Importance of Natural Resources

Mothers Out Front & Kelsey Wirth: Mobilizing Bold Climate Action

I grew up in a house that my parents built themselves, drinking water from a spring. When the fracking industry came in, my family felt deeply threatened. The stress of never knowing when you’re drinking a glass of water, when you’re even showering in what could be toxic, carcinogenic water is what made me decide to sell the land that we had all been raised on. When my daughter, Sophie, was four, I was reading a book to
her about coral reefs and I suddenly realized that
all of the world’s reefs are predicted to die in her lifetime because of climate change. Why have we made so little progress? I had had this idea of
starting Mothers Out Front, thinking if a car was
driving down the street and my daughter ran into the street, I would throw myself in front of her, between her and the car because that’s what you
do if you’re a mother. Climate change is not a distant threat, we are seeing the impacts today. I feel like this whole
idea of climate change is like the world is ending. But the world has been ending for us, we’ve been living the hell on earth that everyone is afraid of. I’m the oldest of three girls. We grew up in a single-parent house. Because of pollution,
we’ve lost our clean air, we’ve lost our health. I don’t feel safe raising
my future children here. For that to be taken away from me because of industry feels so unfair. Addressing the climate crisis
is really about justice, it’s about justice for our children who are inheriting a mess. This is about justice for
frontline communities, mostly low-income communities
and communities of color that have for decades borne the brunt of our dependence on fossil fuels. It’s very easy to assume
that you don’t have any real power to make change happen, that it’s up to the big decision-makers. Mothers Out Front is building
that collective power, that collective voice of mothers, to compel decision-makers
to take bold action. Our teams of moms work on
a whole range of campaigns, depending on what their
concerns are in their community. When I learned about
the Cayuga power plant wanting to re-power burning fracked gas, I had a realization that
I couldn’t run from this. Our voices swayed the county legislature to send a very strong
resolution to the governor saying that we do not want
this fracked-gas power plant. One of the biggest campaigns that we focus our energy into with Mothers Out Front is
the electric school buses. Children who’ve grown up in
disenfranchised communities, they’ve grown up breathing
in all of these pollutants, We are winning campaigns, increasing the use of renewable energy, stopping proposed fossil
fuel infrastructure, power plants, pipelines, fixing high-emitting gas leaks
in our cities and towns. What we are tapping into
as Mothers Out Front, is mothers’ fierce determination and just driving desire
to protect their kids. This is a movement that’s growing quickly. I refuse to accept that we should pay the price of climate change. Being with mothers,
seeing what they’re doing, and experiencing their
energy and their passion, that is what gives me hope. Because together, we are powerful. (crowd chanting) [Crowd] Don’t mess with moms!

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