We live near a Catholic grade school, and generally we have only one complaint – parents idling their cars while waiting for their kids. We call the school regularly and they always say they will talk to the parents, but nothing has changed. One minute of idling puts more carbon monoxide in the air than smoking three packs of cigarettes, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates!

Recently two parents were on the street, their cars idling as they entertained themselves on their smartphones a half-hour before the end of the school day. I asked one woman to turn her car off for the sake of the environment. She simply closed her window and kept idling.

My husband asked the other lady why she had her car running on such a nice day. She stated, “I just got here” (not realizing that we had been walking down the street). She then proceeded to chastise him for “yelling” at her. (My husband may be curt, but he was not yelling.)

After her tirade, she remarked snidely: “OK, boomer, have a nice day.” She did, however, turn off her car, for which we (the boomers), our children (the millennials), her children and our grandchildren (Gen Z) are all grateful.

What is sad is that this has turned into “us versus them.” We need to protect our public health and our precious environment. Maybe you don’t believe in science and climate change, but consider, please – shouldn’t we use our finite resources sparingly and thoughtfully anyway?

Regi Robnett
Portland

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