Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

WHO: Air Pollution 'Killed 7 Million People' In 2012

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the commence-the-war-on-air dept.

Earth 97

dryriver sends word of new figures from the World Health Organization that estimate around 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of their exposure to air pollution. "In particular, the new data reveal a stronger link between both indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, as well as between air pollution and cancer. This is in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases." The Organization says the bulk of the deaths occurred in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific Regions (PDF), with indoor air pollution causing more deaths than outdoor pollution in those areas, largely due to the use of coal, wood, and biomass stoves for cooking.

cancel ×

97 comments

How terrible energy production is! (0, Flamebait)

durrr (1316311) | about 4 months ago | (#46577933)

Lets ban nuclear power for this crime!

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46577963)

Lets ban nuclear power for this crime!

Straw man much?

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578033)

Why dont you believe in equality ?

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#46578347)

Yes! Three by my count
1. Energy production
2. Nuclear power
3.Banning


If we count only the text, that's a low 2.3 words per strawman argument. A slashdot record!

Re:How terrible energy production is! (-1)

bug1 (96678) | about 4 months ago | (#46578073)

Yes, and all other envirnmentally damaging power sources.

The answer is renewables, everyone knows it, some people are too cowardly to admit it.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578181)

The answer is renewables, everyone knows it, some people are too cowardly to admit it.

NO, the ANSWER is to lower the human population, you fucktard.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578269)

NO, the ANSWER is to lower the human population, you fucktard.

I hope this means you're ready to do your part!

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

samsonaod (1794936) | about 4 months ago | (#46579025)

The answer is renewables, everyone knows it, some people are too cowardly to admit it.

NO, the ANSWER is to lower the human population, you fucktard.

It's income inequality now... get with the program!

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46579519)

Well, I thought that was the gist of this article one of the costs of energy production has turned out to be the loss of 7 million people. That's 7 million fewer people who need energy. If we can get air pollution up to the point where it's killing off tens or hundreds of millions of people, we'll be in much better shape in the long run.

Air pollution will eventually save us from ourselves.

(for the slashdot admins, who have a hard time recognizing it, this is tongue in cheek to make a point that if the problem is people, then the air pollution is just what everyone should be cheering for.)

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Barsteward (969998) | about 3 months ago | (#46582147)

starting with the removal of Anonymous Coward pposters

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1, Insightful)

deadweight (681827) | about 4 months ago | (#46578235)

Biomass and wood are short-term renewables and coal is renewable too on a geologic time scale. All 3 were leading offenders here, so thi smakes no sense. * I guess uranium is renewable too if you wait for a new planet...

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578457)

Biomass and wood are short-term renewables and coal is renewable too on a geologic time scale.

Biomass and wood from sustainable sources are indeed renewable. Coal isn't, because we are using it far faster than geological timescales.

For sure, renewable and clean aren't synonyms. renewables tend to be far cleaner than fossil fuels. But not all renewables are clean. Anything that involves burning pollutes.

Re:you wait for a new planet... (1)

snikulin (889460) | about 4 months ago | (#46581363)

I think you need to wait for a supernova for everything beyond iron.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46578275)

The answer is renewables, everyone knows it, some people are too cowardly to admit it.

Wood isn't renewable?

Re:How terrible energy production is! (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46578485)

Every power source is really solar power (well, fission was enables by a different star, but still). Everything is "envirnmentally damaging, to some extent.

The problem here isn't some hand-wavy abstraction, the problem is people burning wood and coal indoors (plus the very existence of toxic city - eesh, burning dumped electronic waste to recover the metals). It's the same problem that caused "pea soup fogs" and killed enough people in London ~100 years ago to cause the first air quality-related laws.

Fission isn't great, sure, but it's problems really are minor compared to burning coal or wood - but then, it's not going to help the very low-tech regions having these problems. Natural gas, OTOH, burns clean, and there's certainly no shortage of it, but it's hard to transport. Solar thermal is low tech and works, but it's capital-intensive for impoverished regions (still, it would make a nice charity endeavor) and a crappy choice for heating at night.

There aren't any easy answers, because anything you do requires infrastructure. And there are places in the world more developed than you'd think where running miles of copper wires for power distribution is just too impractical to keep in place.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46579801)

Fusion isn't. Well sure, it's basically the same mechanism as solar power at it's source, but done far more efficiently without spewing the vast majority of the energy across interstellar space. And if we'd just stop cutting the research funding we'd probably have it by now - we're still pretty much on track for the initial "20 years to harnessed fusion" estimates, as measured in anticipated research dollars. We've just kept cutting the research budget so that what, 40+ years later?, we're still 20 years from reaching the funding goals projected to be reached 20+ years ago.

