Stopping air pollution: Here's how many lives and how much money we could be saving

Madison, Wisconsin - The climate crisis is already costing lives and money, and swift action would turn things around, saving both lives and money every year.

Polluting fossil fuels need to go, to save lives, money, and beat the climate crisis.
Polluting fossil fuels need to go, to save lives, money, and beat the climate crisis.  © 123RF/vfhnb12

A team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that over 50,000 early deaths could be prevented simply by dropping air pollution from energy generation tech, like shifting to renewable energy, according to their study published in GeoHealth.

Their research also says that making that shift would save over $600 billion in avoided costs at hospitals.

And the best part is that we've already been able to clean up our air.

As Neil deGrasse Tyson, the chillest astrophysicist alive, pointed out, there was a time when sunsets "were often beet-red," a sign of bad pollution.

Dropping air pollution can help with climate change

The lead author of the study, and UW Madison grad student Nick Mailloux, said: "Shifting to clean energy sources can provide enormous benefit for public health in the near term while mitigating climate change in the longer term."

And that's the beauty of dealing with one aspect of climate change: it has ripple effects, like how cutting air pollution means ditching fossil fuel use, which doing is the easiest way to halt the climate crisis.

It's all about making the domino pieces fall in our favor.

No matter how you slice it, the climate solution pie has lots of ingredients, and one of them, cleaning up our air, would be one way to save lives and have some spare change left over.

Cover photo: 123RF/vfhnb12

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