Fossil Fuels Harm Us

We pay a high price for our addiction to “cheap” fuels: coal, oil and gas. Millions of people suffer from cancer, asthma and heart attacks.

Around the world, smog from nearby industries that burn fossil fuels frequently swallows cities whole. Images of people wearing masks to protect themselves from dangerous air pollution have become common place.

We help grassroots leaders expose the true costs of fossil fuels and protect community health.

  • If your child gets asthma, the fossil fuel industry doesn't pay.
    James Hansen, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
  • There’s so much pollution in the air now that if it weren’t for our lungs there’d be no place to put it all.
    Robert Orben, Comedy Writer
  • Children's health is at the greatest risk from air pollution. Their lungs are still developing and they tend to be more active outdoors.
  • Warmer temperatures due to climate change drive up pollen counts because more weeds grow—and they produce more pollen. This worsens symptoms of allergy sufferers.
  • Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. Credible estimates of coal's annual death toll include 22,500 premature deaths in Europe, 100,000 premature deaths in India, and 260,000 premature deaths in China—every year.
  • Coal poses enormous risks to life and lungs of those who mine it. Oil and gas workers are routinely exposed to chemicals that may cause lung, skin, and organ damage.
  • Children
  • Allergies
  • Life and Death
  • Workers
We showcased this short documentary at the "Coast of Coal" film festival, which we hosted in Paris during the 2015 Climate Talks. The Bliss of Ignorance investigates South Africa's complex relationship with one of the country's most abundant resources: coal.

We Don’t Need to Trade Our Health for Outdated Energy

Fossil fuels powered the industrial revolution. But they are dirty and dangerous from start to finish.

Worse, they are outdated.

A revolution in clean energy is ready to replace dirty fossil fuels. And we will be better off for it.

The personal and economic losses are staggering. In the U.S. alone, coal-related injuries and deaths cost half a trillion dollars. In fact, the money we spend to deal with the health impacts exceeds the economic value generated by using fossil fuels in the first place.

We partner with community leaders who watchdog their rivers and lakes, air and water, and forests, grasslands and wetlands.

These brave leaders want to build healthy, successful, prosperous communities, and they know that doing so requires moving beyond coal, oil and gas.

  • The livable cities movement promotes healthy cityscapes where citizens can walk or use mass transit, work in highly efficient zero-emission buildings, and energy comes from clean renewable sources.
  • New port terminals to export coal are galvanizing citizen opposition worldwide.