Photo credit: Pfala
First, The Bad News
Pollution through our air, water, and soil is currently one of the leading causes of death in both men and women throughout the world. It is the blame for some 40 percent of all deaths. Scientists have warned that at our current rate of population growth, these numbers could rise significantly due to the formation of both new and old forms of disease, including West Nile, Lyme Disease, tuberculosis, and influenza.Where pollution comes into the threat of increased disease, is by the decreased availability of clean water from which to drink and grow crops. This in turn decreases our food supply, causing malnutrition, which diminishes peoples natural defenses against disease. Toxic chemicals are also introduced directly to the body through the air and soil, taking its toll by poisoning the population directly.
Nature does have a way of taking care of all these problems however, and it could be argued that is exactly what is going on. By ridding the world of one of the biggest problems it has, which is in many cases, human beings, the earth will improve on its chance for survival. By keeping our populations controlled by untimely deaths, others may in fact go on to live and procreate, thus creating the big circle of life!
Now, The Good News
In a world where bad news just seems to be around every news report and environmental rant or rave, it is always nice to report a little good news for a change. A federally funded study has been released, describing that our efforts to decrease pollution has actually began to show some results. These results come in the form of longer life expectancies for those lucky enough to live in areas where such pollution programs are in place.
The actual increase of our lifespan from 1978 to 2001 has increased by almost three years (to 78 years old), and five of those extra months can be attributed to cleaner air. This is great news for us Treehugger's who have been working hard to do our part in the reduction of our own carbon footprint.
But with longer lives, comes more population, which means that we will only have to work harder to continue to reduce our carbon footprint in order to makeup for the inevitable continued population rise. With such victory comes great responsibility. But let's just take things one step at a time, shall we.
Congratulations, make good use of those five months, you've earned them!
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