This Mother’s Day will moms seize the day to leave their children a clean, healthy, livable future or will they make believe it’s all good and keep ignoring the three most important numbers in the world? The fact is, only moms can make the difference now and its worth giving up breakfast in bed for because we need today’s moms to stand up, get fierce and give their kids their futures back. Amidst the very bad news (and the news is indeed far worse than it has ever been) in the United Nations IPCC climate report released last month is the Hail Mary (she was a mom) touchdown pass moms can still use to keep their kids – and their grandchildren after them – from suffering the climate hell and high water that comes with the 4-5-6+ degrees of global warming we are currently racing towards.
That game changing off-the-shelf Hail Mary solution is: generating and using 100% renewable energy to power our homes, businesses and transportation – while simultaneously eliminating the burning of fossil fuels over the next 10 to 15 years. The United Nations report plainly points out that the cost of avoiding climate catastrophe this way is ridiculously cheap – but only if moms and the rest of us pay up now.
That is why the MB2025 vision for a 100% renewable energy-powered Manhattan Beach by 2025 is not just the smart move for your children’s livable future but the no-brainer move for the city’s financial future.
As Climate Progress reports “Every major independent study has found a remarkably low net cost for climate action – and a high cost for delay.”
Your kids will be the ones paying that high cost, moms. Taking that climate action now and getting it done over the next 10 years is also the only smart money move based on our carbon budget. And it will happen quickest and best if moms demand that it does.
If you don’t know about our carbon budget, mom, your kids can school you on the details – just like they did with how to work your iPhone. But basically the carbon budget boils climate science down to a simple and stark reality – just three numbers.
The first is two degrees “C-for Celsius” global warming.
That’s 3.6 degrees fahrenheit and you do not want to go there, mom.
It sounds like a little but it is in fact, too much – and you can understand that best because you know what having a 3.6 (F) degree fever with a temperature of 101.6 is like for your children. If your kid had a 101.6 degree temperature you wouldn’t ignore it, or say that some doctors claim it’s just a hoax.
You wouldn’t just go about your day as if nothing was happening, would you? Maybe you would if you were a really crappy mother, or one who didn’t care about their kids, or a junkie… But if you’re a decent mom who wants the best for her kids and your grandkids then you need to know that 2C degrees of warming is WAY too much global warming for your children to be able to enjoy a civilization anywhere close to the one you enjoyed.
Too much global warming for them to ever recover from.
Too much global warming for them to ever forgive you for letting it happen to them.
The second number all moms need to know is our “budget” of carbon – the amount of oil, coal and gas that climate science tells us can be burned before pushing global warming to the danger limit of 2°C. It is now 500 gigatons.
A “gigaton” is a billion tons. We’ll burn right through those 500 gigatons in just 12 years from now. So, don’t blink your eyes, moms, cause that dozen years will go by before you can say 2026. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
But hey, that’s just one scientific estimate of when we get there. If you want some good news, then listen to what our South Bay 350 Climate Action Group science advisor, Dr. Michael Mann, says in the current issue of Scientific American. He’s giving us 22 years – till 2036 – before we reach 2°C warming. A whole decade later! Whoo Hoo! Still time to get that mani/pedi.
What do you say we split the difference, and call it 17 years from now, taking us all the way to 2031
Either way that’s a nanosecond in the big picture for moms and the rest of us. How old will YOUR kids be in 17 years, mom? How old will your grandkids be, grandmom? What if you’re pregnant right now or have a one or two year old? Do you feel good about it?
What do you think your legacy with these kids will be when they look back 17 years from now to see what you did when you had the chance? Will they still be giving you flowers and Mothers Day gifts? Will you deserve any? You’ll probably be around to see.
What are you willing to do about it personally?
70 years ago the mothers of the Greatest Generation sacrificed everything they had, put their lives on hold, and helped transformed our entire nation’s industrial and commercial enterprises in just eight months to fight the biggest threat ever posed to our future.
Using no computers or cell phones or TV or social media to make any of it happen.
When danger came the Greatest Generation did not deny it. They did not ignore it and make believe it wasn’t happening while they lived the high life and let the good times roll.
They didn’t take bribe money and lie about it to their children and then support the very enemy who would rob their offspring of their future.
They didn’t claim their jobs were more important than the greater good or the futures their children would live in. They ran full speed towards the danger to confront it head on and because they did we live the lives we do today.
And it wasn’t the young men who won that war, it was the moms. The moms who were willing to sacrifice their own sons and daughters. The moms whose husbands went to fight and left them alone to raise the kids. The moms and grandmothers who became Rosie the Riveters and took the place on the line and at the job for the sons and grandsons who went overseas while they put their lives on hold to do whatever they could to respond to the danger we all faced.
