As a mother of two young boys, I think a lot about the future. They will be young men in 2030, the year leading scientists from the United Nations gave us to change or face climate catastrophe. The situation is dire, but we can rise to the challenge with Colorado leading.
We have already seen amazing progress. More than a decade ago, our state was one of the first in the country to require that a certain amount of energy come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Transit agencies are securing electric buses, electric vehicles and charging stations are expanding, and legislators support Senate Bill 181’s common-sense protections from the dangers of gas and oil extraction. On April 16th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed S.B. 181, which imposes new restrictions on oil and gas activities in the state, into law.
Mothers Out Front, a national movement of more than 23,000 mothers, grandmothers and others concerned about climate change, supports all of these measures and more. We no longer want to play politics with our children’s future. If we’re going to ensure a healthy, safe and prosperous tomorrow for all children, Democrats and Republicans have to work together.
We envision a future free from extreme weather, severe wildfires, dangerous pollution, and doomsday predictions. In this world where we have effectively responded to climate change, we rely on local solar energy, we drive cheaper electric vehicles, we capture carbon in wide open spaces, and our food isn’t wrapped in plastic packaging made from petroleum. Cities are quieter. People have jobs. Children are healthy.
This future is possible if we work together. When I was pregnant with my youngest in 2013, I saw that oil corporations were planning to frack in Broomfield. I wasn’t going to let their profits come before the health of my babies, so I reached out to other mothers and friends. I found that many share my fears and dedication. Together, we succeeded in narrowly passing a five-year moratorium on fracking in Broomfield pending further research.
While our backgrounds and motivations were different, the drive to support our children—all children—motivated us to unite against the powerful oil and gas industry. I see the same drive in the more than 1,400 unique Mothers Out Front leaders across the country. We are showing up at state houses, town halls, board rooms, on the steps, and at the tables with the reminder that the decisions made today have consequences for the future. We’re holding all politicians accountable.
Colorado is poised to lead the United States’ inevitable transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. A better future is possible if we let go of the fears and prejudices that tie us to the past and come together.
Mother Out Front, Laura Fronckiewicz