The environment is key in this election

To the Editor:

Bottom line: our economy, our health and quality of life are all dependent on how we treat our environment.

The American people are the least healthy in the developed world. We spend more money per individual than any other country to cure our numerous maladies. But besides jobs and taxes and the sorry state of the economy, what are we crying over day after day? It’s not environmental degradation, it’s medical assistance!

No amount of money spent on drugs, operations, Medicare, Medicaid or various therapies will solve the catastrophic health condition of our nation until we slam the door on environmental pollution.

The political dialogue is getting boring. There is no such thing as clean coal, Mr. Romney. And all jobs are not created equal. Some jobs ruin the health of workers. Many ruin the quality of our water, air, soil and food by adding poisons that cause diseases that never should have occurred and cost millions of dollars to treat. Cut down on the cause and you save money. That’s basic arithmetic and something we simply haven’t heard from Republican candidates.

President Obama is the first executive in my memory to actively make it a priority tosupport clean, renewable energy, green businesses and jobs, demand his cabinet departments and EPA set regulations on poisons, and clean up the past dumping of toxic wastes which end up in the food chain.

Not enough, but President Obama has shown courage and intelligence to tie the environmental dilemma to economic and health policy. Mitt Romney would run the government like a business — efficient, but without long-term solutions to real problems. We need to move fast before the burdens of taking care of sick people start to bankrupt our economy.

Start with the basic problem — our view of the environment. How many people do you know that have an environmental illness? Yes, cancer is one. We’ll pay and pay and find cures for one disease, only to have it come back or come to someone else, or yet another illness surfacing from a new toxin introduced in the environment, unless we eliminate causes.

At least elected representatives use the word “environment” occasionally. They’re on the right track, even economically, although they may not know it.

Debby Boots


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