Exhaust Pipe vs. Smoking: Which Causes More Harm?
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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.
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 email@example.com
We all breathe the same air.
We all share one finite planet.
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.
We are in a world wide public health crisis epidemic as a direct result of air pollution.
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.
"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.
It is now at 390.18
Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century
Rank Provinces Air Releases of Toxicsof Carcinogens (kg) Percentage
Northwest Territories .41%
New Brunswick 5.47%
Alberta 17. 91 %
Ontario 38. 18 %
Air Releases of Toxicsof Carcinogens
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s us, the one billion affluent people of the world whose footprints are crushing the planet. Surely we can all agree this is grossly unethical. Climate change today accounts for over 300,000 deaths throughout the world each year.
That of a car culture phenomenon, a culture of self entitlement and our ‘choice’ to destroy our shared environment. Our shared natural environment has become a toxic dumping ground.
We are paying the highest price…
Today we are living in what scientists call ‘the sixth extinction’. The fastest die off of species the Earth has ever seen. The biodiversity crisis is due to the destruction of ecosystems, the overexploitation of species and natural resources, overpopulation, the spread of agriculture and livestock, and pollution - all contributing to ever accelerating global warming caused by humans.
We are conducting a vast toxicological experiment in which our children and our children's children are the experimental subjects…
The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system.
The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular cancer. Some researchers say that declining male fertility rates could be the first sign of extinction.
Everything began with the industrial revolution in 1750, which gave birth to the capitalist system. In two and a half centuries, the so called “developed” countries have consumed a large part of the fossil fuels created over five million centuries.Competition and the thirst for profit without limits of the capitalist system are destroying the planet. Under Capitalism we are not human beings but consumers. Under Capitalism mother earth does not exist, instead there are raw materials. Capitalism is the source of the asymmetries and imbalances in the world. It generates luxury, ostentation and waste for a few, while millions in the world die from hunger in the world. In the hands of Capitalism everything becomes a commodity: the water, the soil, the human genome, the ancestral cultures, justice, ethics, death … and life itself. Everything, absolutely everything, can be bought and sold and under Capitalism. And even “climate change” itself has become a business. “Climate change” has placed all humankind before great choice: to continue in the ways of capitalism and death, or to start down the path of harmony with nature and respect for life.
Redesigning the Way We Think & Live:
Today, our Mother Earth is ill. From the beginning of the 21st century we have lived the hottest years of the last thousand years. Global warming is generating abrupt changes in the weather: the retreat of glaciers and the decrease of the polar ice caps; the increase of the sea level and the flooding of coastal areas, where approximately 60% of the world population live; the increase in the processes of desertification and the decrease of fresh water sources; a higher frequency in natural disasters that the communities of the earth suffer; the extinction of animal and vegetal species; and the spread of diseases in areas that before were free from those diseases.One of the most tragic consequences of the climate change is that some nations and territories are the condemned to disappear by the increase of the sea level.
Read Full Opinion Piece Here: http://councilofcanadianslondon.wordpress.com/2008/12/19/climate-change-save-the-planet-from-capitalism-evo-morales/
Ecuador first to legislate rights for nature |10 December 2008
Ecuador Approves New Constitution: Voters Approve Rights of NatureEcuador | First Country in the World to Shift to Rights-Based Environmental Protection, Working With Legal Defense Fund
By an overwhelming margin, the people of Ecuador today voted for a new constitution that is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is pioneering this work in the U.S., where it has assisted more than a dozen local municipalities with drafting and adopting local laws recognizing Rights of Nature. Ecuador is now the first country in the world to codify a new system of environmental protection based on rights. With this vote, the people of Ecuador are leading the way for countries around the world to fundamentally change how we protect nature. Article 1 of the new "Rights for Nature" chapter of the Ecuador constitution reads: "Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public bodies."
1- Apathy caused by a complete disconnect from our shared natural environment
2- Entitlement which has been cultivated in the very essence of our being in North America
3- Corporations are now more powerful than our governments
4- The average citizen is being kept in the dark on the severity of climate change and the implications
1- Seek out Independent Media
2- Reconnect Children with Nature
3- Mandatory ecoliteracy courses including ‘precautionary principle’ in work places and all levels of government
4- Utilize waiting times in the health sector with education. Replace television shows in waiting rooms with documentaries. Replace irrelevant reading material / magazines with those which focus on climate change and health.