That is the same choice you moms and grandmothers face on Mothers Day 2014 when we face a far more catastrophic and far-reaching threat than the combined Axis powers of World War II.
Sorry to put a harsh on your 2-14 Moms Day mellow, but this threat is one ridiculously easier to fight and win against, because it is up to YOU to fight and then win.
Instead of bombs, guns, tanks, battleships and hand-to-hand combat with millions of dead and wounded men women and children, all we have to do is stop burning the poison that is destroying our climate.
I know how inconvenient that is for some moms but hey, I bet it’s easier than Pilates or hot yoga.
All you have to do is use other forms of energy that do not deliberately doom your children to pay for our greed and stupidity with their health, happiness and any hope they had for a better tomorrow. You can do this!
And you’re going to want to do that quickly because of the third important number all moms need to know.
The fossil fuel industry holds that number and to them it is everything they are worth.
That number is 2,800+ gigatons, and that’s the amount of coal, oil and gas the fossil fuel companies have listed on their reserves and inventory list. It is the number that determines their values as companies.
So even though the fossil fuel industry knows that 500 gigatons pushes us into climate crisis, their dirty energy professionals fully intend to burn more than five times that amount in the hopes of profiting five times as much. They know what it’s going to do to your children, and to you, but they’re going to burn it anyway. Think of it as their ammunition in their war against the climate and your children.
If you do the math, you see that in order to save ourselves we will have to leave 4/5 of oil, coal and gas in the ground where it is now safely sequestered from causing more climate change. That is 80% of fossil fuel inventories and 80% of the fossil fuel industry’s net worth. They are going to fight tooth and nail against that.
And only if moms fight for their children’s futures the way the world’s best moms have in the past, will those children have any future. Here in the South Bay of Los Angeles, moms can make an immediate and historic difference and be the role models we need by making four very simple things happen: #1. Maintaining the ban on oil drilling in Hermosa beach is essential. Any oil “recovered” is the equivalent of more cigarettes for a long cancer patient. The projected profits are a fantasy that will never be delivered upon because of the carbon budget. #2. The AES fossil fuel power plant must be retired and its greenhouse gas omissions eliminated.
The power must be replaced with renewable energy.
#3. The Chevron refinery in El Segundo, the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, the Valero, Tesoro, BP, Conoco-Phillips refineries in Wilmington and Carson will all see an 80% decline in operations and profits and will be subject to a loss of government subsidies and a necessary imposition of a carbon tax.
Tying your city’s financial future to these tax bases and jobs would be a failure of fiduciary responsibility. Exposing your city’s investments to the fossil fuel industry’s risky financial future puts your city at risk of being left holding the bag when the carbon bubble bursts. No smart mom would let that happen to her family’s household budget.
#4. Starting with Manhattan Beach and then spreading to all the other cities in the South Bay, 100% renewable power must replace fossil fuels by 2025. Cities smart and savvy enough to see the 100% renewable energy future coming and who will be acting now will be able to follow the only investment advice ever proven 100% successful: buy low, sell high. These cities’ return on investment will be greater and quicker and their energy costs will now be on track to cost zero. Cities that deny, delay and deadlock on taking action will pay much higher costs and will be choosing to punish themselves and their citizens.
During the current orgy of ambition that is our local election season, several of the candidates for elected office are mothers. They and the others running for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly and every other office must be judged by mothers on how well they do this math and how much renewable energy they’re committed to generating. All of the other issues they campaign on should come in second place for you if you are going to protect and nurture your children.
Regardless of the season it is those who chose to have children who bear the greatest responsibility to protect them and pass onto them a chance at an equal – if not greater – life then they ourselves enjoyed.
Every generation of mothers who came before ours was able to say they did that. And now it’s your turn mom. This is your moment. This is your issue.
Because nothing else you’ve done for your kids up till now is going to matter unless you rise up and use the unstoppable power that American mothers have always had.
The fossil fuel industry has trillions of dollars and has been an omnipotent force destroying the environment for decades. They don’t believe anyone can stop them and they will never stop themselves from destroying the climate that made civilization possible. They are drunks on a binge driving a car full of your kids headed for a cliff and all they’re doing is pushing the accelerator down harder while they tell you that they are okay to drive.
But you can stop them mom.
You can stand up and demand the action necessary to give your own children a chance at something close to the life you were able to enjoy because your parents sacrificed for you.
You have the power to turn the fossil fuel industry into the DDT and asbestos industries. You can be the heroes your children have been waiting for.
It’s time to make Mothers Day mean something more than a greeting card and a dinner at a restaurant.
It’s time to make Mother’s Day the day that moms demand a livable future for their own children and an end to the destruction of our climate for profit.