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Exhaust Pipe vs. Smoking: Which Causes More Harm?

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  1. Exhaust Pipe vs. Smoking: Which Causes More Harm? Toronto’s medical officer released a report stating a 30% reduction in vehicle emissions could save 200 lives, one billion dollars a year in health care costs and 68,000 asthma attacks for children a year in Toronto alone.  OMA estimates for annual premature deaths (2130 people) due to smog in Toronto alone were almost three times the number of deaths (831people) Health Canada attributes to secondhand smoke exposure for the whole of Canada. One must wonder why there is such apathy towards these numbers when pollution is something we can clearly defeat.

  2. Canadians for Action on Climate Change Government’s key role is to serve as the trustee of the commonwealth and the common health for this and future generations.  Yet … Canada now stands out as one of the last major industrialized countries opposed to targets for deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and one of the biggest blockers of climate change negotiations. Canadians for Action on Climate Change is a developing non-profit NGO of activists, academia, physicians and citizens focusing on climate change, true cost economy and relocalization. Our organization seeks to provide news, reports and analysis to inform, educate and develop environmental policies for all levels of government in Canada.  We are committed to being part of an international movement against destruction of our shared environment.  Our current economy is unsustainable and an unethical catalyst to ever increasing global warming. This model assumes endless growth and limitless potential wealth that completely disregards the fact that the earth’s life support capacity is finite.  We respect the integrity, resilience, and beauty of the common wealth of all life as the foundation for a new sustainable economic model for our finite planet that will benefit generations to come. You can contact us at canadianclimateaction@gmail.com http://canadianclimateaction.wordpress.com/

  3. Our shared environment is neither a ‘left’ nor a ‘right’ issue.  It is not a partisan issue. We all breathe the same air. We all share one finite planet.

  4. We are now at a crossroads.  Some citizens have such a deep sense of entitlement that they actually fight for their ‘right’ to harm our shared environment.  Such individuals are so disconnected from nature that they do not understand that their perceived ‘right’ to pollute and degrade our shared environment is at the expense of not only their own health, but the health and welfare of their own children and the people they love.  Such perceived ‘rights’ and senses of entitlement are the root cause of climate change which now kills 300,000 people per year. 

  5. Canada and the US together represent less than 5 percent of humanity yet consume over one-quarter of the world’s oil, and contribute to more than one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon is the most significant greenhouse gas, and Canada’s per capita carbon footprint is more than twice that of the average European, roughly five times the world average, and more than 20 times that of many developing countries. Canadians must urgently face up to our grossly outsized and destructive carbon footprint, and changes need to start somewhere.Idling and drive-thrus are simply luxury items we can live without. The low hanging fruits so to speak. Whether in blissful ignorance or conscious disregard, to continue to act like we are simply entitled to more – and more urban sprawl, more cars, more oil, and more greenhouse emissions – constitutes a planetary arrogance of frightening proportions. Idling bylaws and moratoriums on new drive-thrus would represent an important first step towards a new vision of denser, less resource intensive cities, and one which is ultimately more in step with our responsibilities as global citizens.

  6. We are in a world wide public health crisis epidemic as a direct result of air pollution.

  7. A new advocacy and public health movement is needed urgently to bring together governments, international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), com-munities, and academics from all disciplines to adapt to the effects of climate change on health. Any adaptation should sit alongside the need for primary mitigation: reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission

  8. The Role of Cities The battle against climate change will be won or lost in cities. The role of provincial and federal governments is, of course, widely debated, analyzed and understood. Yet the challenge is so huge that cross-cutting action at all levels will be needed. The central role of city leaders in our rapidly urbanizing world will be key to reducing the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The leaders of large cities have a particular responsibility to act, and governments must empower and enable city governments to take on this role. If global efforts to address climate change are to be successful, they will need to integrate city requirements and environmental management capacities. Only with a coordinated approach and actions at the global, regional, national and local levels can success be achieved. Many cities are now taking the initiative to reduce their impact on the global climate. By 2030, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities or urban areas. Half already do. Even now, cities consume 75 per cent of the world’s energy and are responsible for 80 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, all cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and none more so than fast growing cities in developing countries. About 20 of the 30 largest cities of the world are situated on low lying coasts. Rising sea levels of a few metres would have catastrophic implications. So there’s an extraordinary responsibility and motivation for cities to act. It is at city level that innovation and progress on climate change action is most likely to be achieved.

