Past Time To Stop Greenhouse Gas Pollution

BY ON April 3, 2012

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I trust the experts.

When doctors told me I had a tumor on my kidney, I didn’t start arguing with them about cell division. They went to medical school, and I did not. I didn’t need to understand how CAT scans worked, or what exactly an MRI did. If I wanted to save my life, I did not have years to study the science, do the research, second-guess the diagnosis.

I feel the same way about global warming. I trust the experts. They’ve spent decades honing their knowledge, and I have not. Nor has anyone who tells us global warming isn’t happening. Climate scientists are in overwhelming agreement. And they are ringing alarm bells.

We are generating so much greenhouse gas pollution that we are tipping the balance of our beautiful atmosphere. Some carbon in the air is necessary, of course. But we are trapping too much heat on Earth—think of it as covering our planet with too many blankets. We can’t kick them off, so we get overheated.

The experts are telling us that we must change the way we produce our electricity–because power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in this country. If we’re burning coal, we have to burn it clean. If we’re burning gas, we have to burn it clean. And we have to keep investing in renewables, like wind and sun power. We must let Congress know we want greenhouse gas pollution regulated—and it takes only a moment to send your representative a comment.

What do greenhouse gases have to do with our children’s health? Lots, it turns out. None of it good. The warming caused by greenhouse gases intensifies the ozone pollution, the smog, across large parts of the country. Ozone is invisible. That’s why we get Ozone Alerts on days when the skies look clear and blue. That makes it even harder to tell a child she can’t go out and play with her friends.

Smog causes more asthma attacks, more hospitalizations for respiratory disorders–more premature deaths.

Children are most at risk because their airways are smaller and their respiratory defenses are not fully formed. Their higher breathing rates increase their exposure to pollution. The American Lung Association reports that children who regularly breathe high levels of ozone may have reduced lung function as adults.

Moms are blowing the whistle on polarizing politics. Enough already. We share the air.

So for starters, how about some simple common sense? Don’t build more mess into the system. Limit the amount of carbon pollution a new power plant, whether it is burning coal or natural gas, can put into the air.

That’s what EPA is proposing with the recent release of a historic clean air standard for new fossil fuel power plants. The standard is smart—and smart states are already showing us that they can make limits on carbon pollution from power plants work: Oregon, California, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, New Mexico and New York.

Build it clean. Right from the start. Tell EPA that makes sense.

Moms–and dads–have to make our voices heard. No one cares more about our children. Let Congress know that we want strong regulation of greenhouse gas pollution. Especially because we can have highly functioning, cost-effective electricity generation without all the pollution.

I trust the experts. I’m interested in the science behind what’s going on here. But I’ve already heard enough to alarm me. I really care about what kind of world we leave behind for our children. So, while I’m studying—and wondering why winter never happened this year–I want to do everything I can to demand that utilities stop dangerous greenhouse gas pollution.

No politician wants to make a mother angry—and nothing makes a mother angrier than watching political games take precedence over our children’s health. We must let EPA and our representatives know that we want to stop greenhouse gas pollution. Pollution isn’t good for anyone, especially our little people.

Moms know how to clean up messes. So tell Washington, Listen to your mothers!

As with every new rule, the EPA is now open to comments on its rule for limiting carbon pollution from from new coal plants. Tell EPA that this rule is a good, cost-free way to start the process of cleaning up greenhouse gas pollution.

TOPICS: Coal, Politics, Pollution

  • Elsie Pope

    It’s the RIGHT THING to do.

    Reply
  • Robert Biro

    Greenhouse Gas Pollution includes methane and nitrous oxide from Agriculture. These gases can be more easily be eliminated also at no cost to the taxpayer.

    Reply
  • julie pearson

    spread the word!

    Reply
  • Anne

    You are right. It’s past time for political games to keep our children’s health at risk.

    Reply
  • lynnette anderson

    please stop carbon pollution from new coal plants. thanks

    Reply
  • Frieda A. Stahl

    Science is not politics. The EPA must follow the development of scientific knowledge pertaining to the environment — air, water, temperature, contaminants, and many other factors that affect our life and health. None of these factors are political matters — survival is a must, not a “choice.” The EPA must rise past politics and meet its responsibilities. Politicians agitating against “regulations” are most likely to need them, for the safety of the public — or they wouldn’t be conniving against them. Therefore limiting carbon-based pollution from new coal plants — if there must be new coal plants! — is an absolute must. Upgrading existing coal plants is even more urgent. EPA must not yield to the whiners denying that need.

    Reply
  • Barb Clare

    Hooray for Dominique! And hooray for reminding us that as mothers, we have the power to foster change in a big way!

    I have waited for a platform to call mine, and this is it! It charges me up thinking that I can be part of the change that is necessary for the health of my children, grandchildren and future generations. We are all one big family living in the home we call Earth, and we all should unite to clean house and hold those that are not doing their part, accountable!

    Reply
  • MrMartinJSallberg

    Why do some brain damaged patients recover while others with the same brain damage do not? Metastudies by Kurt Fischer, Christina Hinton et al. shows that the key is tolerant environments. This agrees with Francisco Lacerda’s theory that the reason why children learn language easily is because they do not fear being wrong, just like non-prejudiced scientists. The fact that the tolerant environment factor works even way past the end of all supposed “learning windows” also shows that there is no such thing as an immutable “shame instinct” either. There is evidence, especially from domestication research, showing that evolution can very rapidly select on individual variation and turn it into group differences. Thus there is a contradiction between nature explanations of individual psychiatry and nurture explanations of ethnic differences. There must be some missing methodological factor. Since racist discrimination is a form of intolerance often associated with other forms of intolerance, studies of ethnic differences effectively takes the tolerant environment factor into account, explaining why nurture explanations prevailed in studies of ethnic differences. But studies of individual psychiatry have, at least before Kurt Fischer’s and Christina Hinton’s metastudy, not taken the tolerant environment factor into account, explaining why nature explanations prevailed there. It is well-established that there was/is anomalies from the nature model of individual psychiatry, but people ignorant of the metastudy lumps everything into one statistic and dismiss the minority of cases as “anecdotical”. Real science is about finding the pattern behind the anomalies to de-anecdotize them, just like Kurt Fischer and Christina Hinton did. And considering how stupid behavior is destroying the world (just look at pollution and deforestation!), this research about possibilities to change behavior to a rational form is invaluable. The fact that the plasticity only applies if the environment is tolerant means that there is no reason to fear that dictators will abuse the plasticity whatsoever.

    Reply

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