I'm a retired physician and its clear to me that human-caused climate change due to greenhouse gases is on track to become the biggest public health threat of our time. All of us can be harmed, but some are more vulnerable than others: children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and communities of color. The World Health Organization declared climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.
It is the duty of our elected officials to protect our health and well being. Our Governor understands this responsibility, and made climate change the centerpiece of his recent State of the State address. Now our lawmakers in Olympia have an opportun-ity to take action on climate by passing legislation that would create a 100 percent clean electricity future for Washington. A new bill, HB 2995, phases out coal by 2030 and requires it be replaced by fossil-free resources, and requires that all new investments in energy resources be fossil-free. It is a major step forward that will lead to a 100 percent carbon reduction for electricity by 2045.
The longer we wait to act on climate, the more fossil fuel we continue to burn, and the more dire effects on public health. Our lawmakers have under two weeks to take the necessary steps to put the state on a path to a cleaner, healthier, and economically strong future. I hope you will join me in calling on Representatives Larry Springer and Roger Goodman and all of our state representatives in Olympia to pass 100 percent clean energy legislation this session.
Gerald A. Cufley M.D.
Member Climate and Health Task Force, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, Woodinville