Senator Boxer Creates First U.S. Climate Change Caucus
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced earlier this week that she would be taking the initiative to form the first Climate Change Caucus in the U.S. Senate. Boxer, long considered a champion of environmental causes, said that she decided to form the committee to address growing public concerns over the inaction of the federal government to address the threat of climate change.
The Hill quotes Senator Boxer talking about the new committee, “It is going to work with all the committees and all the committee chairmen to make sure we can move forward legislation that reduces carbon pollution and also works on mitigation and all of the other elements.”
To date, the U.S. has not passed a single law or resolution addressing the threat of climate change, although several have been introduced. The majority of these bills died in committee, while one, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, passed the House of Representatives but failed to get enough votes to pass in the Senate.
Boxer says that some Democrats have expressed interest in the committee, and that she hopes she can get broad bipartisan support and membership for the new committee.
Boxer’s committee is certainly a step in the right direction for the U.S., and will hopefully act as a counter-balance to the dirty energy industry funded “House Energy Action Team” that was formed by Republican representatives last year. That committee is made up of climate change deniers whose campaigns are heavily influenced by dirty energy money, and pushes the expanded consumption and exploitation of fossil fuels over renewable, clean energy.
The new committee is also a welcome change to the “climate silence” that purveyed throughout this year’s U.S. presidential election, where both major party candidates failed to address the issue of climate change on a public scale. However, shortly after his re-election, President Obama told the public in a press conference that addressing climate change would be one of his administration’s goals during his second, and last, term in office.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
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Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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