Fossil fuels have a negative human impact that goes over and above the climate change they cause:
â€œOne million people a year die prematurely in China from air pollution from energy and industrial sectors,â€ said Stefan Hirschberg, head of safety analysis at the Paul Scherrer Institute, an engineering research center in Switzerland. More than 10,000 Americans a year die prematurely from the health effects of breathing emissions from coal-burning power plants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Those deaths are another element that can be set against the higher cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity from sources like wind and solar.
A similar estimate on the number of deaths caused by coal in the United States was posted on this site in September 2010.