Balancing Act: Planning for a Sustainable Wisconsin

Balancing Act: Planning for a Sustainable Wisconsin

Health Consequences of Energy Choices: The Energy Exercise Crispin Pierce, Ph.D. Outline How do we use energy? How do we classify health consequences from energy use? What sources of energy do we have?

Coal Natural gas Diesel and biodiesel Solar Wind Biomass Nuclear Hydroelectric The Energy Exercise Questions?

Uses of Energy Non-renewable: coal, gas, oil, and nuclear. Renewable: solar, wind, biomass, biodiesel. Transportation Heating Manufacturing Health Consequences TIME Immediate/short-term (e.g., refinery explosion) Long-term (e.g., cancer) REVERSABILITY Temporary

injury (e.g., skin burn from gasoline spill) Permanent disability (e.g., lung disease from coal plant emissions) CONTROLABILITY Voluntary (e.g., driving a car) Involuntary (e.g., nuclear plant risk) Coal Advantages Large US reserves Known technology Potential for lowering mercury emissions.

Health Acid Risks rain Mercury in fish Particulate matter Global warming Degraded water quality Natural Gas and Oil Advantages: Known technology Infrastructure exists

Photo: EcotechDaily Health Air Risks pollution (NOx, particulates, CO) Drilling, piping, and refining effects Global warming Natural protection losses Wars over oil supplies Diesel and Biodiesel Advantages

Can be less expensive Biodiesel is renewable Photo: Thoroughbred Diesel Health Effects Particulate emissions cause lung disease and cancer Refining and production job risks

Nuclear Advantages Very low emissions Relatively safe Health Effects Major water needs for cooling Extremely toxic spent fuel materials cause cancer Extremely long halflives of these wastes

Terrorism and war (?) Wind Advantages Renewable Very low impact Local generation Health Risks

Bird losses: Vehicles: 60 - 80 million Buildings and Windows: 98 - 980 million Powerlines: tens of thousands - 174 million Communication Towers: 4 - 50 million Wind Generation Facilities: 10,000 - 40,000 Installation and operation accidents Marine mammal disruption from offshore installation

and operation Solar Heating Advantages Health Risks Renewable Allergenic Local fungi Environmental costs of materials to produce solar systems

generation Low impact molds and Solar Photovoltaic Advantages Renewable Local generation Creates electricity Low impact Health Effects

Battery production and operation Semiconductor materials production (production of silicon) Land space for panels less useful as natural resource Biomass Advantages Health Risks Renewable

Particulates Local disease Local deforestation Agricultural effects: water consumption, runoff, herbicides, pesticides generation Simple and lung Hydroelectric Advantages

Renewable Regulated supply Disadvantages Potential exposure to pathogens Disruption of natural water filtration Global Warming Effects Heat deaths (70,000 people died in the summer of 2003). Spread of mosquito, tick and other insectborne diseases.

Increased air pollution death and diseases. Disruption of food production. CO2 Causes Global Warming Generate CO2 CO2 Neutral Coal Biomass Oil

Ethanol Gas Solar Waste Diesel combustion Wind Tidal Geothermal Nuclear Biodiesel Renewable Energy is Not Risk-Free

Health risks from renewable energy sources come from the large amounts of material and labor needed, as well as energy backup and storage requirements. The diagram on the next page represents short- and long-term health risks from different sources of energy. Which sources are most dangerous? Which are safest? Haddad and Dones, IAEA Gohlke et al. (2008) Energy conservation avoids all these risks.

The Energy Exercise Goal: To understand how energy use choices affect our health, finances, and comfort. Setup: Each participant receives ten credits of health, money, and comfort credits. Play: Ten year-round energy choices are made. Result: Participants learn about how their choices affect their quality of life. Get your pencil ready! Create three columns with the labels below, starting with ten in each column. As you answer each question on the following pages, add or subtract to each column.

Health Cost Comfort 10 12 11 10 7 9 10 8 Housing Cost

Activity Health Money Comfort I Choose a House and Lawn in the Country -3 -2 +2 House in the City +1

-2 +1 Condo Downtown +2 +1 Your Yard Activity Tidy Lawn Health -2 Native Landscape

+1 Anything Goes +1 Money Comfort -1 -1 +2 -1 Summer Heat Activity Air Conditioning for a Hot Summer

Health -2 Open Windows and a Fan Sweating it Out +1 Money Comfort -1 +2 +1 +1

+2 -1 Trips to the Cabin Activity Health Weekend Trips to the Cabin -1 One Trip with Friends +1 Backyard/Local

Camping Money Comfort -2 +2 -1 Travel Activity Flying to a Good Friends Wedding Health -2 Money Comfort -2

+2 Taking a Bus +1 +1 Stay Home and Send a Gift +2 +1 Food Activity

Health Money Comfort A Month of Steaks -3 -2 +1 Meat 3x Per Week -2 -1 +1

Going Veggie +3 +2 -1 Transportation Activity New SUV Health -2 Used Prius Nice Bike

+3 Money Comfort -3 +2 -1 +1 +3 -2 Heat Activity Winter Warmth from

Oil/Gas Insulation and Solar Heating Blankets and Hot Chocolate Health -2 Money Comfort -1 +1 +2 -2

+2 +2 Food Choices Activity Health Summer Fruit in Winter Money Comfort -1 Local Restaurants and Food +2

Organically-Grown Food and Preserves +3 +1 +1 +1 -2 Winter Sports Activity Snowmobiling

Health -3 Downhill Skiing X-Country Skiing +3 Money Comfort -2 +2 -2 +2 +2

-1 Which category has the highest score? Comfort? Finances? Health? Did you learn about how your choices affect your health (and the health of all of us)? Summary All energy sources have health

consequences. Coal, oil and gas cause the most death and disability of all energy sources. Renewable energy causes death and disability from the large amounts of material and labor needed, as well as energy backup and storage requirements. Energy conservation greatly reduces these health risks. Individual lifestyle choices directly and indirectly impact our health. Thanks for your Attention! References Haddad

and Dones, IAEA: s/Bulletin/Bull333/33302041419.pdf Gohlke et al. (2008):Environ Health Perspect. 2008 June; 116(6): A236A23, Economy, and Environment: Sustainable Energy Choices for a Nation; Julia M. Gohlke, Sharon H. Hrynkow, and Christopher J. Portier Contact Information Crispin Pierce, PhD [email protected] (715) 836-5589

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