Our Beautiful Planet - Earth - We Care
During my conversation with Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at Sunnyvale City Council Chambers.
She explained her work in Congress and on the House Intelligence Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, including achieving energy independence, combating global warming, providing affordable health care coverage, American competitiveness, and the war in Iraq.
The need to control greenhouse gases is well-documented. I've joined over 150 colleagues in introducing the Safe Climate Act (H.R. 1590), legislation that will address the warming of our planet due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the international body responsible for evaluating the scientific evidence concerning climate change) issued its Fourth Assessment Report. The Report, prepared by more than 600 scientists from 40 nations, stated with greater than 90 percent certainty that most of the observed increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th Century is due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases caused by human activities.
If concentrations of greenhouse gases are not stabilized over the next 45 years, we will see an even greater increase in temperatures and severe environmental consequences including: A rise in sea levels, the loss of snow-pack, a thaw of the permafrost, higher ocean temperatures and increased ocean acidity; more intense hurricanes, stronger storms, longer droughts and more severe flooding; and the extinction of plant and animal species. Some of these effects are already being observed, others are inevitable, but we can prevent some of the worst results if we act now.
As the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, the United States must provide the leadership to address this global problem. Major U.S. companies, including those that are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have called for policies to require sharp reductions in emissions.
The Safe Climate Act, like California's landmark global warming law, A.B. 32, will reduce emissions 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050.
While the challenge of addressing climate change is significant, I believe it offers a tremendous opportunity for our country. There is an unprecedented amount of private investment in new technologies that will help us meet our energy needs without adding to greenhouse gas concentrations. New technologies would enhance our domestic energy security but also would help the 2 billion people in the developing world who don't have access to reliable energy supplies. By becoming the international leader in new energy technologies, the U.S. has the opportunity to benefit economically as we help to save the planet.
Speaker Pelosi has set the goal of addressing climate change during this Congress. She has created the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to raise the profile on this issue, and she called for legislation to address the issue of climate change. I will do everything I can to ensure that these goals are met and that the House passes legislation that will make the reductions in emissions that are necessary to prevent the disastrous consequences of global warming.
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