måndag 18 april 2011

Getting a feel for the scale of fossil fuel air pollution

This as an extended reply to this blog-post: http://depletedcranium.com/terrified-of-nuclear-energy-germany-goes-for-fossil-fuel/

According to the BBC yearly air pollution deaths(mostly particulates) in Germany are about 60 000 per year.

In the United States there is a memorial for americans who died in the Vietnam war; by a coincidence this was about 60 000 people. The main part of this memorial is a black wall, containing the names of everyone that was lost in the war:

Source: USGS

Licence: Creative commons.
Meutia Chaerani and Indradi Soemardjan, www.indrani.net

Licence: Creative commons
Attribution: User Totya on the hungarian wikipedia.

Without firing any guns, without any soldiers crossing any borders, as many germans die as the soldiers who are memorialized on this wall. This price is paid not just once, but every year. This is what fossil fuels cost Germany. Not all of that is coal, but big chunk of it certainly is. Another big slice is cars and in particular diesel cars. Replacing some coal with gas is triage, not a solution; it is slightly less dirty, but not a proper solution.