The [Cuyahoga] river connects to Lake Erie, our most important natural resource. Our health is bound to its health. Clean air and water have supplied countless benefits to Greater Clevelanders. Environmental protections have reduced cases of air and water-borne illness and have supported new life and biological diversity. In their book, "Natural Capitalism", national leaders on “capitalizing” on a clean environment, Amory and Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawkins, calculate that a clean environment provides billions of dollars in “ecological services” both to industry’s like the $1 billion Lake Erie fishing and tourism sector and in the avoided cost of hospitalization from asthma attacks and lead poisoning, which are both major concerns for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County children.
Unlike the Cuyahoga River catching fire, climate change is an emergency happening in slow motion. It has taken a generation to notice the clear and present danger of climate change. For decades now, the consensus report of the IPCC, the most comprehensive study of climate from hundreds of climate scientists around the world, has found “overwhelming evidence” that human behavior is influencing climate change.
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