Relative Danger of Energy Sources

Climate Change

1. How many might die worldwide this decade as a result of climate events attributable to the greenhouse gases contributed by US use of fossil fuels?
< 100          100 – 1,000           1,000 – 10,000        10,000 - 100,000       > 100,000

Today the US contributes more than one fifth of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide; and even more of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions since 1850.

World Health Organization (pdf) estimates that 1.5 million died every decade between 1970 and 2000 from new heat waves, drought, the spread of disease, etc. Let’s assume this estimate is high, but accurate over the next decade. Since the US is now adding >1/5 of world GHG (and is cumulatively responsible for about 28% of GHG since 1850), our share is more than 1/5 of 1.5 million, more than 300,000.

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