This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.
The upcoming election has been dominated by divisive candidate issues. Believe me, many of us have lost friends and family because our politics simply cannot reconcile themselves but there’s one thing that we should all be able to agree on: harmful pollution, climate change, and toxic chemicals are putting our families at risk and it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, every one of us lives on this planet and, I hope, everyone of us wants to take care of it so it’s still around for our children and our children’s children.
When I think about the future, I immediately think about my daughters. The future is not some obscure thing that will happen to me. Since becoming a mom, everything I do is directly in relation to how it will affect my children and that means I have no choice but to be the change. It’s my job to be their advocate, to make sure that they are healthy and happy and, for me, that means making sure that they have clean air to breathe.
A few weeks ago, the news reported that safe carbon levels in the earth’s atmosphere were a thing of the past. We officially passed the point of no return, 400 parts per million, where the earth’s climate was concerned. The low point of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere typically occurs around the last week of September but this year, levels failed to drop below 400 ppm.
Why’s that a big deal? The 400 ppm mark is considered the red line in the sand and crossing it poses dangerous climate ramifications. Right now we’re at 400 ppm, and we’re adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Unless we are able to change things and turn that around and return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk triggering tipping points and irreversible impacts that will send climate change spinning beyond our control. It will be catastrophic.
To reverse the damage and do some Superman/ Wonder Woman like planet saving, here are three areas we need to focus our attention towards.
CLEAN AIR. Air pollution from fossil fuels leads to bad air quality in too many communities. Increases in smog can trigger asthma attacks and exacerbate other chronic health problems. Do not let your child’s health be voted away to protect polluters’ profits. Instead, VOTE to protect little lungs from toxic air pollution.
CLIMATE CHANGE. The same harmful pollution that is making our children sick is causing rising temperatures and extreme weather events. Our changing climate is making smog worse. It increases respiratory health threats, particularly for people with allergies and asthma. Also, intense heat waves exacerbate heart and lung conditions. VOTE for candidates who support proposals to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. And vote to put our country on a clean energy path while protecting American jobs!
TOXIC CHEMICALS. Dangerous chemicals are found in our daily lives. They often enter our homes and bodies without our realizing it. In fact, these chemicals may not even have been disclosed, identified or studied. Thousands of toxic chemicals found in everyday products are linked to potential reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, cancer, asthma, headaches and skin irritants. Children are among the most vulnerable to such chemicals.
It really hit home for me when my 9-year-old came to me with tears in her eyes and asked me, “Mommy will the air last long enough for me to grow up?” That broke my heart because while the answer is yes ( just), I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I have no idea what the air we breathe will be like for her children and grandchildren. I can’t make her any guarantees. We’ve ignored the warnings for far too long and now, it falls on our shoulders to literally save the planet for our children.
Unfortunately, harmful pollution, climate change and toxic chemicals are putting our precious children at risk. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. This doesn’t mean there’s no hope. We just need to collectively get involved, care and make changes. It starts with each one of us.
On election day your vote can elect candidates who care about these issues. If for nothing else, please vote as if your child’s health depends on it. Because it does. Take the pledge and commit yourself to voting for your child’s future.
This fall Clean Air Moms Action is traveling the country with a documentary film crew capturing the stories of parents who are fighting daily to protect their children’s health effects of exposure to oil & gas productions, high-tide flood waters, and ground water contamination from coal ash waste sites.
You can see more videos like this on the Clean Air Moms Action YouTube page
Please join me in working together to move clean energy forward in the US. by joining the fight to protect our children at cleanairmomsaction.org.
Next Tuesday, your vote will tell leaders that you care about protecting our children from the harmful effects of toxic air pollution. The same harmful pollution that is making our children sick is causing rising temperatures and extreme weather. It’s our job as parents to protect our babies and their futures.
Join me by voting. Research candidates with a good record on the environment and vote for them. Join the #CleanAirMomsVote selfie project. Print out the Because I Love sign, fill in the blank, and post it to social media with the hashtag #CleanAirMomsVote