U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is doing all he can to bring awareness and take action against climate change, and as Rhode Islanders, we should be proud.
He may represent the smallest state, but Whitehouse understands the impact climate change has had on the country and is preparing to give his 50th speech on the Senate floor concerning climate change this week. His message is consistent: Our world is changing and Congress needs to wake up and do something now, before it’s too late.
Not only does Whitehouse speak about climate change, but also he takes action.
He is the co-founder and co-chair of both the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change and the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus. He has sponsored legislation concerning climate change, including calling for a carbon fee to be paid by large polluters, and applauds the Obama Administration for efforts they have taken to combat climate change.
Whitehouse’s many speeches and reports can be found on his website, along with this quote explaining his reasoning behind these efforts. “I speak out on climate change each week because the cost of Congress’ inaction is too high for our communities, our kids and our future.”
While introducing him at last week’s EPA Climate Leaders Summit, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit credited Whitehouse with being a leader for this cause in Washington, D.C. and for bringing a number of his colleagues on board by presenting his facts and charts on the Senate floor week after week.
With constant coverage of Congress’ failures, the power struggle between Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the Capitol building and the taste of the recent government shutdown still in our mouths, it can be easy to forget just how hard our Congressional delegation can fight for the causes that are important to our state and the rest of the country.
Rhode Island has more than 400 miles of coastline threatened by rising sea levels. We may be lucky enough to experience all four seasons, but those seasons are becoming increasingly unpredictable. We have also had experiences of Superstorm Sandy, Blizzard Nemo and a number of major flooding events in recent years.
It is impossible to deny that climate change is real and it is a threat. It is not simply resulting in warmer weather; we are witnessing the increasing power of storms and rising sea levels.
Thank you Senator Whitehouse for sounding the alarm and fighting to activate Congress before it is too late.