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Why This Matters: U.S. air quality is not crystal clear as the President continues to maintain — in fact, in many parts of the country, it is downright awful. As we reported, the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” Report that came out in April found that more than 40% of Americans — 141 million — live in a county with unhealthy air, which represents an increase of 7 million people more than last year. All this pollution is really bad for us. A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that in 2011, the finest scale particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) caused 107,000 premature deaths in the U.S. and cost the economy nearly $900 million dollars. That study followed closely on the heels of the State of Global Air Report, which that air pollution today is going to cause on average a loss of nearly two years of life span for infants. And this does not account for the impact all this pollution is having on the climate crisis. We simply cannot afford to backslide now, when there is just beginning to be momentum from renewable energy to begin to retire dirty coal plants.
Fact Versus Trump Fiction.
The AP analysis is consistent with the American Lung Association’s report that despite some progress, “in 2015-2017, more cities had high days of ozone and short-term particle pollution compared to 2014-2016 and many cities measured increased levels of year-round particle pollution.”
According to the AP, “There were 15% more days with unhealthy air in America both last year and the year before than there were on average from 2013 through 2016, the four years when America had its fewest number of those days since at least 1980.”
The AP also found that “Five hundred and thirty-two American metro areas reported a total of 4,134 days in 2018 when the official air quality index passed 100, which means it is unhealthy for people with heart and lung disease, the elderly and the very young.”
On average, the AP stated, that in 2017 and 2018 there were nearly 140 times when a city’s air pollution reached the worst two categories — “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” — with the air quality index greater than 200 which was more than two-and-a-half times worse than during the period right before from 2013 to 2016.
To Go Deeper: Check out how your city ranks for its air qualityby clicking here.
What You Can Do: Well the obvious answer is to vote for candidates who support clean air in every election, but especially in the 2020 Presidential election. In the meantime, to fight for cleaner air, you can join or support the Moms Clean Air Force by clicking here.
As we expand our understanding of climate change, scientists have begun to focus on the growing role warming temperatures are playing as a potent driver of greater aridity–which is different than drought. As NOAA describes it, drought is “a period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance”. Aridity is […]
For many who live near refineries, incinerators, and other heavy industry, lockdowns and shelter in place orders like we have all experienced lately are a far too common occurrence. The New York Times took a closer look at these communities to show why the residents are so vulnerable to the disease.
Why This Matters:Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali explained to put the COVID deaths into context, “we know more than 100,000 people die prematurely in the U.S. every year because of air pollution.”
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