Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Human Cost of Power

"The biggest threat to public health this century". That's how climate change has been described.

16-minute documentary Human Cost of Power looks at how coal and gas power are damaging our health. If you're short on time there's also a 5-minute and 2-minute version.

So is the fossil fuel industry worth our health? According to the documentary, more people die from air pollution than from car accidents. Mining is one of the largest causes of occupational injury and death. People who live within half a mile (800m) of a gas well have a greater risk of neurological, respiratory problems and cancer.

In America the health costs were calculated to be greater than the value of the industry to the economy. In Australia, health costs are estimated at 2.6 billion dollars per year. The federal government also provides 10 billion per year in subsidies. With mining companies 83% foreign owned, we pay the price but don't see the benefit.

It's easy to see how the health experts in the documentary reach their conclusion. "If a proper cost-benefit analysis was done on this industry - of the true cost of the waste, the cost to agriculture and to community health - it would never be allowed go ahead."

Related Posts:
Climate Change and Health
Addicted? Time to Quit
Carbon Emissions Make Us Sick
Who's Naughty and Nice

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