If you guessed disease, you're only half right because the answer is pollution. In 2015, diseases caused by pollution were to blame for 9 million premature deaths. That's 1 out of 6 deaths around the world and 3 times the number of deaths caused by AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis COMBINED. And you know what's even more horrible?! Babies are the most vulnerable to the effects of pollution. Even a little exposure in the womb or in early childhood can cause lifelong consequences or death. Unnecessary baby death. Think about it. We want to stop that, right?
Pollution has other consequences too, of course, many of which ultimately put us at risk. Air pollution and climate change are connected. (I know, you knew that.) 85% of the pollution in our air is caused by the burning of fossil fuels in higher-income countries and the burning biomass in lower-income countries. We need better solutions to replace coal-fired power plants, mining, and the cars we drive. At the moment, all of them are creating way too much CO2 and contributing to our wonky weather, the spread of disease, and more.
On the non-health end, investing in ways to ease climate change can do more than save us from impending death and destruction - it's also good for the economy. Natural disasters linked to climate change like hurricanes, flooding and wildfires cost the US government billions. Now, factor in the cost of healthcare plus other productivity losses from pollution and we're talking trillions each year. Visit https://www.pollution.org/ to see the effects in your area.