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Health Consequences of Energy Choices : The Energy Exercise. Crispin Pierce, Ph.D. Outline. How do we use energy? How do we classify health consequences from energy use? What sources of energy do we have? Coal Natural gas Diesel and biodiesel Solar Wind Biomass Nuclear Hydroelectric
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Crispin Pierce, Ph.D.
How do we use energy?
How do we classify health consequences from energy use?
What sources of energy do we have?
Diesel and biodiesel
The Energy Exercise
Non-renewable: coal, gas, oil, and nuclear.
Renewable: solar, wind, biomass, biodiesel.
Immediate/short-term (e.g., refinery explosion)
Long-term (e.g., cancer)
Temporary injury (e.g., skin burn from gasoline spill)
Permanent disability (e.g., lung disease from coal plant emissions)
“Voluntary” (e.g., driving a car)
“Involuntary” (e.g., nuclear plant risk)
Large US reserves
Potential for lowering mercury emissions.
Mercury in fish
Degraded water quality
Air pollution (NOx, particulates, CO)
Drilling, piping, and refining effects
Natural protection losses
Wars over oil supplies
Can be less expensive
Biodiesel is renewable
Particulate emissions cause lung disease and cancer
Refining and production job risks
Photo: Thoroughbred Diesel
Very low emissions
Major water needs for cooling
Extremely toxic spent fuel materials cause cancer
Extremely long half-lives of these wastes
Terrorism and war (?)
Very low impact
Vehicles: 60 - 80 million
Buildings and Windows: 98 - 980 million
Powerlines: tens of thousands - 174 million
Communication Towers: 4 - 50 million
Wind Generation Facilities: 10,000 - 40,000
Installation and operation accidents
Marine mammal disruption from offshore installation and operation
Allergenic molds and fungi
Environmental costs of materials to produce solar systems
Battery production and operation
Semiconductor materials production (production of silicon)
Land space for panels less useful as natural resource
Particulates and lung disease
Agricultural effects: water consumption, runoff, herbicides, pesticides
Haddad and Dones, IAEA: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Magazines/Bulletin/Bull333/33302041419.pdf
Gohlke et al. (2008):Environ Health Perspect. 2008 June; 116(6): A236–A23, Economy, and Environment: Sustainable Energy Choices for a Nation; Julia M. Gohlke, Sharon H. Hrynkow, and Christopher J. Portier