March 13, 2019

Manchin, Murkowski Take Lead On Climate Change | The Charleston Gazette

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, and his colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have taken an extraordinary and courageous step forward in the battle against runaway climate change.

These two legislators are both from major carbon-energy producing states. Murkowski is the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Manchin is the ranking minority member.

These two national leaders have literally reached across the partisan aisle, and — in a joint op-ed in The Washington Post — they unequivocally and strongly recognize the critical human role in causing climate change. They call for a strong federal effort that includes spending on energy innovation to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Manchin and Murkowski’s leadership on this issue is a welcome sign of hope — one that we desperately need in America.

Unfortunately, there are still political leaders (many of whom, like Manchin and Murkowski, have enjoyed the support of the energy industry) who support climate change denial and skepticism. This while the seas around their constituents rise, and unprecedented floods roll through their constituents’ homes.

But Manchin and Murkowski, to their enormous credit, have fully embraced the scientific consensus, and are now working for solutions. This is a major shift in the American political landscape on this critical issue.

Manchin and Murkowski have listened to and learned from real science. That science — just like the results of a medical test for disease – tells us we must stop increasing the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases, or we will leave our children with a hellish world, unfit for human civilization.

In West Virginia, where I live, many people know this, and it is becoming easier to talk about solutions. But it must be done with respect and understanding.

Emily Calandrelli, “the Space Gal,” an MIT-educated Fox TV science presenter, Morgantown native and WVU graduate, says that communicating about climate change can be especially hard in her home state. And the same is true, no doubt, in Alaska, as well.

This extra burden, which has its very real political side, is something Manchin and Murkowski know very well. It’s the reason why their political courage in facing up to the challenge squarely is so notable.

People who care about global warming and climate change should take this opportunity to recognize and appreciate these senators’ action.

Without the kind of leadership they have shown, progress will elude us.

But with it, we can bring Americans and people all around the world together to deal with the greatest challenge of our time.


By:  Thomas Rodd