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Kelly Henderson’s Blog

Safe Climate Caucus: A Vision For Congressional Action For Our Planet

Kelly Henderson

Posted December 3, 2013 in Living Sustainably, Moving Beyond Oil, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Today, action on climate change hit a milestone on the Hill with it being the 100th day of speeches by the Safe Climate Caucus. For 100 days, members of the Caucus have spoken out on a wide range of topics ranging from extreme weather to clean energy to the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. Today the Caucus’ chair, Rep. Henry Waxman, reminded the House floor that just like President Obama said in his speech on climate change last June, we have a moral obligation to protect our children and grandchildren from the dangers of climate change. Waxman said:

“We are speaking out because we have a moral obligation to protect the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren. We have to break the conspiracy of silence and denial that exists in the House about the most serious environmental threat we have ever faced.  History will not judge us kindly if we fail to act while there is still time.”

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The Caucus is comprised of 30 members all devoted to ensuring that awareness is brought to the most critical challenge facing not only their generation, but generations to come: the changing climate. In fact, it is the youth of this country, the millennial generation, who will have to endure the consequences of climate change if action is not taken to combat it NOW. So on behalf of the generation who has the power to make change happen now, I’d like to say: thanks Representative Waxman and members of the Caucus. Not only are we talking about children/grandchildren, we are talking about US. Too much time is spent on the whole “children thing,” without recognizing what that actually means. We are real humans, not some distant conceptual entity. When you put actual faces to terminology such as “generations to come,” it suddenly becomes more real, and the need to act that much more imperative.

Below is a video from the Safe Climate Forum held last September where a handful of witnesses testified on the impacts of climate change. The forum was a chance for REAL people with REAL jobs and lives to come forward and attest to the negative impacts they have dealt with from climate change. The witnesses included Matt Russell, a fifth generation farmer from Lacona, IA; Emily Dondero, a resident of Sonora, CA, and witness to raging wildfires; Hugh Fitzsimons, a bison rancher and beekeeper suffering from drought in Carrizo Springs, TX; Stefanie Kravitz, a resident of Long Beach, NY, who incurred property damage from Hurricanes Sandy and Irene; Rev. Tyronne Edwards, a native of Plaquemines Parish, LA, and witness to flooding from Hurricane Katrina and other storms.

Clearly, the time to act on climate is now; the Safe Climate Caucus agrees and the millennial generation does too. It’s time to stop debating and have the courage to move forward. Click here to show your support for carbon standards for power plants.

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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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