Investor's Business Daily: It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud. The New York Times recently reported that, unknown to most families who spend hours separating garbage into little recycling bins, much of the stuff ends up in a landfill anyway. One big reason: China has essentially shut the door to U.S. recyclables.
Alan Taylor, writer for The Atlantic: June 5, 2018 is marked by the United Nations as World Environment Day, a day set aside since 1974 to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” This year’s theme is “beat plastic pollution.” Some advocates for nuclear power claim that nuclear energy can be implemented worldwide in a few decades. They also claim that the world is being destroyed by carbon dioxide from use of fossil fuels. Will people who are struggling to get through life in very polluted environments take good care of nuclear power plants through their full life cycle? These people need fossil fuels to improve their lives and economies. Canada, France, South Korea and Switzerland are examples of countries who are using nuclear power exceptionally well.
Mikko Paunio, MD, MHS, specialist in public health and epidemiology: Efforts by extreme environmentalists will kill millions in poor countries. Domestic combustion of solid (bio)fuels is by far the number one global pollution problem, attributable to indoor air pollution (IAP). The so called 'energy ladder' was introduced to understand how deaths from IAP might be prevented. The energy ladder seeks to reproduce the experience of rich countries, where households moved away from biofuels and connected to electric grids or district heating systems, solving the IAP problem for good. Extreme environmental organizations resist improving the lives of poorer people because it would increase use of fossil fuels and their carbon footprint.
CNN Wire: A huge, swirling pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean is growing faster than expected and is now three times the size of France. The bulk of the pile is made up of larger objects while only 8% of the mass is microplastics, or pieces smaller than 5 millimeters in size. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was first discovered in 1997 by oceanographer Charles Moore when he sailed home to Southern California after finishing the Transpacific Yacht Race, from California to Hawaii. “I was confronted, as far as the eye could see, with the sight of plastic,” wrote Moore about his discovery in Natural History.
Reuters, John Ndiso: If current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Eight million tonnes of plastic - bottles, packaging and other waste - are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, UNEP added. “Let’s abolish products that we do not need ... if you go to tourist places like Bali, a huge amount of the plastic picked from the oceans are actually straws.”
http://www.urbanemissions.info/: In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a compilation of air quality data across the world and estimated the corresponding health impacts on premature mortality and morbidity – Delhi is among the top 10 for cities with the worst air quality. Air pollution in (urban and rural) India is a growing public concern, and city of Delhi (its capital) is one of the most studied city with a disproportionate share of media attention. Yet, we do not seem to have decisive answers to simple questions like how polluted is the city, what are the main sources, and where to start to control pollution in the city.
Bloomberg, John Trozi: Deaths from pollution exceeds many other cases including high-sodium diet, obesity, alcohol, road accidents, and malnutrition. Nine million annual deaths and a economic damage of trillions of dollars.
Pamela Das, Richard Horton, The Lancet: For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people’s health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by governments and the international development community. Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015. 92% of all pollution-related mortality is seen in low-income and middle-income countries.1 A new Lancet Commission on pollution and health aims to confront and overturn this urgent predicament. The substantial health and economic costs of pollution globally can no longer be ignored.
NY Daily News: Environmental pollution — from filthy air to contaminated water — is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. One out of every six premature deaths in the world in 2015 — about 9 million — could be attributed to disease from toxic exposure, according to a major study released Thursday in The Lancet medical journal. The financial cost from pollution-related death, sickness and welfare is equally massive, the report says, costing some $4.6 trillion in annual losses — or about 6.2% of the global economy.