  9. Joseph Stalin's disturbing words… "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.“ It's a horrible quote, but when it comes to statistics - this seems increasingly the case. Are forgetting that every one of those numbers has real life attached to it? There are emotions and feelings. Life is complex. Data represents life, and therein lies the purpose and meaning of these numbers and information. The following number represent men, women and children.

  10. The Numbers

  11. The research on the human costs of pollution and pollution-related diseases estimated that around 21,000 people in Canada will die from breathing in toxic substances drifting in the air this year with 3,000 of those deaths due to short-term exposure to smog.

  12. In Ontario, the number of "smog days" nearly quadrupled from 15 in 1995 to 53 in 2005.

  13. By 2031, short term exposure to air pollution will claim close to 90,000 lives in Canada, while long-term exposure will kill more than 700,000 citizens.

  14. Ontario and Quebec residents are the worst hit Canadians, with 70 percent of the premature deaths occurring in Central Canada.

  15. In the past 15 years alone, there has been a fourfold increase in asthma in children under 15 in Canada.

  16. If nothing is done to clean the air, medical experts estimate that by 2026 the number of smog-related premature deaths in Ontario alone will hit 10,000 annually.

  17. OMA estimates for annual premature deaths (2130 people) due to smog in Toronto alone were almost three times the number of deaths (831people) Health Canada attributes to secondhand smoke exposure for the whole of Canada.

  18. In 2008, 80 per cent of those who die due to air pollution will be over 65.

  19. 25 Canadians under 19 will die from short-term acute pollution exposure this year.

  20. A child’s breathing zone is lower than adults so they are more exposed to vehicle exhausts and heavier pollutants that concentrate at lower levels in the air.

  21. Children are the most vulnerable breathing 50% more air per pound than adults.

  22. Toronto's medical officer has released a report stating a 30% reduction in vehicle emissions could save 68,000 asthma attacks for children a year. 

  23. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the number of children dying from asthma each year could increase by 20 per cent by 2016 if urgent action was not taken to reduce emissions from vehicles and factories.

  24. In 2008 there will more than 9,000 hospital visits and 30,000 emergency room visits, and 620,000 doctor's office visits, stemming from air pollution.

  25. Eight thousand people a day die from air pollution. There are 3 million annual deaths, worldwide.

  26. Emissions from an individual idling a car in an average size municipality will emit nearly the same amount of emissions volume as the total annual emissions from an individual in Bangladesh. 

  27. More than 20 million people have been displaced by climate-related sudden-onset natural disasters in 2008 alone, according to a new study by OCHA and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

  28. The total number of people affected by natural disasters due to accelerating climate change has risen sharply over the past 10 years, with an average of 211 million people directly affected each year, nearly five times the number impacted by conflict in the same period.

  29. April 2009: CO2 hits 800,000-year high at Mauna Loa Observatory Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (USA) Atmospheric CO2 reached 389.47 parts per million (ppm).

  30. June 10th, 2009– co2 went up again.   It is now at 390.18

  31. The human respiratory system can only handle an upper level of 426 ppmv before the blood begins to become acidic after long-term exposure.  Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century

  32. The Costs

  33. The national economy: air pollution will top eight billion dollars in 2008, and by 2031 it will go over 250 billion. 

  34. The Ontario Medical Association estimated that health care costs caused by poor air quality in 2000 would amount to nearly $630 million, not to mention the $566 million in costs due to workers taking sick days.

