Environment

A Dangerous Myth People Believe About Climate and Health

President Donald Trump sparked a global conversation about environmental issues on Thursday when he announced his plan to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

One of the most forceful responses came from Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who told Trump that he most uphold his oath to protect the American people by maintaining a commitment to the carbon emission reductions called for in the accord.

Schwarzenegger then listed some of the major health concerns associated with carbon emissions.

Given that millions of Facebook users have shared Schwarzenegger's message to Trump, it should come as no surprise that it's prompted a heated conversation.

While much of the commentary affirmed Schwarzenegger's statement, there were a few dissenting responses that promoted a dangerous myth: carbon emissions aren't a health concern.

FBcomment Fedida

"What bulshit [sic]... nobody in The US is dying from pollution," wrote Facebook commenter, Sharon Fedida. "[T]he only cancer people are dying from is from chemical in food like high fructose corn syrup chemtrails fluoride in the water and all the stupid vaccines GMO And Monsanto."

Leaving the chemtrail commentary aside for a moment, the main argument that, "nobody in the US is dying from pollution," deserves a response. Because it's patently false. 

You see, Schwarzenneger didn't pull that number out of thin air. It comes from a 2013 study conducted by MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment which states, "200,000 early deaths occur in the U.S. each year due to U.S. combustion emissions" and that "the leading causes are road transportation and power generation."

You can read more about how that study was conducted here.

But wait, there's more. A 2011 research survey by San Diego based pediatric pulmonologist Amrita Dosanjh found a striking correlation between increased carbon emissions and childhood asthma. In the survey, he referenced a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School and the Center for Health and the Global Environment. That study found:

"[A]n increase in asthma incidence of 160% from 1980–1994 among preschool children. This observation was linked to the global rise in CO2 emissions, which in turn affects respiratory exposure to a variety of atmospheric pollens, mold, and fungi."

And as National Cancer Institute reported in 2012, "heavy exposure to diesel exhaust increased risk of death from lung cancer."

The numbers speak for themselves. The failure to reduce carbon emissions isn't just killing our planet; it's killing us.

Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger's video with ATTN: here: