Climate Change

How often do you walk through your teenager's room?... Why are you laughing?... You avoid your teenager's room because it's so messy? You can't see the floor, and you don't know where to step because you don't know which clothes are clean or dirty, and you don't know if something breakable is underneath the clothes? There's a strange odor, too?

That story illustrates a teenager's environment. What about our world's environment? The more we pollute our air, water, and land, the less pleasant it is. Let's take care of our planet.

Recycling

-When you have an event, put out trash cans, icky buckets, and recycling bins.

-Next to copiers, place a box for bad copies. If security's an issue, put the paper shredder there too. The shredded paper can be used to make mulch or to make homemade paper.

-Bring your own bags to the grocery store. If you forget, ask for paper. (Then recycle the paper.)

-Have a county v. county contest to see who has the best recycling-trash ratio.

-If you put your food scraps in a composter instead of the trash can, your trash stinks less.

Renewable Energy-Clean energy improves our health, strengthens our economy, and protects our planet.

-Build solar farms on top of old landfills.

-Qualla has solar trees: form and function.

-Solar panels can be placed in many creative places. I met some travelers who had a solar mat on the roof of their van. When they arrive to the campsite, they'll have stored power for their devices.

-If you've been paying attention to the discussion about our electricity infrastructure, you may have heard that building new renewable energy infrastructure provides more jobs and costs less money that repairing existing electric infrastructure.

-EV Stations are good for WNC because with more of our tourists coming to the area in EVs, we still receive the tourism dollars while reducing the pollution of our main attraction: nature tourism.

Nuclear: Less Bombs, More Electricity

-Safer to produce nuclear energy than to mine for coal.
U.S. coal mining deaths: 1900-2019 | LIFE INSURANCE BLOG

Mining accidents, lung diseases, pollution-related respiratory and heart diseases, mercury-related deaths and disabilities make coal much more dangerous than nuclear. Nuclear Danger Still Dwarfed by Coal | Live Science

Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 killed 11 people. In the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, no deaths were attributed to acute radiation syndrome, but in the following years, 7 workers received compensation for cancer instances. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster casualties - Wikipedia

-Minimal Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

EPA

The recent SCOTUS decision in WV v. EPA is a smack in the face of clean air and clean water efforts. It limits the federal government's ability to address power sector emissions, and there are implications that this decision could impact regulations of other environmental, health, and safety protections.

What does any of this have to do with WNC?

When you drive by the Canton and Sylva paper plants, you can smell the chemicals. However, it's a lot better now than it used to be. Now, you can raft the Pigeon and Tennessee Rivers, but they used to be nasty, smelly, and foamy.

When was the last time you drove to Fontana Dam? Have you been on Cherohala Skyway? I love riding my motorcycle along these roads because it's not too hot or cold, there are several scenic overlooks, and the greenness gives me a sense of feeling alive inside.

People from all over the world come to this area because of the recreational beauty. This is part of our regional identity, and we need to protect it.

Yes, we need manufacturing jobs. I used to work for ConMet and loved it. I want manufacturing companies to come to the area and succeed. To do that, they need a healthy workforce. Clean air and water improve people's health.

Let's protect our clean air and water by allowing the EPA to do its job.

Maybe you're frustrated about political gridlock hindering investment in clean energy. Maybe you're sad that selfish insiders prefer profits over people. Maybe you're fearful about how the move to clean energy will affect small businesses and inflation. There should be a way to protect the environment and bring economic growth. State and local leadership is critical, that's why I'm stepping up to lead with strategic investments which make life a bit better for the people of WNC and beyond.