If you have followed me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, you have been witness to my environmental volunteerism. My current volunteer investment is #ReImagineAppalachia. #ReimagineAppalachia covers a four state area with collaboration between non-governmental agencies seeking economic solutions to an area blighted by the greed of outsiders – big coal, oil, gas, and fracking extractive industries. Economic stability and growth comes through targeting #GreenIndustries and carbon capturing.
Poverty is unhealthy. Workers, as well as #CoVID-19 layoffs, need good union jobs with health benefits in green industries not polluting the surrounding #environment. Not only does #GreenIndustry recover well with recession but investing in areas of need like #Appalachia, will create more jobs and healthy communities. Infrastructure improvements and broadband expansion are needed to support these #GreenIndustries. And these new #GreenIndustries are sustainable. As VP Biden said, “We will “build it back better.” God knows #Appalachia needs #BuildBackBetter no matter what the election results. We will need to look beyond elections and push economic strategies, taking worker health seriously.
#SocialDeterminantsofHealth: “Genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger” (quote from Dr. Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health). However, there is a cycle of poverty, health, and environmental injustice continuing in Appalachia unless stopped now. No one should forget #workerhealth should be part of any economic plan. Regardless of who wins the election in less than six days, we will need collaboration to move forward towards a #GreenEconomy to reduce U.S. dependence on gas, oil, coal, and fracking. Broadband improvements bring educational opportunities and the potential for telehealth. #GreenIndustries bring jobs with health benefits. There are so many health issues associated with the Extractive industry pollution of the Ohio River Valley and Appalachia. You will see it in my next blog. In the meantime, I think I will read another book.