Thanks to Diana Donlon, Director of the Cool Foods Campaign at the Center for Food Safety for leading this joint op-ed. We hope it inspires moms everywhere to take action on climate change.
This Mother's Day every ad suggests that you get mom "the gift she really wants." For the record, as much we appreciate the thought, we really don't want spa gift baskets, "Jet Set" tote bags, or even our very own cotton candy makers. There is, however, something that we really want. You can't buy it, but it would be an incredible gift, one that would benefit us all: a bright and healthy future for our children.
Mothers care about their children more than anything on earth, and we will do anything to ensure their well-being. But the escalating climate crisis threatens our children's current and future well-being, and it must be stopped. The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently warned us, in no uncertain terms, that "nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change." Put another way, climate change now threatens everyone's children, and failure to act will only exacerbate their potential suffering.
Fortunately, the climate movement is steadily gaining momentum: In classrooms, groups like the Alliance for Climate Education are teaching climate science. In colleges and universities, youth organized by Bill McKibben's 350.org are successfully pressuring administrations to divest from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy. In boardrooms, leaders like Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are using their analysts and their dollars to make the economic argument for climate action. And, in government, agencies, public experts and the National Academy of Sciences have summarized the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future, in the just-released National Climate Assessment.
But a vital ingredient in this heroic effort is implicit, and we think it needs to be made explicit, and that is love. Hear us out here, we aren't talking about hugs and kisses; to fully address this unprecedented, overarching crisis, we need to enlist the love most mothers feel for their kids - the fierce, innate mama-bear-protecting-her-cubs kind of love.
Imagine what we could accomplish if we brought mom-passion, mom-energy and mom-love (not to mention significant mom-dollars) to bear, making the direct connection between the safety of our children and grandchildren and the stability of our earth's climate.
This June, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. Strong carbon limits would yield up to billions in health and environmental benefits by 2020. In order for these benefits to be realized, our government leaders need to hear from us. As moms we have a duty and opportunity to carry that message and lift our voices together and honor the day in a more profound way than marketers ever intended.
Let's band together to lead our country away from the climate crisis by embodying the leadership that every one of us has tapped into to raise our families. Let's celebrate Mother's Day this year by taking action and bringing the unconditional love we feel for our children to the fight of our lives. Let's Act on Climate.