perspective

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

I run every night after dinner. Just a simple 20-30 minute course. Running in a town and state known for it’s natural beauty, endowed with nearly 43,000 square miles of vast green landscapes, vibrant thick forests, an abundance of flowers, rolling hills, mountains… makes it relatively easy to inhale healthy air that results in easy outdoor exercise routines. Nature is the most effective filter for holding pollutants at bay.

And exercise is a critical element in building a strong immune system.

I recently had the good fortune of experiencing more fully the vital role healthy air plays in exercising when I was in Southern Pines, NC a few months ago. I ran amongst the tall Longleaf and Loblolly pines. Their strong, therapeutic scent soon filled my lungs and cleared my mind. After a quick mile, I felt extra invigorated, as if I’d taken a magical energy potion. Then, without even realizing it, I went on to run 45 minutes and could have easily gone further but it was pitch black. I think the reason I was so startled was because I’ve never run for that long in my whole life, but suddenly I could go the extra distance without effort.

I was mystified. I quickly had to Google to see if it was my imagination or whether the fresh “pine” air does indeed contain tangible health benefits. Amazing. Yes, it does. Pine is rich in flavonols and bioflavonoids which provide a measurable increase in physical endurance. They’re also potent antioxidants. In Japan, the phenomenon of inhaling pine health benefits is called shinrin-yoku.

It’s stunning to learn how easy it is to inhale health and receive powerful immediate results. I now understand the logic behind aroma therapy. It’s much quicker than vitamins or supplements, where it may take a week or two to feel the difference, or a month, even a year. But in Southern Pines, I felt infused within ten minutes.

Which brings me to Scott Pruitt…

EPA Scott Pruitt’s shocking announcement Thursday March 29, 2018 that the EPA will roll back Obama’s trademark environmental policy, Obama’s enhanced Vehicle Emissions Standards, is nothing short of criminal. The Director of the Environmental Protection Agency swore an oath to protect our health and environment. Auto emissions contain hydrocarbons, nitrogen, carbon-monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc… all of which result in tangible negatives for our health and well-being. The detrimental impact is substantial.

I now can’t fathom outdoor exercise in cities. It must be extremely challenging with so few natural filters.

Scott Pruitt is delusional to believe Americans are so ignorant that we’ll buy his ludicrous “framing” of this toxic policy shift: “cars will be less expensive” if he repeals the higher Auto Emission Standards. True, but our medical care will be significantly more expensive. Oh, and will also shave about ten years off our life spans.

It’s time to demand that criminal charges be filed against Mr. Pruitt. We inhale health and harm in equal measure. Pruitt’s intentional negligence, which will lead to millions of deaths across the next ten years, must be stopped.

The easiest way to protect our families and our environment is to refuse to buy any of the cheaper American cars that will have the lower emissions standards. We have the power to block Pruitt. We must succeed at preparing for tomorrow. Pruitt’s failure doesn’t have to be our demise… but it certainly can be his.

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