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Hearing the Voice of the People on Curbing Carbon Pollution & Climate Change

Kim Knowlton

Posted May 24, 2012

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Click here to take actionToday the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct hearings in Washington, D.C. and Chicago about the proposed new standard to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. These hearings are an opportunity for people who feel passionately about the importance of EPA’s proposal to talk personally and publicly about how industrial carbon pollution affects them.

I was at the DC hearing today, to testify along with nearly 200 others, besides those in Chicago. As I wrote here on Monday, each person’s voice in support of this issue and the proposed carbon standard is critical right now.

EPA’s proposed carbon standard represents an historic step toward creating healthier, more secure communities, by placing national limits on industrial carbon pollution from new power plants -- a critical milestone toward protecting the health of our children and families from climate change. 

Carbon pollution causes climate change, and that constitutes one of the most serious threats to public health facing our nation – and the world – in the 21st century. Rising temperatures trigger a host of environmental changes that affect health: extreme heat, air pollution including ground-level ozone smog, and airborne allergens including pollen from plants, among other harms to health. A 2012 paper from the American Thoracic Society describes how lung doctors expect asthma cases to rise as carbon pollution and climate change soars.

If you can’t attend or participate in the EPA hearings in person today, you have several great options:

  • You can join more than 1 million other Americans who’ve already sent comments in support of this proposed standard. You have until June 25th to send in written comments, so the next month really matters. NRDC has a new zip code lookup tool that makes it easy to learn about extreme weather and climate change where you live, and send a support letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, to help get the number of letters to 2 million.
  • And tune in here for more blog posts and tweets about today's DC and Chicago hearings!
  • You can click on the button at the top of this blog to add your voice to the 1,000,000-plus citizens who’ve told EPA they support strong carbon pollution standards for power plants.

*This blog was updated at 3:25 pm Eastern time Thursday May 24, 2012*

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Tord KjellstromMay 26 2012 01:31 AM

I am not from the USA but send my support for action on greenhouse gas emissions promoted by the current activities. I not with concern though that still in the USA there is little, if any, published concern about the impact of excessive heat days, now and in the future, on people who work. Heat deaths are the "tip of an iceberg" of the human health and physiology related impacts of heat, as I have highlighted in a series of papers. The health and productivity suppression by excessive heat days should be a major concern also in the USA.

Kim KnowltonMay 26 2012 10:38 AM

Tord, Thanks for your comment, and for your insightful research into how the effects of climate change diminish working people's health and worker productivity. These are indeed concerns in the US, too. We will keep working to limit climate change, as a critical way we can protect health and the quality of life for workers, children, and families, now and for years to come.

Tim BladonMay 28 2012 08:28 AM

Since the US is in such an economic mess, I believe that aside from the health benefits, embracing clean energy will prove to be a massive job creator. The economic impact of unprecedented natural disasters must be taken into account as well. The "natural" disasters I mention have largely anthropogenic influences from the burning of fossil fuels. When insurance companies can't afford to cover the damages of these catastrophes, governments have to pick up the tab. Where will the money come from?

BSMay 28 2012 09:07 AM

If green energy were economically viable on a large scale, it would already be a massibe job creator. If the gov't forces green energy investments that are not economically viable, it will simply create some jobs while destroying others.

Net job growth is created by economic growth, not by government mandates.

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