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Every week until Congress acts on climate change

Every week that the Senate is in session I give a speech urging my colleagues to “wake up” and take action on climate change—once a week, every week, for 50 weeks now.

Watch my 50th speech here:

Why do I do this?

First, because climate change is real. Our atmosphere and oceans are getting warmer, sea levels are rising, and oceans are becoming more acidic. In Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, for example, winter water temperatures have risen three to four degrees in the last 50 years. Sea level is up almost 10 inches since the 1930s.

These facts are undeniable. And they are causing real harm to coastal communities—endangering homes and businesses with more floods and bigger storm surges, and making fisheries that our fishermen rely on unpredictable.

I also deliver these speeches because lies must not go unanswered. And right now, the big polluters and their climate-denier allies are running a carefully built apparatus of lies. Phony-baloney organizations designed to look and sound like they’re real and messages honed by public relations experts to sound like they’re truthful. I’m trying to cut through the denial and make sure folks in Congress and around the country hear the truth about climate change.

I speak out every week because every generation of Americans is responsible for the good-faith stewardship of our precious experiment in democracy. Previous generations have succeeded through times of war, peace, and economic upheaval. If we fail to confront the threat of climate change—if we allow ourselves to be lulled to inaction by the polluters and their collaborators—the judgment of future generations will be harsh. We will darken the lamp America holds up to the world.

I’ll keep giving these speeches every week for as long as it takes to break through the barricade of special interest lies preventing action in Congress, and you can help too. Organizing For Action volunteers are doing important organizing work at the grassroots level, and I have been proud to call OFA a partner in this effort. Our work together has only just begun.

Let your lawmakers know that you want action on carbon pollution and climate change. Tell them how climate change is affecting your community. Tell them you support EPA’s proposed standard to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. And tell them to wake up to the facts and the science, and to side with the American people over the big polluters.

Together, we can win this. Tell Congress to act on climate change.

Tell Congress to act

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is a Democrat from Rhode Island. You can watch his previous climate speeches on his website, and connect with him online on Twitter and Facebook.
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