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Environmental Protection Agency Head on Moms Acting on Climate

23 January 2014
Close-up of Gina McCarthy (AP Images)

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

This blog post by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy was originally published on the EPA website on January 22.

Moms Acting on Climate
By Gina McCarthy

I recently participated in the #CleanAirMoms Twitter chat with Moms Clean Air Force, a great group of moms making sure we’re keeping our environment safe and healthy for all of our kids.

As a mom, I was thrilled with the enthusiasm for the chat and the energy folks are showing afterwards online and offline to make a difference in their communities. Some moms asked why President Obama cares so much about climate change.

That’s easy enough to answer. When the President unveiled his Climate Action Plan last June to young people at Georgetown University, he made it clear that he wasn’t just speaking as our president but as a parent. As our caregivers for our children, our first responsibility is making sure the world around them is safe and healthy. The president believes it, and I believe it too.

Other moms had questions about the link between climate change and children’s health.

It’s clear that carbon pollution brings hotter weather, leading to increased smog levels, which leads to higher rates of asthma and longer allergy seasons. If your child doesn’t need an inhaler, then you are a lucky parent — because one in 10 children in the U.S. lives with asthma every day — and it’s made worse by carbon pollution in our skies.

That’s why we have to work together to make sure we implement commonsense steps to reduce carbon pollution — like from our vehicles and power plants — to protect the health of our children and the environment around us.

And a lot of moms wanted to know how they can get involved and make their voice heard. Talking to their fellow moms is a good step to spreading the word. The voice of parents — especially us moms — is a critical resource. There is no one more credible to speak to our obligations as responsible parents.

My three children — Daniel, Maggie, and Julie — remind me every day why I do the work that I do. They give me the courage to act — just like the children of moms do across America.

Thanks to all of the #CleanAirMoms for a great chat, I can’t wait to hear from you again!