Effort must be made to cut black carbon pollutants

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Effort must be made to cut black carbon pollutants

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:13 pm

Effort must be made to cut black carbon pollutants
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 02:01 Letter to the Editor

Re: "Clinton, Kent announce modest global warming plan to reduce common pollutants" (Feb. 16, CP article, Lethbridge Herald). Canada must make a serious effort in this international initiative. Black carbon (produced by incomplete burning of wood, coal, fossil fuels and other substances), along with other particles, is now considered a significant factor in climate change.
Much black carbon globally is from diesel exhaust, and biomass and other solid-fuel burning, including cooking fires in developing countries. North America and Europe emit a large amount yearly. A 2011 United Nations report reveals that wood burning and diesel vehicles are key sources of black carbon in the developed world.
Hopefully, nations will consider the UN report's recommendations, which include phasing out log-burning stoves in rich countries, and banning open burning of agricultural waste. Municipal governments might also seek to implement applicable strategies at the community level.
As just one example, perhaps our local officials could move toward banning recreational outdoor burning in neighbourhoods. In 2012, so much more is known about why it is harmful, than back when bylaws permitting it were passed. Rather than advertisements outlining how many hours a day backyard fires are allowed, etc. - this year, what if the City of Lethbridge were to instead distribute information about the environmental and health impacts of wood smoke? This is one way in which the city could help protect clean air.
Why not foster updated policies conducive to caring for neighbours and the earth? Each region can do more to lower its own contribution to overall production of airborne particulates like soot.
Our federal government should take real action to cut recognized "climate forcing" pollutants, and encourage provincial/territorial and municipal governments to do the same.

Cathy Baiton

http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/letters ... -3612.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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