Hedonistic Sustainability and Health Risks: Open Letter to the City of Copenhagen
my name is Federico Pistono, I'm a scientist and Graduate Studies Program student of Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Park, Silicon Valley.
I was very intrigued and inspired by Bjarke Ingels' TED talk about Hedonistic Sustainability in Copenhagen. It all looked wonderful and beautiful. I have been to Copenhagen many times, I was a reporter for the European Journalism Center for the COP15, and I loved the city.
However, there was one thing that deeply disturbed me towards the end. The so called "waste to energy facility", is in fact, as I understand, an incinerator. I don't know exactly what kind of disposal systems for the ashes are you planning, and what kind of nanofilters or membranes you intend to implement, but I have worked for many years with some researchers, experts in nanopatologies, and I can assure you that this is no laughing matter.
There is massive amount of research that suggests that incinerators are unsustainable, and very hazardous for our health. That applies also, and particularly, to the newest generations of incinerators.
Please find the time to review this material, and reconsider your decision.
- Nanopathology: the health impact of nanoparticles
- Sarcoma risk and dioxin emissions from incinerators and industrial plants: a population-based case-control study (Italy)
- Statement from Dr. Paul Connett, graduate of Cambridge University and Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College
- The Health Effects of Fine, Ultrafine and Nanoscale Particulate Emissions from Incinerators
There are many sustainable alternatives to incineration for waste recovery, which can reach 99.8% of recycling and costs much less than incinerators. They are also completely sustainable and non-hazardous. I will be happy to go over the details with you.
As for the problem of house heating, it is my understanding that the the city depends on incineration to provide its citizens all the necessary heat for the winter time. Again, there are much cleaner and safer alternatives, which we can explore together.
I urge you to stop and think about what you are about to do. You have amazing projects and ideas, you are creating the most beautiful city in the world, but just one mistake can cost you many lives for generations to come.
Singularity University, NASA Ames Research Park, Silicon Valley