Science Moms say ‘Electrify’ (Or No Cookies For You)
April 15, 2022
Science Moms was founded last January to help moms who are concerned about climate and their kids’ future answer the question, “What can I do?” with confidence. The group of climate scientists and moms has made a to-do list of actions: Swap, Share, and Speak Up.
The first item on the checklist, “Swap,” is all about switching carbon-polluting stuff (gas cars, stoves, and heaters) for clean stuff (electric cars, heat pumps, induction stoves, and solar power). Science Moms has partnered with Rewiring America to offer moms (but not off-limits to dads, non-parents, and kids!) an accessible guide to how to electrify everything.
“Moms make 80 percent of household financial decisions,” says Anne-Marie Kline, managing director of Science Moms. “They’re the ones we need to inform.” Currently, she says, awareness of electrification and its benefits – for the climate, for kids’ health, and for the pocketbook – is low. “Right now people focus on the costs of electrifying the house because it hasn’t been made clear how it saves you money in the long run or how it’s obviously better for your family’s health.”
That’s partly because there hasn’t been a lot of consumer advertising or choice about electric alternatives to gas – especially not in face of the massive campaign over the years by the natural gas industry to make us all fall in love with our gas stoves (please check out “It’s Time to Break Up With Our Gas Stoves, by Climate Town).
“When you go into a store you’re not met with a row of induction ranges and you don’t see them on TV,” says Annie-Marie. Science Moms is out to change that – and to make the phrase “cooking with gas” go from meaning “making good progress” to “going backwards and being completely out-of-date.”
Science Moms’ actions also include how to “Share” facts, concerns, and solutions with family and friends, spreading the word, and how to “Speak Up” to influence leaders to make climate-friendly decisions. “Individual actions, like switching to electric appliances, are great, but can only take us so far. We also need collective effort,” says Science Mom Melissa Burt, PhD, assistant professor in atmospheric science at Colorado State University. “We have toolkits for moms so they can understand the issue, talk about it with their families, and take action.”
One goal, she says, is making people aware of the environmental injustices and health effects of our fossil fuel-based world. “Climate change is not just an environmental threat,” says Burt. “It also affects health, the economy, and racial and economic inequities. This is an issue that we want women to understand deeply, so they can feel confident talking about it and taking action.”
Dear leaders, electrify!
On Wednesday we sent a letter to President Biden, Senator Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi, signed by 178 organizations, companies, and municipal leaders in support of climate legislation for electrification. It’s absolutely imperative that we keep both the climate provisions and the Defense Production Act alive in the hearts and minds of our elected officials. We NEED both these things to realize the economy-wide electrification that will free us of oil dependence, and create the peaceful, prosperous future our world deserves. We know that energy policy and climate policy are intertwined, and together forge the key to crushing fossil fuel demand. We call upon our leaders to get this done.