As many resume day to day lives after the shutdown, a return to another pandemic-driven closed economy is still a strong possibility. To prevent this, we should be creating policy that focuses on the health and well being of people by encouraging a healthier interaction with our planet. As a candidate for House District 86 in Augusta, I will support legislation that fights preventable disease by fighting climate change and by protecting the habitat and treatment of wild and domesticated animals.

COVID-19 is thought to have originated in the Wuhan animal markets through repeated exposure to wild animals that are kept in inhumane conditions. But it’s not just China; it’s happening here in the U.S. too. Bird flu has recently been found in a South Carolina commercial turkey flock. Mad cow disease will likely make another resurgence. Animals kept in inhumane, cramped conditions breed disease and then pass that disease on to people. We need policies in place that support healthy farm practices that stops the spread of infectious animal-derived diseases.

Lyme disease is spreading here in Maine through booming tick populations that aren’t dying off during our warming winters; tropical diseases like malaria are migrating north. We will see intensified current disease patterns, new diseases, and resurgent dormant diseases, unless we take real and consequential action to combat the climate change that is fueling this shift.

The way forward here is through creating good-paying green industry jobs and by building a sustainable economy. Swapping out inefficient oil boilers for heat pumps and pellet boilers, and putting up solar roofs and wind power in appropriate spots, will help jump start our economy and create jobs while helping to minimize unstable and hot weather and the resultant spread of preventable disease.

 

Adam Turner

Augusta


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