Standing up to Global Warming Deniers

Yesterday, I stood with environmental leaders in New Hampshire to talk about my dedication to a national renewable energy standard. I challenged my global-warming denying opponent, Kelly Ayotte, to take a position on the issue. She responded that she would look at the proposal.

It’s puzzling. Why would someone who doesn’t think global warming exists think that we need to enact a proposal aimed at reducing carbon emissions? Why would someone who supports things like drilling off the coast of New Hampshire all of a sudden try to convince us she’d be supportive of renewable energy efforts in the US Senate?

In her competitive primary, we watched Ms. Ayotte move to the far-right wing of her party. Now, with the general election less than a month away, she’s trying to have it both ways. She’s hoping New Hampshire won’t notice that big oil and coal companies continue to fill her campaign coffers as she talks about drilling off the coast of New Hampshire.

The bottom line is that Kelly Ayotte has as many doubts about global warming as I have about her ability to stand up to her special interest donors in the oil and coal industry.
Global warming is not something this country should be taking lightly. It’s a serious threat not just for our environment, but for the economic livelihood of generations to come. Kelly Ayotte has dismissed global warming and told the Granite State she doesn’t believe that it’s real. I think it’s time we stop denying and instead start applying initiatives to lessen the devastating effects of carbon emissions. It’s no longer optional – it’s absolutely crucial to protect the country we’re trying to leave to our children and our grandchildren.

A national renewable energy standard would require major utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable sources, whether it be from wind, biomass or solar. It would help new, clean energy industries thrive, creating jobs and improving our local economies, while seriously reducing carbon emissions on a national level.

We need to take significant steps to ensure that the things we love most about New Hampshire are preserved for our children and future generations. If we don’t take action, our ski season will be shorter, our maple syrup industry will suffer, and we will no longer live in a state with the kind of natural beauty that made me and so many others decide New Hampshire was the perfect place to start a family and raise kids.

Ms. Ayotte needs to take a deep breath of New Hampshire’s fresh air and come clean on clean energy. The future of our state is at stake.

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

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  • hannah

    that we expel it with every breath?
    Pumping carbon into the air we breathe is a bad idea, regardless of whether it heats up the atmosphere.
    While it’s “not nice to fool mother nature,” it’s just plain stupid to thing mother nature is a fool.  There’s a reason carbon has been sequestered in the earth’s crust for millions of years.

    • Lucy Edwards

      so it can’t be bad for us.  But too much carbon dioxide, a molecule made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, is a greenhouse gas and when the atmosphere gets out of balance, with more carbon dioxide than the oceans can store (as carbonic acid) or plants can take up (they use it to make the material that then supports all the life on the planet), the atmosphere starts to heat up and the climate changes.  
      Since the beginning of the industrial age, when we started burning fossil fuels, doing wide-spread clearcutting for agriculture, and generally using the planet as a dump, the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere has been rising more and more rapidly.  We are already starting to see the effects, with the flooding rains, droughts, wildfires, glaciers melting, sea-level rise, more violent storms and extinction of species.  
      You may have noted that there is much less denial that the warming is occurring.  Now we are getting the right-wing take that it’s happening but we aren’t causing it, and so there is nothing we can do about it but adapt.  Unfortunately there is probably no way the human species can adapt except by a rapid reduction in the number of people we expect to feed and for whom we can provide water and places to live.  Those who are going to be exterminated may not go quietly.  Resource wars and mass migration will become common, and if you think the world is a dangerous place now, just wait.  
      But it would be too costly to do anything about it, according to the right.  Some industries might lose out, some rich people would stop getting richer, and that’s more important than a decent, or even possible, life for our children and grandchildren on the planet.  Remarkable selfish, isn’t it?

  • Dartmouth Dem

    You truly are terrific….I’m at your small-ticket fundraiser now, but may have to leave early to kick Charlie’s right-wing ass in a new BH diary. (Am sure that you understand. Charlie’s a nice person, but we need to finish the job that you started in 2006.)

    • Lucy Edwards

      Very few of these Republicans seem like “nice persons” to me.  Anyone who wants to kill off my grandchildren is not “nice.”

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