Filthy India Air Cutting 660 Million Lives Short by 3 Years
The other burning reason to stop burning fossil fuels. Just a reminder: this is a statistical average with the shortened life spread among the entire population. To get that average of three years over 660 million, real millions of people in India are getting real cancers and other diseases and dying very prematurely.
India’s filthy air is cutting 660 million lives short by about three years, according to research published Saturday that underlines the hidden costs of the country’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels to power its economic growth with little regard for the environment.
While New Delhi last year earned the dubious title of being the world’s most polluted city, India’s air pollution problem is extensive, with 13 Indian cities now on the World Health Organization’s list of the 20 most polluted.
That nationwide pollution burden is estimated to be costing more than half of India’s population at least 3.2 years of their lives, according to the study, led by Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago and involving environmental economists from Harvard and Yale universities. It estimates that 99.5 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people are breathing in pollution levels above what the WHO deems as safe.