Human beings have the capacity to alter our environment in any way we wish, for good or ill. With that ability comes the responsibility to be good stewards of the planet we’ve been given. The major parties have given us a false dichotomy between environmental conservation and economic growth. We can do both if we’re willing to listen to each other.
As a public health scientist, I recognize and accept the scientific consensus that human activity is changing our climate. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels do induce global warming. As a resident of the Salt Lake Valley, I see our polluted air. If we support market-based policy initiatives like the Kem Gardener Policy Institute’s Utah Roadmap, we can solve both these problems at the same time—and we don’t have to hurt our economy in order to do it. Utah—and especially the 2nd Congressional District—is uniquely positioned to employ new technologies that will boost our economy while conserving the environment.
Along the way, we must strike a balance between preserving our public lands and allowing them to be used commercially. Any benefit from the use of public lands must go first and foremost to the communities nearby, not to distant investors or a privileged few.