EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stands apart the rest of the president’s cabinet, full as it is of mild-mannered technocrats like John Kerry and Jack Lew. The Boston native — McCarthy frequently inveighs against “cah-bon pollution” — brings uncommon zeal to her government job. Yesterday, that passion was on full display at an event hosted by Resources for the Future. No doubt eager to deflect attention from last week’s wastewater spill in Colorado, America’s top-ranked environmental watchdog was in rare form, offering an unusually fervent plea for climate action.

McCarthy’s ability to bring urgency to a seemingly remote issue like climate change is as vital to her success as her ability to navigate the inevitable legal challenges faced by the EPA. Yesterday, McCarthy said, “No matter who you are, where you live or what you care about, climate change is affecting you and your family today.” She warned against pollution from power plants, which poses an immediate threat to public health while fueling the droughts, floods and wildfires associated with global warming. McCarthy reminded the those in attendance that “climate change is indeed very personal.”

Jeremy Deaton writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture. You can follow him @deaton_jeremy.