Warren Delivers Floor Speech on Climate Change Leadership
"I support a Green New Deal that will aggressively tackle climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice."
"I don't accept the Republicans' argument that boldly addressing climate change and having the world's strongest economy are incompatible. I believe that the exact opposite of that is true. Tackling our climate challenges will provide us with the opportunity to grow our economy, protect public health, and propel the United States to become the world leader in innovation in the twenty-first century."
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today delivered a speech on the Senate floor in which she challenged the United States to tackle the climate change crisis head on and to lead the world in doing so. She criticized the President and Senate Republicans on their lack of leadership on the issue, commenting that "our biggest problems have to be our top priorities."
The full text of her remarks, as prepared for delivery, is available below.
Remarks by Senator Elizabeth Warren
**As Prepared for Delivery**
March 26, 2019
Madame President, I rise today to discuss climate change, which is a great crisis currently facing our country and our planet.
Let's be clear. I believe in science - and here are three simple scientific facts:
- Climate change is real,
- It's caused by humans,
- And we are running out of time.
Here are three more scientific facts:
- The ocean and the air are getting hotter,
- Storms are getting stronger,
- And flooding is getting worse and more frequent.
These facts are widely accepted throughout the world. But the President and Senate Republicans refuse to recognize these basic truths. Together, they routinely dismiss the impacts of climate change and deny clear evidence that we must take action. They refuse to even say the words "climate change." That's not leadership.
But here's the thing about facts - refusing to believe them doesn't mean they go away.
While a small handful - a tiny minority - of my colleagues across the aisle acknowledge that maybe climate change is real, they say actually doing anything about it is too expensive. The problem is too big to solve, so we should just give up. Close our eyes and plug our ears again.
But ignoring our problems has a much bigger price tag than the common-sense solutions we should already be pursuing:
- Our coasts are threatened by ever-stronger storms that can destroy our homes and devastate our largest cities.
- Our food supplies and forests are threatened by an endless barrage of droughts and wildfires.
- Even our naval bases are under attack - not by enemy fleets - but by rising sea levels.
To my Republican colleagues, I say that our biggest problems have to be our top priorities. Instead of protecting big fossil fuel companies that continue to guzzle the polluting fuels of the past, we need bold vision and forward-looking leadership.
I support a Green New Deal that will aggressively tackle climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice. I thank my colleague and my dear friend Senator Markey for leading the fight on this issue.
This is not the first time America has faced a so-called impossible challenge. Over a half century ago, President Kennedy said, "... no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space." He added "... We mean to lead it"
President Kennedy challenged our nation to lead the space race and less than seven years later Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. The impossible had become a reality and America led the way.
It's time to not only challenge our country to tackle climate change head on, but also to lead the world in doing so.
If we do not lead, then others will - China and other countries will win the race to define the green economy of the future and we will lose those jobs forever.
I don't accept the Republicans' argument that boldly addressing climate change and having the world's strongest economy are incompatible. I believe that the exact opposite of that is true. Tackling our climate challenges will provide us with the opportunity to grow our economy, protect public health, and propel the United States to become the world leader in green innovation in the twenty-first century.
We can address climate change and strengthen our economy by making major upgrades to our crumbling infrastructure, building more resiliency along our coasts and rivers, constructing more renewable energy, and promoting policies that will spur new, innovative research. These investments will protect our planet and create good jobs, with living wages, strong benefits, and safe working conditions.
- It's time for new ideas, not old ideology.
- It's time for innovative research, not tired rhetoric.
- It's time for groundbreaking science, not political stunts.
It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on climate solutions.
Because this crisis is upon us and it's time to act.
Next Article Previous Article