The people behind the puppets are medical doctors. “We have two big reasons to care about this issue” says Dr. Rob Byron, internist and puppeteer. “First, we are already seeing people in our hospitals and clinics with conditions caused or exacerbated by climate change. Tick borne diseases like Lyme’s and anaplasmosis are just one example. Second, the things we need for a healthy planet, we also need for healthy people: healthy food, clean air, and active lifestyles.” Aside from wielding puppets, the doctors have given hundreds of serious presentations on this topic to citizens, colleagues, and politicians and are active in a number of health professional groups advocating for climate action.
The doctors are suggesting one simple action for Maine parents: ask their school districts to apply for funds for electric school buses. Many children now ride older diesel buses, which leak pollution into the cabin as well as the atmosphere. Maine is getting $21 million from the VW settlement. One potential use for these funds is to help schools retire their old diesel school buses and replace them with electric buses, but school districts must apply or the funds will go for other uses.
Dogs to the Rescue will be visiting fairs, farmers markets, libraries, and churches in eastern Maine from Wells to Machias. Their full schedule is available online at www.climate911.org/education.