Why Get Out of Your Car? – Some Good Reasons

Behind the Wheel: Opportunities for Canadians to drive less, reduce pollution and save money (42 page pdf, Cherise Burda, Katie Laufenberg, Alison Bailie and Graham Haines, Pembina Institute, Oct. 2012)

Today we review a report prepared by the well-respected Pembina Institute which detailed many good ways to both reduce emissions from driving and save money. If all of their suggestions were acted on, the emissions from Canada’s transportation sector would be reduced by 16 million tonnes each year which is equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

ghg for transportation

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Does New York City’s PlaNYC 2030 Adequately Address Climate Change Issues?

An Assessment Framework for Cities Coping with Climate Change: The Case of New York City and its PlaNYC 2030 (22 page pdf, Yosef Jabareen, Sustainability, Sep. 3, 2014)

Today we review a critique of New York’s much heralded action plan, published in 2005, to address the challenges facing that city from climate change. Using eight evaluating“concepts”, the author praises the city’s approach to physical aspects such as land, water and air and to a lesser extent, the proposed use of renewable energy, but criticizes the lack of public participation in the development and execution of the plan, especially at the local community level in an extremely multi-community and multi-ethnic urban area.

Official seal of New York City

Official seal of New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Why Does Canada’s Largest City Not Meet National Air Quality Standards?

The impacts of precursor reduction and meteorology on ground-level ozone in the Greater Toronto Area (11 page pdf, S. C. Pugliese, J. G. Murphy, J. A. Geddes, J. M. Wang, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Aug. 22, 2014)
Also discussed here: Despite significant reduction in smog-producing toxins, the Greater Toronto Area still violates Canada’s standards for ozone air pollution (Kim Luke, Science Daily, Aug. 22, 2014)
Today we review recent measurements of pollutants included in the Canada Wide Air Quality Standards as they apply to the City of Toronto which has the largest population (of people as well as pollution emitting vehicles) and urban area of all cities in Canada. Resultrs indicate that despite a reduction in emissions of NO2 and PM2.5 of 27 to 50% over the last 4 years, Ozone (O3) exceeded the standards in 2012 at all eight monitoring stations. The authors speculate that this was due to the meteorology of that year which showed a large number of sunny days and light winds which contributed to the production of O3 (from NO2 emissions 63% of which come from from vehicles and O2). They also recommend that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) be included in the standards.

ozone days-toronto

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

How is Urban Sprawl Linked to Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Changing Urban Form and Transport CO2 Emissions: An Empirical Analysis of Beijing, China (22 page pdf, Yunjing Wang, Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Jin Chen and Qiang Li, Sustainability, Jul. 22, 2014)
Today we review an assessment of commuting emissions for China’s capital city, Beijing which has undergone large increase in population as well as in size of its suburban areas which has contributed to a four-fold increase in emissions. The journal article attributes the increase in emissions to commuting distance and the shift toward the use of cars which in turn is related to the distance between workplace and home which is a function of urban form. Solutions to achieve sustainable transportation include planned development of housing which would shorten the commuting as well as a greater priority for metro subways over roads for cars.

commuting co2 china

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 

 

How Bad is the Air Quality from LNG facilities at Kitimat, the end of the KeyStone XL pipeline?

Kitimat Airshed Emissions Effects Assessment(363 page pdf, Julian Aherne, Susan Barnes, Beth Beaudry, Simon Casley, Hui Cheng, Alexander Hall, Anna Henolson, Daniel Krewski, John Laurence, David Marmorek, Carol Murray, Greg Paoli, Shaun Watmough, prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd. for British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Apr. 25, 2014)

Also discussed here: New airshed study is a “nail in the coffin” for government LNG dreams in Kitimat(Andrew Weaver, Jul. 18, 2014)

Today we review an environmental impact assessment report prepared for the British Columbian government in anticipation of developments associated with Liquid Natural Gas Terminals that could affect human health and the environment. The developments include an existing aluminum smelter, four proposed LNG terminals, a proposed oil refinery, and gas turbine powered electrical generation facilities, as well as related marine transportation sources. The assessment used a colour-coded system for impacts of air pollution on human health ranging from green for “clean environment” though yellow and orange to red for values that breach the US EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Similarly for natural environmental impacts on vegetation, lakes and soil they range from green for negligible impact through to red where the impact is considered to be “extremely unacceptable”.

The results indicate a red for human health for hourly SO2 and a red for aquatic ecosystems. In the words of Dr. Andrew Weaver, the only member of the provincial parliament with an advanced degree in environmental science, in addition to be a world leader in climate science and modeling “The study undeniably concludes that if you put four LNG plants into Kitimat you will have critical impacts on human health.”.

Nothing more needs to be said …. except STOP.

kitimat cove

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

When Do you Become “Old”?

Population ageing: the timebomb that isn’t? (5 page pdf, Jeroen Spijker and John MacInnes, BMJ(British Medical Journal), Nov. 12, 2013)

Today we review a paper about aging and the implications of using a fixed age, such as 65, to indicate when to worry about “old age” diseases, particularly those such as heart and lung diseases that are aggravated by air pollution. The authors contend that the important statistic to use is the years of remaining life expectancy when the average life expectancy in the UK has increased by 34 years, thus moving the yard stick from the pension age of 65 to later. Over time improvements in medical technology and, indirectly in air quality in some places, seniors are living longer which has increased the size of the older generation, while growing obesity has resulted in earlier occurrence of diabetes with negative impacts on life expectancy. It is clear that the dynamics that affect health of the elderly has changed.

old age dependency

 

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports abut this post, click HERE

Reporting Local Industrial Air Pollution in Canada’s Largest City

Tracking and Reducing Chemicals in Toronto: Third Annual ChemTRAC Report (David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Board of Health, Jun. 13, 2014)

Also discussed here : ChemTRAC – Improving Toronto’s Air: 2014 Annual Report (David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Board of Health, Jun. 13, 2014)

And here: Toronto Public Health Reveals Local Air Pollution Sources (Jennifer Kalnins Temple, Envirolaw, Jul. 10, 2014)

Today we review the third annual report from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health on the monitoring of local industrial air pollutants, a program (ChemTRAC) that requires local industries to emissions of 25 specific pollutants- the top three of which are VOCs, NOx and PM2.5. The Health Board estimates that of the 1300 deaths caused by air pollution each year, local industry is responsible for 120, in addition to 200 hospitalizations. This not only underlines the importance of the program but also allows for identification of sources of health risks not previously defined- the mercury releases from incineration of human remains at crematoria for example- and allows companies to take measure to reduce the release of critical pollutants. A large majority (90%) of the reporting companies found the ChemTRAC program helpful and 2/3s found that the program helped them to reduce harmful emissions The only question one might ask- why is this not required in other cities, especially large ones with industrial pollution within their boundaries?

map of toronto air poll sources

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 212 other followers

%d bloggers like this: