New research says that it takes three Americans to kill one person with their collective carbon footprint because the American lifestyle is so rife with consumption.
A researcher from Columbia University’s Earth Institute calculated the “social cost of carbon,” which puts a monetary figure on the damage caused by each ton of carbon dioxide emission. They calculated that for every 4,434 metric tons of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere beyond the 2020 rate of emissions, one person will die prematurely. If you take 3.5 average Americans, they can pump out that much CO2 in their lifetime fairly easily, thus the ratio.
Based on this math, eliminating emissions by 2050 would save 74 million lives!
Can we really pin this on Americans though? Yes. Americans had the worst ratio in the study. Comparatively, it takes 25 Brazilians to produce that much carbon and 146 Nigerians.