Illinois is the most important link of a huge water shed that feeds into the largest fresh water source on the planet. Management of our water resources here in the 64th district MUST be a top priority for any politician because our community gets 100% of its water from underground aquifers. We sit on a massive water shed that all feeds into Lake Michigan. The water that flows through our community every time a drop of water hits the ground or comes from upstream in the water shed where it has been picking up contaminants the entire way and bringing them into OUR community. We need to do our part through limiting runoff from agriculture and local industry, but we also need to stem the problem upstream at the source. Our lakes and streams can be much cleaner as they once were, but that can only happen through a combined effort between communities. We all love our lakes, lets commit to keeping them clean, so everyone can enjoy them to the fullest.
Lets talk a bit more big picture for a second. Its quite possible that we have gone so far down the path of global warming that feedback loops in nature will take over the process, no matter what we do (ice shelf collapses, reductions in albedo due to lower ice surface area, carbon released from tundra melt, glacial melt, ocean level rises/ocean surface area increases, deep ocean Carbonate dissolution due to rising Carbonate Compensation depth, increased atmospheric water vapor content, increased forest fires). With that in mind the most important thing we can do as a society is to immediately stop all carbon emissions and begin investing in carbon capture technology (for use as building materials and in technology), begin cloud seeding projects over the oceans, and invest in forest fire fighting/prevention to attempt to prevent as much warming as possible. We must preemptively begin to transition our coastlines inland with massive public works projects unless we will fall victim to a refugee crisis the likes the world has never seen. We must begin assessing our current fresh water sources, look at future projects of use and begin to set up any new infrastructure necessary to cope with the flooding of coastal fresh water sources. Many scientists currently believe that the Paris Climate Agreement's maximum allowed sea level rise is now the absolute minimum level of sea level rise we could incur by 2100.
Contaminants, toxins, heavy metals, and radioactive waste are pervasive throughout our society. The rampant use of plastic has at least partially caused a collapsing sperm count across the industrialized world. Our oceans have been polluted to the extent that fish's organs can become clogged with plastics, and have a significant level of plastic micro particulates suspended in their musculature which we consume. Sea salt has become unsafe for consumption due the way plastic micro particulates precipitate out of ocean water with salts to become suspended in defect in their crystal structure. Micro particulates from vehicle exhaust have caused huge increases in the levels asthma and other respiratory diseases, especially in children raised in urban environments. The only safe level of lead is none. We must immediately push to remove all lead from all sources possible in our communities. In addition, the parts per billion scale is not precise enough to measure lead contamination. Due to the insolubility of lead in anything but nitrates (which are bad for the environment as well because they react with every ionic compound) lead builds up in a person's system over time. Lead levels must be measured with equipment capable of parts per trillion precision. The fact of the matter is that ANY chemical contaminant in the environment WILL get into the human body and WILL have an affect on both a persons health and cognition.
Antibiotics have become pervasive in our society to the point where they have begun to adversely affect our environment. The soaps many of us use on a daily basis contain antibiotics which goes down the drain and a percentage eventually reaches the fresh and ocean water sources we rely on. Antibiotics are given to a large portion of livestock as well as to humans in America which a portion of is excreted and either all of those excreted antibiotics (runoff from live stock excrement), or a small portion (from treated human waste) gets directly into the water supply. This has two immediate effects. It breeds antibiotic resistance on a massive scale, and disrupts bacterial populations allowing for opportunistic bacteria to take over and destroy entire ecosystems on a macroscopic level (red algae growths).
As oceans rise due to climate change, there will be growing scarcity of fresh water resources. This disrupts agricultural crops, population centers, and likely will disrupt many governments across the world. In order to avoid this we must begin cleaning, monitoring, and managing our current fresh water sources much more carefully. This involves the ending of all industrial and sewage dumping. The end of all natural resource pipelines due to their inability to NOT leak. In the future just one of these leaks could destroy the only fresh water source entire populations have. Building new roads/bridges/transportation systems in general with the long term prospect of erosive processes in mind. We must end the use of our current oil/fossil fuel reliant transportation methods in favor of electrical/magnetic based transportation systems and other innovative nonpolluting means of travel.