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What the Climate Change Means to Politicians

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1.Working Toward a Greener Future
Photo credit: Mark Sardella / Flickr

Senate Democrats recently held a climate change all-nighter to talk about the need for legislation to slow the speed of global warming with Nevada Senator Harry Reid telling listeners “Climate change is real.” Unfortunately, Democrats in the Senate, as well as those working in the House, have an incredible battle ahead with most Republicans denying the very existence of climate change.

Working Toward a Greener Future

Most political pundits say that efforts to enact any legislation with the Republican-controlled House are futile, but members of the climate caucus aren’t focused on the “here and now” with their impassioned speeches and warnings of climate change. They hope to influence change in the future when voting conditions in the House are friendlier to legislation.

And supporters behind the scenes are also working to make sure that the House and Senate of the future will see a Democratic majority that will work toward vital amendments and laws. For example, Tom Steyer, a billionaire and retired hedge-fund investor, recently said he’d contribute generously to get the right people in Congress for change.

Outright Denial from Republicans

One of the problems with climate change and the general public is it’s not fully accepted by everyone due to the bombastic comments levied by vocal Republicans. Outright denial that any climate change is occurring isn’t an uncommon rhetoric from Republicans, and voters who tend to align with the GOP have been listening to their uneducated ranting.

In fact, Republicans in the House recently voted down an amendment that would change EPA regulations. The bill stated that climate change was an accepted phenomenon, but Republicans wouldn’t allow the amendment to pass with that language included. Unfortunately, Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee, like Fred Upton from Michigan, have tried to deny that humans have had any impact on the climate at all.

Impact on Regular Citizens

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites three significant areas in which the climate impacts human health and civilization. Those areas include extreme weather, air pollution, and disease. All the exercise, healthy living, and organic food in the world can’t stop the negative impact of pollution, hurricanes, and tornadoes on the average body.

Americans often don’t look beyond their own borders to understand that climate change is a worldwide issue. It’s unlikely that many citizens read anything about the World Water Forum in Istanbul, where several countries signed a declaration on the importance of protecting fresh water. Water isn’t a renewable resource and needs protection from pollution. Unfortunately, propaganda news sites like Fox often trample on the science behind climate change, and suggest that the government shouldn’t have any involvement in saving the planet.

Taking Action

Voters can’t wait for Congress to act on climate change. If the terrible winter of 2014 has taught North Americans anything, it’s that climate change is a killer and that we can’t let things get worse. Communities must adapt to pending climate changes as well as take steps to reduce the speed of climate change over the next century.

Support for members of Congress who fight against climate change, as well as efforts in local communities to “go green” must happen, if Americans are to stop the pending climate change disaster.

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