Tag Archive for climate change

Fighting Back: “We have the moral obligation to lead on climate change.”


The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Sean Casten of Illinois speaking about our moral obligation to lead on climate change and how Democrats are prepared to do so.

(Congressman Sean Casten discussed the upcoming Congressional Delegation to the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid and the importance of the United States’ leadership in addressing the climate crisis.)

[Under Republicans control], the United States has failed to bring that leadership to greenhouse gas emissions. Even worse, we have walked away from the international agreements that would do so.

“And while House Democrats joined together to pass H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, sending a clear message that just like the thousands of localities, cities and U.S. companies, we are still in on the Paris Agreement, Senate Republicans and the President have met this historic effort with inaction and a resounding silence. That is not leadership. It is cowardice. […]

“The greatness of the United States – and our greatest gift to the world – is our leadership. We are not perfect, but since World War II there has been no greater advocate for equality, for the rule of law and for international peace than the United States.

“We have the ability – no, we have the moral obligation – to lead in this moment as well.

“The times have found us, and we will not shirk from our responsibilities. That will be our message to our allies in Madrid, and that is our charge moving forward. […]

“House Democrats will continue leading For The People: to lower health costs and prescription drug prices; to raise wages by rebuilding the infrastructure of America in a green, resilient, transformative way; and to clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)


Fighting Back: “Democrats are ready to lead on Gun Safety, on the Climate Crisis, on Health Care.” #VoteTheRepublicansOut


The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio wishing working people a happy Labor Day and asking Senate Republicans to pass the gun safety laws that the American people want.

“Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Democratic Party Weekly Address”

“The President and Congressional Republicans need to stop stigmatizing mental illness, need to stop taking orders from the NRA, need to break their addiction to gun lobby money and need start acting to keep people safe.

People don’t have to keep dying, we have the power, we have the power in Congress right now to stop it. This shouldn’t be a Republican issue, it shouldn’t be a Democratic issue – this is about keeping Americans safe in their homes, in their workplaces, in their churches, in their schools.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)


Fighting Back: “Senate Republicans are blocking bold climate change actions.”


The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon speaking about climate change and the inaction of Senate Republicans.

“So the challenge is immediate and severe. If we do nothing, we condemn our children and grandchildren to suffer greater and greater difficulties. So we have to act, moving boldly and urgently to cut carbon pollution through energy conservation and renewable energy,” said Senator Merkley. “Unfortunately, opposition from Senate Republicans has blocked bold climate action in Congress. Under Mitch McConnell’s leadership, the Senate has become a legislative graveyard for climate action. But local governments have been fortunately stepping up to help meet the challenge…To learn more, Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis invited mayors from five cities across America, including Portland, Oregon to testify this week about how they are rising to the challenge. They shared valuable information that we hope other cities and local governments will keep in mind as they draft their own climate goals and legislation.”


Fighting Back: “Climate change is an urgent problem and Democrats are united in our commitment to address it.”


The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota who spoke about the climate crisis and the Democratic caucus committee established to address it.

(As many Republicans in Congress refuse to accept the facts about climate change, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)—a member of Senate Democrats’ new Special Committee on the Climate Crisis announced Wednesday—delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address.)

“Recently, Democrats asked for a bipartisan Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. When Republicans refused, we forged ahead by appointing ten Democratic members to Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on Climate Change. I’m very happy to be one of the Senators. Our new committee will work together with colleagues in the House of Representatives. We will highlight how the climate crisis is harming the economic and national security interests of the United States, and we’ll set the stage for bold action on climate.”

“Now, climate change is an urgent problem. And we Democrats are united in agreement that:

1) climate change is real;

2) it’s caused by human activity; and

3) Congress should take immediate and bold action to address this challenge.

“These points should not be controversial. And the conclusion that climate change is an urgent problem is supported by an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence. Unfortunately, too many Republicans in Washington right now—and particularly our current President—refuse to accept these facts.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)


Fighting Back: “Democrats won’t stand by and let shortsighted Republican policies destroy our planet and our future.”


