Pollution’s Annual Cost? $4.6 Trillion and 9 Million Dead

❝ And that was just in 2015, according to a new global report on the consequences of humanity’s actions.

DelhiUdit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

❝ Pollution in all its forms killed 9 million people in 2015 and, by one measure, led to economic damage of $4.6 trillion, according to a new estimate by researchers who hope to put the health costs of toxic air, water and soil higher on the global agenda.

In less-developed nations, pollution-linked illness and death drag down productivity, reducing economic output by 1 percent to 2 percent annually, according to the tally by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, published Thursday by the U.K. medical journal. The report is intended to illuminate the hidden health and economic consequences of harmful substances introduced into the environment by human activity…

❝ The report represents an “extremely comprehensive and rigorous quantification” of pollution costs, said Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“In the scientific community, I don’t think there is any disagreement about the cost-benefit analysis of controlling pollution,” Dominici said. Reducing air pollution from vehicles and power plants, for example, would simultaneously improve human health and reduce planet-warming carbon emissions, she said. “The major barrier has been political, but not scientific.”

❝ As large as that figure is, it may even underestimate the full cost of pollution. Because the amount is derived from death rates, it doesn’t include the price of medical expenditures or lost productivity from those sickened but not killed by pollution-related disease. And it doesn’t measure some forms of pollution that are likely to have health effects, such as soil tainted with heavy metals or industrial toxins, because data to calculate its influence on health are insufficient.

No surprise when Bloomberg offers articles like this one. Folks selling services to investors realize that folks in all walks of life can develop a conscience about principled profit-making versus scumbags who don’t care how their profits are acquired.

One thought on “Pollution’s Annual Cost? $4.6 Trillion and 9 Million Dead

  1. Update says:

    “Just 5 percent of power plants are responsible for 73 percent of the world’s energy sector emissions, and they’re primarily in the global north, a new study published in Environmental Research Letters found.
    A group of researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed 2018 data from 29,000 fossil fuel power plants in 221 countries and located the top emitters in the world.
    They mapped plants by their carbon dioxide emissions and identified the top 10 “ worst-of-the-worst” power plants, which are clustered around Europe, East Asia, and India.
    While the global power sector’s CO2 emissions have grown by 53 percent in the last two decades, not every country, nor every power plant is equally responsible for this burden: Six of the 10 worst polluting power plants in the world are located in East Asia, while two are in India and two are in Europe, all dwarfing total emissions among their counterparts in the same region.
    Despite having the largest economy in the world, none of the world’s top 10 worst polluting plants were located in the US; but the country is home to stark inequality between its highest and lowest emitting plants.
    In the US, the top five percent of polluters were responsible for nearly 80 percent of the country’s emissions from electricity, researchers found.
    “Reducing CO2 emissions by targeting the world’s hyper-polluting power plants” https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac13f1/meta

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