David Suzuki Foundation - campaign for clean air and water

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David Suzuki Foundation - campaign for clean air and water

Postby Dorre » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:24 pm

The David Suzuki Foundation <subscribers@davidsuzuki.org> is urging people to Demand clean air and healthy oceans
"We can't survive without air and water. Yet our air is polluted with emissions, and our oceans are largely unprotected.
On Wednesday June 8th, the world will celebrate both World Oceans Day and Clean Air Day.
It's the perfect time to send a message to Environment Minister Peter Kent and tell him it's his duty to protect our air and oceans.
Help us send 2,500 letters to Environment Minister Peter Kent!"
In fact, nearly 5,000 letters have now been sent - http://action.davidsuzuki.org/oceans"

While this is certainly a good cause, it could also be an opportune time to point out to the David Suzuki Foundation that wood smoke is a major contributor to air pollution and global warming. The average wood stove emits more health hazardous pollution per year than 200 passenger cars and causes more global warming than other forms of heating.

I filled in the contact form on http://www.davidsuzuki.org/about/contact/ with the request below:

Campaign to ensure clean air and healthy oceans

It is very fitting, when the world is celebrating World Clean Air Day, to consider one of the most significant, but largely unrecognised sources of air pollution - domestic wood stove emissions.

Research in Europe shows that fine particles known as PM2.5 are the most health-hazardous air pollutant, responsible for over 10 times as many premature deaths as ozone, the next worst air pollutant, see http://acm.eionet.europa.eu/reports/ETC ... _PM2.5_HIA.

In Quebec, 61% of fine particles released result from wood heating, compared to 22% from industries and 14% from transportation. A non-certified wood heating system releases as high a quantity of fine particles in nine hours as a car does over one year (18,000 km) - see http://www.pq.lung.ca/environment-envir ... -montreal/

New, certified heaters produce about half as much pollution as older models, i.e. take 18 hours to produce as much pollution as driving a car 18,000 km.

An analysis, accepted for publication in the international journal ‘Atmospheric Pollution Research’ (doi: 10.5094/APR.2011.033, also available at: http://woodsmoke.3sc.net/files/Woodheat ... cepted.pdf ) shows that, as well as emitting more health-hazardous PM2.5 pollution per year than 200 passenger cars, the methane emitted from a typical wood stove in Australia causes more global warming than heating the same house with gas.

Even worse, firewood is being burned at a much faster rate than it can be replaced. When the lack of sustainable firewood is taken into account, domestic wood heaters cause more global warming than heating 2-3 similar houses with gas. If, instead of burning the wood as logs in domestic heaters, we turned it into pellets to replace coal in power stations, global warming could be reduced substantially.

Unfortunately, few people understand the problems with domestic wood stoves, either the amount of pollution (more health-hazardous PM2.5 pollution per year than 200 passenger cars), or that with limited supplies of biomass and the global warming from methane emissions, the best option to reduce global warming is not to use domestic wood stoves but instead either leave the trees in the forest (to avoid emitting methane and storing the carbon for future) or using the wood in other ways, e.g. in power generation so that a much greater reduction in fossil fuel emissions can be achieved.

Because of the widespread ignorance of the amount of pollution and global warming from domestic wood stoves, your Foundation could make a real difference by drawing attention to this problem.

Please help reduce this major source of air pollution (61% of PM2.5 emissions in Quebec, compared to 14% from transportation) and global warming.
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