"Over 10,000 Americans Tell Congress To Stop Pushing Us Over The Climate Cliff"
“If our country goes over the fiscal cliff, we will be able to climb back up. But if our planet goes over the climate cliff, we will plunge into an abyss of impacts that we cannot reverse.”
With these words, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) exposed the essential absurdity of the “fiscal cliff” debate in a Washington, DC address last week. Over 10,000 Americans have spoken out in agreement, calling on Washington to turn to the looming climate cliff.
The leaders of the “fiscal cliff” debate claim their stances are based on their sober-minded obligations to our children and grandchildren, even as they shirk their true responsibility to confront the fossil fuel industry, whose rogue behavior threatens the very existence of future generations.
During his debates with Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama argued that “reducing the deficit” is a “moral obligation to the next generation.” House Speaker John Boehner told the National Religious Broadcasters that “leaving our debt on its unsustainable and immoral path” will “truly cause pain and suffering.”
Some leaders in Washington are speaking out against the absurdity of climate silence during the fiscal debate. Watch Markey’s remarks:
In a Senate floor speech last week, Senate Budget Committee member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) juxtaposed the moral rhetoric of his Republican colleagues around the stimulus, health care, and the debt with their continued refusal to even acknowledge climate change:
The moral indignation from the White House and Congress around the fiscal cliff is bizarre, given their inaction in curbing carbon pollution. From the survivors of Superstorm Sandy to the drought-stricken farmers of the Midwest, Americans are feeling the pain of the reckless dumping of carbon pollution, with consequences which will last for centuries.
In response, the climate accountability group Forecast the Facts has launched ClimateCliff.org. Visitors to ClimateCliff.org can use a novel interactive system to support leaders such as Whitehouse and Markey and challenge “fiscal cliff” proponents on Twitter, with tailored tweets featuring the #climatecliff hashtag.
The ClimateCliff.org petition, signed by over 10,000 Americans, points out that the climate crisis is a source of the nation’s current fiscal challenges, and compares the economic costs of inaction with the economic benefits of swift climate action.
If Congress wants to debate spending cuts, they should look no further than the $10 billion in corporate welfare they give annually to the fossil fuel industry, accelerating our trajectory off the climate cliff. If the White House seeks to raise government receipts, they should claw back the $1 trillion in revenues of the top five oil companies alone make every year from poisoning our future.
Brad Johnson is the campaign manager of Forecast the Facts.