Climate Change Experts Say Methane Emissions Will Negatively Impact Global Health if Unchecked

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Recent studies show climate change directly impacting the health of people across the world. Power Knot’s Iain Milnes urges reduction in landfill waste to curtail methane production.

Iain Milnes, founder and president of Power Knot, offers solutions to methane reduction

Global warming threatens our health and wellbeing, and could ultimately end up costing taxpayers significantly in years to come.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause an estimated 250,000 deaths per year from malnutrition, infectious disease, and heat stress.1 Deadly heat waves, changes in precipitation, and natural disasters resulting from global warming will affect access to clean air, safe drinking water, and nutritious food. Heat waves and air pollutants will also exacerbate respiratory and cardiovascular disease, particularly among the most vulnerable populations—children and the elderly. The WHO estimates that costs to treat direct health problems brought on by climate change—excluding the ill effects on food production and water—will be between $2-4 billion per year by 2030.2 Power Knot, a leading provider of environmentally sound products that reduce costs and carbon footprint, warns that diverting food waste from landfills is key in reducing the methane and carbon dioxide gases impacting climate change and global warming.

“Here in the U.S., we now experience unsafe levels of heat quite frequently each summer,” said Iain Milnes, founder and president of Power Knot. “In fact, scientists have named 2016 as being the hottest year on Earth since recordkeeping began in 1880.”3 These extreme weather and flooding patterns are not only dangerous in and of themselves, but can also destroy crops and contaminate water supplies. Eventually, this food and water scarcity could lead to global security threats as people and countries compete for scarce resources.4

The warm, wet weather associated with climate change also increases the transmission of diseases that are waterborne or spread by insects.1,2 Zika, for example—once relegated to areas near the equator—may likely have found hospitable ground in more northern areas due to global warming.5 The WHO expects diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to substantially increase, as well.2

Milnes added, “Global warming threatens our health and wellbeing, and could ultimately end up costing taxpayers significantly in years to come. To mitigate these problems, we must work with the transportation and waste industries to immediately reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce.”

Within the waste industry, methane, produced by the breakdown of food and other organic materials, dominates the composition of greenhouse emissions. Methane is part of a category of greenhouse gases called “short-lived climate pollutants” (SLCPs). Although SLCPs are short-lived, they create an enormous impact on the climate. For example, over a 20-year period, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.5

Milnes emphasized that “Scientists believe that to prevent creating a world that is virtually uninhabitable in many areas by 2050, we must reduce greenhouse emissions by 80 percent.5 Aggressively reducing methane production is paramount to reduction efforts. Because of its potency, we need to get a handle on methane emissions or our other efforts may prove inconsequential.”

To reduce methane emissions, many in the waste industry have espoused the development of better landfill gas capture systems.5 However, gas capture systems are not effective at substantially reducing pollution. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that gas capture rates from these devices may be as little as 20 percent over the lifetime of the system.5

According to Milnes, reducing the amount of organic waste that ends up in a landfill in the first place provides a viable solution. “Power Knot’s LFC (Liquid Food Composter) enables facilities of any size to reduce their carbon footprint by decreasing the amount of organic waste they send to landfills. The LFC produces carbon dioxide (which is carbon neutral) and water when it breaks down food, which will not cause the health problems and pollution associated with methane emissions.”

The LFC also eliminates disposal costs, leading to a significant return on investment.

About Power Knot’s LFC:

Power Knot’s LFC is sold globally to organizations that need to dispose of waste food. The LFC saves organizations the cost, mess, inconvenience, and carbon footprint of sending that organic material to a landfill. The LFC is available in seven sizes to suit a variety of users and can usually pay for itself in 24 or fewer months. The LFC can generate goodwill with the growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers, and this clean technology will continue to help advance the global movement towards sustainability and zero waste.

About Power Knot:

Power Knot, with its headquarters in San Jose, Calif., provides innovative solutions for commercial, industrial, and military customers seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. The company is profitable, and designs, develops, and manufactures its products in Silicon Valley.

Its LFCs (Liquid Food Composters) are high-quality, technologically-advanced bio-digesters capable of rapid digestion of most organic materials. LFCs create a safe and economical resolution for customers looking to address their carbon footprint by diverting waste food from landfills and by reducing emissions related to the transportation of waste. For more information, access http://www.powerknot.com.

1.    Howard, Jacqueline. “Scientists Highlight Deadly Risks of Climate Change.” CNN. Cable News Network, 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.
2.    “Climate Change and Health.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.
3.    “2016 Warmest Year On Record Globally, Beats Out 1998.” Tech Times. N.p., 06 Jan. 2017. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.
4.    Iceland, Charles. “What Does Water Have to Do with National Security?” Eco-Business. N.p., 03 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
5.    Mercer, Greg. “The Link Between Zika and Climate Change.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.
6.    Bailey, Kate. “How the Waste Industry Can Lead on Climate Change.” Waste360. N.p., 24 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

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