Anyone whose eyes are open knows the climate of the planet is changing dramatically. Anyone who pays attention knows how bad greenhouse gases are for us. And anyone who has respiratory problems knows this acutely. And yet when President Obama outlined his sweeping Climate Action Plan yesterday at Georgetown University, I was still flabbergasted to hear him say, “There are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that (power) plants can pump into our air. None. Zero.”
I mean, I knew that, but when he wiped his brow in the stifling afternoon heat and said it plainly, it really hit me. Are we crazy or what?! Zero is…zero, right? Yes, we’re crazy.
But now he said it. It’s out there. And there’s a plan. At last.
“A” is for “Asthma”
This is big — page one news: The President’s Climate Action Plan, page 1, paragraph 3: “Asthma rates have doubled in the past 30 years and our children will suffer more asthma attacks as air pollution gets worse.”
Yes! The President gets it. As someone who is prone to suffering from asthma in the high heat-index days of summer, and whose son keeps a nebulizer at his bedside when the ozone alerts start popping, I’m very happy to see the President highlight this irrefutable statistic.
In fact, by talking about carbon pollution reduction as a health issue, and more specifically as a children’s health issue, President Obama has not only given savvy political heft to his argument — after all, who’s against children’s health? — but he has also shown himself genuinely responsive to the concerns of moms and dads, and to the passionate efforts of Mom’s Clean Air Force, which has been at the forefront of the fight against pollution. As MCAF puts it, “Our children can’t fight for themselves. We have to fight for them.”
Now the President is fighting for them, too.
“A” is for “Ambitious”
Implementing the Climate Action Plan will be a huge undertaking. It will take time…and we don’t have much of it if we’re to stave off widespread catastrophe in the years to come. It will take cooperation…and you know that means. After all, 90% of the Republican leadership denies climate change.
“A” is for…”A”
Still, the plan is workable, and the plan is doable. This is an historic moment in the midst of an increasingly grave situation. Give the President an “A” for his action plan. Let’s move forward, as Obama put it, “for the sake of our children.” Now.