It’s no secret that greenhouse gas emissions not only affect the climate of our Earth but also our individual health. As the amount of GHG emissions in our atmosphere continues to rise, the prevalence of adverse health effects is becoming more apparent. This is why it’s never been more important to develop a renewable source of clean energy that can meet our energy demands right now.
Greenhouse Gases and our Health
Although the conversation about the effects of climate change on our planet’s environment often takes center stage, we must constantly remind ourselves of the consequences that a warmer and more polluted environment has on our health. More than 27.7 million metric tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere every day, equating to 10.1 billion metric tons of carbon annually – and those numbers are increasing every year. The largest sources of carbon emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.
High carbon concentration in the atmosphere will continually drive up temperatures. You can expect more frequent and severe weather events, like the recent waves of extreme heat occurring across North America. In the US alone, heatwaves kill thousands of people each year and are responsible for more deaths than the combined effects of extreme weather like tornadoes, floods, lightning, hurricanes, and earthquakes. During the Moscow heatwave of 2010, more than 10,000 people died as a result of the extreme heat. The European summer heatwave of 2003 killed an estimated 70,000 people. From 2000 to 2016, the number of people exposed to heatwaves increased by about 125 million worldwide. And these figures are just from extreme heat alone.
Higher levels of CO2 in our atmosphere also exacerbate ozone and pollution levels. Intense ozone pollution, as well as high concentrations of particulate matter, can cause an increase in respiratory illnesses, asthma, and emphysema. Non-ozone air pollution increases rates of lung cancer, allergies, and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that air pollution kills more than 9 million people per year and that for every degree Celsius the temperature rises, ozone pollution can be expected to kill an additional 22,000 people.
Not to mention the burden on our healthcare system and economy.
Fossil Fuels or Biofuels?
It’s clear that continued use of fossil fuels will not only harm our environment but also our health. Many communities in America were built to accommodate personal vehicles for transportation, as opposed to mass public transit like buses and trains. The post-WW2 explosion of closely-built suburban and urban residential and commercial zones has further amplified the harmful effects of CO2 emissions and particulate matter. The situation in lower-income communities is even more dire.
Let’s take a look at the Bronx borough of New York City, which is the poorest of the five boroughs. The borough houses 1.43 million people in a 42-mile area, equating to roughly 35,000 people per square mile. Residents of the Bronx are surrounded by four major highways, as well as pollution-heavy industrial zones, major delivery and manufacturing hubs, and sewage works. The Bronx also experiences cold winters, with residents typically choosing traditional fossil fuels to heat their homes. This combination of transportation, industrial, and heating pollution has caused Bronx residents, especially children, to suffer from some of the highest rates of asthma in the United States.
The question remains – how can we reduce or eliminate the harmful effects of pollution for areas like the Bronx? The answer is biodiesel and Bioheat® Fuel.
Biodiesel and Bioheat® Fuel are innovative bio-based fuels that replace traditional fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter. Biodiesel is created right here in the United States using renewable feedstocks like soybeans, animal fats, and used cooking oils. The result is a low-carbon diesel alternative that helps reduce the amount of CO2 and particulate matter given off during operation. Biodiesel can be used immediately in any vehicle or equipment that uses regular diesel fuel, without any modifications. Bioheat® Fuel is a blend of biodiesel and Ultra-Low Sulfur Heating Oil (ULSHO) and can be used in any heating system that uses traditional heating oil. Using Bioheat® Fuel also does not require any modifications to your existing system and can be used immediately.
The Health Benefits Study conducted by the National Biodiesel Board shows that the adoption of biodiesel can have positive impacts on the health of the residents of communities that are affected by pollution (links to these studies can be found at the end of this article). Thanks to New York State’s Biofuel Mandate, Bronx residents, as well as the residents of New York City's boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island are automatically receiving at least B5 Bioheat® Fuel to their homes and businesses, instead of traditional heating oil. With Bioheat® Fuel, fewer emissions and particulate matter go into the air, resulting in a reduced healthcare burden for residents.
Improving Public Health
When it comes to improving public health, the results from biodiesel and Bioheat® Fuel speak for themselves. Bioheat® Fuel is a low-cost and immediate way to reduce harmful health conditions by cutting the amount of toxic pollution being put into our air. When it comes to economics, Bioheat® Fuel is available right now and requires no expensive overhauls to existing systems in order to work. You can use Bioheat® Fuel in your existing heating system, with no extra out-of-pocket costs. Bioheat® Fuel is the clear path forward to sustainable, renewable, and healthy energy.
To learn more about Bioheat® Fuel, visit our website www.TodaysBioheat.com and become a Net-Zero Hero!