Westfield Resident Issues Invitation To Climate Change Forum

by Roslyn Harrison, Organizing for Action Climate Change Issue Leader

A Republican Case for Climate Action,” the column in the Aug. 2, 2013 New York Times authored by four former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, should be a wakeup call for all Americans to insist that our governments act with all deliberate speed to curb climate change at home and internationally. The authors stressed: “We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation.” Their message is powerful.

“There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm…the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere….Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected…The costs of inaction are undeniable….the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller.” “ The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.”

The actions needed to confront the climate change problem are clear. “[W]e must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet.” They endorsed President Obama’s June climate action plan that included using “ his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate.”

The authors noted that the Obama plan is just a start, proposed because more action “is unachievable in the current gridlock in Washington.” They advocate: “A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, …the best approach to reducing greenhouse-gas.”

They also articulated: “ the framework for successful governance…When confronted by a problem, deal with it. Look at the facts, cut through the extraneous, devise a workable solution and get it done.” They also stressed: “We can have both a strong economy and a livable climate. All parties know that we need both. The rest of the discussion is either detail, which we can resolve, or purposeful delay, which we should not tolerate.”

The devastation wrought on my home and my state by Irene and Sandy have made me eager to learn why such extreme storms are happening and what we can do about it. The lead article in the New York Times on May 11, 2013 informing us that the level of heat trapping Co2 in our atmosphere has reached a level never before experienced while humans have inhabited the earth enhanced my level of concern.

Join me in learning more at a Climate Forum sponsored by Organizing for Action at the Trailside Nature & Science Center on Aug. 20, 2013 from 7-9 p.m. A distinquished Rutgers professor, Dr. Alan Robock, will discuss Our Climate: What Is Happening and Why, and a panel will describe What You Can Do About It. Sign up at https://www.facebook.com/OrganzingforActionWestfieldRegion/events or at https://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple

Note: This letter was previously published in the Westfield Leader.

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