Recently, we learned that the United States and China pledged to reduce carbon emissions that are the major cause of unwanted climate change. But the minute this was announced, Republicans dragged out the same shopworn excuses for inaction: the agreement would hurt the economy, jobs will be lost and we still don’t know if climate change is caused by human activity.
None of these excuses is true. The science is firmly established. The cost of doing little or nothing will be enormous: floods, droughts, fires and other climate change consequences have huge costs. And contrary to the economic damage assertion, there is money to be made and jobs to be generated in the alternative energy business. These job gains will offset the loss of jobs in fossil fuel extraction.
And finally, it’s time for Republican members of Congress to realize that the majority of Americans accept that climate change is mostly caused by human activity. I am thankful that our own state under both Republican and Democrat leadership has been a leader in taking action. If the Republican nominee for president in 2016 sticks to the current party line, I predict that he or she will be resoundingly defeated.