Grassroots Victory on Capitol Hill for Tackling the Climate Crisis
Yesterday was an incredible day on Capitol Hill. I had the privilege to attend, along with many others, the special hearings held by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the climate crisis. Al Gore’s testimony prompted a media frenzy and inspired many lawmakers in the room. Americans across the country who saw or heard the hearings were given new hope that Congress might finally act to stop global warming by putting policies in place to get our country to a bright energy future.
Key members from both parties showed leadership yesterday. And they stepped up because our voices are being heard. Vice President Gore went to the Hill with over a half million letters and emails of support for action on global warming. Millions are speaking out along with the Vice President on this issue.
This issue is finally being recognized as one that affects each of us. Arctic summer sea ice may be gone as soon as the summer of 2040, dramatically altering one of the key cooling systems of the planet as reflective ice is replaced with heat-absorbing ocean water. This past winter – December through February – was the hottest winter on record, with temperatures 1.3 degrees F above the 20th century average. And my grandson may never know polar bears except maybe in the zoo because they are drowning in the Arctic due to global warming.
Yesterday we made progress. But we’re not over the line yet. We need to continue to speak out, to demand action, and to support each other. I encourage each of you to sign up and attend the Live Earth Concert – Save Our Selves, on July 7, 2007. This concert will be heard around the world by 1 billion people.
Our voices together are waking up America to global warming. Together we will win this fight.
Here’s NWF’s Statement about Al Gore’s testimony:
“In 1992, Al Gore wrote Earth in the Balance and called for a Global Marshall Plan to stop global warming. At that time then-Senator Gore stated his belief that moving our world to a sustainable energy path must be the central organizing principle of an emerging 21st century economy.
“Each passing day brings more and more alarming evidence that we are now facing an unprecedented planetary emergency – a climate crisis that demands immediate action to sharply reduce global warming pollution worldwide to stabilize the earth’s thermostat and to avert catastrophe.
“Many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several tipping points that could – within as little as 10 years – make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable and catastrophic damage.
“Obfuscation of the scientific consensus has recklessly delayed action and consumed many years when we should have been acting to curb our fossil-fuel appetite and leading the way toward a sustainable energy future. During these lost years, the world has been plunging deeper and deeper in a perilous journey threatening to take us where no human has ever traveled before.
“Today, Al Gore presented a convincing case that global warming is the defining issue of the 21st century and must be addressed.
“We can meet the challenge. By reducing global warming pollution two percent each year, 20 percent each decade, we can overcome the threat by mid-century. We can do that, and by doing it we can create a new generation of American jobs in developing the innovations and technologies of renewables and alternatives.
“Delay is not an option. Congress must act to meet our moral responsibility to confront global warming to protect our children’s future.”