I’m Calling You Out for Clean Air

You’re all worthless and weak.

Every single one of you claim that you love your children and your families so much that you would do anything for them – you would protect them, advocate for them, even die for them.

But you won’t lift a finger to protect one of their most precious resources: clean air.

Our children literally can not live without it, and the dirty air that they breathe in today will negatively affect their health, and their children’s health, in the future.

So it’s time for us dads and moms to get off our butts and take action to help ensure that the air our little ones are breathing isn’t full of pollution and toxins.

Here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t speak up: The special interest groups, the Big Money and Big Business lobbyists, will continue to have their way with our health.

This issue affects all of us, across all party lines – it doesn’t matter what your politics are, or how you feel about our healthcare system, or if you’re ‘green’ or not. We’re all susceptible to the insidious effects of air pollution.

The only thing that matters now is what we as parents are willing to do to make it loud and clear to our representatives in D.C. (you know, those men and women we elected, who work for us?) that we won’t accept compromises in legislation which compromises our health.

Because we’re not just talking about clean air for Democrats, or for Republicans, or for the Rent is Too Damn High party members.

We’re talking about clean air for everyone. For me, for you, for our children and our grandchildren. And right now, a battle is heating up over newly proposed standards for air pollution and mercury emissions from power plants.

“On Wednesday, March 16, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced a rule called Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This is the first-ever national policy created to reduce mercury emissions from the electricity sector. Once the rule is published, it is open for 60 days for public comment.”

Your job is to stand up and be counted, to send an email supporting strong clean air standards, to pick up the phone and let your Senator or Representative know how you feel about keeping our air and our water and our children free from toxic chemicals.

In America, we pride ourselves on having a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, and yet so often, we let our elected representatives do the thinking and the deciding for us. It’s high time for us to take that power back, and to tell our Senators and Congress members what we want them to do.

And we want them to approve the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards proposed by the EPA. Why?

American coal plants produce 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants every year. These poisons affect every part of the human body, leading to disease, birth defects, brain damage, premature death and cancers. Children are especially vulnerable.

Among other toxins: arsenic, chromium and nickel cause cancer; lead damages the nervous system; acid gases irritate the nose and throat; dioxins affect the reproductive endocrine and immune systems; volatile organic compounds weaken lungs and eyes.

Opponents want to water down clean air standards. Several standards to reduce mercury emissions from other sources have already been attacked in the House. Also, there is now an effort underway by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and by Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) to cripple EPA’s authority to control other power plant pollution.”

Listen to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson as she discusses the Clean Air Act:

Here’s what you can do for clean air:

For more information on clean air and power plant pollution:

Still not convinced? Read what the diverse group of bloggers over at Moms Clean Air Force have to say about clean air.

[Yes, I know some of you are already very politically active on these issues, and so to you, I apologize for my inflammatory opening in this post. For the rest of you, I’m still calling you out.]
Image: d.boyd 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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