Lawmakers need to act on global warming

Published 10:33 am Thursday, December 18, 2008

I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. last spring to attend a global warming advocacy training workshop sponsored by Audubon. This three-day workshop included a great deal of information about how to be a productive advocate/lobbyist and most of the current science concerning global warming.

It was also my great pleasure to meet the 20 serious activists who made the trip, coming from all over the country. The staff at the Audubon Policy Office in D.C. were all outstanding, dedicated activists.

Believe me, there is much more to these hard working people than bird watching. After two long days of classroom work my last day in D.C. was devoted to lobbying and my first trip to the hill. What an experience.

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I came home to Ohio with a new mindset regarding the astronomical amount of work involved in the legislative processes that takes place inside the Senate and House of Representatives.

When it comes to environmental legislation the science alone is overwhelming and the “How to do it?” becomes a tremendous undertaking involving scores of aides and experts.

The debates are long and hot. They come from every direction —Republican, Democrat, right, left, liberal, conservative you name it. Votes are postponed over and over.

All this is what’s so frustrating for environmental activists like me when getting something done. Having said all that, my message to the 111th Congress is simple.

It’s time once again for our lawmakers to trust us and give us the tools/laws we need to significantly reduce global warming pollution and let the pessimists worry about what might happen. Let’s put global warming in the history books where it belongs.

The American people have repeatedly shown our leaders that when faced with a problem of even global proportions we can organize ourselves and show the backbone needed to meet the challenge. The time has come for Congress to quit worrying about the imagined economical cost of combating global warming.

We are smart enough, and progressive enough to handle the burden. As I said before, I have a new found respect for the enormity of the task our lawmakers have before them, but they must now roll up their shirt sleeves and put forth that extra effort we Americans are famous for and give us some good solid global warming legislation.

We’ll take it from there.

Luke Sexton

South Point