clean, green air pollution

July 13th, 2007

Clean green New Zealand, huh?

Air pollution claims 1100 lives each year. That’s the headline.  And it comes with a beautiful photo of Christchurch smog.

Air pollution is a billion-dollar killer claiming nearly 1100 lives in New Zealand each year, a new report says.

The four-year study, by more than 20 leading science and health experts in New Zealand and Australia, found one in 20 people die earlier than they would have because of air pollution. In greater Auckland, the figure is 1 in 16.

It blames open fireplaces in homes and dirty fumes from vehicle exhausts and factories for the toll.

But the report also warns that smaller cities too have dirty air.

“Air pollution levels are quite high in places like Taumarunui, Timaru, Rotorua and Tokoroa,” said a lead author, environmental science consultant Gavin Fisher.

The study showed the most significant pollutant came from inefficient fuel burning that can aggravate or cause respiratory problems.

The article only gets more depressing. One thing it shows up clearly, though, is that New Zealand houses tend to be very poorly heated and insulated. Why do you think so many people rely on burning wood to keep warm in the winter? (and the next person who tries to tell me New Zealand is a tropical country because it’s in the Pacific is going to get such a damn good kick up the arse they’ll fly all the way to the Pacific coast of Antarctica).

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