Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s Best Climate Change Burns

פורסם: 24 במאי 2015, 1:37 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 24 במאי 2015, 1:41 ]
by Katie Valentine Posted on May 18, 2015


For climate activists — or really anyone who thinks climate change is a problem — there’s a lot to love about Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. The two-term Democratic Senator from Rhode Island is a climate change champion in Congress, introducing legislation aimed at slowing the planet’s warming, calling out colleagues who deny the problem exists, and, for nearly the past three years, giving weekly, impassioned speeches on the Senate floor on the need to act on climate change.

On Monday, Whitehouse will give his 100th floor speech on climate change. As Agence France-Presse reports, Whitehouse usually gives these speeches to an empty or near-empty room, accompanied by a green sign warning his colleagues that it’s “Time To Wake Up.”

Few of Whitehouse’s colleagues have taken his pleas for action to heart. More than 56 percent of Republicans in the 114th Congress deny or question that climate change exists and is caused by humans, and some members of Congress, such as Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), openly mock the idea that climate change is posing a problem.

So far, this hasn’t deterred Whitehouse, however.

“If I look back 20 years from now and I can’t say I did everything possible, I’ll never be able to live with myself,” he told Morning Consult about his weekly speeches.

Whitehouse said he had something specific planned for his 100th speech, which he’s set to give around 6:15 p.m. Monday, but said he was “not going to ruin the surprise.” Until then, here are six of the greatest moments from Whitehouse’s past floor speeches on climate change:

‘They’re Not Gynecologists, Either’

In early 2014, a pattern emerged among some politicians who were asked whether or not they accepted that climate change was happening: instead of answering definitively one way or another, they skirted the question, saying simply “I’m not a scientist.”

Whitehouse lambasted this response in November, noting that the lawmakers who have used the excuse — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) — were “not gynecologists, either, but many have no hesitation about trying to regulate that area.”

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