Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's time for action on climate change!

Stand with President Obama and me to lead the fight against climate change.

Urge Congress to take action to fight climate change today.
Four years of work. Over 4,000 public comments. Thirteen federal agencies and more than 250 researchers and scientists. 

And we now have the third National Climate Assessment (NCA) -- the most comprehensive study of its kind confirming that climate change is real, it's already altering our daily lives, and we have the power to slow it down.

On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled the NCA, highlighting these key findings. It provides a grim outlook of what our future will look like if we fail to drastically cut carbon pollution.

President Obama sees the writing on the wall and is acting -- in just a few weeks, he'll be proposing the first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. But we know President Obama will face a tough political battle this summer. Already, Republicans are accusing the President of plotting a "war on coal." We need your help to show broad support for swift action.

We need to demonstrate a groundswell of public support for the President's climate policies and to urge Congress to take action on climate change. Will you stand with President Obama and me today?

The effects of climate change are evident right now across the country. Sea levels are rising here in Rhode Island and along the coasts. Storm surges and extreme precipitation events cause flooding in New England. Sea ice and glaciers are melting.

Heat waves and decreased air quality threaten public health. More severe drought exacerbates wildfires and lead to crop losses. The effects of climate change can be seen in Rhode Island. And in my visits across the country, 

I heard these undeniable truths -- in Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

According to the NCA, we have two possible scenarios: one in which the average temperature of the planet rises by 3-5 degrees, and the other in which it rises by up to 10 degrees. 

The difference is in our hands -- the NCA confirms we can curb rising temperatures if we reduce carbon pollution with swift and immediate action.

It's not too late to avoid the worst outcomes, but we have to wake up now and significantly reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change. We must act swiftly to slow the effects of climate change, and adapt to the unavoidable consequences.

When thinking about why Congress needs to act, I often think of a memorable phrase from Sergeant Stryker, a character played by John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima: "Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."

Congress needs to wake up and take the steps necessary to protect us, protect our country, and protect our children and future generations.

Help us show broad support for immediate action today.

With your help, I know we can tackle climate change.
Thanks for all you do,

Sheldon Whitehouse
U.S. Senator