This short article from the New York Times isn’t really about climate warming or climate change, but air quality is related to emissions of many types, some of which do affect the climate or the populace. Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah studied how changes in air quality from the early 1980s to the late 1990s impacted life expectancy in 51 cities. The found that for every decrease in 10 micrograms of pollutant particles per cubic meter of air, life expectancy increased by seven months. Over all, average life expectancy increased by two years and eight months. Controlling for smoking and other factors, they estimated that five months of the increased life expectancy was due to improvements in air quality. Efforts to clean up the air pay off in longer life.
In the wake of reactionary rulings by the Supreme Court that seized a woman’s right to abortion after the Justices had unleashed potentially lethal freedoms to gun owners, one can only shudder at the prospect of the court’s upcoming decision on West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).