As President Obama begins his second term, I can only hope that he turns some of his attention and puts the power of the White House behind environmental issues, and what our environmental future will look like as a nation, and as a planet.
I am certainly no environmental expert, but it is fairly clear to me that issues of clean water, clean air, climate, and land management are going to be huge issues moving forward as a society. As I think about what the world will be like for my great-grandchildren, I am concerned. As a mom, and as a citizen, here are some things like I would like to see.
* A reduction in fossil fuel use and emission. According to the NY Times, burning fossil fuels costs the United States 120 billion dollars in health costs a year. In that particular study, that did not include costs attributed to global warming, oil burned by planes, trains and buses, or environmental damage caused by coal mines. We have some of the brightest minds in the world in this country. Cost effective alternative fuels, anyone?
* An increase in the use of renewable resources. Stop deforestation. Start using bamboo. Provide tax breaks to ecologically responsible companies who are commited to using renewable resources in their products. Trees keep our air clean. My 6 year old knows this.
* Campaign finance reform. I know this sounds strange, but I think that if politicians, mostly Republicans (and yes, I am a registered Republican so don’t jump me), could get a divorce from Big Oil and Big Coal donors that some serious progress could be made on the environmental front, among other positive benefits. According to NPR, the cost of the 2012 elections topped 6 billion dollars. What kind of environmental change could take place if we cut that in half and spent 3 billion dollars on alternative fuel research?
I truly didn’t mean to, and often try not to get political on my blog, but I feel very strongly that as a nation, and as individuals, have to make a commitment to preserving and improving our environment. For our children’s sake.
What is your biggest concern about our environmental future?