End fossil fuels, save lung health, says new study
A new report by the American Lung Association (ALA) has found that a nationwide shift to electric vehicles and clean energy could save over 100,000 American lives. The researchers found that a rapid transition could save the country over 1.2 trillion in public health costs over the next three decades. Additionally, the shift could reduce lung condition cases associated with fossil fuels.
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The report highlights fossil fuel reliance’s damage to the world. It shows that a shift from dirty fuel could promote a healthier future with fewer hospitalizations and deaths. Swapping all gas vehicles in the U.S. for electric ones could directly result in 110,000 fewer deaths and 2.8 million fewer asthma cases by 2050. Further, the shift could result in 13.4 million fewer sick days.
How could such a change affect the world? Estimates predict a 92% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. Further, the change would result in roughly $1.7 trillion worth of climate benefits. Additional benefits include a stronger ecosystem, improved agricultural infrastructure and fewer natural disasters. As the population most adversely affected by the climate crisis, communities of color would see the biggest improvements from this transition.
However, the report emphasizes that policymakers are responsible for enacting these changes. Authors involved in the study say the biggest stumbling block to achieving such a future is politics. Currently, political polarization seems to drive the lack of climate action.
“The current rising gas and energy prices are a symptom of our addiction to fossil fuels. But outside the economic pain, there’s significant public health pain caused by our addiction to fossil fuels,” said Will Barrett, author of “Zeroing in on Healthy Air.” “Transitioning to zero-emission technologies and energy depends on strong political leadership and investments, in order to get the potential health benefits off the page and into the real world,” he added.
The study used models centered on the U.S. fully transitioning to 100% electric car sales in 2035 and electric trucks by 2040. Calculations also envisioned a full departure from fossil fuels to green sources such as solar and wind by 2035.
Via The Guardian