Fission could be handled decently, but so long as we subsidize new ore mining by not requiring timely reprocessing of spent fuel into fresh fuel and short-lived waste it can only be an ugly hack with horribly dangerous byproducts. We also need to eliminate the cost incentive for operating unsafe nuclear plants. Sealed modular reactors have the potential to change things, but aside from legally requiring all plant managers and CEOs to commit seppuku in the case of an environment-contaminating disaster I don't see any other possibility for promoting safe fission reactors.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#46579937)

Fusion would change everything, no doubt, but you can't really blame the lack of progress (only) on cutting budgets. The "always 20 years out" is as much about the fact that "20 years out" is the same as "no useful progress" as anything else. But there is, after all, a quite powerful fusion reaction going on overhead, and I suspect that the problems with harnessing that will be solved much faster. Mostly we just need a dense, safe battery, and progress on that is evident yearly.

As far as fission fuel reprocessing, we're just ultra-paranoid about nuclear proliferation. From an energy perspective it's quite silly, but as any veteran engineer knows: sometimes the non-engineering factors do need to determine outcomes.

As far as safety - I think we can make reactors fairly tolerant of operator abuse, if we can at least avoid really stupid shortcuts when the thing is built (no Chernobyl-style reactors). For all that Fukushima is a mess, it's still pretty trivial compared to the natural disaster that caused it. Three Mile Island was about as much operator error as it's possible to make, and still the failure mode just wasn't that bad. Modern designs are far safer than either - safer I suspect than a refinery/chemical plant.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46580723)

Actually while "20 years out" has become a popular vernacular for "someday, maybe", I think that may actually be due in large part to the poor progress of fusion research itself. And the fact is we've made a great deal of useful progress on fusion, from what I've heard we're actually at roughly where initial estimates put us this point in the research funding. But fusion funding has been falling steadily such that reaching the initial funding target has itself been perpetually 20 years away, and one can hardly expect high-dollar research to progress any faster than funding allows.

I don't think avoiding shortcuts when fission reactors are built is enough - there's no shortage of evidence of reactors being operated long past when potentially catastrophic flaws develop, many of them still operating unrepaired in the US - so long as nothing *else* goes wrong it's a non-issue, but the redundant safety systems have been compromised. Sure, not building more Chernobyl-style reactors is a step in the right direction, but only a step.

Sealed modular reactors have to potential to change things since the reactors are built/maintained by an independent corporation selling reactors to many power plants, so they have incentive to avoid catastrophes. A power company generally does not - if they are held to account for any disaster they're completely out of business, so there's no economic rationale for considering the possibility. And since the individual reactor vaults will be taken offline regularly to allow the reactor to cool then be returned for refueling/refurbishing, there is a natural schedule for vault maintenance as well.

As for the extent of the mess of Fukushima - I really don't know what to think. Some of the stories I've heard suggest the real problems are still only beginning. Certainly I doubt China would have offered to cede Japan a slice of its western desert if the problem wasn't a lot uglier than widely believed, even if the offer were intended only as an insult.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46585263)

One thing to consider: when the government is willing to allow stuff like nuclear plants to keep operating past their sell-by date, it's a cultural problem. Everything everywhere will have that problem, like bridges collapsing for lack of proper maintenance (which we've also seen). But no one has the political will to address that - people are just too easily distracted by nonsense like candidates positions on gay marriage, or some other trivial BS, and so corruption grows and grows.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 3 months ago | (#46587695)

We've done a lot of research into fusion, and learned a whole lot. One thing we've learned is that it's harder than it looked. That's one reason for the "20 years out" rule.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578191)

Pretty poor attempt at sarcasm, given it only reveals your ignorance to the number of radiation and cancer deaths from Chernobyl. Nuclear power is indeed one of the fatally polluting energy generation methods.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46578289)

A true nuclear reactor wouldn't cause any pollution.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578323)

And no true scotsman would be killed by pollution anyway.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

TarPitt (217247) | about 4 months ago | (#46581291)

And certainly no true Zombie would be hurt by any amount of radiation

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

narcc (412956) | about 4 months ago | (#46581395)

That was the joke.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#46582523)

Yeah, I nearly split my sides.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 months ago | (#46583811)

That was the joke.

So how come you didn't mod it "funny"?

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578425)

A few hundred (nuclear) vs. a few million (coal). Who's counting, right? Clearly, coal is safer because it kills you by design, not just through accidents/carelessness.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 3 months ago | (#46583487)

Add the quarter of a million Japanese murdered by President Truman.

Leave the shit in the ground lest a 'rogue state' break the truce of mutually assured destruction. *cough* Al Qaeda *cough*

Re:How terrible energy production is! (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46579367)

Pretty poor attempt at sarcasm, given it only reveals your ignorance to the number of radiation and cancer deaths from Chernobyl. Nuclear power is indeed one of the fatally polluting energy generation methods.

Bull.

