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The Urgency Of The Climate Crisis-- A Guest Post By Rep. Adam Schiff



When I first met Adam Schiff in 1999, he was the state senator representing Burbank, where my Warner Bros office was located. The following year, he flipped a red congressional district blue, defeating James Rogan, a member of the Republicans’ Clinton impeachment team. Now Adam, one of the best-known members of Congress, represents Los Feliz, where I live. He’s immensely popular in the district and is regularly reelected with over 70% of the vote. Last cycle he beat Eric Early, who was the cash-rich GOP nominee for Attorney General the cycle before, 244,271 (72.7%) to 91,928 (27.3%). Trump’s hatred for Adam is probably surpassed only by his hatred for Nancy Pelosi. I asked Adam to tell us in a guest post what he thinks is the most important issue facing our country.


-HK


The Urgency Of The Climate Crisis

by Rep. Adam Schiff


There is no threat more existential to our future than that of climate change-- a danger that has, for decades, taken a terrible toll on the health and prosperity of our country.


And it is more apparent with each passing day that we are running out of time to act to avert catastrophe-- and that political leaders need to have the courage to act.


Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made progress. Thanks to the tireless work of activists and organizers, Joe Biden ran on one of the most aggressive climate agendas in recent history-- promising to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2050, to revitalize our infrastructure to make it more climate-friendly and resilient, and to put environmental justice front-and-center in every investment, project, and priority.


But more than running on that platform, Biden has acted aggressively to deliver. He provided a roadmap for mitigating the worst effects of the climate crisis, and for building a healthier, safer, and more equitable world for future generations.


Congress, too, has made climate a top priority. We passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which is literally laying the groundwork for the clean energy transition by financing a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers, upgraded power transmission networks that can handle more renewable electricity, and cleaner and modernized public transit, as well as cleaning up environmental hazards that have subjected primarily communities of color to legacy pollution.


And even more important, we passed the historic Inflation Reduction Act-- our biggest investment ever in fighting climate change. It puts America on track to meet our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals by dramatically accelerating how fast we manufacture clean energy technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries, and helps stand them up across the country. And it makes climate-friendly consumer products like electric vehicles, energy-efficient appliances, and rooftop solar more affordable so millions of people can be part of the solution.


Inked with President Biden’s signature, these bills represent real progress.


But it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.


We all know tackling climate change is going to require decades of funding and problem-solving-- and that means we need Congressional leadership that remains committed to the fight. It will require an Apollo-like mission. A Green New Deal. A wholesale acknowledgment that without climate investments that correspond to the magnitude of the moment, we cannot avert the tipping point after which the planet will inexorably heat itself to potential disaster. This is a fight we must win, and it is not a fight that we can trust to a Republican majority that doesn’t believe in science.


A report last year found 60% of Senate Republicans and 52% of House Republicans refuse to acknowledge even the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change-- while pocketing more than $61 million in contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries. That stark reality in the year 2022 is astounding, when it feels like we’re contending with a new hurricane, wildfire, heat wave, or other extreme weather event every month-- events that are displacing millions of people, wreaking unprecedented damage, and exacerbating inequality at an alarming clip.


We are already behind the eight ball when it comes to reining in climate change. We cannot afford to waste any time, let alone another two years, or risk moving backwards. But if Republicans take over one or both chambers, that’s exactly what we’ll get.


It’s often said that the current election is the most important in a lifetime. And I understand the frustration and fatigue many have about progress that has been hampered due to the arcane filibuster.


But now is not the moment to sit on the sidelines. Because what we need now more than ever is to increase our Democratic majorities-- particularly with progressive candidates who will make the climate crisis their top issue. Our slim advantage in the Senate has already cost us precious time and concessions to moderate colleagues who want to increase permits for oil and gas drilling, and aren’t ready to wholeheartedly embrace the transition to a green economy. We need more representatives who will not waver in their commitment to the planet-- that is our only shot.


Our children and grandchildren deserve to enjoy safe and healthy futures on the planet we call home. No effort can be spared to ensure that future-- and Democratic victories in November offer us the best chance to deliver.


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Adam has been tireless in supporting Democratic candidates around the country who align with his concerns about climate and other core issues. He's literally in another city every few days helping Democratic candidates in tough races. Among the dozens of candidates he's been supporting with contributions and, in some cases, events in their districts, are candidates also backed by Blue America, like Summer Lee (PA), Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR), Delia Ramirez (IL) and Annette Taddeo (FL). If you are still thinking of ways to help worthy candidates whose elections are next month, please consider contributing to these 4 extraordinary women here.


-HK


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