For this course and the duration of my blog posts, perhaps beyond the course, I wanted to write about something that I care about but cannot do too much about in my daily life work.
Over the summer I listened to a podcast with an interview from the governor of Pennsylvania. It was in discussion to this year’s elections and how to choose what to vote for. To this day his words have stuck with me. You can lobby just about anything in the world. Women’s rights, racial inequality, even gay rights and the right to get married. You cannot lobby your job.
Climate change and pollution from major corporations is a serious issue faced in modern society but is not a deal breaker for most politicians to be voted into office. Jobs are. As an economic developer, we work to create jobs and expand the economy. Our job it not to focus on things politicians can vote on, such as carbon tax. These are things politicians can affect change on and work to make the earth cleaner and safer for the public.
“The health benefits of cleaner air are profound. The who reckons that about 90% of the world’s population live in places where air quality falls short of its standards. They estimate that 4.2m people died prematurely from diseases related to air pollution, such as respiratory-tract infections and lung cancer, in 2016 alone, including 290,000 children. Millions more suffer from chronic health problems.” (The Economist 2020).
Public health touches so many facets of human life and what everyone does in their daily activities. The county I currently work for does not have carbon emission standards. That means we can accept companies that will pollute the ozone many breathe every day and have no affect on how they operate their business. As someone who has grown up as a republican but believes that our health is a community effort, this is not acceptable.
This year, we have face the COVID pandemic. Of the 300 million people in the united states, 3 million are estimated currently to pass as a “symptom” of the pandemic. The real pandemic is the climate change issue and how not just 1% of us will face this issue but all 300 million will have to face this issue together.
Currently, it is estimated that we are beyond the turn back point for the melting of Greenland. This does not mean it is too late for everything else and our ability to make changes where we can.
Climate change is a public health crisis. While we will not see issues overnight for rising sea levels or heat changes, but we will see our loved ones become sicker and more people pass from problems in pollutions and carbon emissions.
As the Pennsylvania governor said, “vote your job, lobby your hobby”.
Air, C. f. (2020). Air pollution is returning to pre-covid levels. The Economist.