Gina McCarthy is the president and chief executive officer of NRDC and 13th administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
This essay was first published in our semi-weekly newsletter, Climate in the Time of Coronavirus, which you can subscribe to here.
I will never forget the feeling of holding my children in my arms for the first time. I was amazed at how I could be so in love with this tiny person who I had never even met before. But I was also terrified, because I knew right then and there that my future and my happiness were inextricably linked to them, forever. No longer was my world all about me. If my son or daughter wasn’t healthy and happy, then my whole world would fall apart. I dedicated my entire career to public health because I wanted them, and children everywhere, to live in a healthier world — one with clean air, safe drinking water, and endless opportunity. Becoming a grandmother only raised the stakes. My two beautiful young grandkids will be in their early 30s by 2050 — the year scientists say we must be well on our way to a zero-carbon future to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Add to that the unprecedented global pandemic we’... Read more