Congresswoman Yvette Clarke speaks out about Global Warming

26 05 2009

ocean-waterA press release written by our Congresswoman Yvette Clarke recently caught our attention.

Written with Eva Erbskorn, Greenpeace Field Organizer and titled “Climate Change threatens New York City and Long Island; It warns about some of the more severe but ultimately expected effects of climate change:  rising ocean levels.

Congresswoman Clarke also highlights the “good news” in the situation at hand:  the possibilities for economic development in the fields with green jobs opportunities. Her highest hope is that we pass green economy legislation that minimizes U.S. global warming pollution by at least 34% by the year 2020.  This, she says, is the minimum amount scientists believe is necessary in order for us to avoid a “planetary catastrophe”.  She ends by noting that the only way to “protect our citizens and the planet is to pass strong climate legislation as soon as possible”.

We wholeheartedly support these issues and we’ll be watching to see what future legislation Congresswoman Clarke supports.

Read the full press release below:

Climate Change threatens New York City and Long Island; Congressional representatives have a responsibility to protect their constituents 
By: Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and Eva Erbskorn, Greenpeace Field Organizer 

The results of the climate crisis are already being seen around the world through the increasing intensity of Hurricane Katrina type storms, melting ice caps, and millions of refugees fleeing extreme weather and increasing desertification.  New York City and Long Island are especially sensitive to the impacts of out-of-control global warming.  A one-degree rise in temperature could more than double heat related deaths in New York City, and a new report by a Florida State researcher shows that rising sea levels and massive coastal flooding would impact New York coasts more than others.  The Battery Tunnel in lower Manhattan, the Lincoln Tunnel entrance, the subway system and LaGuardia and Kennedy airports are all at risk as hurricanes intensify and sea levels rise.

Indeed, according to Columbia University, the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, lower Manhattan, and parts of Eastern Staten Island could be under water. Unless we take action immediately, that means more flooding of basements, more disease, and more drinking water shortages (and worse).  Another report estimates that the impacts of climate change will cost American families an average of $2,000 every year as they try to reinforce their houses and taxpayer funds are spent to build giant, unsightly flood walls, and have to pay more to cool their homes. Under this scenario, people without extra cash floating around to pay the extra costs will be hit hardest. In this economy, that’s a lot of hard working people. 

The good news is that we can avoid the worst of these impacts by answering President Obama’s call to solve the climate crisis and shift to a green economy. We can start by investing in efficiency and clean energy sources like solar and wind power, as well as in smart transportation, like more subways and buses. President Obama’s stimulus package was a great start, but we need to do more to meet this challenge

First and foremost, we must pass green economy legislation that cuts U.S. global warming pollution at least 34 percent by 2020– the minimum amount scientists say is necessary to avoid a planetary catastrophe.  The community in my congressional district in Brooklyn is one of the nation’s most vulnerable. Given how hard the economic crisis has hit our district, it’s also one that most desperately needs the green economy to kick into high gear. Green jobs are already putting people back to work in my district.  EcoLogic Solutions, Inc.  manufactures and distributes over 100 non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-polluting cleaning products to major hotels, property management companies, and restaurants throughout the country.  The small business also provides environmental sustainability consulting services to companies that wish to “go green” cost effectively.  But to restore true eco- prosperity, we need 100 more of20these companies – and need them fast.

Delay and excuses won’t get us there. If our country is serious about protecting its citizens and the planet – and creating a new era of prosperity – we’ll pass strong climate legislation as soon as possible.

For more information on green businesses in New York City, visit greenspacesny.com. Information on green initiatives and resources in Brooklyn can be found on greenbrooklyn.com and [brooklyn green] http://www.ehapc.wordpress.com 

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke represents New York’s 11th Congressional District in central Brooklyn. Now in her second term, Rep. Clarke sits on three House committees—Education and Labor, Small Business and Homeland Security, where she is the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cyber Security and Science and Technology. Congresswoman is also a Senior Whip for the House Democratic Caucus and Whip for the Congressional Black Caucus.

 

 

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