Wow. Coal Sure Kills A Lot of People

The above is a visualization of a data chart making the rounds of the interwebs this week in support of nuclear power. Gleaned primarily from World Health Organization data on workplace fatalities and air pollution (nothing on the impact of climate change), the data shows that nuclear energy kills far less people than other type of energy.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the world has taken some fairly significant steps to avoid nuclear disasters, the main reason there is so little nuclear power in place today.

Whatever your opinion on nuclear power, the big takeaway from this data is that coal kills tons more people than any alternative, clean energy or otherwise.   The below graph shows the comparison between deaths per terawatt hour and the percentage of world energy production per fuel source.  (Note that solar and wind are both omitted from this chart, as neither accounts for even 1 percent of global energy production.  According to the above chart, both are relatively safe.)   Together, the data suggests that from a human health and safety perspective, there really is no worse choice than coal.

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