The generosity–and genuine concern–of moms never ceases to amaze me. Out of the blue I wrote to Julianne Moore, knowing she is an activist mom, asking her if she would help us spread the word about the connection between toxic air pollution and children’s health. Within days, she was right there–right there in my living room, hastily converted into a film studio!
Julianne has long been one of my favorite actors. But what’s more wonderful is how beautiful she is as a person. I expected to have to give her a fast primer on mercury poisoning, asthma, behavioral issues, and all the other subjects we talk about at Moms Clean Air Force. Julianne was five steps ahead of me.
What she really wanted to puzzle out was how something everybody wants–clean air–had become so polarized that the subject was now a political football, kicked back and forth as crowds roar with overheated, misleading rhetoric.
And, she wondered, why weren’t more parents outraged that polluters are allowed to buy the right to pollute, with their lobbying dollars and political contributions?
In December, Administrator & mom, Lisa Jackson delivered to President Obama the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; this is the most important environmental legislation of his tenure. The ink wasn’t even dry before the opposition geared up. Senator Inhofe began proceedings for a Congressional Review Act to stop the rule, and forbid EPA from ever visiting the subject again. Other threats are looming.
We –We, the people–cannot buy clean air. We can only fight for it. The work of the Clean Air Act is far from done, though much good has been done and our skies are bluer. The problem now is that many pollutants are invisible. Air pollution isn’t just “dirty.” It is poisonous.
Open up those strollers, bundle up your babe or grab the Snugli, and join Julianne Moore and Moms Clean Air Force. Roll on over to your local politician’s comfy offices and speak your minds. We really can have it all: Clean air for healthier children, a vibrant economy, and bright lights–till bedtime.