The numbers around chernobyl are thrown around with much hysteria, but lets look at some actual facts. WHO estimates the estimated death toll for Chernobyl might hit 4000, and noted:

As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre... [who.int]

If we do a bit of calculation based on the Bq radiation estimates from Wikipedia, the hardest hit region of the hardest hit country (Belarus) could have gotten radiation around 1480+ Bq of Cs-137 over an area of 2000 km^2. According to a Bq-to-Sv calculator [radprocalculator.com] , if we do 1cm distance from a 1480Bq Cs-137 source times 8765 hours (per year), you end up with a rate of Living in this 45km x 45km area would net you a whopping 9 mSv / year.

Fatal doses tend to be ~4.5 Sv. Worrysome annual dosages tend to be around 50mSv. 9mSv is like getting a CT scan once a year-- and this is if you're in the worst hit 2000km^2 of the worst hit country. In reality, the extra dosage you would have gotten from Chernobyl is just not that high.

Now compare Nuclear with hydroelectric which has killed hundreds of thousands of people in single incidents, or coal which year after year has mining accidents on its record (not to mention the pollution), and it looks pretty good. Not as good safety-wise as perhaps wind / solar, but its also a heck of a lot cheaper and a LOT more scalable.

There are potential issues and things to worry about with nuclear. Safety is not one,

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46581877)

Not as good safety-wise as perhaps wind / solar, but its also a heck of a lot cheaper and a LOT more scalable.

Solar is often installed on roofs and this leads to more deaths per generated kWh than nuclear. If you go with the argument that it could be safe if installed correctly then the same argument could be made for nuclear.

As far as I know wind is relatively safe.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#46585687)

They are, and I dont think nuclear proponents are generally anti-solar or wind. I just think (and would assume most agree) that wind and solar have almost no chance of providing most of our power.

Ideally nuclear would provide the base, and solar / wind would contribute to that, along with whatever other sources happen to be economical for a particular area.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 months ago | (#46582493)

Bull.
The numbers around chernobyl are thrown around with much hysteria, but lets look at some actual facts. WHO estimates the estimated death toll for Chernobyl might hit 4000

You're saying that 4000 killed from nuclear pollution from just one single incident somehow proves that nuclear isn't one of the fatally polluting energy generating methods? Logic fail.

I grant you it's not nearly as damaging pollution wise as coal. But the comparison with hydro is false. There are no pollution deaths from hydro.

If the question had been which forms of energy generation are safest overall, then that would be different matter. But it wasn't, so your call of "bull" is just plain wrong.

Personally I'm not anti-nuclear. I was just correcting an implicit assumption that nuclear doesn't kill through pollution.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46582893)

Bull.
The numbers around chernobyl are thrown around with much hysteria, but lets look at some actual facts. WHO estimates the estimated death toll for Chernobyl might hit 4000

You're saying that 4000 killed from nuclear pollution from just one single incident somehow proves that nuclear isn't one of the fatally polluting energy generating methods? Logic fail.

I grant you it's not nearly as damaging pollution wise as coal. But the comparison with hydro is false. There are no pollution deaths from hydro.

If the question had been which forms of energy generation are safest overall, then that would be different matter. But it wasn't, so your call of "bull" is just plain wrong.

Personally I'm not anti-nuclear. I was just correcting an implicit assumption that nuclear doesn't kill through pollution.

If you're calling Chernobyl's effects nuclear pollution then to be consistent you must refer to flooding due to dam failure as hydro pollution. I guarantee you that people have died from dam failure flooding. Personally I'm not anti-hydro. I was just correcting an implicit assumption that hydro doesn't kill through pollution.

Let's just skip to the end and draw the conclusion that anything with sufficient potential energy to be considered as a possible power source can:
1) be used as a weapon, and
2) kill people if the machine used to convert potential energy to electricity fails catastrophically

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 months ago | (#46585305)

You're saying that 4000 killed from nuclear pollution from just one single incident somehow proves that nuclear isn't one of the fatally polluting energy generating methods? Logic fail.

Total deaths from Nuclear as a power source over the last 40 years: under 100. Expected to maybe go as high as 4000 in the next 20 years or so.
Total deaths from coal mining ALONE (not even counting deaths from pollution in Chinese cities, which is probably pretty alarming): 1000 per year
Total deaths from Hydroelectric from a single dam failure ~10 years ago: 100,000+

Yea, Id say ~60 deaths per year (if WHO's estimate comes true) world wide is pretty darn good, all things considered.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46594495)

Again, your claim of "Bull" was to my point that nuclear energy kills through pollution. I never said it was more fatal than coal.

Your "bull" was just plain wrong. You're arguing a point I never made.

Re:How terrible energy production is! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 4 months ago | (#46602785)

~60 deaths per year (if WHO's estimate comes true)

Theres just about nothing else on earth with a global fatality rate that low, hence my "bull". Right now that fatality rate is sitting at under ~2.5/year globally.

