The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released a new, interactive reporting tool for major greenhouse gas (GHG) sources in the US. It’s a user-friendly way to explore what facilities are the biggest sources of health-harming carbon pollution.
This is a long-awaited moment—we can track where and which are the biggest producers of carbon pollution, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) and other GHGs, right in our backyards. You can now find out some of the major sources of carbon pollution and other GHGs in your state in 2010 – and see the relative contributions of power plants and other large facilities.
The EPA website compiles GHG emissions data from 2010, the first year of reporting from industries who are participating in their system. This is a great start at tracking carbon pollution– the major cause of climate change.
Carbon pollution causes climate change that can threaten human health in myriad ways. I’ve blogged about some of the health-harming consequences of climate change, which include:
- extreme heat
- air pollution, including ozone smog, allergenic pollen, and wildfire smoke
- storm damage, including flooding from intense rainfall
- infectious illnesses
There are huge health benefits we stand to gain by limiting carbon pollution-- to help us avoid billions of dollars in costs to deal with climate change-related health effects. Climate-health preparedness and adaptation planning will also help create more resilient communities whose damages can be reduced.
Take a look at EPA’s new webtool -- it helps lend a sense of the state-by-state sources of carbon pollution that trigger climate change. Our health is being affected today by environmental changes linked to rising temperatures – but even moreso, the health of our children and grandchildren will be affected.