05/10/2013 05:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Mother's Day Message to Michelle Obama

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Dear Michelle Obama,

I'm writing to you about something important, in honor of Mother's Day, as one First Mom (of my family) to another First Mom (of this country!) The subject is climate change -- and our duty as mothers to address it wholeheartedly and ambitiously. I had thought -- we all think -- that once our children grow up and leave home, well, we've done what we can. But we haven't.

It isn't a cliché: A mother's work, a parent's work, will never be done. Our children, no matter how old they are, will always look to us, to take our measure, as moral beings. They see in us either what they want to model, or to avoid. Or both!

That's why it is imperative that parents unite to protect our sacred right to clean air. There's only one way forward. Hopeful action.

First Mom Obama: You have a powerful voice. Speak up about climate change.

You can speak up about how those healthy grains and vegetables are going to cost us a whole lot more as droughts become more severe with climate change. You can speak up about the disgraceful behavior of those utilities fighting in court to protect their right to spew mercury, a potent neurotoxin, into our air in spite of our new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. You can speak up for tax reform: Ban fossil-fuel subsidies. Tax carbon.

You can speak up about the carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants that has put our weather on steroids.

You can bring urgency -- and leadership -- to this issue.

We have to show our children that we believe in the future. Their future.

Moms matter. Always, and in all ways.

Our children are watching us. Every single step of the way. If only for them, we parents must fly right.

Ask Michelle Obama to speak up about climate change.