Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

A Bonus Solar Benefit: Lives Would be Saved

Play

Monday, June 12, 2017   

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Thousands of Americans die prematurely from air pollution-related diseases associated with burning coal, and a new study from Michigan Technological University says transitioning to solar power would save more than 50,000 American lives each year.

Joshua Pearce, electrical engineering professor and the report's lead author, said investing in solar is more than a public health issue, it would be profitable as well.

"You also produce electricity that has value,” Pearce said. "And so, let's say that we did this on a truly distributed case, and everybody just put up solar on their rooftop - so they were offsetting residential electricity. The American public would make $2 million for every life they saved."

He acknowledged there would be sizable up-front costs from replacing the coal energy infrastructure with solar - it’s been estimated at $1.5 trillion. But Pearce said there is a good economic case to be made.

U.S. coal production has seen an uptick since President Trump began eliminating environmental regulations on the industry.

Pearce's team tapped geographic data to determine the number of deaths due to coal-powered plants, then scoured national data for regional electricity prices and ultimately found that switching to solar could turn a big profit for every life saved.

He argued that switching to solar should be a no-brainer and offered as an example a hypothetical scenario in which terrorists killed 50,000 people and said they were going to do it again next year. He said Americans would be outraged.

"But instead, if you were part of an industry that we knew was going to kill 50,000 Americans next year - and your motive was simply to make money - we completely let it go," Pearce said; "even though we know it's a fact that 50,000 Americans lose their lives."

The World Health Organization says millions die across the globe each year due to air pollution, which is the largest contributor to non-communicable disease such as stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory illnesses and heart disease.


get more stories like this via email

In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021