- The planet has not seen a below-average temperature month since Ronnie Raygun’s presidency
- In both extent and quantity (extent x thickness), Arctic ice has set records this year — for lowest in recorded history.
- Weather extremes are demonstrating climate disruption around the globe — floods, droughts, severe storms, changed rain patterns, …
- In 2012, the United States has been hit hard by a wide range of weather disasters (major heat waves, Derecho, drought, floods, wild fires) that cannot be singularly attributed to climate disruption but cannot be seen/understood outside the context of global warming.
- For the United States, 2012 will almost certainly be the hottest year in temperature record.
- The cost of climate disruption to the global community — in monetary, quality of life, and lives — is mounting. Consider, alone, the $10s of billions of economic cost to the United States through drought and heat damage-driven crop losses.
- Scientific forecasts of ever mounting risks from unchecked climate change becoming truly catastrophic climate chaos.
- Climate change (science and what to do about it) is one of the starkest differences between the two political parties, with a gaping ideological divide … and the ‘undecided’ voter very aligned with the Democratic Party (and rejecting the Republican Party) in this arena.
Consider … the near silence amid the election campaign on climate change. Our present — and our future — is at serious risk; this is an all-pervading issue that relates to every element of society; and it is an arena of stark political difference that plays to Democratic Party advantage. And, yet … crickets of climate silence.
Amid the silence, some politicians are actually doing what leaders should do: leading. They are speaking out on climate issues and crashing through the climate silence. Laying out climate challenges and highlighting the opportunities created by confronting these challenges. These politicians merit a simple title:
And, today, there is a chance to bring to the fore that we want — we need — to see more Climate Heroes in our political class. We want — we need — more leadership in our political elite and in political offices when it comes to climate disruption.
Today, 16 October 2012, is a ‘money bomb’ call.
Climate disruption is no longer a thing of the future; it is here now, and we have a moral obligation to do all we can to tackle it. We need to elect Climate Heroes — candidates who will help break Big Oil’s stranglehold on Congress, and deliver clean energy solutions.
Jay Inslee, WA-Gov
Long before others, Jay Inslee recognized that clean energy is not only the key to curbing climate change, it’s also the new economic frontier - and the perfect example of how environmental and economic progress go hand in hand. In 2007, he wrote a book titled Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy and has worked tirelessly to make the United States a global leader in the clean tech industry. In 2003 and again in 2007, Inslee introduced the New Apollo Energy Act in Congress, a comprehensive proposal to accelerate renewable energy. As co-chair of the Sustainable Energy Caucus, Inslee fought for policies that protect our air, land and water and promote new clean energy industries.
Tammy Baldwin, WI-Sen
Rep. Tammy Baldwin sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House where she has fought hard for clean energy, climate legislation, and defense of the Clean Air Act. She supports EPA’s right to regulate greenhouse gases and incentives to help homegrown renewable energy companies become world leaders in solar, wind, and geothermal technologies. She has voted to end tax payer subsidies to big oil and gas companies. Her opponent supports expanding oil and gas drilling, opening the Keystone tar sands pipeline, and accelerating fracking.
Martin Heinrich, NM-Sen
Martin Heinrich is dedicated to a clean energy future. He opposed the tar sands Keystone pipeline. He has defended the EPA and the Clean Air Act and supports EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. He has been a strong supporter of the solar industry and supports clean energy job programs. He voted to support research and innovation in alternative energy technologies and improved vehicle efficiency.
Mazie Hirono, HI-Sen
Congresswoman Hirono recently convened energy leaders at the Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit to demand more accountability from politicians in Washington who are holding back our clean energy future. She supports a national renewable energy and efficiency standard modeled on the clean energy successes of the U.S. military. In 2009, she voted for comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation; she has defended EPA and the Clean Air Act and worked to strengthen regulations related to oil and gas drilling to protect coastal areas and other sensitive habitats.
Chris Murphy, CT-Sen
As a member of Congress, Murphy has been a strong supporter of clean energy and environment issues and helped expose Bush Administration interference with government climate scientists. He said Democrats “should stop being bullied around” by Republicans who contend that oil and gas drilling is the best solution to our energy future. As a then-member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he helped craft and pass the House’s comprehensive clean energy and climate bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. “It was environmental advocacy that first stimulated my interest in politics,” says Rep. Chris Murphy on his campaign website.