Its the definition of "statistical noise".

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46577955)

South-East asia? You mean the bulk of China, right? Considering the amount of smug they have and little to no effort being done to get rid of it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578157)

Yeah - they're really smug about how much pollution they can produce. Oh - you meant smOg.

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 months ago | (#46578303)

"Smug" is the filthy cloud you see around a Toyota Prius.

Re:Really? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 3 months ago | (#46583519)

I thought all the hipsters had switched to car-pooling in Teslas?

Judging by the number of slashvertisements...

Make them stop using all fuel (0)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#46578017)

Because I am sure they'd be thrilled to return 400 million people to Medieval poverty.

Re:Make them stop using all fuel (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about 4 months ago | (#46578031)

indeed, the WHO forgot to mention not only would the 7 million have died sooner without the fuel use, but so would hundreds of millions of others.

In short, WHO is spewing agenda driven nonsense

Re:Make them stop using all fuel (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 4 months ago | (#46578127)

Sounds like there's an assumption running amok - the people died come from those who are saved by fuel use.

Hmm.

More likely these people are simply those who have to work outside more or live outside, which is neither here nor there on benefiting from fuel use. Those who have the money can largely shield themselves from it -- and in the sanctity of their homes enjoy a good tin of Perri Air.

Re:Make them stop using all fuel (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 4 months ago | (#46578265)

news flash for you, those working people heated their homes. Of course, your suppositions are no more ridiculous than WHO's ....

Re:Make them stop using all fuel (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578207)

You make the mistake of confusing energy and fuel. As a human race we can stop using fuel, and still have all the energy we require.

Re:Make them stop using all fuel (1)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#46578247)

This is the problem in dealing with problems: people who are determined to be helpless in the face of a problem. There are other possibilities than doing nothing or forcing poverty on people.

In any case, if you actually travel around the world to places where there is an incredibly high rate of poverty, you'll find that poor places are frequently dirty and polluted. In part this may be because they can't afford clean energy and industry, but I think the fact that poor people don't have political clout has something to do with it. In any case, go to *rich* places, and they tend to be clean, which at least proves that a cleaner environment doesn't automatically lead to poverty.

Excellent (1)

Bramlet Abercrombie (1435537) | about 4 months ago | (#46578065)

The problem is sorting itself out.

one in eight deaths? (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#46578077)

From one of TFA:

WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died - one in eight of total global deaths

This pretty much says that ~56 million people died in 2012.

Given that we have 7 billion people living on this rock, 56 million deaths implies an average lifespan of 125 years. While living to 120+ would be kind of interesting, I somehow doubt that that will be happening too often soon.

Re:one in eight deaths? (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 months ago | (#46578115)

That would be true if the number of people of each age was the same. But there are many more children than elderly, since the population is still rising.

Re:one in eight deaths? (1)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 4 months ago | (#46578131)

I think you are assuming a uniform distribution of age. Not a good assumption.

56M deaths implies an avg lifespan of 125 yrs (1)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 4 months ago | (#46578137)

Could you share the math on that?

Re:56M deaths implies an avg lifespan of 125 yrs (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#46578487)

Okay, so I was wrong.

Looking at the numbers for 2012, I find that 56 million deaths is entirely consistent with the population growth rate (just under 1.1%) and birth rate (1.915%).

This seems counterintuitive to me, since 0.8% of the population dying every year suggests a much higher AVERAGE lifespan than we empirically have.

Nonetheless, the numbers (birthrate, deathrate, and population growth rate) are consistent (assuming they are correct, mind you - no opinions on how accurate estimates of any of these factors is in China, for instance).

Re:56M deaths implies an avg lifespan of 125 yrs (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46579911)

As others have said - for AVERAGE (arithmetic I assume) lifespan you also need to consider the average age at death. When infant mortality is a major contributor to the death rate it skews things considerably. Not to mention the large number of countries where thanks to war, AIDS and/or other factors the MEDIAN death age is only in the twenties or so.

AGW Douchebags (1, Flamebait)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 4 months ago | (#46578105)

This right here is something that anyone who lives in a highly polluted urban area knows instinctively. You don't need studies and scientists to point out that pollution(air) is not healthy, and that exposure to it over time(years) is bad and probably contributes to Asthma and Emphysema(would appear obvious) and also things like Lung Cancer and Heart Disease... Common sense would dictate this observation.

This Common Sense observation, that air pollution is bad, is my main, MAIN point of animosity towards all the "there is no human caused global warming due to pollution or putting carbon into the atmosphere" douchebags.

Who gives a flying f*&k if the billions of tons of air pollution each year are causing climate change? Really! Why worry and argue about that when we know beyond any sort of Koch brothers funded propaganda that air pollution, the same air pollution putting billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, is also killing the oceans via acidification, browning the forest and(drum roll please...) killing humans.