Yesterday, in the Fridumpiest of Friday news dumps, the government released the FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT a document required by law to be prepared by agencies of the federal government. For Democrats, it is a call to arms: we must stand up to shortsighted Republican policies that threaten to destroy our planet and our future.

The news for humans was not good. The first four bullet points in the Summary Findings highlight that:

1. Communities

Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.

2. Economy

Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

3. Interconnected Impacts

Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

4. Actions to Reduce Risks

Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

That bears repeating: “The [current mitigation and adaptation efforts] do not approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”


Report downloads, saved in Moose archives:
– Summary Findings: PDF
– Report in Brief: PDF


Fighting Back: Rep. Eric Swalwell: “Democrats are committed to expanding your family’s freedom to dream”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address is by Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, speaking about the Republican Party’s education budget and its devastating effect on the American Dream.

Congressman Swalwell:

Today, and especially with President Trump’s proposed budget, the American Dream is becoming further out of reach.

For too many Americans, college’s cost has grown too prohibitive. And for those who get to and through college, the crushing burden of debt leaves millions in financial quicksand, making it harder to start a family, buy a home, or turn a good idea into a business. […]

In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlined four freedoms on which every man, woman, and child should be able to rely: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

Our challenge in Congress now is to restore a fifth, uniquely American freedom: the freedom to dream. The dream that our parents dreamed for us, and that we all dream for our own kids.

With all of our hands and all of our hearts, House Democrats are committed to expand your family’s freedom to dream.

(Complete transcript below)

Congressman Swalwell formed a House caucus called “Future Forum”:

#FutureForum, chaired by Congressman Eric Swalwell, is a group of 26 young Democratic Members of the House of Representatives who are focused on issues and opportunities for millennial Americans. #FutureForum is a pillar of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), an initiative overseen by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The millennial generation is facing challenges that Congress can’t afford to ignore. From the crisis of ever-increasing student loan debt to the decline of entrepreneurship among young Americans compared to previous generations, these challenges are impacting the overall health of our economy.

#FutureForum believes Congress can’t just talk to millennials but needs to talk with millennials to create solutions to our growing challenges. Through opportunities on the Floor of the House of Representatives and visits to cities across the country, #FutureForum is crowdsourcing ideas and meeting members of our generation where they are: community colleges and universities, workforce training centers, start-ups and established companies.


(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)


Al Gore: “Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority”

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore spoke to a crowd in Miami. The topic was climate change and how every vote matters:

Former Vice President Al Gore:

Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority. Her opponent, based on the ideas he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe.

Vice President Gore also spoke out about local issues, calling for the election of Patrick Murphy to the U.S. Senate instead of re-electing climate change denier Marco Rubio and urging a NO vote on an amendment that will discourage renewable energy:

Here is something else you can do — vote no on initiative one on your ballot.

Hillary mentioned that there are fewer solar jobs in the sunshine state, Florida, then there are in New Jersey. Actually, Florida also lags behind Massachusetts, which is even farther north. Despite having three times the population of Massachusetts, Florida has less than half of the solar jobs that have been created in Massachusetts. Massachusetts installed more solar energy last year alone than Florida has installed in its entire history. [AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s ridiculous] Yes, it is ridiculous, that is exactly right. The head of one of the fossil fuel-burning utilities here actually said last year, yes, Florida is the Sunshine State, but remember it is also be partly cloudy state. Well, they are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony baloney initiative that sounds like protects solar. It does not protect solar. The things they claim to protect solar are protections you already have. They are trying to fully you into amending your state constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and killed the solar industry. This is a question — our democracy has been hacked and the fossil utilities here have spent more than $20 million to try to pull the wool over your eyes. $20 million can buy a lot of wool. Amendment one would make it harder for homeowners to go solar.

The choice could not be more clear.


President Obama: “History may well judge today as a turning point for our planet.”

From the White House, yesterday:
“President Obama announced that enough countries have acted to bring the Paris Agreement into force — a historic step forward in saving the one planet we’ve got.”