For those in leadership roles and decision making capacity - knowledge of climate change, sustainability and environmental degradation should not be optional
The City of Albuquerque began delivering Sustainability Awareness Training in fall of 2007. Training sessions were available daily from October 8-12 and November 13-17, during which time 3,800 employees were trained.
“…I believe we’ve reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience.”Al Gore, Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 25, 2008
This is what you may call reverse graffiti. Brazilian streetartist
Alexandre Orion removes soot to draw skulls and create ‘Art less pollution’.
At dawn on July 13, 2006, Brazilian streetartist Alexandre Orion started working on a intervention in the Max Feffer tunnel Sao Paulo and created ‘Art less pollution’. The intervention was through a process of subtraction, scraping off layers of soot from vehicle exhaust built up on tunnel walls to produce images of human skulls.
Read more about the intervention and see pictures at Alexandre Orion’s website.
Capitalism strikes again… Note that since this time – ‘GreenWorks’ [Clorox Corporation] has purchased this video for an advertising campaign.
Lights Out Activists on Anti-Neon Crusade in France. By Adam Sage, Times (UK), November 8, 2008. "Meet Le Clan du Néon, an increasingly popular environmental movement that wants to make the City of Lights a little darker. One tactic is to turn off neon shop signs at night by reaching the external fire switches that control them, usually found two or three metres up the façade... Le Clan was set up in Paris, but its light-hearted and low-tech activist approach to ecology has been a hit across the country with students, many of whom see the antineon activity as a nocturnal lark. Groups have sprung up in Normandy, Bordeaux, the Alps and Dordogne. Members from the latter have posted an internet video that says that in a region bereft of night life, turning out the high street lighting is as good a way of passing the time as any... The thousands of shop signs left on at night in Europe consume tens of gigawatt hours of electricity a year. In France, where the nuclear industry supplies 80 per cent of electricity, the result is more radioactive waste. Elsewhere, it is hundreds of tonnes of CO2 emissions. 'If all the neon signs in the world were turned off, the impact on global warming would be very significant,' said Nicolas, 28, another Le Clan member. 'There ought to be a law against it, but since there isn't, we have to go around doing it ourselves.’
Full Article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5110640.ece
It is pertinent to ask what view our great-grandchildren will take when they look back in 100 years. The slow cooking of the planet is quite distinct from other disputes today. With climate change, the ultimate question is whether humans can continue to live on this planet at all.
Plane Stupid Direct Action Group.They were disruptive and controversial to say the least. Spied upon, locked up and lambasted by the establishment of their time. The state considered them to be dangerous terrorists and, as Tony Benn put it, "Newsnight would have treated the suffragettes as trouble-makers." But those women who battled for gender equality were later vindicated by history. I suppose it's a testament to their success that the Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, was citing them as an example of the sort of movement we need on global warming, adding, "Maybe it's an odd thing for someone in government to say." Certainly an odd thing for someone in government. Put against a context of the average Brit emitting 11 tonnes of CO2 a year, today's activity didn't just get the nation talking, it had a real impact. Like the Kingsnorth 6, who shut down one of the dirtiest coal plants in Britain and were later acquitted by a jury of 12 ordinary people, Plane Stupid just made history. Seriously what people will think about this protest in 100 years from now? Will that generations' politicians be lauding today's action as a model for defeating their eras' defining challenge?
Interesting enough – ‘Lush’ produces a product called the charity pot where all the proceeds are donated to worthy causes. One of the groups to benefit is Plane Stupid. Others range from Butterfly Conservation to Reprieve, the human rights charity.
Lush states they believe that there is a long tradition of using non-violent protest to create change where other means have failed. Highlighting the constant growth of habits we know we can't sustain, as Plane Stupid has, they see as laudatory.
“If you want to know who is going to change this country, take a look in the mirror.’
World News on Pollution & Climate Change
Redesigning the Way We Think & Live:
Example of leading Idling Initiatives and Bylaw in Canada (Burlington):
Lastly - for Inspiration:
Essential Reading: Paul Hawken: You are Brilliant & the Earth is Hiring: