Why do I have to worry about mercury levels in fish I eat, particulate levels in the air I breathe and diseases carried by too many mosquitoes that want to bite me? Americans are slowly realizing that more and more of what we used to assume was just the way things are — is linked to our out-of-control pollution habits. Believe it or not, our comfy lifestyles with unlimited energy use, ease of transportation and cheaply extracted natural resources are coming back to bite us.
Unusually high mercury levels in our fish are the byproduct of coal-fired power plant pollution, the most sophisticated air monitoring devices show all sorts of things in the air no one wishes to breathe, and those mosquitoes are thriving on longer growing seasons with more tropical conditions. We’re even hearing a few somber discussions of whether we’ll have enough clean drinking water for everyone on this planet. The common denominator of our modern excess is our dependent lifestyles that feed the fossil fuel industry — and that same industry is driving climate change. Maybe you’ve seen the simple scientific explanations about this. More fossil fuel pollution = more carbon into our atmosphere = climate change. Reputable scientists are in agreement on this.
Because it’s not politically popular for any leader who wants to get re-elected to tell you and me we need to save energy and pollute less, little has been accomplished in a patriotic, go-USA way to prevent climate change. That’s why it was a brave few members of Congress who pulled an all-nighter at our nation’s Capitol to draw attention to the problem.
Here’s a quick summary at the New York Times explaining the event. Here’s Senator Harry Reid kicking off an evening of climate change talk in Washington. Join Moms Clean Air Force and see what this broadly popular group is doing to advocate for slowing climate change!
Climate change as a threat to our health is detailed in this new book.
Climate change as a threat to family life is covered in our interview here with renowned journalist Bill McKibben.
Concerns about water in the American West because of climate change.