IN AN EFFORT TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT smog and climate change, CAPE launched the Doctors’ Renewable Energy Project (DREP) in March, 2010. Not even a year old now, the initiative is already enjoying success.
DREP brings together health professionals in a campaign to educate Canadians about renewable energy and coal-fired power plants. Partners include the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, the LungAssociation, Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Asthma Society of Canada. Led by CAPE, the groups have brought the latest science on coal and wind’s health effects to newspaper editors, medical conferences, and the general public.
“It’s marvelous working with these health organizations,” says CAPE executive director Gideon Forman. “We all want clean air so an awareness campaign on coal is an obvious choice.”
DREP focuses specifically on coal facilities in Ontario. These plants release neurotoxins such as mercury and lead, carcinogens such as arsenic, and acid-rain components such as sulphur dioxide.
At their peak, they emitted the greenhouse gas equivalent of nearly seven million cars.