Does Clean Air Make Sense to You?

clean air nowI’ve been appealing to you as parents to be active in the process for accepting the EPA’s proposed new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards ruling, but I thought I’d also share some other opinions on this, just in case they prove to be more convincing than I am.

[This new rule would be the first ever national policy limiting the emissions of toxic mercury and other pollutants from coal-fired power plants.]

  • If I Can Be An Activist, So Can You ¡SI SE PUEDE!: “I am completely illiterate when it comes to rallying up support to call, email and/or, much less, visit our representatives to voice my opinion. Participating in a rally, a sit-in, a march, etc is the stuff I live vicariously through others, while I ponder on how brave and hero-like they are for protesting out loud. Meanwhile, I ignore my own voice. My every-day-louder-and-louder voice that needs to be heard. That’s over, ¡se acabó!”
  • 5 Scientists (and Dr. Oz) Make Clean Air Sense : “Scientists are not political big shots, or the rock stars of the environmental movement. They are concerned citizens like you and I who set out to systematically discover and document answers to pressing scientific queries. Doctors, nurses, researchers and professors devote their lives to making the world a better place for our families. Earlier this year, more than 2,500 U.S. scientists sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to reject legislation that would gut the EPA of its protective safeguards and ignore the human toll that inaction would take on their citizens.”
  • Existing Technology can Slash Mercury, Toxic Power Plant Emissions that Harm Children: “Some of the nation’s largest utilities—including the Southern Company and DTE (formerly Detroit Edison)—have publicly and privately lobbied to delay, weaken, or block these safeguards. They claim, as such polluters usually do, that cutting emissions of mercury, arsenic, lead, acid gases, and other cancer-causing pollutants from coal-fired power plants will cause economic hardship. History has taught us such claims about pending public health protection measures are nearly always wrong.”
  • Playing Politics with Clean Air: “We moms often scratch our heads and wonder, don’t pro-polluters have children of their own? Don’t they care about their health? Of course they do. But children aren’t on pro-polluters minds. Maybe because the pro- polluters aren’t the ones sitting in hospital emergency rooms while children have asthma attacks. Pro-polluters aren’t the ones in the cancer wards. Pro-polluters aren’t the ones in the neonatal units with prematurely born babies suffering from elevated levels of mercury in their blood.”
  • Environmental Illness In Children Costs $76.6 Billion Annually: “Poor childhood health caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, cost the United States $76.6 billion in 2008, according to a new study in the May issue of Health Affairs. This price tag represents a dramatic increase, from 2.8 percent of total health care costs in 1997 to 3.5 percent in 2008, report study authors Leonardo Trasande of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Yinghua Liu of National Children’s Study New York-Northern New Jersey Center.”

  • Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act: “In March 2011, EPA issued the Second Prospective Report which looked at the results of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020. According to this study, the direct benefits from the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are estimated to reach almost $2 trillion for the year 2020, a figure that dwarfs the direct costs of implementation ($65 billion).”
  • What’s the cost of delay?: “How many Americans have been affected by toxins emitted by power plants since March 16? We can’t wait any longer for a common-sense baseline limiting how much mercury, arsenic and other toxins power plants emit. Any delay by Congress is unconscionable.”

Are you convinced yet that clean air is an important issue? Then click here right now to send a message: Take Action: Support Tough New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

Image: Brian Hillegas at Flickr

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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