Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why do we hear nothing from the Greenies about Third World cooking fires?

Using wood and cow dung to make cooking fires is widepread throughout South Asia.  It is so prevalent that much of South Asia has a resultant "brown cloud" hanging over it most of the time. It's pollution so bad that it can be seen from space. And that has been known since 2002.

Breathing in the originating smoke down on the ground is an obvious health hazard -- far worse for you than CO2 will ever be.  Just try breathing in the smoke from a cooking fire yourself if you doubt it.

So if those wonderfully "compassionate" Green Leftists who worry so much about the health impacts of global warming were actually sincere, they would be exerting great efforts to protect Asians from this scourge, don't you think?

But there is only one way to give the poor of the Third world an escape from such hazards:  Give them at least a mini version of a modern kitchen.  And that mostly means supplying them with electricity.

Horrors! say the Greenies.  We can't have that!  Generating more electricity will add to global warming.  So Greenies oppose all efforts by Third world countries to supply their people with electricity.  They even bully Western banks into not lending money for hydro-electric dam building.  Greenies hate dams too.

So let the poor of the world die of lung disease!  That is the Greenie gospel.  You see how "caring" they are.

The article below puts some numbers on the problem. Over 3 million people die from the smoke each year.  But note that the study  only covers outdoor cooking.  But a lot of Third world cooking is indoors, which obviously gives much more exposure to smoke.  So many millions more must be the overall death toll -- JR

The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale

J. Lelieveld et al.


Assessment of the global burden of disease is based on epidemiological cohort studies that connect premature mortality to a wide range of causes1, 2, 3, 4, 5, including the long-term health impacts of ozone and fine particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5)3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It has proved difficult to quantify premature mortality related to air pollution, notably in regions where air quality is not monitored, and also because the toxicity of particles from various sources may vary10. Here we use a global atmospheric chemistry model to investigate the link between premature mortality and seven emission source categories in urban and rural environments. In accord with the global burden of disease for 2010 (ref. 5), we calculate that outdoor air pollution, mostly by PM2.5, leads to 3.3 (95 per cent confidence interval 1.61–4.81) million premature deaths per year worldwide, predominantly in Asia. We primarily assume that all particles are equally toxic5, but also include a sensitivity study that accounts for differential toxicity. We find that emissions from residential energy use such as heating and cooking, prevalent in India and China, have the largest impact on premature mortality globally, being even more dominant if carbonaceous particles are assumed to be most toxic. Whereas in much of the USA and in a few other countries emissions from traffic and power generation are important, in eastern USA, Europe, Russia and East Asia agricultural emissions make the largest relative contribution to PM2.5, with the estimate of overall health impact depending on assumptions regarding particle toxicity. Model projections based on a business-as-usual emission scenario indicate that the contribution of outdoor air pollution to premature mortality could double by 2050.

"Nature", 2015

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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