Fossil fuels kill more than Covid-19

  • Published on June 1st, 2020

The Denialists deny it, and the MSM is too scared to bring it up. We have more than five million deaths from fossil fuel, 8.8 million from air pollution overall every year. Covid-19, with 119,000 confirmed deaths so far, is a blip, a rounding error in the deaths we inflict on ourselves from coal and oil and even natural gas, even though covid-19 is still growing nearly exponentially. We should be screaming from the rooftops. About both.

coal miner jobs

By Mokurai


The world is facing an air pollution pandemic

Which is making the covid-19 outbreaks worse.

Last year, bad air caused 8.8 million premature deaths.

While the world is rightfully concerned about COVID-19 turning into a full-blown pandemic in the coming days, scientists say another pandemic has already been underway, with much less attention, for years, bringing with it cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The cause, according to a study published today by the European Society of Cardiology, is air pollution, mostly from human-made sources, and it’s having dire public health effects worldwide.

Loss of life expectancy from air pollution compared to other risk factors: a worldwide perspective

A novel Global Exposure Mortality Model (GEMM) has been derived from many cohort studies, providing much-improved coverage of the exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We applied the GEMM to assess excess mortality attributable to ambient air pollution on a global scale and compare to other risk factors.

The global mortality rate of 8.8 (95% CI 7.11–10.41) million/year is in good agreement with Burnett et al.6 who reported 8.9 (95% CI 7.5–10.3) million per year, and it is about a factor of two higher than in previous studies using relative risk or hazard ratio values based on less comprehensive epidemiological data.3,8,9 For comparison, the WHO estimates the global mortality from tobacco smoking (active and passive) at about 7.2 million per year.4 Geographically, the mortality from air pollution is dominated by East Asia (35%) and South Asia (32%), followed by Africa (11%) and Europe (9%).

Humans typically fear violence most, but rational evaluation shows that, only in exceptional cases (Syria, Afghanistan, Honduras, Colombia, and Venezuela), the associated mean LLE exceeds that from ambient air pollution. The leading air pollution source sector is fossil fuel use, which includes emissions from power generation, industry, traffic, and residential energy use.

The Solutions Project

Includes estimates of deaths from fossil fuel use for nearly every country in the world.

Here are their numbers for the US:

Health cost savings per year:            $742 B

1.83% of country GDP

Lives lost to air pollution that we could save each year:         62,676

The transition pays for itself in as little as 1.5 years from air pollution and climate cost savings alone

That’s more than twice the deaths from covid-19 in the US so far.

And for the whole world:

Health cost savings per year:            $30 B

9.29% of total GDP

Lives lost to air pollution that we could save each year:            5,285,036

The transition pays for itself in as little as 1.4 years from air pollution and climate cost savings alone

Air Pollution – ScienceAlert

Mar 7, 2020 – New research suggests the silent killer of air pollution has become an insidious ‘pandemic’, even more dangerous and deadly than war.

Globally, the authors say, about 75 percent of deaths attributed to air pollution occurred in people over 60 years old. And among the young, most deaths were for kids under five.

The world faces an air pollution ‘pandemic’ — Escardio/The European Society of Cardiology

Mar 3, 2020 – Air pollution is responsible for shortening people’s lives worldwide on a scale far greater than wars and other forms of violence, parasitic and vector-born diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and smoking, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Research today.

Professors Jos Lelieveld and Thomas Münzel, of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Mainz, Germany, who led the research, say the findings suggest the world is facing an air pollution “pandemic”.

On the Gripping Hand [H/T Crazy Eddie]

(No, not the NYC fraudster with the electronics stores.)

Reductions in traffic and industry have lowered nitrogen dioxide levels—offering an accidental glimpse into what a low-carbon future might look like.

One expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest-scale experiment ever,” in terms of the reduction of industrial emissions.

Yup, that’s Crazy Eddie’s MO in the books.

Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

“It seems entirely probable that a reduction in air pollution will be beneficial to people in susceptible categories, for example some asthma sufferers,” he said. “It could reduce the spread of disease. A high level of air pollution exacerbates viral uptake because it inflames and lowers immunity.” Agriculture could also get a boost because pollution stunts plant growth, he added.

The World Health Organization describes NO2 as “a toxic gas which causes significant inflammation of the airways” at concentrations above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. Pollution particles may also be a vector for pathogens, as well as exacerbating existing health problems. The WHO is now investigating whether airborne pollution particles may be a vector that spreads Covid-19 and makes it more virulent.


* Not to be confused with pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, the supposed result of breathing scalpel-edged volcanic ash consisting of shattered glass bubbles from CO2 expanding in liquid lava. Also a contender for longest word in English, and impossible on a Scrabble board.

My uncle at Boeing had a Mt. Saint Helens story, about a brand-new airplane being delivered, in flight from Seattle to Los Angeles, getting caught in the ash column from the eruption, and arriving with ten-year-old engines. The insurance companies argued in court for years about who owned the plane at the time, Boeing or the airline.

(Crossposted with DailyKos)

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