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Adrianna Quintero’s Blog

Latinos, Robert Redford, and YOU: Who's Next to Call on President Obama to Tackle Climate Change?

Adrianna Quintero

Posted June 14, 2013

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Summer is here, and for much of the country, it brings more than beach visits and shorts weather. As climate change drives our global temperatures upward, this summer brings with it the threat of deadly wildfires (like the fire already destroying hundreds of homes in Colorado), more intense tropical storms and hurricanes (our first storm, Andrea, already made her mark), and costly droughts (like those that devastated livelihoods throughout the Midwest and Texas last year).

With these in mind, actor and conservationist Robert Redford has added his voice to the call to take action on climate change. In a new video released this week, Redford turns to President Obama, urging his administration to tackle carbon pollution at one of its main sources: coal-fired power plants.

In the video, Redford reminds us that four months ago, President Obama spoke to the nation, promising to “respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

Now the question remains: Will the president follow through?

Robert Redford wasn’t alone this week in calling on the president to display courage and keep his promise to curb pollution from U.S. power plants. A coalition of 18 national Latino organizations wrote to the President on Wednesday, expressing strong support for pollution controls that will save lives and set us on the path to a cleaner and healthier future.

This action is critical to Latinos and other minority communities that often find themselves disproportionately impacted by pollution. When combined with warmer temperatures (fueled by climate change), this pollution can translate into bad air days that spur asthma attacks, aggravate other respiratory illnesses, and put lives at risk.

But the impacts don’t stop there. Climate change threatens the well-being of every community—and our economy.  Even if you don’t have a power plant in your backyard, air pollution knows no bounds. Carbon pollution—regardless of where it comes from—causes our atmosphere to trap more heat, triggering climate change impacts that can manifest everywhere. And that affects our lives and our wallets. In fact, a recent report from NRDC found that the average taxpayer in the U.S. paid more than $1,100 a year to cover the nearly $100 billion that the government had to spend in response to storms, floods, drought, and fires.

Clearly we need action—and President Obama has proven in the past that he’s not afraid to take it. He has already doubled our fuel efficiency standards to allow us to travel twice as far on a tank of gas; and protecting kids and women by setting new standards to limit mercury from power plants, reducing the risks associated with this dangerous brain toxin.

Now it’s time to take action again by cutting carbon pollution.

As Frances Beinecke, president of NRDC, stressed, “Even while Congress remains paralyzed, the president can move forward and reduce carbon pollution.” And we can help. Now is the time to work together and call on the White House to commit to a plan to tackle climate change, starting with cutting carbon pollution from power plants.

Join the fight. Ask President Obama to act on climate now.

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About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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