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Mass active transit a major means of combating health dangers of climate change

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  • Christopher Miller
    A story today in the Montreal Gazette cites a new medical study recommending mass active transit as one of the most effective ways of improving public health
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 25, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      A story today in the Montreal Gazette cites a new medical study recommending "mass active transit" as one of the most effective ways of improving public health and fending off dangers to public health from climate change.

      The story, which appears in the Gazette and other press organs in the CanWest network, cites a study published today in the medical journal the Lancet, part of a series on "Health and Climate Change".

      http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Walking+biking+good+planet+study/2264373/story.html

      The original paper can be read on The Lancet web site:

      http://www.thelancet.com/series/health-and-climate-change

      Search for "Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport" about halfway down the page.

      =========================================================

      Walking, biking good for you and the planet: Study

      BY MARGARET MUNRO, CANWEST NEWS SERVICENOVEMBER 25, 2009 10:22 AMBE THE FIRST TO POST A COMMENT

      (photo)

      (Caption: Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban jungle, according to an international study showing the big benefits of "mass active travel.")
      Photograph by: File, CNS


      Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban jungle, according to an international study showing the big benefits of "mass active travel."

      It suggests money should be diverted way from roads to make walking and cycling "the most direct, convenient, and pleasant options for most urban trips." Pedestrians and bikers should also get "priority" over cars and trucks at intersections.

      The study is one of six reports on the "health dividend" of combating climate change published in the medical journal Lancet Wednesday.

      The reports say that enormous changes are needed to slow global warming, but show that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be good for people's health. Millions of deaths could be averted by getting people out of cars, breathing cleaner air and eating healthier food.

      Public health researchers and leaders issued the reports in a bid to get the message across to world leaders and negotiators heading to next month’s climate talks in Copenhagen.

      "Sadly, policy-makers have been slow to recognize that the real bottom line of climate change is its risk to human health and quality of life," Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, says in a commentary with the studies.

      She says the threats to public health are real: Climate change is expected to increase malnutrition, and its "devastating effects" on child health, worsen floods, droughts, storms and heat waves, and alter the geographical distribution of insects that spread malaria and dengue.

      "The issue now is not whether climate change is occurring, but how we can respond most effectively," says Chan.

      The up-side, say Chan and the researchers, is that some carbon-reduction strategies could result in major health improvements.

      Simple measures to improve household energy efficiency could have huge benefits, according to one study that looked at polluting indoor cook stoves widely used in low-income countries.

      Replacing the stoves with low-emissions stove technology that costs $50 US per household has the potential to "avert millions of premature deaths and hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse pollutants," says the study led by Dr. Paul Wilkinson at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

      It found a 10-year program to introduce 150 million efficient, low-emission cooking stoves in India could by 2020 prevent 240,000 children under age five from dying of acute lower respiratory infections and more than 1.8 million premature adult deaths from heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

      Reducing the use of coal to produce electricity would also have "co-benefits," a second study reports. Carbon emissions wafting into the atmosphere would be reduced along with particulate air pollutants linked to lung cancer, and acute respiratory and cardio-respiratory illnesses. The researchers say that by 2030 "decarbonizing" electricity production could prevent an estimated 93,000 premature deaths in India, another 57,000 in China and 5,000 in the European Union.

      The urban transportation study says encouraging more walking and cycling would have big benefits for both health and the climate. It compared different transportation scenarios for London and Delhi. Walking and cycling came out on top even when compared to increased use of low-emission vehicles that are widely touted as "green" solutions.

      "Important health gains and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved through replacement of urban trips in private motor vehicles with active travel in high-income and middle-income countries,” the researchers conclude.

      They suggest policy-makers divert investment away from roads and toward provision of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. They suggest motor vehicles be slowed down and more strictly controlled, while pedestrians and bikers should have direct routes with priority at intersections, to "increase in the safety, convenience, and comfort of walking and cycling."

      © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

      =========================================================

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
    • J.H. Crawford
      Thanks, Chris. Looks interesting. I ve pasted it into the draft of the next issue. Best, Joel ... J.H. Crawford . Carfree
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 25, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks, Chris. Looks interesting. I've pasted it into
        the draft of the next issue.

