Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Open fire and climate change

It is always easy to give general advice or analysis about climate change. But not many people actually follow the "think global, act local" idea. One problem about climate change is not just the CO2 emissions of the western countries, but also the smoke of the third world countries. A study shows:
Total average annual fuelwood production in developing countries increased=approximately 16.5% over the past decade to about 1.55 billion cubic meters. Worldwide, it is estimated that nearly 3 billion people use fuelwood as their primary source of energy. In developing countries, especially in rural areas, 2 billion people rely solely on fuelwood for heating and cooking.
There are actually different threats for climate and health:
Empirical studies have shown that cooking stove smoke can contain hundreds of chemicals components. The most well-studied products include total suspended particulates (TSP), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and carbon monoxide (CO).... mConsiderable evidence has been accumulated linking indoor air pollution from biomass cooking stoves to a variety of different diseases. Tobacco research suggests that cooking smoke might also cause peptic ulcer disease, cardio-vascular diseases, otitis media and other ailments.
So if you really want to improve environment, tell people to stop open fire. Don't burn trash or waste from the garden. Use gas or electricity for cooking, not charcoal. It might be a Lao tradition to use open fire, but the consequences are sickness and pollution. So maybe time for a change.

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