ROGOWIEC, POLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Steam and smoke rise from the Belchatow Power Station as the open-pit coal mine that feeds the station coal lies below on November 29, 2018 in Rogowiec, Poland. The Belchatow station, with an output of 5,472 megawatts, is the world’s largest lignite coal-fired power station. The station emits approximately 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The United Nations COP 24 climate conference is due to begin on December 2 in nearby Katowice, two hours south of Belchatow. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
It’s our only home
Air pollution is an enormous problem. Every new study on the subject yields more and more frightening findings surrounding the maladies caused by breathing poison. Our current president, who lies about everything, has openly lied about the air we breathe, as well. On Tuesday, a new study on the subject was published in European Heart Journal. The findings of this study added more than 800,000 deaths to previous estimates of deaths across Europe caused by air pollution, and doubled the mortality costs worldwide. Previous estimates had the numbers of people dying worldwide at around 4.5 million, whereas the study co-authored by Professor Thomas Münzel, of the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Mainz, Germany, puts that estimate at 8.8 million.
“To put this into perspective, this means that air pollution causes more extra deaths a year than tobacco smoking, which the World Health Organization estimates was responsible for an extra 7.2 million deaths in 2015. Smoking is avoidable but air pollution is not.
“The number of deaths from cardiovascular disease that can be attributed to air pollution is much higher than expected. In Europe alone, the excess number of deaths is nearly 800,000 a year and each of these deaths represents an average reduction in life expectancy of more than two years.”
Researchers concluded that Europeans saw a reduced life expectancy of around “2.2 years with an annual, attributable per capita mortality rate in Europe of 133/100 000 per year.”
Our government is a swamp, filled with fossil fuel lobbyists and their interests. It’s a sad day when the best thing you can say is that the government shutdown helped our air quality by stalling Trump’s active attacks on it.
Like racism, our air pollution is supported by a corrupt system of inequality and those on top tend to be affected less—even if only by degrees. Also like racism, air pollution destroys us all in the end. The world we rely on cannot support our collective denial of how bad it has gotten.
Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos, March 15, 2019
New study estimates that worldwide air pollution is twice as deadly as previously thought