perhaps you geniuses can set me straight.

    • 0
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      Good points, The Care Bear. But you really don’t expect a logical explanation from these egomaniacs who believe they know better than 99% of experts in the field of Climate Science?

      Another big chunk of ice just fell off Antarctica. And it’s only the beginning of Spring.

  2. 0
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    So Paddo, what are you doing about it?

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      I bet they still drive a car and consume electricity and all those other items so called bad for the climate. Maybe they are even killing themselves with radiation form their mobile as well.

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      So living shorter lives, won’t need so much super anyway and will help population control. Buying big in equities; air conditioning, solar panels and funeral directors’ shares!

    • 0
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      .. and meanwhile China and India charge on unabated, and their air grows thicker by the day ….. but convention and international law dictates that, short of a declaration of war, we cannot involve ourselves with internal issues of a sovereign nation……

  3. 0
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    The signs are here: http://www.bom.gov.au/water/dashboards/#/water-storages/summary/state
    They aren’t improving. I think we would be better off to be safe than sorry, if not for next year, then for the ones after that. “A stitch in time…” and all that.

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      Get cracking then…. that space on the table is for the money, not the mouth….

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      People have and ARE already investing in change by installing rooftop solar, TREBOR, at quite a large expense to themselves. This is the reason why our electricity generation emissions are dropping, which our coal-loving PM ironically has recently taken credit for.

      Unfortunately, electricity generation emissions are only 1/3 of our total emissions. They know they have to put a price on carbon emissions, but the LNP can’t bring themselves to do it because not only have they wedged Labor on this issue, they’ve snookered themselves in the process. THEY NEED TO INVEST IN OUR ECONOMY!!! Trickle-down economics has trickled dry like the Murray/Darling and our precious fresh water reserves.

      You people living in the cities have no idea how horrible it is to live in drought. Or how depressing it is! And there’s our useless LNP Govt handing out drought relief to places that have plenty of water, while they do NOTHING to improve the future. “We’ll build dams” they say but that’s like building a hospital in a town where everyone has either left or died. If they were serious about drought-proofing the future, they would invest in renewable energy, ban non-food crops for irrigation and stop land-clearing! There are very practical places to start for a solution. But the LNP are USELESS, HEARTLESS, UNINTELLIGENT, GREEDY BASTARDS!!

      And while Rome is literally burning around us, we still have people crying out that Australia only emits 1.3% of global emission, but they don’t count Australia’s contribution to global emissions with all the coal & gas we produce that is sold overseas & burned there.

      Yet Australia is still the world’s highest emitter per capita, without even counting all the emissions that we export. We are a big part of the world’s problem. Our government is not only letting Australia down, it’s letting the whole globe down.

  4. 0
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    Global warming is designed to get rid of the older generation so they dont have to pay pensions or provide expense medical help. Its a plot!
    All you older folks!, turn up your aircon. Keep cool and foil their dastardly plans!

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      Global warming is not “designed”. It is happening largely due to our use of fossil fuels.

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      I thought global warming was last century. It’s climate change now since the warming bit never eventuated.

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      Rod63 Not that smart

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      Global warming is causing climate change. The warming of the earth is causing climates to change and also causing more severe and prolonged weather events.

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      With summer a-coomin’ in (Lod sing cuckoo) – MY air con will run off the 6.6KwH solar system on the roof……. the leftover will go into the ‘grid’ and be paid for.,…

      Laarvley! Cool as a cucumber – actually it’s necessary since the ex (I’m her carer) has trouble with temperature control in her body….. but I don’t mind it being cooler… Tasmania sounds good….

      Now for Powerball Big and a decent holiday for a change….

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      Unthinking older people like Pedro are hellbent on stealing the future of new generations. Selfish and greedy, Pedro.
      The sooner people like you are gone, the better off will be the rest of us.

      Rod63 is right to say that the threats of climate change have not been DESIGNED. It’s just the attitude of “business as usual” that is creating the impending disaster. Oh, and the 3 year electoral cycle.

  5. 0
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    The 16 year old autistic child who was allowed to lecture adults at the UN has done one thing well; she has woken the silent majority who are now speaking out against those who want to use climate change to line their pockets with other people’s money. Sure, there is climate change which was called global warming until the temperatures stabilised. In the ’60’s the alarmists warned us of an impending Ice Age and in the ’80’s the Earth was about to be destroyed due to the hole in the ozone layer.

    Remember the fairy tale about Chicken Little who ran around claiming that the sky was falling? Today’s climate change warriors are the modern day version of Chicken Little. Man has added to the increase of CO² but the addition is about 5%± and Australia produces about 1.6% of this which is too small to be counted. We are now getting more and more scientists standing up and refuting the “settled” science that man has caused all of the problems and for that we can thank the 16 year old autistic child.

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      So Horace you don’t think all this pollution spewing out from our factories, coal fired power stations, airplanes, ships, cars, motorbikes, burning of forests etc is not affecting our climate and environment?.

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      Of course it does, Misty, but the degree that it does is what I disagree with. Listening to the doomsayers would have us believe that the world will end in 2030 unless we stop burning fossil fuels yet the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland spewed more noxious gases into the atmosphere than Australia has emitted since settlement.

