Right now, the president-elect is setting the stage for his new administration. There’s one huge problem that keeps me and so many millions of mothers up at night, and that is the cataclysm that is global warming — the disrupted, unstable world our children are growing up in, and will inherit.
So far, the president-elect is building a team of people who understand the urgency of cutting climate pollution—and who appreciate the opportunities to create new jobs, better health, for all Americans.
The fight is on. Now we will start to hear the arguments: How bold should we or can we be? How much action is too much to demand?
Given the enormous stakes for all of humankind, we at Moms are clear: We must begin this new chapter with the highest ambitions. We can’t just set about to clean up the mess of this current EPA. We have to leap forward — not only with EPA rules but in writing new laws.
We need a blitz, not a dribble, of proposals. We need action, not position papers.
Our ambition for cutting climate pollution is straightforward:
- Set the strictest limits on carbon and methane emissions.
- Achieve those cuts using all the tools we have at our disposal.
- Make those cuts enforceable.
- Make cuts rapidly, with the necessary sense of urgency.
- Guarantee Justice in Every Breath.
We’re demanding a rapid deployment of renewable energy, to clean up our electric sources.
We’re demanding that our transportation sector, the largest polluter, move to a clean electric system.
We’re demanding an infrastructure for the 21st century that supports that electrified transportation system.
What’s complicated is how to get these cuts. But again, we have lots of tools at our disposal. We know how to do this. The stars are aligning; technologies are getting stronger, prices are coming down, and the will to act is growing. But we’ve reached for the stars before. And gotten there. We can do it again. This isn’t about American leadership. This is about American partnership, acting with every single other country in the world to slow down our runaway emissions.
There’s more, of course; Moms are never satisfied. I for one have a real bee in my bonnet these days about data: We need thousands upon thousands of reliable pollution monitors deployed in neighborhoods across the country. It is scandalous that we live in a world where Apple can track your heartbeat and Amazon can track your shoe size—but we don’t have the systems in place that tell you exactly how dirty the air you’re breathing is. That’s crazy. Antiquated. We shouldn’t stand for it another year.
This month, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. That law has done so much to brighten our skies, to make us healthier—well, for some of us, that is. That’s on my mind a lot these days as I think about how we are going to lay the foundation for the next 50 years of this powerful law. It is not acceptable to clean pollution from wealthy people’s air by dumping it into poor neighborhoods. The same goes for thinking about climate pollution; it is not acceptable to cut climate emissions without considering that we are all in this together, and we need to guarantee new jobs and new opportunity for all.
One day, in the not too distant future, we will understand that our government has been criminally negligent in refusing to cut climate pollution over the last several years. Criminal because many lives will be lost in the destructiveness of what lies ahead, as the world warms so dangerously. Negligent because we know what is coming.
I for one want to be able to say to my grandchild that I did everything in my power to protect him.
Indeed, I am drawing on power I never even knew I had. And it is renewable, regenerative.
I’m not alone. And that, my friends, is what sustains hope and hard work. We can never know how things are going to turn out. But we at Moms Clean Air Force sure aren’t waiting for someone else to create a happy ending. Nor are we waiting for miracles. We’re all in. And we hope you will be too.