When I left school, I never wondered whether my apartment in New York was vulnerable to storm surges, but my three daughters have to consider the realities of extreme weather and how it may destabilize communities around the globe.
Nearly every president in the past 100 years has declared national monuments, from Teddy Roosevelt creating the Grand Canyon National Monument to George W. Bush preserving 10 islands and 140,000 square miles of ocean waters in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
We'll always need energy. We need to communicate, too, but we're not stuck with hand gestures and smoke signals. There are better ways to power our future than by digging fossil fuel from the ground and setting it on fire.
Safer chemicals and more energy-efficient technologies can provide cooling without severe climate implications. Shifting to these alternatives could avoid the equivalent of 12 times the current annual carbon pollution of the United States by 2050.
When we go to the store, we bring home more than food - we bring home traces of broader environmental problems. But we can use our shopping carts and dinner plates to help solve some of those problems.
After being nearly eradicated from the lower 48 states by the 1960s, bald eagles were re-introduced to the Adirondacks in the 1980s, and I'm proud to report the view from my home indicates they are flourishing in upstate New York.
Opening up Atlantic and Arctic waters to drilling would lock the next generation into burning oil and gas in a way that only makes climate change that much worse, fueling ever rising seas, widening deserts, withering drought, blistering heat, raging storms, wildfires, floods and other hallmarks of climate chaos.
In grownups, mercury can cause memory loss, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. It can also adversely affect fertility and blood pressure regulation, and a growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to mercury may lead to heart disease.
I have visited people whose health has been endangered by tar sands oil. I have watched neighbors struggle to recover from Superstorm Sandy. I have seen solar panels and wind turbines become an increasingly familiar part of the landscape.
Declaring the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument will make this natural wonder more accessible. It will welcome people from all walks of life and maintain the mountains' wild character at the same time.
We must not sacrifice one of our remaining untamed places in reckless pursuit of oil. We know we have to leave oil in the ground, or destructive climate change will become unstoppable. If not in the pristine and vulnerable Arctic Ocean, then where?
Though every nation must do its part to address climate change, developed nations are responsible for the lion's share of carbon pollution in the atmosphere, and they have an obligation to help developing nations transition to a sustainable future.
Under pressure from a growing movement of people who want their money out of fossil fuels, universities, pension investors and foundations are looking to exclude coal, oil and gas stocks from their portfolios.
California's drought affects everyone in the state, from farmers to fishermen, business owners to suburban residents, and everyone has a role to play in using precious water resources as wisely and efficiently as possible.
The U.S. can become carbon neutral in our lifetimes. In the process, we will put millions of Americans to work, make our companies more competitive, and shield our communities from extreme weather. And we will honor our obligation to leave the world a better place for future generations.
I was in college when tens of thousands of people marched on Washington for the first Earth Day. Raw sewage floated in rivers and clouds of smog hung over cities. But then something amazing happened. People spoke out. Thousands of students, workers, and ordinary citizens used their voices to say, 'This has to change.'
The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan. Extreme weather is turning people's lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs.
Instead of going to the ends of the Earth - and plumbing the depths of the oceans - to squeeze out every last drop of oil, we need, instead, to do everything we can to reduce the risks of offshore oil and gas production.
The phrase 'mad as a hatter' was coined because hat makers were poisoned by the high levels of mercury used in felt processing; these workers developed a strange, uneven gait as well as strange alterations in their personalities - traits that resembled mental instability.
Mercury is most commonly recognized as a developmental toxin, threatening to young children and fetuses as they develop their nervous system. Prenatal exposure to even low levels of mercury can cause life-long problems with language skills, fine motor function, and the ability to pay attention.
I have talked to people across the country struggling in the face of an altered climate. New Jersey homeowners are trying to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. Miami government officials are trying to plan for rising seas and flooded streets. California farmers are trying to make it through the state's worst drought on record.
Every year, tens of millions of salmon return to the pristine shores of Bristol Bay in Alaska. They linger in the bay's cool, shallow waters before charging up nearby streams to spawn and create another generation of wild salmon.
From reinforcing beaches in the Rockaways to installing generators at the Coney Island Houses and sealing holes in the subway system, New York is fortifying our ability to withstand future storm surges.
The science tells us that if we fail to reduce global warming pollution, global temperatures will rise to dangerous levels and unleash devastating extreme weather events and accelerate destructive sea level rise.
I have been fighting climate change for two decades, and people often ask me how I remain hopeful in the face of extreme weather and grim forecasts. The answer is simple: I see countless solutions spreading across the nation and across the world. But we need more investment.