President Obama:

Ten months ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and to set the world on a low-carbon course. The result was the Paris Agreement. Last month, the United States and China — the world’s two largest economies and largest emitters — formally joined that agreement together. And today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect.

Today, the world meets the moment. And if we follow through on the commitments that this agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.[…]

I also want to thank the people of every nation that has moved quickly to bring the Paris Agreement into force. I encourage folks who have not yet submitted their documentation to enter into this agreement to do so as soon as possible. And in the coming days, let’s help finish additional agreements to limit aviation emissions, to phase down dangerous use of hydrofluorocarbons — all of which will help build a world that is safer, and more prosperous, and more secure, and more free than the one that was left for us.

That’s our most important mission, to make sure our kids and our grandkids have at least as beautiful a planet, and hopefully more beautiful, than the one that we have. And today, I’m a little more confident that we can get the job done.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Full transcript of President Obama’s remarks and a statement from Secretary of State John Kerry are below.


Weekly Address: President Obama – Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the progress we have made to combat global climate change. During the Obama Administration, we have made ambitious investments in clean energy and achieved reductions in carbon emissions – increasing wind power and solar power, and decreasing the amount of carbon pollution from our energy sector to its lowest level in 25 years. We have also set standards to increase the distance cars and light trucks can travel on a gallon of gas every year through 2025. The President noted that although America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change, there’s still work to do. Together, we must continue to work domestically and build upon the progress we’ve made along with other countries – such as the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. President Obama said if we continue to work together, we will leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children.


President Obama: “Our two countries are joined in our commitment to the dignity of every human being”

Yesterday, President Barack Obama ended his visit to Ottawa for the North American Leaders’ Summit with an address to Canada’s Parliament. It was profound, funny, and statesmanlike – and was a reminder of what we share with our neighbor to the north.

President Obama:

[In] a world where too many borders are a source of conflict, our two countries are joined by the longest border of peace on Earth. (Applause.) And what makes our relationship so unique is not just proximity. It’s our enduring commitment to a set of values — a spirit, alluded to by Justin, that says no matter who we are, where we come from, what our last names are, what faith we practice, here we can make of our lives what we will.

It was the grit of pioneers and prospectors who pushed West across a forbidding frontier. The dreams of generations — immigrants, refugees — that we’ve welcomed to these shores. The hope of run-away slaves who went north on an underground railroad. “Deep in our history of struggle,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Canada was the north star… The freedom road links us together.”

He spoke of old hatreds and new hatreds and the threats that they pose to the world and to our nations.

He also spoke of the threats from climate change:

There is one threat, however, that we cannot solve militarily, nor can we solve alone — and that is the threat of climate change. Now, climate change is no longer an abstraction.

And for too long, we’ve heard that confronting climate change means destroying our own economies. But let me just say, carbon emissions in the United States are back to where they were two decades ago, even as we’ve grown our economy dramatically over the same period. Alberta, the oil country of Canada, is working hard to reduce emissions while still promoting growth. (Applause.)

So if Canada can do it, and the United States can do it, the whole world can unleash economic growth and protect our planet. We can do this. (Applause.) We can do it. We can do this. We can help lead the world to meet this threat.

On immigration:

Just as we are joined in our commitment to protecting the planet, we are also joined in our commitment to the dignity of every human being. We believe in the right of all people to participate in society. We believe in the right of all people to be treated equally, to have an equal shot at success. That is in our DNA, the basic premise of our democracies. […]

In the end, it is this respect for the dignity of all people, especially the most vulnerable among us, that perhaps more than anything else binds our two countries together. Being Canadian, being American is not about what we look like or where our families came from. It is about our commitment to a common creed. And that’s why, together, we must not waver in embracing our values, our best selves. And that includes our history as a nation of immigrants, and we must continue to welcome people from around the world. (Applause.)

Full transcript below as well as video, and link to transcript, of the Tri-lateral news conference from the three North American leaders.