        Best,

        Joel

        At 2009-11-25 11:18, you wrote:
        >A story today in the Montreal Gazette cites a new medical study
        >recommending "mass active transit" as one of the most effective ways
        >of improving public health and fending off dangers to public health
        >from climate change.
        >
        >The story, which appears in the Gazette and other press organs in the
        >CanWest network, cites a study published today in the medical journal
        >the Lancet, part of a series on "Health and Climate Change".
        >
        >http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Walking+biking+good+planet+study
        >/2264373/story.html
        >
        >The original paper can be read on The Lancet web site:
        >
        >http://www.thelancet.com/series/health-and-climate-change
        >
        >Search for "Public health benefits of strategies to reduce
        >greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport" about halfway down the page.
        >
        >=========================================================
        >
        >Walking, biking good for you and the planet: Study
        >
        >BY MARGARET MUNRO, CANWEST NEWS SERVICENOVEMBER 25, 2009 10:22 AMBE
        >THE FIRST TO POST A COMMENT
        >
        >(photo)
        >
        >(Caption: Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban
        >jungle, according to an international study showing the big benefits
        >of "mass active travel.")
        >Photograph by: File, CNS
        >
        >
        >Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban jungle,
        >according to an international study showing the big benefits of "mass
        >active travel."
        >
        >It suggests money should be diverted way from roads to make walking
        >and cycling "the most direct, convenient, and pleasant options for
        >most urban trips." Pedestrians and bikers should also get "priority"
        >over cars and trucks at intersections.
        >
        >The study is one of six reports on the "health dividend" of combating
        >climate change published in the medical journal Lancet Wednesday.
        >
        >The reports say that enormous changes are needed to slow global
        >warming, but show that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be good
        >for people's health. Millions of deaths could be averted by getting
        >people out of cars, breathing cleaner air and eating healthier food.
        >
        >Public health researchers and leaders issued the reports in a bid to
        >get the message across to world leaders and negotiators heading to
        >next month’s climate talks in Copenhagen.
        >
        >"Sadly, policy-makers have been slow to recognize that the real bottom
        >line of climate change is its risk to human health and quality of
        >life," Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health
        >Organization, says in a commentary with the studies.
        >
        >She says the threats to public health are real: Climate change is
        >expected to increase malnutrition, and its "devastating effects" on
        >child health, worsen floods, droughts, storms and heat waves, and
        >alter the geographical distribution of insects that spread malaria and dengue.
        >
        >"The issue now is not whether climate change is occurring, but how we
        >can respond most effectively," says Chan.
        >
        >The up-side, say Chan and the researchers, is that some
        >carbon-reduction strategies could result in major health improvements.
        >
        >Simple measures to improve household energy efficiency could have huge
        >benefits, according to one study that looked at polluting indoor cook
        >stoves widely used in low-income countries.
        >
        >Replacing the stoves with low-emissions stove technology that costs
        >$50 US per household has the potential to "avert millions of premature
        >deaths and hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse
        >pollutants," says the study led by Dr. Paul Wilkinson at the London
        >School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
        >
        >It found a 10-year program to introduce 150 million efficient,
        >low-emission cooking stoves in India could by 2020 prevent 240,000
        >children under age five from dying of acute lower respiratory
        >infections and more than 1.8 million premature adult deaths from heart
        >disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
        >
        >Reducing the use of coal to produce electricity would also have
        >"co-benefits," a second study reports. Carbon emissions wafting into
        >the atmosphere would be reduced along with particulate air pollutants
        >linked to lung cancer, and acute respiratory and cardio-respiratory
        >illnesses. The researchers say that by 2030 "decarbonizing"
        >electricity production could prevent an estimated 93,000 premature
        >deaths in India, another 57,000 in China and 5,000 in the European Union.
        >
        >The urban transportation study says encouraging more walking and
        >cycling would have big benefits for both health and the climate. It
        >compared different transportation scenarios for London and Delhi.
        >Walking and cycling came out on top even when compared to increased
        >use of low-emission vehicles that are widely touted as "green" solutions.
        >
        >"Important health gains and reductions in CO2 emissions can be
        >achieved through replacement of urban trips in private motor vehicles
        >with active travel in high-income and middle-income countries,” the
        >researchers conclude.
        >
        >They suggest policy-makers divert investment away from roads and
        >toward provision of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. They
        >suggest motor vehicles be slowed down and more strictly controlled,
        >while pedestrians and bikers should have direct routes with priority
        >at intersections, to "increase in the safety, convenience, and comfort
        >of walking and cycling."
        >
        >© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
        >
        >=========================================================
        >
        >Christopher Miller
        >Montreal QC Canada
        >
        >
        >
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        ----- ### -----
        J.H. Crawford . Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... . http://www.carfree.com
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