Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

U.S. Senator Delivers 50 Speeches in 50 Weeks Calling for Action on Climate Change

Climate

Nearly every week, Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) rises on the Senate floor and delivers an impassioned speech about the need to confront climate change. Wednesday marked his fiftieth climate address, but he is not stopping there. He will continue beating the drum for climate action, because he knows this crisis cannot be ignored.

Sen. Whitehouse delivered his 50th weekly speech on global warming yesterday, calling on the U.S. government to "wake up."

There are times in history when people must stand for what is right. This is one of those times, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is one of the leaders calling for change.

He gives voice to the countless Americans living on the frontlines of global warming—from the Texans dealing with years of drought to the New Yorkers rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy to the Rhode Islanders coping with sea level rise. And he reminds Congress we have a moral obligation to protect our children from more devastating climate impacts.

I just returned from Hong Kong, about 900 miles from the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan. More than 9.5 million people have been affected by the storm and many have lost their homes and loved ones. Families have been torn apart and entire towns flattened, and now survivors are struggling to find food to eat and water safe enough to drink. It will take years to recover from the damage.

The storm packed unprecedented strength, and it offers a sign of things to come if we fail to curb global warming pollution. Climate change is making our oceans warmer and warmer seas mean more violent storms. MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel explains, “As you warm the climate, you basically raise the speed limit on hurricanes.”

We can’t let careening disasters threaten our children’s future. We must act now. And more and more Americans are demanding it. Natural Resources Defence Council released a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling released on Tuesday reporting that most residents of Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana and New Hampshire want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. And a recent poll conducted by Stanford University found similar results spread across 40 states.

President Obama has directed the EPA to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, and the agency is moving forward. But it will take a lot of work to finalize these standards, and leaders like Sen. Whitehouse are great allies in the effort. Week in and week out, he calls for action—even when Congress is caught in gridlock and even when the political focus has fallen elsewhere—because the climate threat cannot be denied. 

In his speech on Wednesday, Senator Whitehouse said:

I give these speeches because climate change is real, because the campaign of denial is as poisonous to our democracy as carbon pollution is to our atmosphere and oceans, and because I am confident. I am confident that we can do this. We can strengthen our economy, we can redirect our future, we can protect our democracy and we can do our duty to the generations that will follow us. But we have to pay attention. We have to wake up.

This was originally posted on NRDC's Switchboard.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guido Mieth / Moment / Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
A California newt (Taricha torosa) from Napa County, California, USA. Connor Long / CC BY-SA 3.0

Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.

Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images

Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
A customer packs groceries in reusable bags at a NYC supermarket on March 1, 2020. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.

Read More Show Less
Ingredients are displayed for the Old School Pinto Beans from the Decolonize Your Diet cookbook by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Melissa Renwick / Toronto Star via Getty Images

By Molly Matthews Multedo

Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.

Read More Show Less