Is the Government Listening?

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July 9, 2008

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, went before Congress two weeks ago, to reiterate the urgency of the global warming crisis. You can read his presentation here.

Hopefully, people were listening.

The message was pretty clear: “We’re toast if we don’t get on a very different path,” Hansen told the Associated Press. “This is the last chance.”

Hansen had many suggestions for Congress, including a carbon tax on coal, oil, and gas, and the creation of an underground grid of low-loss electric power lines across America to give renewable power a chance. Now the question is, what can we do as individuals to make sure some of these changes actually happen?

In his speech, Hansen pointed out that the next president faces a unique opportunity to galvanize the country around the need for a nonpolluting energy system. Voting for the candidate who is most likely to take this issue seriously is a good first step. Reminding policy-makers in Congress to support these changes is key too.

Beyond that, I’d say stay informed about what changes are and aren’t being made. For starters, you can check out, a new campaign with the goal of increasing pressure on international leaders to make changes in their respective countries.

—Gabrielle Harradine, Assistant Editor

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