Posts Tagged ‘Pollution’

Reader’s query: Are fossil fuels dangerously polluting?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

A reader has sent in the following query -

I fully agree with the views of the scientific community that is working to dismantle peice by peice the huge lie of AGW.  Difficult task because they have to face many different enemies lurking in the most strategic points of the society of control of public opinion.  One thing, however I need to understand is what is your opinion on what, in my opinion, is the most important thing at present about the use of energy from fossil fuels:  atmospheric pollution at the level of our lungs.

Nothing do do with CO2 or climate change or GW.  Treat the energy issue solely in these terms should be a the forefront in the interests of all those now are knelt down to AGW’s faith, beginning by the UN to pas through WWF, Greenpeace, governments, scientific panels, etc.

Reading your many articles I have never found this kind of discussion, but often I find praises for coal.  More than GW, I am concerned about exhaust gases that enter in my lungs and in my children lungs and about immediate or future harm that we will have (cancer and respiratory diseases).  I think it is so in the sense that we should spend all our knowledge and money.

Our reply:

Dear Enquirer – Thank you for your kind comments, and for your enquiry about pollution. In those Western countries that are prosperous enough and well-organized enough to have  sensible standards of environmental regulation, particulate pollution from fossil-fueled power stations is no longer a problem. Fluidized-bed combustion and other techniques intended to achieve stoichiometric burn, together with flue-gas scrubbers that remove certain particulates before the gases are vented to atmosphere, have proven very effective, so that respiratory diseases caused by fossil-fueled power generation are now at a very low level. There are indeed formidable problems in third-world countries, such as China, where cheap coal is burned in inadequate power-stations using old-fashioned methods, with minimal and ineffective regulation.

The correct scientific approach is to evaluate deaths and serious injuries or illnesses (known to statisticians as KSI) per GWh of electricity generated, for all methods of generation. Nuclear electricity is the safest, followed by natural gas, followed by oil, followed by coal, followed by hydro-power (dams have a habit of bursting and killing thousands: it has happened more than once). All of these methods of generation are a great deal safer than not having the electricity. The biggest single factor in determining life-expectancy in poor nations is the amount of fossil fuels they burn. The more they burn, the more prosperous they become, and the less poverty and early death there is. This is because fossil-fueled electricity is nearly always the cheapest on the market, and is relatively low-tech, and is therefore very suitable for poorer countries that do not have the scientific or technical infrastructure to run nuclear reactors, for instance.

We are agreed, I think, that carbon dioxide is not any kind of pollutant. It is a harmless trace gas, necessary to all life on Earth, that has been present in relatively recent geological time at 20 times its present concentration. Going very much farther back, CO2 once occupied one-third of the entire atmosphere. Its warming effect has been severely exaggerated by the UN’s climate panel and by the quite small clique of climate scientists on whose calculations it is willing to rely. – Monckton of Brenchley

I fully agree with the views of the scientific community that is working to dismantle piece by piece the huge lie of AGW. Difficult task because they have to face many different enemies lurking in the most strategic points of the society of control of public opinion. One thing, however I need to understand is what is your opinion on what, in my opinion, is the most important thing at present about the use of energy from fossil fuels: atmospheric pollution at the level of our lungs.

Nothing to do with CO2 or climate change or the GW. Treat the energy issue solely in these terms should be at the forefront in the interests of all those now are knelt down to AGW’s faith, beginning by the UN to pass through WWF, Greenpeace, governments, scientific panels, etc.

Teading your many articles I have never found this kind of discussions, but often I find praises for coal. More than GW, I am concerned about exhaust gases that enter in my lungs and in my children lungs and about immediate or future harm that we will have (cancer and respiratory diseases). I think it is so in this sense that we should spend all our knowledge and money.