Youth are not the only ones panicked about inheriting a livable world. They are joined by many others, including an army of moms. We put so much love and energy into preparing our children for the future. Now that future looks precarious. We are scared!
This Mother’s Day we don’t want flowers, chocolate, or brunch. California mothers want to give our children the gift of a livable climate, and we ask our elected leaders to support us by endorsing the Green New Deal.
Recent reports tell us we only have until 2030 – or less – to stop fueling the temperature rise devastating the world with climate-change causing greenhouse gas emissions. But temperatures are rising, not declining. Half of all greenhouse gases have been put into the atmosphere in the last 30 years.
Already there is devastation that we read about daily in the news. With each incremental increase in temperature, we can expect the negative effects to air quality, water, food supplies, health, and the economy will be worse. Then, too, there’s the fall-out from the devastation like famine, migration, and war linked to the climate crisis. This is a worldwide problem.
California is a small piece of the world puzzle, but already wildfires, floods, droughts, and mudslides are ravaging our state. Californians are suffering major impacts from fossil fuel production. Children’s health, safety, and future are in danger.
Almost all the temperature increase can be attributed to human-sourced greenhouse gases. We have created and fueled the problem, and we can stop it.
The Green New Deal is a good start to the conversation this nation needs to confront the climate crisis. It is not perfect, nor is it fully fleshed out. However, it begins to transition us to a sustainable future, while ensuring jobs and justice. It puts forth a massive programmatic response to a massive problem. It is a resolution advancing intent, rather than a law that mandates defined actions.
Quite simply, by 2030 it would decarbonize the economy, aspiring to provide 100% of our power through clean, renewable, and zero-emission sources. Emerging programs and new infrastructure would provide good jobs for all who want them. Everyone, particularly communities that are marginalized and on the frontline of climate change impacts, could benefit from this new order.
These are the primary components, although this simplification leaves out important things, like major infrastructure development, as well as transportation and farming, which are also addressed in the Green New Deal.
The resolution currently has over 100 co-sponsors in Congress. An increasing number of Democratic presidential candidates support it. But not Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Instead, they have presented less aggressive plans to address the serious and urgent problem of climate change.
Their plans are not adequate to ensure a quick and just transition from fossil fuels. Our kids deserve better.
Working with a coalition of groups, our local San Francisco Mothers Out Front team mobilized in support of Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s declaration of “climate emergency.” We did this because we’re terrified about the impact climate change will have on our children and grandchildren and want our elected officials to act appropriately. San Francisco mothers were thrilled that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the declaration unanimously.
We ask our national legislators to give us a similar gift for Mother’s Day by endorsing the Green New Deal. Representative Jackie Speier and Senator Kamala Harris have already voiced their support. Representative Pelosi and Senator Feinstein should do the same.
If our leaders had started the process of decarbonizing the atmosphere decades ago when the alarm was first sounded, we could afford the luxury of a more gradual transition. Now our children need us to act like climate change is the imminent disaster we know it is.
Kathie and Maia Piccagli are co-leaders of the San Francisco Mothers Out Front team.