Environmentally Friendly Pollution
The air pollution in places like Beijing is notoriously bad and it is caused by the Chinese burning evil coal, however coal is not the only cause of such pollution and big cities are not the only place where it happens. For a large number of Africans, the only way to cook is to use wood or kerosene stoves that smoke and cause respiratory illnesses to the (mostly) women who use them. Thanks to environmentalists freaking out about “climate change” the world bank decided it would like to keep African women suffering that way by not financing power plants. This sounds appallingly racist and sexist to me, not to mention being both inhumane and an insult to anyone who cares about “equality” but apparently this is OK when the right people do it for the right reasons, such as virtue signaling.
Of course it’s not just in Africa where they burn wood In the posh skiing areas in the French alps the plebs hang out in the centrally heated block hotels while their betters stay in chalets that have roaring log fires. The smoke from all the roaring log fires hangs around and causes major issues for the locals:
The pollution from fine (PM10) and ultra-fine (PM2.5) particles – the ones that get right down into your bronchial tubes and do the most damage – is now dangerously high for an average of 40 days a year.
In winter, this part of the Alps has the worst fine-particle pollution in France.
The problem is compounded by the fact that, at the bottom of these deep mountain valleys, the air is often cooler than higher up. Since it is cooler, the air does not rise or disperse easily.
Prof Frank Kelly, chair of environmental health at King’s College, London, says the mountains also block the wind, “rather like the mountains north of Beijing, which stop the dispersal of the wind-borne pollution from the south”. He has been working with the French on a monitoring project in the Arve Valley.
At St Joseph’s Infant and Primary School, the youngest children are kept inside at break time, while the older ones are allowed into the playground, but are not allowed to run around.
“Since the pollution alert started, the authorities have stopped all school sport,” says head teacher Nathalie Gex.
But ski valleys are pretty low population places so while the pollution is an issue, it doesn’t lead to a widespread problem and, lets face it, there’s a balancing act between the capital expenditure needed to change heating systems, the tourism income and the cost of the health issues. There’s no doubt in my mind that this issue will resolve itself in a few years as wood fires become regulated to such an extent that more people will prefer the simplicity, reliability and price of (nuclear powered) electrical heating systems.
Yet in recent years it isn’t just ski resorts that have seen high pollution levels caused by wood smoke. London has too:
Last week, air pollution in London soared to heights not seen since 2011. The usual suspects were named and shamed, including traffic fumes and a lack of wind. But joining them was a surprising culprit.
“We think about half of the peak was from wood smoke,” says Timothy Baker, part of a team at King’s College London that monitors air pollution.
The trendy log-burning stoves producing much of this pollution are marketed as a source of renewable energy that can cut fuel bills while helping reduce global warming. But recent findings suggest they pose a serious threat to the health of their owners, and are also accelerating climate change in the short term.
If nothing is done to discourage log burning in homes, it could become the biggest source of air pollution in cities like London. In the UK as a whole, wood burning is already officially the single biggest source of an especially nasty form of air pollution.
In the 19th and early-mid 20th century London was famous for its “pea-souper” fogs, caused by the smoke from thousands of fireplaces plus steam locomotives, coal fired power stations etc. etc. A combination of regulations and new technology meant that these became a thing of the past in the 1960s and it looked like air pollution in London was something could be safely left in the history books. That fond hope was squashed by the virtue signalers who decided to heat their houses using “environmentally friendly” wood stoves and fires burning sustainably harvested, carbon neutral logs. Given the self-satisfaction these people seem to take in their polluting, I think we should call this the great London Smug of 2017.
It is worth pointing out that another leading cause of air pollution in London is also the result of Environmental luvvies. Diesel powered vehicles were pushed by the EU as part of the whole “being green” thing. In addition to the particulate emissions, modern diesels also emit large amounts of Nitrogen Oxides that are also extremely harmful. There are of course laws against this but (see VW) EU car manufacturers appear to have been gaming the system because the combination of increasing fuel efficiency requirements and customer desire to have an affordable car that accelerated slightly faster than an arthritic snail meant that the only way the engines could meet these requirements and be affordable was to cheat on the emissions testing.
Thank you environmentalists. Your religion of global warming is killing people today in exchange for doing absolutely nothing outside the margin of error about the climate a century from now.
The Shadow of the Olive Tree