There are those who say, “We can’t afford environmental regulations–too many lost dollars (or pounds, or rubles, or yuan), too many lost jobs.” Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization:
- Over 7 million humans a year die from air pollution
- One quarter of all child deaths under age 5 are due to pollution
- People with medical conditions directly related to air, water, soil and other forms of pollution: 200 million; people indirectly affected by pollutants (lower IQ, weakened immune system, etc.): approximately 2 1/2 billion
- The economic effect in lost labor and medical expenses (never mind the immeasurable cost in human suffering): tens of trillions of dollars – every year
What is it we can’t afford, again?