Year 4, Month 3, Day 14: You Don’t Know What Love Is…

The Providence Journal gives a tip o’ th’ hat to senator Sheldon Whitehouse:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Nearly every week when Congress is in session, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has stood on the Senate floor to deliver a speech on the dangers of climate change.

If Congress doesn’t act quickly, Whitehouse warns, global warming will lead to more air pollution, rising oceans, disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes, Sandy-like storms and a wave of floods, heat waves, wildfires and droughts.

Whitehouse, a Democrat, says global warming is the top issue facing the country today, ahead of the economy, gun control and health care.

Environmental groups have praised him, conservative critics have excoriated him.

Whitehouse says he will continue his efforts until something is done.

“When it comes to this particular threat … Congress is asleep, and it’s time for us to wake up,” he says.

I dusted off an older letter in praise of Ed Markey, and did a bit of renovation. March 4:

Sheldon Whitehouse’s persistent calls for action make him one of the few politicians on the national scene to take climate change with the seriousness it demands. In truth, global heating carries the potential to make all other political issues irrelevant; a century from now the Sequester will be relegated to footnote status, but our children’s children will be struggling to survive on a drastically hotter planet. It’s particularly infuriating to compare the Senator’s work on this issue with the regressively anti-science positions of Senate and House Republicans, who’ve carried conservative anti-intellectualism to depths unplumbed since the McCarthy era.

Climatology is a scientific field, not an ideological stance, and the GOP’s readiness to politicize the debate on the threat and causes of climate change is a symptom of moral bankruptcy as well as scientific ignorance. Through his advocacy on behalf of future generations, and of the environment within which our civilization has flourished, Senator Whitehouse has occupied both the intellectual and ethical high ground.

Warren Senders

Month 6, Day 25: Okay, I’m In.

Well, I just read this story by RL Miller at DK. She shows signs of optimism that Harry Reid will be able to pull something off. I sure hope so. Friday and this weekend I’m going to try to send this as a fax to every senator. All 100 of ’em. If Harry’s ready to gamble, so am I.

UPDATE, FRIDAY 3 PM: I’ve faxed forty (40) senators so far. Looks like I’ll be done by tomorrow. Yay me.

Dear Senator — I sent a fax earlier this week, urging your support for a genuinely robust bill that addresses the terrible threat of climate change. This fax is going both to members of the Democratic and Republican caucus. I will address each party separately.

Republicans: Now is not the time to play politics. Now is the time to be attentive to a genuine threat to our nation’s security. The U.S. Military and the C.I.A. both recognize the potential dangers of a world transformed by catastrophic global warming — why doesn’t the Republican Party? I know Rush Limbaugh doesn’t believe it, and I know James Inhofe doesn’t believe it. The thing is, they’re wrong. Climate change is real, it is caused by human behavior, and the question our country faces is whether to address it now, or wait for it to reach horrifying extremes. Do we deal with it when it shows, or when it blows? Please support a strong climate bill.

Democrats: A climate bill is a jobs bill. The technologies needed to get the American people and the world off fossil fuels once and for all can be developed here in the U.S.A. Where is our faith in American initiative, innovation and inspiration? When did we go from being a “can do” society to being one that complains, “it’s too hard”? A powerful climate bill will effect an economic transformation. Please support such a bill.

Whether we pass this bill or not, “Business As Usual” is no longer an option. Our ways of energy consumption are going to change. The only question is whether we change them voluntarily, with enthusiasm and a spirit of national unity and optimism — or whether they’re changed for us, by an out-of-control climate and a poisoned ocean. The choice is yours.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders