It’s no real surprise that scientists announced this week that America’s summer was the hottest since 1936 (can you say “Dust Bowl”?) and the second warmest since official records started being kept in 1895. It’s quite clear that the heat is on and that we humans are responsible.
So what are we gonna do about it? Here are two things I found this week that will go a long way toward pulling our climate back from the brink…
1) There’s some solid legislation before Congress that would help lower the thermostat. Representative Henry Waxman and our own Senator Jim Jeffords along with Barbara Boxer have introduced two science-based bills (science! imagine that!) that would gradually lower global warming pollution, and call for a greater reliance on clean, renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency.
In a Congress that seems hell-bent on keeping its head in the sand when it comes to the real issues we're facing, these bills need some serious public support. Which means all of us calling or writing our respective congressional delegations to insist that they sign on as sponsors and help bring this urgent legislation to the floor of their chamber for immediate passage.
Contact your House Representative and ask him or her to vociferously support H.R. 5642, the Waxman Safe Climate Act. Then get in touch with your U.S. senators and ask them to do the same in the Senate for Jeffords-Boxer Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2006.You can find the name of your district’s Congresspeople and their contact information here. Just enter your zip code and you’re good to go. This legislation (or something like it) has got to be made law. They won’t stop climate chage by themselves, but both bills are excellent first steps. And you always have to take the first step before you can take any of the ones that follow.
2) On the personal front, there’s a cool (pun intended) new book just out from Laurie David that outlines the current situation and the things we can all do as individuals to stop the coming climate mess before it gets any worse. Stop Global Warming: The Solution Is You! is this month’s required reading for the entire human race. It’s cheap. It’s easy to read. It’s got what everyone needs to know. Buy 100 copies and pass them out at the next family reunion.