Fire Earth

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Archive for November 24th, 2011

Thanksgiving: 63 million Americans on planes, trains and automobiles

Posted by feww on November 24, 2011

How Thanksgiving Day Turned into an Environmental Disaster

About 63 million Americans  are expected to travel long distances during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend producing millions of tons of deadly air pollutants.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – November 24

[November 24, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,574 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • United States. About 63 million Americans  are expected to travel long distances during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend producing millions of tons of greenhouse gasses, ground-level ozone and other deadly air pollutants.
    • Planes:  23.2 million people to fly domestic and international routes over the Thanksgiving holiday period, according to ATA.
    • Trains: Up to a million people are expected to go by rail.
    • Automobiles: About 38.2 million Americans are expected to drive at least 50 miles (80 km) away from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up 4 percent from 2010 according to AAA.

Other Global Disasters

  • Western Australia. A massive blaze erupted after firemen lost control a routine burn-off in a national park near the Margaret River in Western Australia. The fire consumed about 2,000 hectares (~ 5,000 acres), destroying about 3 dozen homes and chalets and forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate.
    • A bushfire warning was operating as of posting.
  • New Mexico, USA. The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the State of New Mexico caused by flooding during the period of August 19-24, 2011.
    • The worst affected areas are in Cibola and Sandoval Counties and in the Pueblo (Native American community) of Acoma and the Pueblo of Santa Clara.
  • Washington USA. An  extraordinary storm has slammed into the Pacific Northwest, bringing record rain, hurricane-force wind gusts and massive snow.
    • Up to 8 inches of rain in the southern Cascades has led to major flooding on some rivers.
    • Numerous landslides have been reported in Western Washington.
  • Sicily, Italy. Landslides caused by torrential rains have destroyed a village in Scarcelli, a district of Saponara in the Sicilian province of Messina, leaving at least 4 people dead.
    • Major flooding have also been reported in other parts of southern Italy.
  • Europe. Industrial air pollution from Europe’s 10,000 largest polluting facilities cost citizens up to €169 billion ($228 billion, as of posting) in 2009, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
    • Half of the total damage cost (between € 85 billion) was caused by less than 2 percent of the outlets (191 facilities).
    • Power plants emissions were responsible for the largest share of the damage costs (estimated at €112 billion).
    • Second largest part of the damage was caused by production processes (up to €28 billion).
    • Third was manufacturing combustion (€21 billion).
    • Transport, households and most agicultural activities were excluded from the report–if included the cost of pollution would be even higher.

Locations of the 191 European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) facilities that contributed 50% of the total damage costs estimated in 2009.  Source EEA.

“A small number of individual facilities cause the majority of damage costs. Three quarters of the total damage costs were caused by the emissions from just 622 industrial facilities – 6 % of the total number.” The report said.

“Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions contribute the most to the overall damage costs, approximately €63 billion in 2009. Air pollutants, which contribute to acid rain and can cause respiratory problems – sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) – were found to cause €38-105 billion of damage a year.”

There’s no mention of the particulate matter (PM2.5) in the report. PM2.5 causes high plaque deposits in the arteries, leading to vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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