Energy stewardship is about justice
- For people all over the world today
- For future generations
- For God’s nonhuman creations
Global warming will affect our children’s future
For more information about the following two ads produced by Environmental Defense, go to FightGlobalWarming.com.
Just use of energy?
The use of energy per person around the world (from Clean Energy Project)
- Africa: 5 GigaJoules(GJ) per person each year
- India: 10 GJ per person each year
- China: 40 GJ/person/year
- WORLD AVERAGE: 65 GJ/person/year
- European developed countries: 140 GJ/person/year
- United States: 360 GJ/person/year – the same as an African village of 72 people
Health effects of air pollution
More than any other single source, fossil fuel power plants contribute to unhealthy outdoor air.
Nationally, even though only 50% of our electricity comes from coal, coal-fired power plants are responsible for the lion’s share of dangerous pollution from the electric power industry.
According to Clear the Air, these power plants generate:
- 97% of deadly fine particle soot and sulfur dioxide emissions;
- 92% smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions;
- 86% of emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary global warming pollutant; and
- almost 100% of toxic mercury emissions.
Older power plants are also partially responsible for ground level ozone, which is also known as smog. One of the key ingredients in the chemical reaction that yields smog is a gaseous form of nitrogen, a common byproduct of these plants. Ground level ozone presents a threat to our respiratory system. Smog frequently irritates an asthmatic person, triggering an attack. Children are especially susceptible to this because their delicate respiratory tracts are not fully formed and they breathe proportionately far greater volumes of air.
Smog can also irritate eyes and respiratory tracts, causing coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath at high concentrations.
- Asthma and air pollution – Environmental Advocates of New York
- Air pollution and asthma – Natural Resources Defense Council
- Air pollution and heart attacks – Clear the Air
The largest uncontrolled source of mercury is power plants.
- The effect of mercury on human health – EPA
- The facts on mercury – NYPIRG
- One example: Effects on a favorite Adirondack bird
Call of the Loon – Reseach on the impact of mercury pollution on the Adirondack loon population is featured in this video. The documentary provides an overview of the problems caused by widespread mercury pollution in the northeastern. Mercury emissions spewing from Midwestern coal-fired power plants are tracked as they are blown eastwards to contaminate the Adirondack lakes, affecting fish, wildlife, and people. The film examines the status of federal and NYS mercury emission regulations, which are crucial to protecting the health of the environment and its wild and human inhabitants. For more info and to order…
Lung cancer and heart attacks
A recent scientific study by researchers affiliated with the American Cancer Society found that people living in the most polluted cities have approximately a 12% increased risk of cardiopulmonary death over those living in the cleanest areas of the country.
Similarly, for lung cancer, there is approximately a 16% increased risk for those living in the more polluted cities.
Effects on children
Power plant pollution and children
More than three million of our children live within 30 miles of a power plant, the area in which the greatest health impacts are felt?
Infants in areas with high levels of particulate matter pollution face a 26% increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and a 40% increased risk of respiratory death.
Study: Traffic pollution can stunt kids’ lung development
Kids who grow up near busy roads could be more likely to suffer heart and lung problems, according to the Lancet medical journal. “Traffic pollution can prevent the lungs of children who live near busy roads from developing properly, making them more likely to suffer respiratory and heart problems later in life…” For more info…
Many times and in many ways people of color are disproportionately affected by environmental problems. Here are some resources concerning this issue:
- Air of Injustice Report – Clear the Air, released October 2002
- Environmental Justice and Climate Change Fact Sheet
- Environmental justice – Environmental Advocates of New York
- Latinos is proportionately vulnerable – NRDC
Birds and global warming
Many creatures will be affected by global warming and power generation, but here’s some information about birds as an example.
- Impact on birds – EPA
- Global warming and birds – American Bird Conservancy
- Global warming may threaten birds- Scientific American
- Global warming does affect birds – Cornell Chronicle
- Birds and wind turbines
- Birds and wind turbines – Danish Wind Energy Association
- Birds and offshore wind turbines – Danish Wind Energy Association
- Birds, wind turbines, communications towers, and glass buildings: The real story – Green Energy Ohio