Dr. James Maier’s recent Maine Compass, (“Climate change already has affected the health of Maine residents in adverse ways,” July 29) pointed out the effect of climate change on the health of humans.
As a nurse, I see these effects on my patients and my community every day. Asthma is the most frightening. The number of people requiring medications and hospitalizations just to breathe freely has increased dramatically. Too many people are forced to rely on the strongest of medications to keep their asthma under control.
In Maine, the prevalence of asthma in adults ages 18-24 was 11 percent in 2008. Children ages 10-17 had a prevalence of 14 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The number of hot days with high humidity, along with the amount of pollutants trapped by greenhouse gases will make these numbers higher. The Clean Power Plan is an important tool to improve people’s health by improving their environment.
The Clean Power Plan focuses on decreasing carbon from power plants, which are the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Under the Clean Power Plan, states will choose how they want to reduce carbon pollution.
In Maine, we would do well to improve our homes’ energy efficiency. Making this part of Maine’s Clean Power Plan would bring good jobs to Maine. The elderly would spend less for fuel for their homes, and Maine would be able to improve its aging housing stock.
I have asked Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to support the Clean Power Plan. I urge others to call their senators and representative today and tell each of them the Clean Power Plan will be good for Maine.