Guess who gets to live and die downwind from pollution sources?


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❝ University of Washington researchers have found that air pollution from electricity generation emissions in 2014 led to about 16,000 premature deaths in the continental U.S. In many states, the majority of the health impacts came from emissions originating in other states. Interactive map of the U.S. where the states are colored according to the number of premature deaths per 100,000 people in that state. Darker colors represent more deaths.

No surprises here for me. Growing up downwind from 2 of the 3 largest factory complexes in my hometown – one of which even generated electricity from its own powerhouse – we would wake in the morning, throw open the windows, scrape the soot from the windowsill and close the windows back up till the following morning.

Fortunately, we moved upwind from the whole city by the time I was 12.

3 thoughts on “Guess who gets to live and die downwind from pollution sources?

  1. nicknielsensc says:

    Grew up in a small town in the northern Catskills. 50 yards out the front door was downtown. 50 yards out the back door was woods and dairy farms. Country living has its hazards, but I never had to scrape cow manure off the windowsills.

  2. Science be damned says:

    (Newsweek 3/13/19): “Donald Trump Jr. mocked a news story about air pollution disproportionately affecting black and Hispanic communities on Wednesday.” https://www.newsweek.com/trump-jr-mocks-racist-air-environmental-racism-1361782
    “A study published by the National Academy of Sciences on Monday found that “on average, non-Hispanic whites experience a ‘pollution advantage’: They experience 17 percent less air pollution exposure than is caused by their consumption. Blacks and Hispanics on average bear a ‘pollution burden’ of 56 percent and 63 percent excess exposure, respectively, relative to the exposure caused by their consumption.”
    Commenting about the research, Trump Jr. tweeted: “Just when you thought you’ve seen it all…now we have RACIST AIR. This insanity has to stop.”

    USA Today (March 11, 2019) “Study finds a race gap in air pollution — whites largely cause it; blacks and Hispanics breathe it” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/03/11/air-pollution-inequality-minorities-breathe-air-polluted-whites/3130783002/

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) March 11, 2019: “Inequity in consumption of goods and services adds to racial–ethnic disparities in air pollution exposure” https://www.pnas.org/content/116/13/6001

  3. Wheezy says:

    “Which of the cleaner states imports dirty electricity? Some regions suffer from pollution as they send power elsewhere.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/which-of-the-cleaner-states-imports-dirty-electricity/ “In the United States, electricity generation accounts for nearly 30% of our carbon emissions. Some states have responded to that by setting aggressive renewable energy standards; others are hoping to see coal propped up even as its economics get worse. Complicating matters further is the fact that many regional grids are integrated, meaning power generated in one location may be exported and used in a different state entirely.
    Tracking these electricity exports is critical for understanding how to lower our national carbon emissions. In addition, power from a dirty source like coal has health and environment impacts where it’s produced, and the costs of these aren’t always paid by the parties using the electricity. Unfortunately, getting reliable figures on how electricity is produced and where it’s used is challenging, leaving some of the best estimates with a time resolution of only a month.”
    “Tracking emissions in the US electricity system” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Dec 2, 2019) https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/11/26/1912950116

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