Climate change, marked by record-breaking heat waves, acidifying oceans in which sea creatures die, melting icecaps, rising oceans, and intensifying floods and droughts, is the most urgent problem humanity has ever faced.
Our atmosphere is getting warmer and our weather is getting more extreme, owing to pollution from human activity. Carbon dioxide and methane are two of the most important pollutants causing climate change. The balance of these greenhouse gases in our atmosphere has allowed human civilization to thrive for tens of thousands of years, but we have disturbed this balance with too much methane and too much carbon. These pollutants come from coal plants, cars and trucks, natural gas operations, industrial-scale agriculture, and other sources.
We are in the race of our lives, with a small window left, to cut climate pollution before the impacts of global warming overwhelm human civilization.
Does climate change affect our health?
Health professionals around the world are sounding the alarm: Climate change has grave public health impacts, and our children will suffer the most. Rising temperatures, extreme weather, and disruptions to the global food supply, with intensifying droughts, floods, fires, and smog, are all symptoms of our climate chaos.
As these conditions worsen, they lead to a cascade of overlapping health problems: more asthma attacks, the spread of vector-borne diseases, an increase in heat-related illnesses, mental health problems, and more.
Cutting Carbon Emissions
Carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are the biggest source of climate pollution. This carbon dioxide comes from burning fossil fuels for electricity and from our transportation sector. The urgency of the climate crisis requires that we stop pouring carbon dioxide into the air. That will require changing the way we get our energy and changing the way we travel.
Given the need to transform these major sectors of our economy, the climate crisis is too big a problem for individuals to solve. We need a solution at the national level—which is why we need Congress and the president to take action. There are several bills from both sides of the aisle to address climate pollution. That’s good news because we need legislative solutions. Now we have to keep the pressure on—it’s up to us to build momentum for climate action.
It is unlikely that only one law will be able to stop massive climate pollution. But it is imperative that we keep demanding legislative solutions.
However, action on climate pollution from Washington, DC, has been slow and does not address the urgency of the climate change problem. Therefore, we need our state governments to take action and reduce carbon pollution.
Cutting Methane Emissions
Methane is another significant source of climate pollution. Methane is a powerful heat-trapping gas that is 84 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere in the first decade after it’s released. Methane comes from landfills, livestock, and oil and gas operations—including well pads, compressor stations, and pipelines. Because methane is such an effective greenhouse gas, it is critically important that we sharply curtail methane pollution starting right now.
We have national standards in place to begin to address the urgent problem of methane pollution from fracking (the Methane New Source Performance Standards). But the Trump administration is trying to ease up on industry, making it easier to spew methane into the air. Moms are aggressively fighting this effort through testifying at hearings, commenting in the public docket, meetings with our lawmakers, and speaking to the media about the grave threats of methane and climate pollution.
Moms Clean Air Force also supports state-based efforts to limit harmful methane pollution. If you live in a state where there is fracking, you can demand that your elected officials show leadership in reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. Several states have already begun implementing mechanisms to reduce oil and gas pollution, including California, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming. But all states have a long way to go before emissions are under control.
Learn more about how methane pollution from fracking contributes to climate change and degrades our air quality by exploring our resources.
Why We Need the Environmental Protection Agency
The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. As the agency in charge of setting national standards for health-harming air pollution, the EPA has an important role to play in protecting our children and communities from climate pollution. Yet, right now, the Trump Administration is pursuing a campaign of “deregulation”—weakening and rolling back the pollution standards that can help address the climate crisis. Dozens of lifesaving standards have been attacked.
Moms Clean Air Force is fighting to protect EPA standards and the Clean Air Act. Learn more about how you can help.