It’s very simple, really.
We create pollution from our garbage and we pay for a system to dispose of it.
Likewise, we pay to treat the pollution from our sewage.
We wouldn’t want to live where these services are not required and provided. The sights and smells would be unbearable.
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The carbon dioxide produced from the coal, oil and gas we burn to create our modern energy-hungry lifestyle is also pollution, as offensive and dangerous as garbage or sewage.
Unfortunately CO2 doesn’t look or smell awful, so we simply pump it into the atmosphere, treating our environment as a free public dump, mostly without a second thought.
Those days are over. Scientists have confirmed, without doubt, that this form of environmental pollution is causing a buildup of greenhouse gasses in the atmos-phere, leading to climate change and a damaged planet.
Cutting this human-generated carbon pollution is a moral urgency for all people and all nations.
Last week, President Barack Obama announced steps to reduce carbon pollution. This is just the beginning of what we must do.
All of us — especially elected officials at all levels — must support this effort. All must recognize the extreme threat we and future generations face if we don’t make changes in the sources of the energy we use and the deadly carbon pollution we create.
It’s the biggest challenge we face, but the reality is simple for all to understand: The future of a livable planet depends on cutting human-generated carbon pollution.