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Despite gains in life expectancy, expanded access to education, and lower rates of poverty and hunger, the world has a long way to go to improve the quality of people's lives.Ground-level ozone pollution kills more than 150,000 people annually, while global warming causes another 141,000 deaths.It is also encouraging that the world is spending more money to help the world's poor, with development aid almost doubling in real terms over the past 15 years.And, though data are somewhat inconsistent, it is clear the world is spending more on the environment. Aid for environmental projects has increased from about 5 percent of measured bilateral aid in 1980 to almost 30 percent today, bringing the annual total to about $25 billion.The world can increasingly focus aid on the main environmental problems – indoor and outdoor air pollution, along with lead and ozone pollution – that cause almost all environment-related deaths.Could it be that environmental aid is not about helping the world, but about making us feel better about ourselves?
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