Moms take pride in their problem-solving skills. They’re often prepared for crises large and small. But preventing the worst effects of climate change, which could materialize in a few short decades, is a problem many moms know will affect their children yet they frequently feel powerless to stop. 

That’s where Science Moms hopes to make a difference. The nonpartisan group, led by six climate scientists who are also mothers volunteering their time, positions itself as a trusted source of easily digestible and accurate scientific information related to climate change. In addition to its website and social media accounts on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter, Science Moms plans to reach an audience of concerned moms through national television advertising that features their personal stories. 

Dr. Emily Fischer, a Science Moms co-founder and atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University, narrates a 90-second spot called “For Our Daughters.” A montage of her two daughters enjoying the outdoors as they camp, ski, and ride bikes are contrasted with images of natural disasters like extreme wildfires and floods, types of events that have been linked to climate change. 

“From the second you have a child, you want to do everything you can to protect them,” she says in the ad. “I think our action on climate change is no different — it’s just an extension of being a mom.” 

In an interview with Mashable, Dr. Fischer recalled the threat of the Cameron Peak fire in Colorado last August, which her family fled at one point. By October, the blaze had become the largest in the state’s history. Though their home was ultimately safe, wildfire smoke lingered in the air for months. Her daughters kept asking: “Can we go outside today?”

“That is what climate change will be for moms: It will be exhausting.” 

Though Dr. Fischer studies climate change, wildfires, and the effects of wildfire smoke, she struggled to balance her children’s safety and their emotional well-being.

“That is exhausting,” she says, “and that is what climate change will be for moms: It will be exhausting.” 

The Science Moms’ website invites users to send a template letter to their elected official, which poses the question: “Mothers everywhere want to know: what is your plan to address climate change and ensure a safe and stable future for our children?” 

It also tackles basic myths about climate change (like the idea that it’s not “settled science” and that it’s a natural phenomenon) and offers book recommendations for kids and moms. Its video content includes moving first-person narratives like Dr. Fischer’s as well as animated explainers designed to provide bite-size introductions to climate science and solutions.  

Notably, the site currently emphasizes education and action instead of individual efforts like driving less, using renewable energy, and switching to a plant-based diet in order to reduce one’s carbon footprint. While Dr. Fischer personally rides her bike often, serves meat infrequently, and has explored using solar energy to power her home, she knows that individual actions won’t sufficiently reduce the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere

“I also recognize that we need policies that reduce carbon pollution and that is not something on an individual level I can do,” she says. 

Though Science Moms is nonpartisan and doesn’t plan on backing political candidates, it does support policies like re-joining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The group’s efforts are being supported by a partnership with Potential Energy, a nonpartisan coalition of creative, analytic, and media agencies that aim to “shift the narrative” on climate change. The coalition is spending at least $10 million to air Science Moms’ ads on national television and digital venues. Potential Energy’s funders include The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. 

Dr. Fischer says she’s hopeful that Science Moms will help rally moms in the fight against climate change by educating themselves and advocating for policy solutions. Her message is that action now will preserve their family’s way of life. 

In order for that work to be successful and prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change, Dr. Fischer says humanity will need to “sprint” for the next 15 to 20 years as it tries to rapidly reduce carbon pollution. That also happens to be the timeline that mothers of young children think of as a period of intense parenting. 

“I’m planning on communicating that climate change is real, and it’s happening now,” says Dr. Fischer. “There are solutions, but those solutions are on a real timeline, and that timeline is on the timeline we need to help our children.”

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