Kerry, Snowe Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Study, Publicize Climate Change Impacts on Everyday Life

The WaPo has a piece today about the ’08 Democratic candidates and the climate change issue and how it could be a risky issue for the candidates. Among the contentions is that implementing changes could be costly and that could alienate some voters. However, the WaPo notes:

The issue has turned into a Democratic primary litmus test, and many party strategists say it could be a way to win over in the general election suburban Republican women, who tend to place a high priority on environmental issues.

“It’s a huge issue. I’ve been stunned by this,” said Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, who found in a May poll that energy independence and global warming were cited as America’s most important domestic challenge by 29 percent of respondents, second only to health care. “I think this is a top-tier voting issue that has crossover appeal,” Greenberg said.

Yesterday, Senators John Kerry and Olympia Snowe introduced the Global Change Research Improvement Act of 2007, to change the way federal agencies prioritize, collect and communicate information on climate change science and its impacts.

Kerry and Snowe are updating the Global Change Research Act of 1990 in a response to a series of new reports on climate change, which call for an expedited process to review the impacts of climate change on our communities, local economies and natural resources. Their legislation directly responds to updated global climate information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as a number of recent reports critical of the Bush Administration’s climate science program.

A study by the National Academy of Sciences found that the Administration’s Climate Change Science Program is not adequately assessing the impacts of climate change (particularly at the regional or local level) or communicating that information to decision-makers and stakeholders. The GAO reported that climate change will have a significant impact on federal land and water resources, but resource managers do not have the guidance or information they need to prepare for those impacts. A recent Federal District court ruling confirmed these reports, citing the Administration’s failure to comply with its mandate to provide regular assessments of the impacts of climate change on critical resources

Senator Kerry said:

We can’t fight tomorrow’s climate crisis with yesterday’s research. The Bush Administration has failed in its responsibility to conduct research and inform the American people about the impacts of climate change. Our bill will ensure the American people can learn the real story of the climate crisis’s effect on our neighborhoods, businesses and families. I want to thank Senator Snowe for her work on this bill, and for pushing for a response to this crisis that matches the urgent warnings we receive every day.”

Senator Snowe said:

Since the Global Change Research Act of 1990 was enacted, there have been numerous developments in earth sciences, global observing systems, and satellite and computing technologies that have greatly advanced our country’s ability to understand the effects of global warming. I am pleased to be working with Senator John Kerry on this legislation that is critical to improving upon the success of previous global warming research programs and expanding our nation’s ability to predict, mitigate, and adapt to the global warming crisis.”

Highlights of the Global Change Research Improvement Act of 2007

The Global Change Research Improvement Act of 2007 amends and strengthens the existing U.S. climate change research and assessment program. The bill would improve the basic research and products that the Federal government develops on climate change and its impacts. It would refocus the emphasis of the program on the need to provide information and products that are of relevance to State, local and nongovernmental decision makers. It would also create a new National Climate Service within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide climate change forecasting on a regular basis to end-users, and create a permanent network for the delivery of such information.

The Global Change Research Program (GCRP), our nation’s existing climate research and assessment program, was established by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The overall program has seen its budget steadily decline since FY 2004 at a time when the need to better understand and predict climate change is urgent. Over the past several years, independent reports, including a review by the National Academy of Sciences have highlighted weaknesses and gaps in the current implementation of the GCRP. A Federal District Court found that the current Administration had failed to comply with the statute’s mandate to provide regular assessments of the impacts of climate change on critical resources; no such assessment has been published since October 31, 2000.

The legislation makes important changes to address these weaknesses and to strengthen the mandate to provide assessments. These changes will enable the GCRP to perform critical climate observations and research on climate systems; improve our ability to predict climate impacts at national, regional and local levels; and communicate those impacts in a timely and useful fashion to State and local decision-makers, resource managers, and other stakeholders.

The fact is we just can’t sit around and wait on Climate Change any longer. The U.S. must take the staps to make changes. As Senators Kerry and Snowe clearly get, and as the Democratic candidates also get. We can start now, and we must. As the media works to downplay the issue, it’s evident that the public interest is on change, as Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg stated in the WaPo piece. 

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5 Responses to Kerry, Snowe Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Study, Publicize Climate Change Impacts on Everyday Life

  1. john stone says:

    John Kerry is right we can’t fight tomorrow’s climate
    crisis with yesterday’s research. Well said Senator Kerry!
    We must begin as soon as possible to repair the damage done by the Bush Regime.

  2. TlG says:

    John Kerry is an idiot and you aren’t much brighter. What research are you going to fight YOUR “global warming” with if you don’t use past research? You can’t use TOMORROW’S research tomorrow and future technology is not here right now!!! DUH.
    By the way the United States while not perfect does lead the world in technology including the advances in keeping the air and planet clean and we do more by far in that area than any other country.
    I wonder if you personally ride a horse, car, or walk everywhere you go. I doubt it. If not then YOU can do more for the enviroment. Don’t blame Bush for everything he doesn’t write the laws.Cngress does that! The office of the president doesn’t run the show it just gets to oversee what the sinners in the congress do.
    Think before you write.

  3. Virginia Cotts says:

    TIG,

    We can’t rely on past research when the climate change is continuing to create new problems. The development of technology depends not only on accurate current infromation, but also on getting it into use. Public demand can do this to some extent but government regulations are the only reason America has led the world in some of these areas.

    Bush’s failings in the environment specifically, and governing generally, stem from not doing his job to implement and enforce the laws passed by Congress. That is the job of POTUS, to run the country according to the laws (the rule of law). Bush has put so many foxes in as henhouse guards, there is no agency that is not staffed by people who have worked in the industry they are now supposed to be regulating, with unsurprising relaxation of enforcing those laws or regulations.

    Practice what you preach. Think before you write. You might also want to read before you think.

  4. Darrell Prows says:

    John Kerry wrote that we should upgrade the research that we are doing currently so that we can upgrade our programs and results tomorrow. TIG read that Kerry said we should use tomorrows research today. Way to go big guy, way to go.

  5. TlG says:

    There is no proof that there is climate change on a long term scale. Historic record keeping on weather has only been done for little over a hundred years! Yes they say the ice is melting. There is a 7 – 9 year cycling of the currents and ice in the arctic. Depending on the time of the cycle that ice depths are checked the measurements vary widly.
    Also, have you ever heard of the ice age? Well before the ice age the land wasn’t covered with ice. I guess there was a global cooling. Well, it then all melted away so I guess there was then a global warming period!! The fact is that the earth goes through cycles and will make adjustments. God did not and does not create junk. The earth is far more tough than we are and will be here long after we have killed each other off. The earth will recover no matter what humans do.
    If global warming is happening we need to kill all the cows and various other animals to slow it down. Studies have been done that show methane from all the cows in the U.S. does more harm to the environment than all the cars driven in the same amont of time.
    You want to find the root of Global Warming? It’s the same as anything else. Follow the money!! Fact is, big money is paid to “study” global warming. Whos going to stop saying it exists when they get paid so much to study it. Name an organization that has said it doesn’t exist, there are many that say it, but show me one that is getting paid big bucks from the government to study it!!