Wishing that climate change will go away is not a policy - it is a fantasy. Despite what a vocal minority would have us believe, problems do not go away by pretending they do not exist.
It is time for that vocal minority to face reality, because the body of evidence is overwhelming and the world's leading scientists agree. Climate change is real, human activities are the primary cause, and the warming planet poses a significant risk to people and the environment.
In its September 9 editorial, the Los Angeles Times stated, "All scientific theories have doubters, but what is remarkable about climate science is the degree of certainty and agreement among researchers."
The science is clear, the time for talk has passed, and the need for action is now. It is our moral obligation and legislative responsibility to address this enormous global challenge, which will impact every nation around the world. If we do not act, the people in harm's way are those most vulnerable.
The only way to make real, substantial progress in finding solutions to climate change is through international cooperation. I am sending a message to the UN Climate Conference in Durban stressing that every nation must do its part to ensure that the worst effects of climate change are avoided.
I am proud that President Obama and my own State of California are continuing to move forward with specific measures that are already reducing harmful air pollution. For example, the federal government has made great progress in improving fuel economy, and California has an initiative to install one million solar roofs.
As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I reaffirm my commitment to work as hard as I can to reduce the dangerous air pollution that causes climate change and harms the health and safety of people around the world. I pledge to do everything I can to stand up to climate change deniers, to shine a light on the truth, and to build support for taking common-sense steps to address this critical global problem.
Our children and our grandchildren are counting on us to rise to this challenge.