Ask the Pediatrician: "What About Children & Climate Change?"

 

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Why are Mothers Out Front members stepping up to protect all children from accelerating climate change? Because they feel at a cellular level the special vulnerability of the young to the emerging threats from climate change:

  • The spread of tropical diseases caused by insect range expansion
  • Air and water quality degradation
  • More intense and frequent natural disasters
  • Soaring heat, widespread drought, and more frequent wildfires
  • Swamping of coastal areas caused by rising sea levels
  • Agricultural failures
  • Disruptions due to geopolitical conflicts and increased population migration

What mothers have known for years pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics now confirm. The  journal, Pediatrics, citing several studies on climate change and children’s health, concludes: “Climate change will disproportionately affect children and the poor…” CNN, in reviewing this article, states that “Children are estimated to bear 88% of the burden of disease related to climate change…” 

Mothers are not standing by passively while climate change is happening. The members of Mothers Out Front, for example, are pressing forward vigorously to fight for solutions.

In Massachusetts alone, where Mothers Out Front was born, members are currently gearing up to energetically support the major, national Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice event on Sept 8th. A few of the other initiatives in MA are:

  • Blocking natural gas pipeline expansion in their communities and the Commonwealth
  • Stopping utility efforts to construct compressor stations near their children’s homes and schools
  • Urging passage of legislation designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions
  • Motivating utilities to fix big natural gas leaks located in town and cities across the state
  • Shifting city and town electricity purchasing to an aggregation model that allows increased sourcing of renewable energy.

Here are just a few of the ways Mothers Out Front members in other states are making a difference for children’s futures:

  • In New York, Mothers Out Front members joined allies in a successful effort to block an energy company from storing volatile LPG, liquified petroleum gas, inthe unstable salt caverns along Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region.
  • California teams delivered over 700 signed postcards from constituents in support of Senate Bill 100, the California Clean Energy Act, committing CA to reaching 100% renewable energy for the state by 2045.
  • In Auburn, Alabama, Mothers Out Front members are driving The Alabama Solar Initiative to reduce global warming by making solar energy installations more cost-effective for families.
  • In Seattle, Washington, members are petitioning elected officials to adopt more renewable energy to replace harmful carbon fuels in the Puget Sound region.

When we read pediatricians’ warnings about climate change impacts on children’s health, we don’t have to lose heart. Rather, we can mobilize with other Mothers Out Front members to help shape the future of all children by working with allies, elected officials, utilities, and other stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Our organization welcomes all mothers and other nurturers to join us at any level of engagement to help create the best world possible and ensure optimal health for all children and future generations!

 

Photo courtesy of Inhabitots


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