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Study Finds That Climate Change Mitigation in Land Transport Should Benefit Public Health Substantially

A new study by an international team of researchers using Comparative Risk Assessment methods to estimate the health effects of alternative urban land transport scenarios for two settings—London, UK, and Delhi, India—concluded that although uncertainties remain, climate change mitigation in transport should benefit public health substantially.

The study, one of six published in the British medical journal The Lancet as part of a series on “Health and Climate Change” (earlier post), also concluded that policies to increase the acceptability, appeal, and safety of active urban travel, and discourage travel in private motor vehicles would provide larger health benefits than would policies that focus solely on lower-emission motor vehicles.

For each setting, the authors of the study compared a business-as-usual 2030 projection (without policies for reduction of greenhouse gases) with alternative scenarios: lower-carbon-emission motor vehicles, increased active travel, and a combination of the two.

They developed separate models that linked transport scenarios with physical activity, air pollution, and risk of road traffic injury. In both cities, they noted that reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through an increase in active travel and less use of motor vehicles had larger health benefits per million population (7,332 disability-adjusted life-years [DALYs] in London, and 12,516 in Delhi in 1 year) than from the increased use of lower-emission motor vehicles (160 DALYs in London, and 1,696 in Delhi).

However, the combination of active travel and lower-emission motor vehicles would give the largest benefits (7,439 DALYs in London, 12,995 in Delhi), notably from a reduction in the number of years of life lost from ischemic heart disease (10—19% in London, 11—25% in Delhi).

Key messages from the study include:

  • Transport-related greenhouse-gas emissions are increasing, with a rapid growth projection in low-income and middle-income countries.

  • Production of lower-emission motor vehicles (cars, motorcycles, and trucks) and reduction in travel by motor vehicles are needed to meet targets for reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

  • Lower-emission motor vehicles would reduce the health burden from urban outdoor air pollution, but a reduction in the distance travelled by motor vehicles could have a greater effect.

  • Increase in the distances walked and cycled would also lead to large health benefits. Largest health gains would be from reductions in the prevalence of ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, depression, dementia, and diabetes.

  • Although reducing motor vehicle use would decrease the injury risk for existing pedestrians and cyclists, if many more people walked and cycled there might be an increase in the number of pedestrian and cycle injuries, since more people would be exposed to the remaining risk.

  • Creation of safe urban environments for mass active travel will require prioritization of the needs of pedestrians and cyclists over those of motorists. Walking or cycling should become the most direct, convenient, and pleasant option for most urban trips.

With our assumptions about model structure and the uncertainties in the model variables, the results of this study should be regarded as provisional and should be revised when more accurate estimates become available...The extent to which our results can be generalized to other cities is open to question. For example, London and Delhi are megacities with high levels of public transport use, which suggests that they are likely to have more walking and lower carbon emissions per person than cities with lower levels of public transport use. In cities with higher car use, the emission cuts needed would be increased but the health benefits could be even greater.

...Because we have estimated the health effects of scenarios rather than specific interventions we cannot assess cost effectiveness. However, the infrastructure for individuals to walk or cycle might be less resource-intensive than that for cars. Additionally there are likely to be direct and indirect economic and social effects that cannot be adequately addressed here. A key consideration is whether such cities could, with low resource use, achieve social goals.

—Woodcock et al.


  • James Woodcock et al. (2009) Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport. The Lancet, Early Online Publication, doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61714-1



Notice this clown dares not claim there is ANY link between CO2 (devil GHG) and health. Because there is none. BTW urban land transport aka public transit, costs more than auto travel - because municipal government is too stupid (or corrupt) to subsidize it to a level where it competes with private autos.

Here's a key message for all "climate change" alarmists: you leaders have been outed for the corrupt, venal, misanthropic fascists they are. Those associated with "climate change" from here on have zero credibility except as candidates for the big house.

Henry Gibson

The level of CO2 that comes out of the lungs of a person is far in excess of the amount in the air. Many people who have heard about possible CO2 climate change effects do not even know that they breath out CO2 with every breath as does every living animal.

The oil producers and sellers have every motive to use their vast profits to produce and publish as much material as possible about the effects of CO2 release in order to prevent, as much as possible the use of the ten times cheaper coal as a source of transportation fuel.

It is not even certain that the coal industry would release any more CO2 in the production and use of a gallon of gasoline than the oil industry does. The massive flaring of natural gas in Russia and Africa contributes enormous amounts of CO2 into the air and the methane that is released unburnt is far more effective at trapping heat. In almost no case, would it not be possible to convert, at low cost, this flared gas to large amounts of carbon black. Engines could burn it to provide energy to liquify it and keep it cold for collection or for making into carbon black. It can be converted into hydrogen and fed into fermenting vats to make ethanol or other chemicals.

With modern technology it is much cheaper to build subway tunnels for transportation in towns or to build elevated electric transportation. No new developments should be built that do not incorporate public transportation separate from roads and do not incorporate minimal levels of self contained shopping opportunities.

The Parry People Movers have now demonstrated very cheap low CO2 public transportation with flywheel hydraulic hybrid operation. This equipment can be used on old or newly built rails that can last for many decades with modern concrete sleepers. Rails have been designed that can be installed in slots cut into existing pavements.

Tata nanos can be used to get to an from railway stations. There are not widely known figures even collectable for injuries that happen to bicycle riders and how many of them per mile traveled. With all of the requirements for seat belts and air bags and childrens seats, allowing the use of bicycles and motor bikes on public roadways seems incongruent.




Notice this clown dares not claim there is ANY link between CO2 (devil GHG) and health. Because there is none.


Now I'm curious: who ever claimed there is a link?



The average person exhaust about 1 Kg/CO2 per day from his lungs. However, humans are considered to be CO2 neutral because we absorb/eat (directly and indirectly) about an average of 1 Kg/Co2/day each.

Our gas guzzlers emit about 1Kg/CO2 for every 4 Km or a daily average of about 24 Kg per gas guzzler. Divide by 3 for a Prius III.

Using one (1) Kwh of electricity in USA creats about 2.3 lbs (or 1.05 Kg) of CO2. The average family creats an average of about 50 lbs (22.7 Kg) of electricity consumption related CO2 per day.

Using 1000 cf of NG creats about 122 lbs (or 55.5 Kg) of CO2.

Various CO2 sources have to be put into proper perspective. It would be a much better idea to stop driving gas guzzlers, stop heating with NG, stop using coal produced electricity instead of stopping to breathe unless you drive a monster and are a heavy coal produced electricity consumer etc. It that case, the world may be better off. It is more about what you consume, not your lungs.


Well I just want to know... WHY did Dr. Phil and cohorts have to cook the temp records?? WHY did Phil and Mann have to obstruct access to "peer-review" by leaning on journal editors??

The logic follows: They have something to hide. The absence of AGW. Absent AGW, CO2 is all bullcrap. CO2 = bullcrap so, mitigation of climate change is bullcrap.

Golly. I guess it's just one colossal Ponzi scheme headed up by Mike, Jim, Phil, Gavin et al to extort billions from western nations to build an infantile poohtopia!


Hey Reel$$ - the pootopia is collapsing around it's dirty little bowl. Phil has resigned "pending investigation" - and will need several years in the Re-Education Through Labor camp and some strong anti-psychotics to bring him around.

Good riddance to rubbish.

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