We should be doing everything in our power to reduce the amount of air pollution we put into the air, if not for what it is doing to the climate, at least for what it is doing to our health.

Re:AGW Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578143)

Who gives a flying f*&k if the billions of tons of air pollution each year are causing climate change?

Obviously not a piece of waste like you.

Re:AGW Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578155)

Yup, we need to be focused just as much on pollution and solving that, then on climate change. However, when you reduce pollution, you reduce CO2 most of the time too.

intelligent life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578179)

I hope there is intelligent life, somewhere out in space, 'cause there is bugger all down her on earth.

Re:AGW Douchebags (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46578259)

its been said many times before, but the heart of the anti-global warmers are the religious idiots who think that the earth is our to use, abuse, and we won't be here very much longer since 'jesus v2.0' will be coming soon to take (some) of us up to heaven.

nutjobs! total whacked-out brains. but half of the US is like this; maybe more than half the US.

the other group is the greedy old rich men group; they care only enough for themselves and nothing really bad will happen in the next 10 or so years and they only have to have an earth around until THEY die.

those that control money, control policy and those that control money often are religious and pig-headed.

its easy to understand. its also depressing to think of humanity being commanded around by such people, but this is the world we have right now....

Re:AGW Douchebags (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578369)

Who is this religious person who is commanding people to abuse the earth?

Regards,
Jason C. Wells

Jesus loves pickups! (1)

amightywind (691887) | about 4 months ago | (#46578507)

Global warming hysterics are not content with whipping themselves for raping mother earth want to turn the rest of us into Flagellants as well.

I smile when gas prices rise, because the prices of my oil and refining stocks rise with it. Better to join Big Oil then fight it!

Re:AGW Douchebags (0)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46580053)

They must not have gotten the memo - Jesus did in fact return at the end of 2013 and transported all the worthy believers directly to heaven. Social demographics remained unaffected, in fact vanishingly few individuals were even reported missing, but the second coming and Rapture has come and gone. If you're still here you'd better make yourself comfortable, we've got another 2000 years to wait until the third coming.

On a less satirical note, I think you underestimate the greedy old men - I suspect most of them care quite a bit how their children and grandchildren fare - but they'll presumably be rich assholes as well, and will thus be able to buy their way out of the problem. It's not like the planet will become completely uninhabitable - even if the sustainable population falls by 90%, or even 99%, it's a good bet that the rich bastards and their pet militaries will be among the survivors. In fact aside from the precise nature of the strategic initiatives they engage in, they probably will hardly be affected by even truly devastating climate change. Now a lot of those who are only in the 1% may end up having an interview with Monsieur Guillotine, that's a popular pasttime in popular uprisings, but for the most part nobody would even recognize those in the 0.001%, they just need to lay low for a few years and then quietly finance the new 1% to get a fresh batch of lapdogs to do their bidding and face the public wrath.

People like you increase pollution (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46578765)

We should be doing everything in our power to reduce the amount of air pollution we put into the air

Yes we should.

But AGW Warmist Fanatics such as yourself don't want to reduce the air pollution that causes health issues (Carbon MONOXOIDE, Sulfur dioxide, CFC, various particulates, etc) - they want to reduce CO2.

So you force efforts and money away from REAL pollution reduction to waste on reduction of a pretty much harmless gas that the entire biosphere of Earth has spent millions of years evolving to process in mass quantities.

This is in fact really my only beef with AGW religious fanatics such as myself, otherwise I wouldn't care how much you lie or mislead to make your case. But you are harming the environment directly, which is why I work to stop your dark and twisted philosophy from taking root where possible.

Re:People like you increase pollution (3, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about 4 months ago | (#46580365)

First off I agree that considering CO2 at the expense of all other pollutants is folly. However...

There's *lots* of evidence that the global climate periodically shifts dramatically due in large part to instabilities in the carbon cycle - i.e. planet starts to cool, ice sheets spread, CO2 gets locked into the permafrost,etc. in a self-accelerating cycle until we reach a full-on ice age. Or alternately planet starts to warm, permafrost thaws releasing more CO2 into the air until eventually the ice sheets melt entirely. It's more complicated than that, but there's basically zero scientific debate that if something destabilizes the global climate badly enough we slide to the opposite extreme. The positive-feedback link between the ecological carbon cycle and global climate is firmly established, it's happened many times in observable history, and the combination of atmospheric CO2 levels and variations in solar irradiance, along with a few other minor contributors, pretty much explain all global climate shifts in the bast half-million years, though they're mostly all preceded by one or more major trigger events that destabilize things. And the fact that we're currently in an interglacial period within an ice age is equally firmly established.

