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Democrats plan late-night Congressional speeches on climate change

Toles depiction of fossil fuels and climate change
Toles depiction of fossil fuels and climate change

In a staunch effort to unleash the grip of climate skeptics’ misinformation on Congress, corporations and the general public, a group of Democrats plan to hold the floor on Monday night to give speeches and lend their support to President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan.

The session, pulled together by a new initiative, the Climate Action Task Force, will feature over two dozen Democratic lawmakers using social media as they proceed under hashtag#Up4Climate.

It will be attended by well-known climate regulation supporters, like Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Ed Markey (Mass.).

Suzanne Golden, noted this in The Guardian Environment, “As might be expected, no Republican senators signed on to the new initiative. A number of energy-state Democrats are also staying away, such as Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska. Mark Warner of Virginia who is up for election in 2014 was also not on the list of participating senators.”

With a US Congress full of climate skeptics, particularly representatives of big oil states, the prospect of getting climate regulation passed has been daunting, so Obama has stated unequivocally that he will use all power within the Environmental Protection Agency and his executive authority to combat climate change.

“The cost of Congress’ inaction on climate change is too high for our communities, our kids and grandkids, and our economy,” said Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) as quoted in The Hill. “On Monday we’ll be sending a clear message: It’s time for Congress to wake up and get serious about addressing this issue.”

The White House has grown more vocal in recent months about the need to curb greenhouse gases, even with Obama’s “All of the above” strategy, which includes oil and gas research.

Last week, Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, went on the defense against one of the most disreputable global warming skeptics quoted by politicians and conservative groups, Roger Pielke Jr., for his misrepresentation of climate science.

Although scientists representing almost 200 nations on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believe that it’s real, with over a 95 percent chance it’s caused by human activity, a majority of Republicans stand to block even the most basic attempts by the EPA to regulate coal-powered plants with the implementation of carbon-capture technology.

Republicans don’t want to compromise profits at the behest of Obama and so-called climate change liberals.

Meanwhile, business leaders are not taking a seat in the back of the room while extremists block everything from new technology to substantive laws to reduce carbon emissions.

Last week, Apple’s Tim Cook stated categorically that climate skeptics should dump their stocks in his company if they don’t like his “pledge” to slash greenhouse gases and invest in renewable, sustainable energy.

At a shareholder meeting on Friday, Cook took exception to an inquiry from a representative for a national organization against climate regulations, Justin Danhof, who wanted to know if Apple’s pledge would be profitable to the company.

Profit is not a reason to avoid doing what’s right for the environment, Cook maintained.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” Cook was quoted in The Guardian. He added the same sentiment goes for environmental, health and safety issues. “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

Richard Branson, chairman and founder of Virgin Group applauded Cook on Monday for his impressive attitude against climate misinformation.

Skeptics should “get out of the way” of advancing science and sustainability and businesses should stand against climate ignorance, said Branson.

Regarding Democrats taking the floor to bring focus to climate change Monday night, Whitehouse (who has delivered over 60 speeches on climate change) said this in his email campaign to supporters: “This is the first effort of a new Climate Action Task Force that Barbara Boxer and I announced at the beginning of this year -- an effort to break through the lies of Big Coal and Big Oil and finally galvanize our colleagues to acknowledge an undeniable truth: climate change is real.”

In step with the increasing effort to turn the tide against climate deniers, Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed on Friday that he wants to make addressing climate change his signature issue, while the Pentagon reaffirmed last week that climate change represents a growing threat to military installations, according to the Guardian.

For a complete list of Democrats and two Independents who will speak tonight click here.

To sign the climate change petition and add your voice to their message click here.

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