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.

Today’s 8th graders have lived through 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. What we need is 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 opposes measures that support climate science and 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)

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

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