The only question remaining is exactly how big a change in global climate is required to act as a trigger event to set the planet on a long-term warming cycle. Human CO2 emissions are vanishingly small compared to the environmental emissions that will be released if we cross the tipping point, but reaching the tipping point only seems to require, at most, a few degrees of temperature change to send us sliding to the opposite extreme. The question that remains unanswered is whether human CO2 emissions are causing sufficient warming to be a trigger event in their own right, and the evidence is strongly suggestive that it is. Depending on the assumptions made we may be able to have another century of warming before crossing the threshold, or we may already have done so.

So yeah, CO2 emissions are a big deal. Disregarding humans I'd be tempted to say lets just keep toxins out of the environment, and let things follow their course. But humans introduce two major problems:
1) Over the last few tens of thousands of years we seem to be responsible for one of the larger extinctions in our planets history - this on top of the extinctions due to being in an ice age - interglacial period or not. Adding a sudden dramatic climate shift - potentially faster than any in the geologic record, could be devastating to an already severely damaged biosphere.
2) We're unlikely to go quietly - if things get ugly I fully expect most every human on the planet to do anything and everything necessary to ensure their own survival, and/or ensure that nobody else profits from their death. Pollution will be a non-issue if weighed against survival, and WWIII could make things far uglier for millenia to come. In other words if we cross the tipping point I suspect we'll start emitting toxic pollution at rates to dwarf those seen before the environmental movement got started - to avoid long term hideous pollution rates we need to avoid crossing the tipping point.

Re:People like you increase pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46583277)

only problem is that agw idiots like you don't understand is we still haven't fully reached the peak from being in an ice age.

and cold kills more people and animals than the warming does!!!.

Re:People like you increase pollution (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 3 months ago | (#46584547)

No, I understand perfectly well that we haven't reached the peak from being in an ice age - we're nowhere even close. That's the problem. All of human history has taken place during an ice age, we've been in an interglacial period within that ice age for recorded history, and if we cross the tipping point we're going to rapidly leave that ice age and transition to a global climate that our species has never seen before. Likely a heavily tropical + desert climate, neither of which is terribly friendly to modern civilization. And for the first several centuries at least, during and after the transition, local climates are likely to be extremely unstable, making agriculture a major challenge.

Then there's the associated mass extinctions such a change will trigger. The climate line is already moving an average of 1/4 mile per year - not directly a problem for most animals, but even the fastest-spreading plants are doing good to manage half of that. If the biosphere were healthy it would be less of an issue, but human activity is already responsible for one of the larger mass extinctions the planet has seen - there's a very real possibility that biodiversity will be so badly damaged it may take centuries or millenia for the planets carrying capacity to return to anything approaching current levels - it would hardly be the first time the planet was covered in barren deserts for thousands of years.

Humans might be able to mitigate things somewhat through programs such as are currently being implemented in Canada - planting trees, etc at the far northernmost extremes of their current survival range to accelerate their spread and avoid massive deforestation by the end of the century. But estimates are that we've managed to catalog less than 10-20% of species on Earth - even if we manage to save every species we know of, we're still leaving 80-90% of the species to fend for themselves.

Re:People like you increase pollution (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 3 months ago | (#46585011)

But AGW Warmist Fanatics such as yourself don't want to reduce the air pollution that causes health issues (Carbon MONOXOIDE, Sulfur dioxide, CFC, various particulates, etc) - they want to reduce CO2.

So you force efforts and money away from REAL pollution reduction to waste on reduction of a pretty much harmless gas that the entire biosphere of Earth has spent millions of years evolving to process in mass quantities.

This is in fact really my only beef with AGW religious fanatics such as myself, otherwise I wouldn't care how much you lie or mislead to make your case. But you are harming the environment directly, which is why I work to stop your dark and twisted philosophy from taking root where possible.

Wow, where do I begin replying to this...
1. When did I say I "don't want to reduce the air pollution that causes health issues"?
2. When did I "lie or mislead" to "make my case"?
3. Explain how I am "harming the environment directly", anymore than you are...?

And now to the piece de resistance(this is too good for words):

which is why I work to stop your dark and twisted philosophy from taking root where possible.

Do you know how nutty that sounds?
"Dark and twisted" philosophy? You need to crawl back into under your rock...

Damn Kendall, you gave me the best laugh I've had in a while!
Good luck on the comic book writing, and don't quit your day job!

Nonsense (1)

bricko (1052210) | about 4 months ago | (#46578111)

Utter bullshit......

Re:Nonsense (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578251)

Clearly this has offended your subconscious prejudices rather than your rational mind, as you don't offer a scrap of reasoning or evidence for why it might be wrong.

Meaningless statistic (3, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | about 4 months ago | (#46578167)

This is a meaningless statistic. Serious medical researchers report this in person-years lost, not in meaningless "millions of deaths". To illustrate, let's suppose those 57 million people were infirm and about to die, but pollution hastened their demise by one second. Then this is not a big deal. Personally I would happily shorten my life for exactly one second in exchange for the conveniences of modern life. On the other hand if these people had their lives substantially shortened then this is a veritable tragedy.

