I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to Grey’s Anatomy. My dad was a surgeon, and as a kid I really wanted to go to medical school when I grew up. But I couldn’t even get through pre-med. Advanced calculus undid me. Now I get my medical thrills from TV.
So when Jessica Capshaw reached out to help us at Moms Clean Air Force, it was all I could do to keep from suiting up and slapping a scalpel into her waiting hand. Capshaw plays Dr. Arizona Robbins on the ABC show; she’s the new head of pediatric surgery.
Capshaw’s husband, Christopher Gavigan, is an equally extraordinary force for good; this is a couple that “talks the talk and walks the walk.” He is the co-founder, with Jessica Alba, of The Honest Company. Christopher is also the former CEO and a member of the board of Healthy Child, Healthy World–he is one of the first people I called, on the advice of my ecofabulous friend, Zem Joaquin, when Moms Clean Air Force was just a glimmer in my eye. The admirable Healthy Child, Healthy World became our first partner. Jessica and Christopher have two children, Luke and Eve, and are expecting a third child in early summer.
Years ago, I had a volunteer job at a New York City hospital, in the pediatric oncology ward. While it was heartbreaking to see the suffering of tiny patients, it was also astonishing to bear witness to their bravery and strength. I felt honored to read and play games with them. Some of those faces, swathed in white bandages, are forever engraved in my memory. I think of them whenever I read research linking childhood cancers to toxic air pollutants.
We can prevent toxic air pollution. The more I learn about what is spewing out of coal-fired power plants, the more outraged I become that this is legal. We have to end it. Capshaw has it right: polluters have money and influence, but moms have love. Lots of love. And mother love is the strongest force of all.
Right now, we are awaiting finalization of the strong new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards–twenty-one years in the making–signed by Administrator and mom, Lisa Jackson (whose son suffers from asthma). But we can’t wait silently. The opposition is in full gear to kill or delay these rules.
Moms have to tell Washington: Listen to your mothers! Who is going to protect our children if we don’t?