Why Are Increased Emissions Bad for My Health… and My Wallet?

Well, some of you may see the correlation immediately, whereas, many of you with a certain political lean, may or may not. The issue to be addressed is the harm that pollutants and greenhouse gases cause to the general population; with focus on that of the European Union—which so happens to be the case study researched. The purpose of the study was to bring awareness to the connection between chronic illness and diseases with that of the environmental pollutants and greenhouse gases. The fact of the matter is; studies found that many of the cases of respiratory diseases that seem to plague the population could in fact be significantly decreased if the number of greenhouse gases emitted within the EU were to also decrease. Not to mention, the amount of money saved on health care and its costs that are associated with natural disasters and other unfortunate problems that may occur and affect the populations’ health along the way.

As the tendency of Gross Domestic Product-based growth suggests, economies grow and produce and waste. That is how they operate and this is a hot topic issue. This study directly and forwardly connects the health dilemma many of us face, to the environmental impact we are having on ourselves, our capital and our environment. We are perpetuating a feedback loop of negativity that we are directly being affected by the most – and in a most unhealthy way. We create the influx of pollutants and greenhouse gases that build stock in our back yard and harm us each and every day. Over time, the same chemicals that we are emitting to temporarily “sustain” our comfortable lifestyles are accumulating in our atmosphere and coming full circle, directly harming us—our bodies and our overall health.

The harm we cause to ourselves we end up having to pay for in the end via raised health care costs and climate change. The article states, “as greenhouse gases fall, so do other pollutants that set off respiratory diseases and other illnesses which reduce in health care costs”, (Kanter, J.). As the increased warming and climate change continues due to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the closer we get to an unhealthier future. The more the climate changes, the more natural disasters tend to occur; which in turn may cause an onset of infectious diseases to spread more rapidly and make us more sick (possibly ending in a quick and possibly painful death)—and so it continues on in a feedback loop of negativity. If you have to ask why this article written in 2010 is relevant today. Think about it… think hard. OH! Yes! Ebola! Come on guys.

The benefits of action to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions greatly outweigh the act of doing nothing and allowing the cycle to continue to do harm to current generations as well as the future ones to come. By reacting to the signs and signals of our populations and environment, we have the opportunity here in the United States, to preempt the contaminant strike – to create a solution to an eminent problem. Not only will lives be saved, but so will the ecological health of our planet. A healthier earth means a healthier population; decreased health care costs and the efficiency of which we sustain our economies will be positively altered. For those unrelenting skeptics who have yet to be persuaded about the correlation, if you are still unsure about the human’s carbon footprint on the environment, maybe you will be motivated by the effect your pollution has on own health and, of course and most of all, your wallet.

Kanter, J. (2010, September 14). Health Dividend Seen in Deeper Emission Cuts. New York Times Green Blog .

Leetz, A. (2010, September 14). Impact of Climate Change on Health. Retrieved September 14, 2010, from Health Care Without Harm: http://www.noharm.org/