However such misleading headline doesn't surprise me: the UN is a master of over-hyped sky-is-falling chicken-little statistics.

Re:Meaningless statistic (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578307)

You could say that of any category of death. It doesn't matter if people die of hearth disease if it only shortens their lifespan by 1 second. It doesn't matter if people are killed in road traffic accidents if they would otherwise have died a second later by something else.

But of course you would only say something like that if you were trying to diminish the importance of a category deaths for some reason. Like politics for example.

Re:Meaningless statistic (1, Flamebait)

Alomex (148003) | about 4 months ago | (#46578427)

You could say that of any category of death.

Precisely, which is why medical researchers tend to speak of person-years. They also readily volunteer that people dying of cancer or heart attack at age 55 is a completely different thing than people dying of the same illnesses at age 90, since the latter would have died of something else not much later anyhow.

Like politics for example.

The statistic, as I pointed out, is meaningless and it is not used by medical researchers. Who is playing politics you say?

Re:Meaningless statistic (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 months ago | (#46578539)

Precisely, which is why medical researchers tend to speak of person-years.

Sometimes. More often about number of deaths from a particular cause though.

Who is playing politics you say?

I think you are. To the extent of misrepresenting medical research.

Re:Meaningless statistic (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 4 months ago | (#46579001)

Wow, what a great point. Are you very consistent in applying this logic? Next time O'Reilly asks about Benghazi, Obama could try something like, "Ambassador Stephens was 52, so it's really only like 1/3 of a death."

Re:Meaningless statistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46581677)

Yes, I consistently use it every time the correlation between the number of deaths and person-years lost is weak.

For many diseases this correlation is strong. People are taken down in the prime of their lives by breast cancer, heart disease, or as you say, terrorist attack or car accident,

However if you talk about deaths from hip fracture, heart failure or pneumonia, the discerning reader should demand a better, more meaningful statistic.

In the case of pollution I looked it up the last time I saw a similar headline a few years back. The correlation was extremely weak and medical papers were using person years instead of "millions of deaths".

Re:Meaningless statistic (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 4 months ago | (#46579157)

However such misleading headline doesn't surprise me: the UN is a master of over-hyped sky-is-falling chicken-little statistics.

I would love to see the statistic about how many people will use this statistic as evidence in their next argument.

Re:Meaningless statistic (3, Insightful)

Sabriel (134364) | about 4 months ago | (#46580207)

There are problems with the report (per Figures 4, apparently zero people between the ages of 5 and 25 died of air pollution), but there are also problems with your response:

#1. Pollution-related illnesses and deaths are rarely quick or pleasant. Heart disease. Lung cancer. Stroke. Respiratory infections. These are not pleasant ways to go.

#2. Relating to #1, "Person-years lost". If I stubbornly live to the ripe old age of 85, but the last third of that is spent choking on my own phlegm, being hooked up to machines on a weekly/monthly basis, and puttering about in my wheelchair whilst breathing with the assistance of an oxygen tank, apparently I haven't lost any person-years - in fact, by refusing to lay down and die, I've _improved_ my region's "person-years lost" statistic.

#3. So their headline "Air pollution killed 7 million people in 2012" is misleading whilst your conclusion "the UN is a master of over-hyped sky-is-falling chicken-little statistics" is not? Seriously?

Re:Meaningless statistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46586085)

Yeah, pretty much this. There's too much bitter hatred between nations that these lame scare tactics are the only strategy that can be used to appeal to a large audience of impractical despots, monopolists, and tyrants. Yep. UN is pretty lame. It might as well be saying, "Hey look over there!" while in the background there's potential for nuclear proliferation and nuclear war. UN pretty much reflects the bad communication and ignorance of our modern world. Which actually may be an argument against this modern life.

What about tobacco smoke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46578309)

You can't walk through any populated area in Southeast Asia without breathing the stuff.

China? (1)

readin (838620) | about 4 months ago | (#46578333)

WHO: Air Pollution 'Killed 7 Million People' In 2012

How many of those were in China?



(and since it is the WHO which is part of the UN and thus kowtows to China, we'll have to subtract the numbers from Taiwan ourselves)

Getting there (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 4 months ago | (#46578431)

If we multiply that by 10 we have balanced the excess births and stopped the population explosion :p

Oh please... (4, Interesting)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 4 months ago | (#46579521)

OH PLEASE insulate me from this madness.

Yes insulation... we need more of it.
Lots more of it.

Dense living + acoustic insulation lets you sleep in quiet while your neighbors party
yet be able to walk to most markets. Dense living can save on many energy fronts
and not impact the environment by a sprawl out on farm land.

Hot or cold thermal thermal insulation is undersold for locations that need heating and cooling.

Windows are so bad thermally that it makes sense to replace most with insulated
wall and with a small camera invite view of the outside in. LED TV with an aero-gel
backlight for some locations.

