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Abigail Dillen's blog

Rachel Carson Bob Hines

Wherever International Women's Day is observed, there are people celebrating the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, and I am one of them. So much that is good about the environmental movement begins with her. But even the wildly original Rachel Carson owed a debt to courageous women of imagination before her, including author Mary Shelley.

Transmission lines.

Picture a rambling old house that began life as a cottage in the 1920s and kept growing with a series of ramshackle additions over the following decades. Every time you fix something, another thing goes wrong. If it’s not the leaky roof, it’s the burst pipes, or the faulty wiring. In other words, it’s a money pit. Either you lay a new foundation and modernize the place or you fritter away a fortune on the spot fixes that never last.

The Cheswick coal fire power plant in Springdale, PA.

Last month, we celebrated EPA's announcement that it is proposing first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the nation's biggest contributors to climate change.  After years of paralysis in Washington, there is a real prospect of national action on climate that will shrink the U.S. carbon footprint and set the stage for more productive international negotiations in Paris, where the president may now arrive with new leverage and even some moral authority for a change.

A coal-fired power plant.

This op-ed originally ran on October 11, 2013, on LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cements the urgency for U.S. leaders to move boldly and quickly on climate change, and the most logical place to start is the nation's fleet of power plants.