My name is Ashley Funk, and I live in a small community nestled within the Appalachian Mountains, known as Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. I am 18 years old, and within those years, I have recognized firsthand the damages caused by the fossil fuel industries. The foundations of Mount Pleasant were built upon the coke and coal industry, and although mining hasn't occured in decades, the damage still affects the environment of my community.
Huge, black piles of coal waste remain from the industry that left Mount Pleasant in the 1930s. These wastelands are known as gob piles and the minerals in the dumps continue to cause acid drainage, which pollutes local waterways and environments. Interested in the effects of acid drainage, I conducted research near the vacant mining site near my home. I found that streams running through the area had a very acidic pH of 2.5--the same pH as a glass of soda. The acidity of the stream, and the effects that can follow, can be detrimental to both human and environmental health.
While we can now visualize, and test, how mining coal harms our environment and health, we must also recognize that burning coal and other fossil fuels continues to destroy one of our most precious natural resources -- our atmosphere.
This is why I have filed a petition for rule-making to five Pennsylvania agencies asking them to limit and regulate fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, and to achieve an effective emissions reduction strategy that will achieve an atmospheric concentration no greater than 350 ppm of carbon dioxide by 2100.
Together we must demonstrate that our atmosphere needs to be protected, just like we protect waterways and roadsides from pollution. I'm asking the government to join me and other youth across the nation as we strive to preserve the balance of our atmosphere. We must not disregard its importance--it is a public trust that must be preserved for our generation and for generations to come. We must recognize that the destruction of our atmosphere is the destruction of human health.
Please watch my film, TRUST Pennsylvania (on this page) to understand why I am fighting to preserve our atmosphere.
And, please help! I've been supported by a team of attorneys, organizations, and human rights activits who are working hard to make Pennsylvania recognize what's at stake. All funds raised will go towards film screenings of TRUST Pennsylvania and the legal action I'm taking.
Can you contribute $50, $20, $10 to show your support for my petition?
A little goes a long way in this campaign! When you donate you'll have an opportunity to win some great prizes too, likes pizzas, iPads, Nike gift card: http://www.crowdrise.com/give/promotions
Thanks for your support! Please spread the word!
To a sustainable planet,