    • 0
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      Misty (with all due respect) – what ‘s this ‘our’ factories?

      As for forest burning – the ex and I (sounds like a musical) moved from an area where National Parks annually burnt off vast swathes of bush – nearly killed me with heart troubles every goddamned year and I never stop sneezing and coughing …. now the bushfires raging are just as bad…

      At the same time the government of NSW decreed that any household fireplace that smoked for fifteen minutes would draw a hefty fine….. while their henchpersons were lighting off thousands of acres…

      Ask me again why I despise City Hall….

      Anyway – Australia is a tiny contributor to ‘global fossil fuel gases’ that are claimed to affect things so much… per capita is meaningless given our numbers and our stamping ground …

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      Yes but while we have been killing trees and poisoning everything the population has exploded. It will be water shortages, famine and overpopulation creating dangerous situations. I’ll bet within 3 to 5 years living in a city will be risky.

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      Australia is still the world’s highest emitter per capita, without even counting all the emissions that we export. We are a big part of the world’s problem.

      And the burning of forests is one problem, (though necessary in some cases), but not planting trees to replace them is another, especially because of soil erosion and the lowering of the water table & the salination it produces. Australia treats it’s country like a prostitute & a slave, then whinges about it not being productive enough.

      Why don’t we measure the government’s productivity? Because it’s doing absolutely nothing to improve many of our problems.

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      Hoohoo. your quote “Why don’t we measure the government’s productivity? Because it’s doing absolutely nothing to improve many of our problems.” I agree with you. As I said Hoohoo, Scumbag will go down as one of the greatest killers the world has known. Inaction means death. It is a proven scientific fact that the earth has increased in temperature due to the effects of Australia and the USA doing nothing. Scumbag and Trump have caused it and yet both do nothing to get more cheap solar and wind renewables integrated into the grid. We both rely on our expensive, planet destroying gas and coal fired plants that break down often and kill millions of people with their emissions. Why does the government allow that? Because big Business is the republican and liberal’s party focus. Do they care about you or me or our planets future? No they Don’t!! Its A DISGRACE!!!!

  6. 0
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    Nothing Australia does will effect human induced climate change (and I’m not saying that I that I endorse this view). If people are truly concerned about the effects of heat waves then the only way to improve this situation is by lowering the price of electricity so folks can turn on their air conditioning.

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      Mark, lower electricity prices won’t help over 80 towns that either have no water, or are about to have to bring drinking water in via large trucks, if the drought doesn’t break very soon. Nor will air conditioners help people who work outside.

      The problems are much bigger and more serious than trying to keep cool during heatwaves.

      As I said earlier, our electricity generation emissions are dropping, which our coal-loving PM has ironically taken credit for, boasting at the UN summit.

      Renewable energy is cheaper than coal & gas. For one, you need huge corporations to dig up or frack fossil fuels and then burn it to create electricity, whereas all that’s needed for renewable energy is to make the collecting apparatus then collect the sun, wind or wave power FOR FREE. If only we had further investment in large batteries, we’d have enough baseload power for everyone except aluminium smelters & other gas-guzzling industries.

  7. 0
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    Can someone please enlighten me of the link btwn the 2 as it doesn’t appear to be covered in the article; means nothinf without reasons for the suggestion!

  8. 0
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    Cold snaps kill over 10 times as many people as heat waves.

    Give us back our cheap coal fired electricity7 & we will again be able to afford to run the air conditioning to protect ourselves from both heat & more importantly the cold.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if journalists had enough math to be able to see when they are being conned.

    • 0
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      “enough math”

      You must be from the USA, Hasbeen? Are you living in Australia?

      For you information, here we call it “maths”. Cheers.

    • 0
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      The private enterprise is more efficient lie, that created the private enterprise business model for power distribution is responsible for the massive price hikes….

      Any simpleton could tell you that the sudden ‘need’ to pay multiple ‘ceos’, ‘board members’, and shareholders would cause an instant hike in costs …. a public utility, in contrast has one ‘ceo’ – you may argue that such beings are vastly overpaid and god knows what their secret is to get there (in the NSWFB and Police it was – believe it – Mason membership!! My father and an uncle were firies, an uncle a senior police officer… another a top NRL referee but he wasn’t a Mason).

      Anyway – if you equate ‘efficiency’ with lower costs for the same service – a public utility comes out country miles ahead…

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      Yes, when we sold off our state-owned electricity assets, we sold our ability to set the price of electricity. The people lost everything & the CEO’s had a field day, & so it continues.

      Coal is expensive, Hasbeen. You need to do the maths & don’t forget to count the cost for the loss of Country (ask the local indigenous People about Adani, but our don’t know how you’ll calculate the cost of the loss of their Dreaming), the wastage of precious fresh water and the subsidies from governments. Did you know the QLD Govt. gave Adani a 5 year amnesty before they have to start paying any Royalties?

  9. 0
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    The best thing to do is to just ignore this stuff that should not be distributed on this site. Shame on you Janelle Ward, Sports Journalist.

  10. 0
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    Climate change is REAL. A couple of months ago the climate was cold, but ive noticed recently that its started to get warmer . This is the time to panic.

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