Another environmental plug
It hit 97 yesterday in Philly, with a heat index in the triple digits. I had to make a one-hour drive yesterday in my non-air conditioned car in order to get from Job 1 to Job 2. I weighed myself when I got home and discovered that I had lost 4 pounds...over the course of the day.
Now I know that one heat wave can't be taken as evidence that global warming is indeed happening. But this most certainly is:
Scientists have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf.
The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. They are being forced into the long voyages because the ice floes from which they feed are melting, becoming smaller and drifting farther apart.
Ironically, the House approved a treaty with Russia yesterday designed to protect polar bears from "overhunting and other threats to their survival." But without taking steps to prevent global warming, it all could be for naught.
Joe Lieberman has been one of the most tireless advocates of environmental protection in the Senate. He has earned the endorsements of America's two largest environmental advocacy groups - the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters. Here is an excerpt from the LCV endorsement:
As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Lieberman has worked hard to preserve and strengthen our nation's clean air and clean water protections, opposing attempts by the Bush Administration and corporate polluters to rewrite our environmental and public health laws. In particular, he is one of the lead sponsors of a tri-partisan bill to clean up dirty coal-fired power plants. Sen. Lieberman is also fighting against attempts to gut the Endangered Species Act.
Sen. Lieberman continues to be a champion in protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, helping lead the fight against multiple efforts in the Senate to advance fiscally irresponsible and environmentally damaging drilling proposals in this national treasure.
It is not insignificant that Senator Lieberman has served on the Environment and Public Works Committee and has considerable seniority there; in fact, he will be second in seniority behind only Max Baucus after the end of this term (the ranking member, Jim Jeffords, is retiring). Lieberman has used his position on the committee to push for conservation efforts at every level, from protecting the fishing areas and wildlife refuges in Connecticut to working on measures designed to reverse global climate change.
The loss of not only Lieberman's voice, but also his seniority would be an immeasurable loss to the environmental movement at a time when Democrats may finally be in a position to push tougher environmental protection legislation. Lieberman's seniority may be particularly important since the heir presumptive (Baucus) is known to be somewhat cooler towards environmental protection legislation than most Senate Democrats.
The world that we leave to our children is the true legacy of every generation, and Sen. Lieberman's environmental record proves that he has the means and the will to work hard on these vital issues.