News & Politics

Latest Climate Culprits: Asthmatics

Latest Climate Culprits: Asthmatics
(Image credit NAID via Wikipedia)

By now you should know that you hate the planet if you eat beef, instead of mashed-up bugs or heavily salted soy protein or algae or whatever. And of course you hate the planet if your car uses gasoline instead of electricity, which is generated by, apparently, magic. But did you know that now you hate the planet if you have asthma but you insist on breathing anyway?

Take a deep breath, if you’re able, and read this from Jeffrey Kluger at Time:

According to a new study published in BMJ Open, the familiar lightweight, pocket-sized aerosolized inhalers that make breathing easier for so many of the 235 million people worldwide who suffer from asthma may be choking the planet on a powerful greenhouse gas they release in the process…

The researcher compared the greenhouse gas emissions of aerosol pumps—known as metered dose inhalers (MDI)—with dry powder inhalers (DPI), which are shaped something like a hockey puck and are activated simply by inhaling…

The problem with MDIs is not carbon dioxide (the most common greenhouse gas), but rather methane, which represents a far smaller share of greenhouse emissions, but a much more powerful one, with up to 84 times the heat-trapping power of CO2. Even the least polluting inhaler was found to emit methane at levels equal to up to 10 kg (22 lbs.) of carbon dioxide into the air over the course of its 200-puff lifetime.

That’s the price of progress. Sure, a lot more people can breathe now. Is it really worth being alive if it means climate cultists are going to scold you for killing the planet?

Oxygen is just like any other natural resource. You should use as little of it as possible. For asthmatics, this is easy: Just throw away your inhalers. Before you know it, the problem will solve itself.

But the rest of us who are fully-lunged can do our part too. Try taking shallow breaths instead of huge gulps of air. Or, if you love the planet, just stop breathing altogether. One less set of lungs screwing things up for everybody else. You really can make a difference!

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