Thursday, October 22, 2009

Linking Climate Change & Clean Energy Solutions With Health Insurance Reform

The N.Y. times reminds us just how connected the solutions to our major societal problems are.

It turns out that the main problem driving climate change is also a HUGE contributor to our exorbitant health care costs:

Burning fossil fuels costs the United States about $120 billion a year in health costs, mostly because of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution, the National Academy of Sciences reported in a study issued Monday.

The damages are caused almost equally by coal and oil, according to the study, which was ordered by Congress.

The estimates by the academy do not include damages from global warming...Nor did the study measure damage from burning oil for trains, ships and planes. And it did not include the environmental damage from coal mining or the pollution of rivers with chemicals that were filtered from coal plant smokestacks to keep the air clean.

So the economic costs Americans incur by remaining addicted to fossil fuels are probably considerably greater than then $120 billion estimated by this study.

These numbers are big.  Will we see them brought to the forefront of the media's coverage of the Senate's Climate Bill debate, when opponents of progress will invariably whine about the costs of a clean energy transformation?

Let's do our best to make it so...

Read the full article>>

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