- June 28 - More than 50 scientists from 23 states assembled at the U.S. Capitol
today to urge lawmakers to heed their warnings about global warming.
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), a
working scientist before entering the House last year, joined climate change experts
on the Capitol steps today as they pressed Congress to listen to the scientific
community's message: global warming is a serious threat that demands action.
"We are astonished that
some members of Congress continue to ignore warnings from the scientific community,"
said Dr. Walt Oechel, director of the Global Change Research Group and professor
of biology at San Diego State University. "Climate scientists from around the
world are in wide agreement that global warming is real and could greatly disrupt
The congressional leadership
has become increasingly isolated in its attempt to wish away global warming. Even
General Motors, British Petroleum, DuPont, Boeing and other industry powerhouses
now acknowledge climate change and the serious threat it poses to public health
and the environment.
"For too long a vocal minority
denying climate change has had the ear of Congress," said Dr. Richard Gammon,
a professor of chemistry, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences at the University
of Washington. Dr. Gammon is an IPCC contributing author and Science Advisor to
the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). "We hope our presence today serves as
a wake up call on this important issue."
Over the next century, further
unchecked increases in the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other
heat-trapping gases will cause more extreme changes in global climate patterns,
posing a threat to human health and the environment. Congress must initiate policies
that cut emissions of global warming gases through greater use of energy-efficient
technologies, transportation reforms, and a shift to renewable energy sources.
"Congress needs to be better
prepared to make the right decisions about climate change," said Dr. Donald Wuebbles,
professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois and a lead author
of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "We can't just ignore the risks
to the American people associated with the great potential of human impacts on
States represented by scientists
in attendance: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin,