Being Responsible

BY ON February 14, 2012

This post is by Jen Leach from the blog, Musings From A Mom of Many:

Picture this: Your 14 year old son is eager to make some extra money. He works hard and is anticipating the extra cash he can make in the summer months.  Even though there is snow on the ground, he knows that soon the weather will change, and there will be grass to cut in the many lawns of the neighborhood.  You remind him of the new rules in your development that say he must get a permit to mow lawns, and that he will have to be more careful where he leaves the clippings. Clippings now have to be bagged in brown bags and marked for recycling. He grumbles about the extra work; it will mean less profits for him because he will have to take more time with each lawn. You tell him that you will give him half of the $25 for the permit, and remind him he has 4 long months to earn the other half. He still grumbles over the price of the permit. You ask him what he plans to do to get ready and how he plans to earn the money he needs. He informs you that he is not in agreement with the new policy and plans to fight it. He gets his two friends, who also mow lawns in their neighborhoods, to help. They design fliers, get them printed, buy paints and poster board and make signs and protest in front of the town council meeting every month for 5 months. In all they spend about $50 protesting the new rules. In the neighborhood, their potential customers are not amused. They are happy with the job that the boys do mowing the lawns, but they expect the boys to be responsible and clean up the clippings properly. No one wants to pay a boy to mow their yard and then have to come behind them and sweep up the sidewalks and clean out their flower beds and bag up all the clippings.  When you pay for a job to be done, you want it done well and thoroughly. And, lets not forget that these boys spent more protesting than it would have cost them to just plan ahead and be willing to follow the rules.

This is essentially what the coal burning factories in Ohio are doing. The amount of mercury being sent into our air and water is at very dangerous levels. And it isn’t just our state that is effected. The mercury is being blown into neighboring states that have already cleaned up their own factories emissions. Mercury poisoning is a very serious issue, and 20 years ago the federal government mandated that the emissions from factories be lowered. All of the states in the United States took measures to follow this rule. All of them except the coal burning plants in Ohio.These factories have spent more in fighting this ruling than it would have cost them to make the changes. They claim they have not been given them enough time to comply with the law, that it is too expensive to make the changes, and that they should not have to follow this rule because they have “rights”.

Really? Now, I’m not what you would call and environmentalist, but I am a mom. I have 8 beautiful children. I want their drinking water to be safe. I care about the emissions from these factories because it directly effects the world that my children and grandchildren will be living in. Here in Ohio, there is a group of moms who are banding together to show our politicians and the leaders of big industry that we expect them to be responsible. The Moms Clean Air Force is a group of women, just like me, that are taking our concerns to Washington and our state legislators to let them know that we will not be silent on this issue. Asthma rates in Ohio are astounding and much higher than the national average, and the rise of autism is staggering. Protecting our children from mercury poisoning is preventable. Please consider reading about the effects of mercury emissions and the testimonies of fellow Ohio moms here. The Ohio Moms Clean Air Force is having an informational luncheon on February 23rd. It is a great time to find out what the OMCAF is about!

On Thursday, February 23rd, we would like you and your family to come! We want to fill the Ohio Statehouse Atrium with moms, dads, grandmothers grandfathers and of course the children that we all love. We will have games and activities that teach children about clean air. We will also have speakers, food and information that will help our moms and their families to be more informed.

WHAT: Ohio Moms Kickoff Party!
WHEN: Thursday, February 23rd, from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM
WHERE: The Ohio Statehouse Atrium
1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215
WHO: Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard
Co-Founder Dominique Browning



TOPICS: Activism, Coal, Mercury Poisoning, Motherhood, Ohio, Pollution