Letter: Moms for Clean Air

Sunday, May 25, 2014

To the Editor:

Concerns in recent Valley News op-eds and letters run the gamut from leash laws and the local art scene to federal deficits. All are important. But citizens and lawmakers, both state and federal, need to give urgent priority to another concern — the carbon emissions that contribute to global climate disruption and pollute the air we and our kids breathe here at home. This concern will be addressed by the upcoming EPA proposals of clean air standards for existing fossil fuel-burning power plants. If implemented, these EPA standards will dwarf the carbon reduction gains of stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

The moms among us have begun to provide new leadership to educate and advocate for action on this issue. As part of a multi-state effort, the New Hampshire “Mom’s Clean Air Force” is sponsoring a Mama Summit in Concord on May 6. (Information is at www.momscleanairforce.org/mama-summit.) This effort deserves support from grandfathers like me and from all who have special concerns for New Hampshire’s children. May is Asthma Awareness Month. And Mother’s Day is around the corner. In its earliest expression in this country in the 1870s, this day was called “a Mothers Day for Peace.” And make no mistake: peace around the globe — as the Pentagon is well aware — is most certainly threatened by climate disruption.

We have reason to hope that both Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Kelly Ayotte will move toward leadership roles in addressing climate disruption and air pollution. Each of them has a track record of supporting clean-air initiatives. Each of them is a pragmatic, across-the-aisle problem solver. Above all, each is a mom and can be assumed to care about the health of their own offspring as well as of children of future generations here in New Hampshire and around the globe.

Bob Schultz