New advertising on cable channels running for the past weeks in Albuquerque show forest fires and babies suffering from asthma, with simple messages from Flora and Frankie, frogs delivering a call to action, from New Energy Economy, because climate change is no longer a thing of the future; it is here now. Three out of four Americans now acknowledge climate disruption is real, and more than two out of three believe we should be doing something about it.
The ad campaign is being sponsored by sponsored by Breakthrough Strategies &Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm working with New Energy Economy, dedicated to climate solutions and sustainable development. In an effort to inform more New Mexicans about the full costs of generating electricity from fossil fuels —such as wildfires, triple digit temperatures, and extreme weather — New Energy Economy wants to provide viable job-creating energy options like solar and wind, particularly plentiful in vast quantities in NM.
“Voters, including independent voters, are enthusiastic about tapping into clean energy. We all care about clear air and clean water and don’t want spoil today or tomorrow,” said New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi. Polls indicate that voters are strongly supportive of clean energy, and extremely distrustful of oil and coal companies who distort science and oppose responsible policies to convert from harmful fossil fuel dependency.
“In this tough economy, wise choices are more important than ever. We must address the climate challenge and transition, beginning now, from fossil fuels that have hurt the environment, that have hurt us, to renewable technologies, that create jobs and strengthen our health and our prosperity,” Nanasi added.
We can no longer afford burning fossil fuels that have been very costly for human health. A 2012 analysis by Dr. George D. Thurston, a Professor of Environmental Health at the New York University School of Medicine, finds that burning coal in New Mexico is associated with increased risk of heart attacks, asthma attacks, pneumonia, bronchitis, hospital admissions, and premature death. Those most at risk include infants, children, the elderly, and people with respiratory and cardiac disease. Dr. Thurston’s study finds that over the last five years these adverse health impacts have cost the public up to $240 million. This is consistent with a New Mexico Department of Health survey, that highlights disturbing accounts: 1 in 4 public high school students in the New Mexico report that they have asthma.
No longer can we allow Big Coal and Big Oil to continue to rig the system and block clean energy solutions. Our health is at stake. The statistics in New Mexico are all too common across the US. Solid majorities of Americans agree that climate change should be a priority for the President and Congress, and that the U.S. should undertake meaningful efforts to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.
“We owe it to our kids to protect them and their futures, and that means addressing climate change before it becomes irreversible. Running away from tough problems only makes them worse. We need to implement available renewable energy strategies now. It’s time to step up and get it done,” Nanasi stated.