Elizabeth Warren, MA-Sen
Elizabeth Warren is a straight shooter for American citizens. In her own words, “the choice before us is simple. Will we continue to subsidize the dirty fossil fuels of the past, or will we transition to 21st century clean, renewable energy? The science is unmistakable: Earth’s climate is changing and human activities are contributing to climate change. Climate change endangers our health and national security, it threatens agricultural production and the availability of clean water, and it risks floods and droughts.” Elizabeth Warren has pledged to cut tax subsidies to Big Oil, invest in alternative energy, and to oppose the tar sands Keystone XL pipeline. She is running against Senator Scott Brown, who has been a champion for fossil fuels and has worked to weaken the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases and protect our air.
Ami Bera, CA-07
Dr. Ami Bera is a public health physician who has witnessed the harmful health impacts of dirty power plants. He supports clean energy for healthier communities, and in Congress will work to reduce harmful carbon pollution and to create a clean energy economy through new technologies and clean energy job training. Dr. Bera is once again challenging incumbent Rep. Dan Lungren, whom he narrowly lost to in 2010. Lundgren has received more than $175,000 from fossil fuel industry and has sided with Dirty Energy interests 96% of votes on key legislation. Bera is endorsed by Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters
Julia Brownley, CA-26
Julia Brownley is a staunch advocate for moving America away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels and foreign oil, and has supported efforts to cut our greenhouse gas emissions. She supports strategic investments in clean, renewable, and sustainable energy right here at home. She is a strong supporter of climate solutions and has been deeply involved in cleaning up chemical and radioactive contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, and clean up of the former Halaco metal smelting operation to better protect the health and safety of local communities.
Lois Capps, CA-24
Lois Capps has been one of Congress’s strongest voices on the need to address climate change now. Author of legislation to prepare coastal areas for the challenge, to help water utilities across the country adjust their systems in response and to address the public health aspects of climate change, Capps was a strong supporter of the first ever House passed bill on the issue. And she has led the fight against Big Oil’s efforts to expand offshore drilling, especially near her beautiful Santa Barbara, California coastal district. In contrast, Capps’ opponent has assailed her opposition to the Keystone pipeline, voted against California’s landmark climate change legislation and was recently quoted doubting the entire issue.
Joe Miklosi, CO-06
Joe Miklosi is running to represent Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, and he “believes the fight against global climate change will not wait.” Miklosi believes that those who have doubts must agree that reducing our reliance on foreign oil and finite carbon sources of energy is good economic policy and even better national security policy. He has been a champion for increased renewable energy in Colorado which now has over 5,000 renewable energy companies. He is against taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel companies. His opponent, incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman has received over $200,000 from Dirty Energy interests in the last two years. Miklosi is endorsed by Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters.
Carol Shea-Porter, NH-01
Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter was a clean energy champion in Congress from 2007-2011. She voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act that would reduce carbon pollution and increase energy independence. She consistently voted to reduce taxpayer handouts to Big Oil and to shift government subsidies from oil to cleaner, more secure, renewable energy sources. She hasn’t been shy about calling out the source of climate inaction in Washington: “There are too many climate deniers in Congress. . . If Americans want to fix this climate change problem, they will first need to fix Congress in November.”
Betty Sue Sutton, OH-16
Representative Betty Sutton is dedicated to a clean energy economy that generates good jobs for Ohio families. She has been a defender of environmental health and clean energy since first elected to Congress in 2006. She was a lead architect of the American Clean Energy and Security Act and is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and a member of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. She was a lead sponsor of a “Cash for Clunkers” program to promote more fuel efficient vehicles.
Fran Pavley, CA-SD-27
Fran Pavley, a California state senator, wrote the Global Warming Solutions Act, making California the epicenter of the global clean-energy economy. The state is now home to more than 330,000 jobs in clean energy, attracting half of all venture capital dollars invested in the U.S. Pavley’s legislation united national security leaders and clean energy advocates to plug the hole in American families’ budgets caused by our addiction to oil. The Pavley Law served as a model for recently adopted national fuel efficiency standards, and the fossil fuel industry is pouring money into her opponent’s campaign.