My husband and I got married on Earth Day 11 years ago. Before you assume our “greenness” prompted the date choice – I should remind you that April 22nd has only become widely known as a day to honor Mother Earth in recent years.
Nonetheless, we will forever share the day we celebrate our love with the planet – and I’m okay with that.
This month, the team of Women AdvaNCe and our guest writers will be focusing on the environment and what we’re doing – and not doing – to take care of it. We’ll hear from experts in fracking, green energy and land conservation. It’s important that we all understand why environmental policies impact all of us – from our health to the economy.
It’s important to remember, and remind those around us, that environmental protections are not a partisan issue. They’re a human issue. Without resources and a healthy planet – we can’t move forward as a society for the long term. And protecting the environment is an action we don’t get a do-over for. If we destroy water sources, they’re tough to bring back. If we mine mountain tops, there’s no developer in the world that an rebuild them. If we allow cancer-causing chemicals in our food supply, people will die and there’s no bringing them back.
And yet, with all of these facts, we’re living in a time when the President and his administration want to cut funding to the EPA. They’re rolling back environmental protections in the name of economic development. They even put a “gag” order on EPA employees to try to prevent the world from knowing just how bad it is.
We know that economic advancements and environmental protections are not mutually exclusive. In North Carolina – according to the U.S. Department of Energy – there are more than 80-thousand green jobs in the state, compared to less than half of that figure for traditional power generation and fuels.
Aside from that – numerous economic experts predict damaging the environment by lifting regulations will cost exponentially more in the long term. In an interview with the Scientific American, economic development expert Jeffrey Sachs said this:
So this month, let’s work to advance this issues surrounding the environment by understanding the decisions being made at the local, state and national levels. Let’s do this as women from a spectrum of socio-economic and political backgrounds – because that’s what is right as human beings – which we can all lay claim to as an identity.