Peter Harrison & Mt St Helens | Candidate for Congress in SW Washington 3rd CD

We must address the threat of climate change

Smoking industrial smokestack



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

9 of the 10 hottest years in history occurred since our high-school seniors began kindergarten ¹. 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 doesn’t address the root problem. The real challenge for addressing climate change is our current infrastructure is built around readily available fossil fuels. To solve this problem we need to a whole new infrastructure, from power plants and community energy projects to home heating systems and cars, designed around technologies that do not burn fossil fuels.

The good news is we are already on our way, and addressing climate change is creating new jobs in our state . 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 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 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; fear my grandchildren are the ones who will bear the brunt of our carelessness. 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 then eliminates the use of fossil fuels by the Paris Accord’s 2050 deadline.

When people ask me what my top issue is I tell them I have two: one political, one personal. My top political issue is health care. 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 shade large enough to shelter our children, country, or planet from the effects of climate change.

We are the elders our children, grandchildren, and other descendants will memorialize or blame for the actions we take today. I hope you will support me as I work to stop climate change. I hope you will be one of the old men who plant the seeds for a better future.

        

 

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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