Rural doctors see need to invest in people, fight climate change | Chroniclers

While the threat of climate change is serious, we will all benefit locally and immediately from the clean energy transition. Air pollution from fossil fuels causes stillbirths, premature births, delayed cognitive development in children, asthma, heart attacks, cancer, stroke and dementia. We are all impacted. At least 100,000 Americans die each year from fossil air pollution at a cost of at least $ 800 billion a year in healthcare costs and declining productivity.

We have affordable technologies to build a healthier world. If we electrify all possible energy uses, especially transportation and buildings, we would save at least 1,900 lives in Wisconsin each year and $ 21 billion per year in avoided health damage. Money saved on healthcare costs alone would more than pay for the cost of the transition to clean energy savings.

Meanwhile, this transition would create 160,000 jobs and increase GDP by $ 14 billion. Rural Wisconsin can produce the clean energy needed in urban and suburban Wisconsin. Instead of sending their energy dollars out of state, our cities can save money and get cleaner air while sending their energy dollars to rural Wisconsin, creating jobs and generating income for them. keep rural schools open and roads repaired. If we accept this transition, everyone wins.

This is a once in a generation opportunity. The public has an appetite for robust government action, interest rates are low, and we still have time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Low-interest financing and a fair taxation of the rich can fund popular federal investments in human and physical infrastructure to alleviate long-standing problems our patients suffer, while also fighting climate change.

About John Tuttle

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