Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, New York, USA
Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health
“Combustion of coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, and natural gas is the root cause of much of the ill health and developmental impairment of today’s children and of their highly uncertain future. Combustion of coal, diesel fuel, gasoline, oil, and natural gas for electricity, heating, transportation, and industry emits vast quantities of toxic pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2), a major driver of climate change. Because of their inherent biological vulnerability, children now bear a disproportionate burden of disease from both pollution and climate change due to fossil fuel combustion. By reducing fossil fuel combustion and shifting to sustainable energy we will reap significant health and economic benefits for our children and society as a whole. The single most important action we can take for our children and their future is to cure our addiction to fossil fuels. Action can make an immediate difference to the health of children, not only through policy changes at the governmental levels, but in our individual lives. Above and beyond the scientific and economic arguments for action is the moral imperative to protect our children and their future”.