Review your local building codes. Remove penalties for improvement and
demand better total insulation packages for homes and businesses.

Re:Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46581247)

Windows are so bad thermally that it makes sense to replace most with insulated wall and with a small camera invite view of the outside in.

Mostly agree but I'd prefer a shutter like insulated cover (possibly on both sides), that is easily closed in the winter time. In the summer, just preventing direct sunlight from entering a dwelling ought to prevent most use of the A/C.

It is 3-6 months of the year (and about 1/2 the day, half that time), that I find a window to just not be justifiable on any grounds.

Also, consider if the LCD view windows is 100 watts, how much is your idea really saving....

Re:Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46583565)

Use one of those Digital Ink sheets that only uses power when it updates and update once an hour or so.

Re:Oh please... (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 4 months ago | (#46590019)

If the LCD is 100 watts we are close today:

Found on the web: CHSM 6610P module 250-watt Module
Single Panel 250watts 8.27amp 30.30volts 65.04" x 39.13"x 1.77"

And yes this is partly why hyper insulating aero gel is interesting
as it can pass light.

Shutters may prove more cost effective today and in many
locations would not require a building permit for existing structures.

New construction needs to be addressed in building code ASAP.

Re:Oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46586173)

This would require planning and changing. And most difficultly... Getting the view right. Many a epic battle has been waged against having the perfect view from the window. Many lives ruined, homes burnt to the ground, horses broken, dogs and cats flung into the wildness, cars wrecked upon the battered driveway of destiny. All for the conquest of the elusive perfect view.

Re:Oh please... (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 4 months ago | (#46590043)

And with the right interconnect the ground floor could have a ten square inch camera easement
on the ridge poll of a multi family home. And yes a view of a tropical beach from Chicago
without crazy long telephoto lenses and mirrors on the moon or other orbiting mass.

Go after pollution like we have second hand smoke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46579543)

Can't wait!

Re:Go after pollution like we have second hand smo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46581799)

Have fun shivering in the dark! There's only going to be enough wind and solar energy available on the grid for left wing politicians and other elitists. Everyone else will get nothing!

Note that biomass is considered renewable (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 4 months ago | (#46579709)

The two biggest forms of biomass are wood, and methane reclaimed from landfills. They are considered renewable because it's "new" carbon and so is considered carbon-neutral. As opposed to the "old" carbon locked up in fossil fuels which is released when burned. This ignores the pollutants it releases into the atmosphere other than CO2.

Of the electricity generated in the U.S. [eia.gov] , 7% comes from hydro, 3.5% from wind, 1.4% from biomass, 0.4% from geothermal, and 0.1% from solar. So it's actually the third-biggest form of renewable electricity in the U.S. For overall energy used (i.e. including wood burned for heating), it is the biggest form of renewable energy, accounting for almost half of renewable energy produced in the U.S [eia.gov] .

So take the stats saying "we're getting x% of our energy from renewable sources" with a grain of salt. It may not be as clean as you think it is.

Round figures always make me chuckle (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 4 months ago | (#46580817)

If doomsayers used a number such as 6,967,231 nobody would believe the report. Yet somehow saying 7 million is totally believable. Humans are such a gullible species.

Communism beaten (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 4 months ago | (#46580859)

Air pollution kills more than communism did!

Re:Communism beaten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46581819)

And the solution for air pollution is global communism!

~7 million people? (1)

kolbe (320366) | about 4 months ago | (#46581355)

Regardless of the "rounded" number, it all sounds like it is on track then! /facepalm @ maddening stupidity of the W.H.O.

wrong (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#46581523)

If you're unbelievably unhealthy and some bad air pushed you over the edge, that's not what killed you. Unclear air at that level alone also cannot kill you. That means the vast majority of these people should have simply gotten some exercise regularly.

California Counties and Courts (-1, Offtopic)

TrafficSchoolonline (3525699) | about 3 months ago | (#46581983)

Our driving safety course fully meets California State requirements and is licensed by the California Department of Motor vehicles(DMV). 100% licensed for all courts and counties in California. Our online traffic course helps you earn the Certificate of Completion you need, but also gives you a great online educational experience. We take all of the information and break it down so that it is easy to understand, easy to remember and fun to study. Visit the site: http://trafficschool2u.com/blo... [trafficschool2u.com]

Nucular power (2)

XNormal (8617) | about 3 months ago | (#46582035)

Take a look at this graph: Nuclear Electricity Production [world-nuclear.org] . It's quite easy to spot 1986 on this graph (Chernobyl). That's where the trend of acceleration in nuclear power growth has reversed into deceleration. No such reversal has occured in demand for electric power, of course. The shortfall has been largely picked up by coal.

The number of people that have been killed by air pollution from coal as an indirect result of the nuclear stagnation after the Chernobyl accident is well into the millions.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...