Energy Policy and the Skyrocketing Rates of Certain Childhood Diseases
Over the years, I’ve learned that the most productive way to deal with climate change deniers is to point out that global warming is only one of half-a-dozen reasons to knock off our dependence on coal and oil. “Just pick you favorite,” I smile.
How about the obvious and growing damage to human health? It would seem to me that this would be a fact that even the most fanatical of the anti-government types couldn’t argue. Don’t we need some empowered body to protect our health from those who are indifferent?
One of the very clearest – and saddest – indications that we’re on the wrong road with respect to environmental regulation is our skyrocketing rate of respiratory disease, e.g., asthma, in children. In this story, I learned that Dr. Sylvia Brandt, who’s spent a good deal of her adult life studying this issue, now faces it at a personal level. Her school-age daughter (along with 40% of her contemporaries) suffers from asthma. 40% is about four times the national average (10%) which itself has doubled from 5% since 1980, according to the CDC; the anomaly facing the Brandt family is accounted for by the fact that their hometown, Amherst, MA, is bordered by two large freeways and lies near a coal-fired power plant.
How people can look at this pain and destruction and argue for the removal of environmental regulatory bodies is beyond me.
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