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 your 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.