Let’s make a plan for improving environmental health

We live on a rotating blue ball, perfect distance from the sun such that natural cycles developed to create life. I stand in awe of this astounding phenomenon.

But this tender world we live in is hurting. These natural cycles have been rapidly thrown out of balance by the indiscriminate burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of carbon sinks like forests and wetlands. We are damaging our climate.

Utah’s climate is warming at twice the rate of the global average. Heat waves are becoming more common. Snow is melting earlier in spring. Wildfires are more intense. Asthma is on the rise. We have already made conditions worse for the health of young people and are on our way to committing our grandchildren and the unborn to an uncertain future. Lancet Countdown director Nick Watts said: “The damage done in early childhood lasts a lifetime. Without immediate action from all countries, climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation.”

We can’t go back to former conditions. But with all the solutions available and our human ingenuity, we can live in balance with nature. Let’s start with an honest price on carbon.

Karen Jackson, Salt Lake City