To the editor:
Pollution is the world’s leading cause of death, ahead of tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, and even war. And the United States is one of the leading sources of pollution-induced death; the U.S. ranks seventh, just behind Bangladesh and just ahead of Russia and Ethiopia. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation provided the 2017 data for the Global Alliance on Health Pollution which did the study.
For a cleaner environment and healthier people, we need to move away from the fossil fuels that cause the pollution and to renewables. Unfortunately, our leadership in the U.S. is not willing to lead us towards a solution to these pollution-related deaths. Even though little is being done on the federal level, many states and cities are taking the initiative to do what they can to clean up their environment. The states of Hawaii, California, New York and New Jersey and more than 130 cities are committed to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Stillwater’s Renewable Energy Task Force (previously Ready for 100) is working to push Stillwater toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. The City Council needs to vote to make the commitment and the Task Force will work with the city to help make it happen. Renewable energy is becoming less and less expensive than energy from fossil fuels. As the transition is made, those who need support will receive much of it from their utility savings. The job opportunities arising in the solar and wind industries will provide income for those workers transitioning from fossil fuel industries.
As we move away from fossil fuels to renewables, our air, water and soil will become cleaner, leaving us with a healthier environment and thus better individual health outcomes for us, our children and our grandchildren.