Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Make a Call to Help Fight Global Warming

From USPIRG Legislative Director, Anna Aurilio

As you no doubt know by now, "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary about global warming, won two Academy Awards on Sunday, a fitting tribute for a film that has single-handedly shifted the national debate by educating millions of Americans about the science and dangers of global warming.But as the former vice president said in accepting the award, "We need to solve the climate crisis. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource--let's renew it."

You can get started by calling your representative in Congress and urging him or her to cosponsor the Safe Climate Act, legislation that would set the science-based pollution limits needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming. (Below is a list of representatives who have already cosponsored the bill.

If your representative is listed, be sure to call and thank them for their leadership.)If you don't know who your representative is, that's OK. Just call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121, tell the operator where you live, and they will connect you.

Here's a sample message you can leave: "Hello, my name is ____ and I live in _____. I'm calling to urge Rep. _____ to cosponsor the Safe Climate Act, legislation that will prevent the worst effects of global warming by implementing solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency."

Then, please report your call so we can keep track of how many are being made.

To report your call, please click here .


Global warming is starting to change weather patterns. Scientists predict that these changes will accelerate in the future and say that we can expect:

* Extreme weather. Scientists expect hurricanes to become more intense and say that the hurricanes that hit the Gulf states in 2005 may be an indication of what's to come.

* Public health risks. Scientists also expect heat waves to become more dangerous, causing more people to suffer heat stress and stroke. Other impacts include the spread of infectious diseases.

* Less snow, less water. Many of the rivers and streams that we rely on for our water supply are fed by mountain snow. But warmer winters are starting to cause less precipitation to fall as snow, which may cause serious future water shortages.

Most global warming pollution comes from burning oil, coal, and natural gas in our power plants, cars, SUVs, and factories. Power plants are the single biggest source, responsible for about 40% of U.S. global warming pollution. Because there are no federal limits on global warming pollution, industry can pump unlimited amounts of the pollution into our skies.

The good news is we can reduce global warming pollution by using existing technology to make power plants and factories more efficient, make cars go farther on a gallon of gasoline, and shift to cleaner technologies, such as hybrids, biofuels, and wind and solar power.

These are win-win solutions because they also will reduce our dependence on oil, reduce air pollution, protect pristine places from oil drilling and mining, and bring many other benefits.Rep. Henry Waxman has introduced the first-ever science-based bill to stop the worst effects of global warming. The bill requires nation-wide reductions of global warming pollution of 15% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, the level of reductions the best science says are needed.

Current cosponsors of the bill are:

Raul Grijalva (AZ)
Howard Berman (CA)
Susan Davis (CA)
Jane Harman (CA)
Mike Honda (CA)
Tom Lantos (CA)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Doris O. Matsui (CA)
Adam Schiff (CA)
Brad Sherman (CA)
Pete Stark (CA)
Ellen Tauscher (CA)
Maxine Waters (CA)
Diane Watson (CA)
Lynn Woolsey (CA)
Christopher Shays (CT)
Robert Wexler (FL)
Neil Abercrombie (HI)
Luis V. Gutierrez (IL)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Ben Chandler (KY)
John Yarmuth (KY)
William Jefferson (LA)
Stephen F. Lynch (MA)
Ed Markey (MA)
Jim McGovern (MA)
Martin Meehan (MA)
John Olver (MA)
Tom Allen (ME)
Michael Michaud (ME)
Elijah Cummings (MD)
Chris Van Hollen (MD)
Keith Ellison (MN)
Betty McCollum (MN)
Russ Carnahan (MO)
William Lacy Clay (MO)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO)
Paul Hodes (NH)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH)
Frank Pallone (NJ)
Donald M. Payne (NJ)
Steve Rothman (NJ)
Albio Sires (NJ)
Maurice Hinchey (NY)
Carolyn B. Maloney (NY)
Mike McNulty (NY)
Jerrold Nadler (NY)
Anthony Weiner (NY)
Allyson Schwartz (PA)
Joseph Sestak (PA)
Earl Blumenauer (OR)
Steve Cohen (TN)
Lloyd Doggett (TX)
Jim Moran (VA)
Peter Welch (VT)
Jay Inslee (WA)
Adam Smith (WA)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)

You can help add more cosponsors by calling your representative in Congress and urging him or her to cosponsor the Safe Climate Act, legislation that would set the science-based pollution limits needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming.