Climate Solutions Caucus | New NY 23rd

A timely article written by Bette Ek; published here with permission.

Probably most people have heard that Tom Reed is now part of a new group of 17 Republicans (and 17 Democrats) who have called for Congress to address the issue of climate change. It remains to be seen how committed he is to effective action. I think it’s appropriate to commend him on the new stance he has taken on the issue, but also to urge him to accept that the issues require strong, vocal, and immediate push back against Trump’s agenda.  So many different points can be brought up, from the fallacy that ramping up the use of fossil fuels is essential to our economy and job creation, to the link between climate change and extreme weather events which seem to be happening on a weekly basis, to the Defense Dept. having described climate change to as an immediate threat to national security and linked it to increased risk of terrorism, to the diminished role of the US in addressing world concerns, to moral issues.

He might also be urged to attend the April 19 event sponsored by People for a Healthy Environment (PHE) and several faith-based groups, which will include a showing and discussion of Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary “Before the Flood.”

If you haven’t already read it, the March 27 issue of Time magazine has an interesting article entitled  “Why Republicans are embracing climate change.”  The article mentions Tom’s new group.  Whatever your focus, it’s really important that he hears plenty of strong voices, as he did on the issue of health care.

I would encourage as many people as possible to attend one of these gatherings on Saturday, April 1:

  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.: Tioga Central School, 27 Fifth Ave., Tioga Center
  • 11:00 to Noon: Broadway Academy, 1000 Broadway, Southport
  • 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tyrone Fire Dept., 3600 State Route 226, Tyrone
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Avoca High School, 17 Oliver St., Avoca

Bette Ek

Reference Material:

I don’t give a damn about you and the world you’re inheriting. I know more than all of the world’s scientists, just as I know more than the generals and everyone else on the planet. I alone can deal with the world’s problems.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Trump’s appointment of fellow climate denier Scott Pruitt to be in charge of the EPA sends a clear in-your-face message, and probably ranks as one of the most dangerous and morally bankrupt actions he has done so far. Here’s a few things to ponder.

-To have as president a man who rejects science and calls climate change a hoax is both terrifying and humiliating. Of the world’s climatologists, 97% agree that climate change is real and is “most likely due to human activities.”

-The Defense Department has cited climate change as the greatest threat to our national security, stating that “climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages.”

-Other countries are deeply concerned that if Trump follows through on his threat to withdraw from the Paris accord, the international commitment to reduce the use of fossil fuels could be jeopardized, and some have even suggested retaliation if the US withdraws.

-The premise that efforts to confront climate change will damage the economy is false. Use of renewable fuels cuts costs for businesses and makes economic sense. An open letter to Trump, Obama, and Congress signed by 365 businesses and major investors urged that the US stay committed to reducing fossil fuel emissions. The letter stated: “Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk,” the companies said in a joint letter announced on Wednesday in Marrakesh, Morocco, where global leaders are determining the next steps for the Paris deal. “But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness.”

-Major US companies are pushing forward on renewable energy. Google just announced its commitment to run on 100% renewable energy by the end of 2017. Other giants, including Walmart and Nike have committed to transition to 100% renewable energy.

-Renewable energy creates jobs. According to Bloomberg News,”The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered.”…/clean-energy-jobs-surpass-oil-drilling-for-first-time-in-.

-Other countries are surpassing the US in efforts to create climate change. Ironically, China, the world’s biggest polluter, has become the global leader in renewable energy development.

-Finally, dealing with climate change is increasingly recognized a moral obligation. The Pope has stated this repeatedly. Interfaith groups have banded together to firmly state that “The climate crisis is about the survival of humanity on planet earth, and action must reflect these facts with urgency.

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