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Nearly 70 Groups Write Letter Imploring Obama to Rise Up and Be Strong Climate Leader
Today, nearly 70 environmental and health organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking him to step up and be a strong climate leader. The deepening climate crisis is without question. What we do to solve it is the challenge. The letter rightly notes that “our response will leave an historic legacy.”
Climate leadership in this time of crisis means not only moving ahead with clean energy, but also tackling the dirty. As the letter points out, we need to use existing Clean Air Act authority to reduce dangerous carbon emissions, particularly from power plants and we need to reject dirty fuels, beginning with rejection of a permit for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Tackling climate change is not a luxury—it is a necessity to preserve our economic and physical well-being. Our children’s future is our present responsibility and not something we can keep putting off for the next set of leaders to wrestle with.
America is not alone in falling behind on responding to the science of climate change. At the recent international climate negotiations, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres told the press: "There is a huge lag between the international policy response and what science is telling us."
America has an opportunity to lead internationally, but this is going to take White House leadership at home as well. From the oil industry’s perspective there is a new development boom happening with sources of oil that used to be considered too technically difficult to extract such as Canadian tar sands. These “dirty fuels” also happen to be incredibly destructive of our health, land, air and water. And only a high price for oil allows these fuels to be economically viable. Unfortunately, Canadian tar sands is just the start of the oil industry going after dirtier and more expensive unconventional fuels that can be found around the world. And a continued dependence on such fuels can only make climate change worse at a time we need to be moving off of fossil fuels altogether to cleaner forms of energy.
A growing number of people in the U.S. see and feel the need to fight climate change. For a long time, climate change seemed like something that would happen in the far future and far from American shores. We now know that climate change is happening here and now. Sadly this realization has come only after the last few years brought extreme weather including violent storms, fires, floods, and droughts to our doorsteps and pocketbooks. A growing number of people now realize that climate change is more than seemingly small changes in global temperature, but large changes in rainfall, snow, heat and wind that radically change the weather we are used to dealing with. People are suffering real damage to their health, homes and communities. We only have to look at Hurricane Sandy on the U.S. east coast as the most recent example of the real costs of climate change.
Yet even as public concern rises, political leaders are slow to follow. Climate change is a global problem. There is no way to solve this problem without American participation and leadership. When people look back at this time, our leaders will be held responsible for how quickly we were able to mobilize to fight the clear dangers of climate change. As the melting Arctic shows, climate change is happening on a global scale and faster than predicted. Even since the last U.S. inaugural, we have experienced major consequences due to climate change. America has the opportunity to lead the charge to fight climate change. But that means bold and decisive action now through climate leadership, curbing carbon emissions at home and rejecting dirty fuels worldwide.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."