The Halloween season brought frightening images from China last week, as a “Smog Day” kept children inside their homes and away from school in Harbin, a city of 11 million people. Smog basically shut down the city because of dangerous levels of particulate pollution in the air.
It also brought word from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, that air pollution is definitely linked with cancer. This new fact is added to the terrible health effects from air pollution that can cause heart attacks, strokes, birth defects, and premature death, as well as mercury poisoning.
This news followed closely after the latest dire warnings about climate change from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Time is running short to prevent irreversible climate change.
There’s no shortage of scary news for parents these days. But in the coming weeks, we have the opportunity to give voice to our hopes as well as our fears for the future by attending one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s listening sessions on carbon pollution standards. At these sessions, you can tell EPA why and how you think we should reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants – the number one cause of global warming. Reducing carbon pollution won’t just take us off the disastrous path toward a climate crisis, it will also prevent thousands of deaths and illnesses per year attributed to these plants.
Speak up. Testify. Someday, you can tell your grandchildren you helped save the world!
P.S. If you live in Indiana, join me in Chicago on Friday, November 8. The Sierra Club is sending a “Climate Bus” from Indianapolis, and we’ll rally near the EPA offices at noon. Email me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.