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"Just as we have asked so many nations around the world to assist us in the War on Terror and in securing and rebuilding Iraq , so, too, should we help those nations who want our assistance in addressing global environmental problems. " -- Senator Dianne Feinstein(D-CA)
Our future depends on the actions we take today to protect our environment. The effects of climate change - wildfires, flooding, devastating hurricanes, severe winter storms, even changes to our vast ocean ecosystems - are already being felt around the world. To deny the reality of climate change is to ignore years of scientific observation and research, as well as the overwhelming consensus among scientists. Indeed, the challenge in front of us will not be met by pretending the problem doesn't exist or waiting for some "better" time in the future. The time to act is now, and Democrats are prepared to meet this challenge head-on.
The good news is that a vibrant economy and a commitment to our environment go hand-in hand. California's historic Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB32, is a bold plan of action that Democrats wholeheartedly embrace. The act places California squarely in the forefront of dealing with the reality of climate change by seeking new energy solutions for the 21st century. By providing incentives for clean technology, renewable energy and efficiency standards, AB32 will help ensure California's leadership both in meeting the challenge of climate change and in creating the green jobs that are our future.
California Democratic Party Platform: Energy and Environment All Californians, urban, suburban and rural, hold a shared interest in preserving and protecting the environment that sustains us. California Democrats have led the way toward effective bi-partisan solutions to problems arising from our industrial society - resource extraction, waste disposal and pollution - and their disparate impact on our forests, family farms, the poor, ethnic minorities and indigenous people.
California Leads on Energy and Climate Change. "In a time when economic recovery is job number one, it's clear that California's leadership on energy and climate change policies are fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across the state and helping California compete in the clean, green economy of the future."
Innovate and Grow: Mapping California's Growing Green Economy
Democratic Candidates hold key to California's energy future
"When I was governor, California was the world leader in renewable energy and it led the nation in efficiency standards. Investing in clean energy and increasing efficiency are central elements of rebuilding our economy. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, build the businesses of the 21st century, increase energy independence and protect public health."
Unfortunately, his opponent, Meg Whitman, is more interested in protecting Big Oil's status quo than she is in protecting California's environment or its future economy. Not only has Whitman vowed to suspend AB 32 as governor, she has also questioned climate change itself. "I'm not a scientist," she demurred recently, when asked whether global warming was man-made.
Brown Puts Whitman on the Defensive over Greenhouse Gases
As Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer has been a long-time champion of the green economy, and she worked to include incentives to boost green jobs in the 2009 stimulus bill. In doing so,"[y]ou not only get people to work, but you also save money in the end, fight global warming and become energy independent. Those are the kinds of things I want to see," she said.
In contrast, Republican Carly Fiorina is just another climate-change denier focused on the short term. "It's wonderful that California has such a pristine environment," says Fiorina, "but a vibrant economy and making progress on our environment have to be co-equal goals," hinting that those goals just may be mutually exclusive. When Senator Boxer described global warming as a national security issue, Fiorina dismissed the comparison as worrying about "the weather." Backed by out-of-state coal interests, Fiorina has pledged to roll back California's historic climate change legislation.
Can 'Green Jobs' Stimulate The Economy?
Fiorina: Scrap state's global warming law
5 Ways the Chamber Shills For BP
Carly Fiorina's Weird, Self-Defeating Stance on Climate
Pew study on green jobs: America's clean energy economy is critical to the nation's future
Union of Concerned Scientists' study describes impact of AB 32 on small business
Impact of AB32 on household incomes
Climate change legislation is good for the economy
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