\Thank you for your Feb. 26 editorial, “A clean-electric bill of health” in support of state legislative bills HB 1211 and SB 5116, which will ensure that by 2045 all electricity generated and used by our state will come from 100 percent clean sources.
As a physician, I have grave concerns about the increasingly adverse health effects we are seeing as a result of climate change events, attributable to fossil fuel use; these include a higher incidence and severity of allergy-related illness, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, certain infectious diseases, and direct heat-related illness.
Because of our professional concern, the two bills currently before the state Legislature have unprecedented support from a broad spectrum of non-partisan medical groups, including the Washington State Medical Association, the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, American Lung Association, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the sate chapter of the American College of Physicians.
I am hopeful the proposed legislation will pass so we can begin to make progress on the state level. Last week the Snohomish County Council joined other municipalities, including Edmonds, Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Spokane, in the effort to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. I urge the Everett City Council to enact similar measures.
Health care professionals work diligently to keep their patients well, yet we cannot do it alone. We must work in partnership with those taking action to address the root causes of the health effects we are seeing in our offices and hospitals. Our city, county and state can be leaders in addressing the environmental damage due to climate change. The health and lives of our citizens and future generations depends upon our cooperative action now.
Dr. Jonathan Witte