When he’s not running the capital of the world or flirting with presidential politics, Michael Bloomberg likes to keep himself busy with the occasional public health crusade. In his early years as mayor of New York, Bloomberg removed tobacco from the public sphere, providing momentum for what has become a global campaign against smoking. He’s declared war on trans-fats, helping to ban the unhealthy fatty acids from New York’s restaurants and vendors. He’s made gun violence — which results in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year, many in cities — into an urban public health issue. His style has earned him a reputation as a bit of an autocrat — but it’s also saved lives.
But now Bloomberg is taking on an even bigger and more pervasive American industry: coal. On July 21, the New York mayor announced that his charitable foundation would be donating $50 million over four years to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.