We have previously discussed how the environmental values often lose out to business or economic arguments because the environment remains something of an abstraction. When President Donald Trump heralds lower gas prices, that is a concrete value. However, when many of us call for cleaner air, it is treated as a good but not an immediate benefit. There is yet another study (in addition to our earlier discussed studies here and here and here) that show the real costs of air pollution. An article published in the European Heart Journal estimates that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe due to pollution and that every life is cut short by about two years. If that cheaper gas is put against a death or a two-year reduction in life expectancy, the political calculus may change.
The study found much higher rates in Germany as opposed England. Germany showed 154 early deaths per 100,000 while England showed 98. The rate is likely much higher in the third world and countries like China and India with massive pollution problems.
Various studies are finding the prior estimates were far too low. For example, research published in September found that 8.8 million people die prematurely around the world.