In New York, the tag line for the lotto ticket that folks line up to buy is, “You have to be in it to win it.” It’s a fair assessment of most things in life . . . even clean air.
Right now, our country is at a turning point on many issues. One of these is whether we get clean air. It may not garner as much visibility as who the 2012 Republican candidate will be, or Sarah Palin’s version of the midnight tale of Paul Revere, but it’s just as vital. It’s omnipresent, because everyone in this country breathes.
That’s one of the reasons I have been blogging for Moms Clean Air Force. The community is building a base of parents — and others — who see this concern as having critical ramifications. Primarily, the future of our children.
The facts are out there. I’ve already written about many of them:
100,000 newborns in the United States are exposed to mercury levels that cause developmental delays and learning disabilities from air toxins.
Premature deaths and the prevention of respiratory illness in children and adults are the result of the current Clean Air Act.
Coal plants are currently emitting 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants annually — while 9 millions kids under 18 have been diagnosed with asthma.
It kind of seems like a no-brainer, except for the fact that more red herrings are being thrown around than you might see at a fish market. Favorite anti-regulation rationales include, “It’s bad for the economy; it’s too expensive; people will lose their jobs.”
Where’s all that American exceptionalism people are continuously invoking? Let’s explore renewables and create green alternatives. Mae Jemison, scientist and astronaut, told me in 2010 that America had dropped the ball in the 1970s — when we had the lead on green energy. Her explanation was “a failure of imagination”.
When I try to picture what life will be like for my son’s children, in the middle of this century, I have visions of a Soylent Green scenario.