Late this week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse rose to deliver a warning about the risks create by the failure of Congress and the Obama White House to do anything of significant scope to address the immense and growing crisis of climate change. He said, “Alarms are ringing, including the voices of the overwhelming majority of scientists, and indeed the voices of the overwhelming majority of Americans. But here in Congress, it is still time for us to wake up. Climate change is not a problem that will go away; human activity is driving global change. Climate change is not a problem that can wait; we see its effects all around us. But climate change is a problem that can be solved. We can and we must leave a healthy environment and clean energy sources to our children and grandchildren. The missing piece is Congress. Congress is sleepwalking through history. It is time to wake up.”
Wake up! That sounds like a call to action!
Yes, it’s true that for more than a generation, politicians have talked about the problem of climate change, and discussed in detail the possible policy solutions. So now, at long last, Congress can stop talking and actually do something about the problem!
So, what’s the action Sheldon Whitehouse is leading us into?
“Representative Henry Waxman and I announced the formation of a bicameral House and Senate climate change task force to fight back. We welcome all Members of Congress, regardless of political party, who recognize the urgency of what is happening to our world all around us and who feel a duty to our descendants. We intend to focus sufficient attention on what is happening in the world around us to at last – at long last – reduce the carbon pollution that is causing it.”
Forming a task force, to talk about climate change – for all his hot talk, that’s all that Senator Whitehouse is willing to do. Whitehouse has not introduced any legislation in the 113th Congress that would actually do anything to slow down climate change.
It’s time to wake up, Sheldon Whitehouse. Years more of talk about climate change won’t cut it.