Saving Energy & Saving Babies - What's the Connection?
As we all know, green house gases aka air pollution is bad for everyone, especially babies. But what does energy have to do with all of that? Well, let me break it down for you.
Typically, our electricity provider is pretty good at predicting how much power we'll need based on how much we've used in the past, so they know how much to buy for the future. But there are 2 factors that are a little harder to predict - the weather (think about how often the weather person is wrong) and human behavior - more specifically what people do in response to the weather - especially hot weather. When it's a little bit hotter or colder than predicted, no problem - your electricity provider has it covered. But when it gets really hot (we're talking about 100 + degree weather here), we have a problem especially with air pollution.
Yes, our utility can buy more power in advance (the further in advance, the cheaper it is) to make sure we have enough ALL of the time. But it would be really expensive compared to the alternative - buying just enough electricity in advance and paying peaker plants (power plants that can crank out electricity with very little notice) to turn on to meet the much higher than anticipated increase in demand for just a few hours during the year - you know - when we all crank up our ACs. Even though power from peaker plants is super expensive, it's less expensive than buying more electricity in advance to ensure we always have enough. The problem with peaker plants is that not only are they expensive (it costs a ton of money to maintain them throughout the year when they're not in use), they're also inefficient and pollute the air, which is bad for the environment, and therefore babies.
As a matter of fact, research shows that 2.7 million premature births per year are linked to air pollution. It "...highlights that air pollution may not just harm people who are breathing the air directly – it may also seriously affect[s] a baby in its mother’s womb."
Essentially, the more energy we save, the less often peaker plants need to be used, the less air pollution and the less premature births. So save energy and save babies.