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Breathing is Popular

Breathing isn’t just a physiological necessity, relegated to the unconscious functioning of our reptilian brains. It’s actually quite popular. Darn popular!

I imagine that’s so because not all breathing is created equal. There’s the satisfying lungful of sweet, clean air (I hope we have all had that experience). And there’s the cough-inducing, eye-watering, lung-busting inhalation of dirty air. Sadly, far too many people are intimately familiar with this latter experience—which may help to explain why clean air is so popular. It’s in short supply in a lot of places where people live and breathe.

Sixty-six percent of voters nationally strongly support action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to curb smog, mercury and other dangerous air pollution, according to new public opinion research released today.

Even more, a large majority of Americans aren’t buying the common false dichotomy that it’s either our health or our jobs. Seventy-three percent of voters stated that they believe we can protect air quality and have a strong economy at the same time.

Tomorrow, EPA chief Lisa Jackson will be in the hot seat before Congress, in a hearing at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She’ll face tough questioning, no doubt. But let’s hope that the defenders of polluting industries can remember that the American public supports the EPA’s work to clean our air.