On top of warming up the earth, pollution from burning fossil fuels is killing thousands of people a year, according to a study published in the journal Science. For starters, Devra Lee Davis of Carnegie Mellon University and four coauthors found that if Mexico City, New York, Sao Paulo, and Santiago employed technologies that now exist to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 64,000 premature deaths and 37 million lost workdays could be prevented over the next 20 years. The current issue of Science also contains several related studies, including one that showed that thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis could be avoided by adopting the technologies. A third found that air pollution from traffic causes more deaths than do traffic accidents. In other words — reducing emissions of greenhouse gases would do more than slow global warming.
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