  35. In Ontario alone, lost productivity will cost Canada $349,400 this year. By 2031 that will total over $9 million in damage.

  36. Healthcare costs in the province will be $221,800 this year, up to almost $6.5 million total by 2031.

  37. Economic damage to quality of life will hit $194,100 in Ontario in 2008, up to $265,000 in 2031 and totalling almost $5.5 million by that time.

  38. Economic damage due to loss of life will cost $3,644,100 in 2008, rising to $6,367,200 in 2031, and totalling $115,674,500 by 2031.

  39. Air Releases of Carcinogens by Province Rank Provinces Air Releases of Toxicsof Carcinogens (kg) Percentage

  40. Prince Edward Island . 26 % Northwest Territories .41% Newfoundland .91%

  41. Nova Scotia 1.36% Saskatchewan 1.62% Manitoba 5.16% New Brunswick 5.47%

  42. British Columbia 11. 13 % Quebec 17.61% Alberta 17. 91 % Ontario 38. 18 % Air Releases of Toxicsof Carcinogens

  43. Ontario's smog causes 9,500 deaths per year, medical association says.  Of these 1,000 occurred  immediately after times of intense pollution.

  44. Drive-thrus | Sixty percent of the 129 billion dollar per year industry takes place at the drive-thru window. Welcome to the Denialism Industry This strategy of “manufacturing scientific uncertainty” comes directly from the industry’s denialism playbook. The industry invests big money for public relations campaign to raise doubts about the increasingly definitive scientific evidence. They realize that if you could argue about the science, then you can stop municipalities from trying to address the problem.  If the new ‘science’ which is bought and paid by industry doesn’t work, they fall back on the argument of ‘choice’ – whatever the risk to society, it the citizens right to do so. This is just another example of industry’s scientific consultants who specialize in product defense. Not unlike tobacco, oil and climate change.  Corporate spin experts have recognized that manufacturing doubt works and if they do it well they can stop government legislation, or at least slow them down for years.  This is a growing trend that disingenuously demands proof over precaution in the realm of public health. Drive Thru Resources: http://drivethrulies.wordpress.com/the-need-to-start-somewhere/

  45. Drive-thrus - Think the impact is insignificant? Think again. idling-report-markham1 We have used the calculations provided to us in this study (idling times are completely in line with Tim Horton’s own study (3-4.5 minutes) & with the national average of 3.84 seconds) to produce a very conservative number for the total number of emissions, etc. produced in London drive-thrus. London has 156 drive-thrus – so we have based our amounts on (29 x 5) 145 as opposed to 156 to keep our results conservative. Here are the results: (City of London only) Idling time: 108, 795, 760 minutes. Fuel Wasted: 2, 175, 925 litres of fuel wasted. Emissions: 590 tons of carbon dioxide & other pollutants. To offset this amount of pollutants in one year we would need to plant 29,220 trees. Fuel wasted – enough for an average car to circle the globe 425 times. And this is ONLY London based on only 145 drive-thrus. Imagine the result from all cities in Ontario, in Canada, in North America, in the world. For more info. on this study (data) please contact us at councilofcanadians.london@sympatico.ca

  46. Industry Greenwash poster from London, Ontario duplicated in British Columbia. Note statement: “Fact: ZERO Environmental Benefit.”

  47. Climate policy and environmental policy is characterized by the habituation of low expectations and a culture of failure. There is an urgent need to understand global warming and the tipping points for dangerous impacts that we have already crossed as a sustainability emergency that takes us beyond the politics of failure-inducing compromise.  

  48. CAPE – Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment represents 4,000 physicians across Canada.  They urge municipalities across Canada to pass the strongest anti-idling bylaws possible. The Toronto medical health officer recently asked the City of Toronto to amend the city’s existing bylaw to 10 seconds. http://www.cape.ca/

  49. Finally, while we grasp with how we can cut back our emissions let’s look at annual tons of CO2 per person and reflect: Annual tons of CO2 per person…