When Moms Clean Air Force was just a twinkle in our eyes, I went to visit my longtime pal, Gerry Laybourne. She was the genius behind Nickelodeon; she and my sister worked together for years, so it feels like a family connection. I can’t tell you how many hours of fun my sons, their cousins and I had watching Nickelodeon shows, and visiting the set where all sorts of goop happened. Gerry was once a school teacher; she knows how to connect with children. Gerry went on to co-found the Oxygen Network. She is a force for good. She truly believes in the power of women to change the world. So whenever I start a new venture, I check in with her to get my bearings.
Gerry said: “Don’t forget to laugh. Have fun. Find the humor. Draw people in with light hearts.”
Easier said than done, when we’re talking about air pollution, mercury poisoning, asthma attacks, behavioral issues. But you know what? Moms deal with this stuff–and worse–every day. And still we remember to laugh. Humor is healing. And connecting.
So we were thrilled when Liza Donnelly started drawing cartoons for us. This week, we’re talking about the winter that wasn’t–thousands of temperature records shattered across the nation. As we were shedding heavy coats weeks ahead of time, Liza delivered a cartoon about warming trends. And yes. Global warming is an air pollution issue. Very simply, we are throwing off way too much CO2, along with other greenhouse gases–and we’ve disturbed the natural, gorgeous, life-enhancing balance of our atmosphere. We’ll be writing more on greenhouse gas pollution–what it is, what we can do about it–in the coming months, but for now? We’ve still got plenty of work to do to make sure the great new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are safely launched. Let’s just enjoy the warm weather, with a chuckle.
Liza, whose work often appears in The New Yorker, recently published a book of cartoons, When Do They Serve the Wine? The Folly, Flexibility and Fun of Being a Woman. That kind of says it all, doesn’t it?