We must address the threat of climate change

Smoking industrial smokestack


  • Man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for year after year of of record-setting high temperatures. Those same CO2 emissions are increasing the acid content of our oceans and waterways, threatening Washington State’s shellfish and fishing industries.
  • The number of people in the US who understand Climate Change is real and is man-made outnumber doubter and deniers two-to-one. We need political leadership that listens to what both scientists and their constituents are telling them about climate change.
  • The United States should be a world leader in developing a strategy that shifts us away from fossil fuels to other energy sources and technologies, creating new industries, new jobs, and a secure future for our people and our country.

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
— Ancient Greek Proverb 

Today’s 8th graders have lived through all five of the hottest years on record . 2005 was the hottest year ever until 2010, then 2010 was the hottest until 2014 which was replaced by 2015 and then 2016¹. The world’s science community agrees this pattern of record-setting heat is the result of human-caused climate change, and we must act or future generations will suffer from excessive heat, food shortages, drought, wildfires, and the spread of tropical diseases like malaria and the Zika virus.

Climate change is endangering the future of our children and our country, but simply opposing every fossil-fuels project in the US is a short-sighted approach that will not address this threat in the long-term because fossil fuel production is not the problem. The problem is the demand for and consumption of fossil fuels. We need a whole new infrastructure and culture, from power plants to cars and home heating systems, designed around technologies that do not burn fossil fuels.

The good news is we are already on our way. Our great Pacific Northwest is blessed with abundant hydro, wind, and solar power resources as well as untapped geothermal reserves. Not only are these energy sources renewable and carbon-free, they are also inexpensive and represent a huge opportunity for regional business and job growth.

I will work tirelessly toward the development of a national energy strategy that incorporates conservation and efficiency, the development of green energy technologies like wind and solar, and research and development programs that seek to create new, carbon-free technologies that create jobs and support our people and economy for generations to come.

Jaime Downer Vote Graphic
Our Congresswoman doesn’t support climate science, won’t address climate change.

  • She voted “Aye” (yes) to prevent the EPA from taking any action “relating to or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change.” (HR 910)
  • She voted “Aye” (yes) to “[Exclude] GHGs from the definition of “air pollutant” for purposes of addressing climate change. (HR 3409)
  • She voted “Aye” (yes) to prevent  funds set aside for science from being used for the U.S. Global Climate Research Program. (HR 4660)

 

This page opens by quoting the ancient Greek proverb, Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. No other issue demonstrates this principle more than the issue of climate change does. Climate change is like no other issue because, unlike healthcare, social security reform, or almost any other political issue, politicians who take a stand on it will likely never see the fruit of their effort to address this issue during their political life or even during their lifetime.

But we must take this issue on. If we do not take this issue on, our grandchildren and their grandchildren as well as our entire country and planet will suffer for it. I am not afraid my generation will suffer unduly from the effects of climate change. I am afraid my grandchildren are the ones who will suffer. If my campaign slogan, pay it Forward, means anything, it must mean I will stand up and fight to implement a strategy that lowers and eliminates the use of fossil fuels.

When people ask me what my top issue is I tell them I have two: one political, one personal. My top political issue is healthcare. My top personal issue is climate change because, if we do not “plant the tree” today and address our fossil fuel addiction problem, one hundred years from now there will be no shelter from its effects and our great society will be in tatters.

That is not the future I want to pass on to our children, grandchildren, and those who follow them. I hope you will support me, even though neither you not I will sit in the shade of this tree.

        

 

Related: New industries, new jobs, and a secure future. We have to get serious about Climate Change.

Footnotes:
1) Science News, 2016 warmest year on record globally, NASA and NOAA data show, Jan 17 2017, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170118112554.htm

Photo Credit: Michael & Christa Richert, http://www.freeimages.com/photo/industrial-smokestack-1336922
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