Supporting Atlanta City Council Resolution 3510 to Adopt 100% Clean Energy by 2035″ May 1, 2017

Just in time for smog season…..

I’m grateful to Atlanta’s City Council for unanimously passing Resolution 3510.  This resolution commits the city to achieving a goal of 100% clean energy by 2035.  Thanks to City Councilman Kwanza Hall for introducing the resolution, the pediatric practice for allowing me the afternoon off, Environment Georgia Director Jeanette Gayer for inviting me to the hearing, and all the environmental and #MayDayATL advocates who also spoke out on May 1st, creating a record number of speakers in the city’s history.

My expert medical testimony….

I support the 100% clean energy resolution 3510, speaking on behalf of my patients and other health professionals who treat those with heart and lung disease, premature babies with underdeveloped lungs and those suffering from severe allergies.  Our air quality in metro Atlanta is already compromised by motor vehicle traffic from our infamous urban sprawl, jet fuel pollution from having the largest airport in the world, and we are also an hour’s drive from Plant Scherer, the coal power plant with the highest carbon emissions in the country.

Atlanta is already seeing the impacts of climate change with droughts, wildfires, floods, tornadoes and heat waves.  Last fall, we experienced a severe drought that contributed to the wildfires north of the state that left the city covered in a sea of smog of an entire week.  Many people with asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) were wheezing and had difficulty breathing.  We’ve also seen our share of floods and tornados over the past decade, which is unusual for this area.  During summer months, record heat waves prevent some children from participating in outdoor sports activities, due to fear of heat strokes and breathing difficulties.  As a physician, I can treat and provide education about asthma all day, but I cannot prevent it, which is why I need your help in improving our air quality.

It’s a shame that Georgia ranks amongst the lowest in just about all health care rankings, including access to healthcare; but by supporting this clean energy resolution, you can make a difference improving the health of your constituents, reducing health care costs, increasing job in solar and wind and most importantly, you can save the planet, our natural resources.  It’s a win-win for us all!

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