For a complete audio recording of this press conference please click HERE.
(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
The purpose of this press conference is to show unity and momentum in the fight for strong global warming legislation.
I am proud to be here with these dedicated American organizations who have been working so hard to push the Congress to adopt policies that will stop the worst ravages of global warming.
Today, I want to make four points:
1) It is the job of Congress - starting now -- to pass legislation to effectively reduce global warming pollution. We can't duck, we can't hide, we can't evade, unless we want our children and grandchildren to blame us and disparage us for walking away from this - our sacred responsibility. We can no longer fiddle while the planet gets ready to burn.
2) Our Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, has informed me that he plans to take up the Environment Committee's global warming bill after the May recess.
3) The organizations behind me represent more than 11 million Americans and speak for millions more. According to a Harris poll taken in October 2007, 80 percent of the American people believe that our nation should be the world leader when it comes to addressing global warming.
4) We need to continue improving this legislation. I plan, with Leader Reid's support, to improve this bill on the Senate floor. If the bill is weakened, two things will happen:
a. We will hold those who weakened it accountable in November.
b. We will pull the bill and bring back the legislation after we have a new Congress and a new President. This view is shared by many who are here with me today.
But the debate must start because a landmark global warming law will take time, and time is not on our side.
I would like to share with you a remarkable passage from the book "Six Degrees" by Mark Lynas.
"So far as we yet know, Earth is the only planet in the entire universe that has summoned forth life in all its brilliance and variety. To knowingly cut this flowering short is undoubtedly a crime.... I can see no excuses for collaborating in such a crime....To me the moral path lies not in passively accepting our destructive role, but in actively resisting such a horrendous fate...."
"We still have the power - though it diminishes every day - to alter the ending of this terrible drama. It need not end in tragedy....There, and only there, hope lies."
"As Dylan Thomas wrote:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Let me say that I have no intention of going gently into the night until we have addressed global warming.
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March 12, 2008
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works
President, Union of Concerned Scientists
Executive Director, Sierra Club
President, League of Conservation Voters
President, Natural Resources Defense Council
President, National Wildlife Federation
Deputy Managing Director, Pew Environment Group
President, The Wilderness Society
As well as representatives of:
-Center for International Law
-Clean Water Action
-Defenders of Wildlife
-National Wildlife Federation
-Pew Environment Group
-Physicians for Social Responsibility
-World Wildlife Fund