Climate SOS Sets Out to Defeat US 'False' Climate Bill, Claiming 'Worse Than Nothing Is Not Good Enough'

For Immediate Release

Climate SOS
Contact: 

Rachel Smolker,
Co-Director: Biofuel Watch
802.482.2848(o),
rsmolker@riseup.net,

Maggie Zhou,
Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities

781.316.8283 maggie@securegreenfuture.org

Robert Jereski,
Co-founder:  New York Climate Action Group 
212.973.1782 mutualaid@earthlink.net

Climate SOS Sets Out to Defeat US 'False' Climate Bill, Claiming 'Worse Than Nothing Is Not Good Enough'

WASHINGTON - A
grassroots network of environmentalists, scientists, human rights and
social justice activists and faith-based organizations concerned about
climate change launched a nationwide campaign today to either
dramatically improve or defeat climate
change legislation being considered in Congress. They say that the
Senate bill, expected in September, will very likely take its cue from
the American Clean Energy and  Security Act (ACESA) passed by the House in June, and be even further watered down.  While others are calling for passage of the bill, saying it will be "the best we can get under the political climate", the network, calling themselves Climate SOS, states that, like Dr. James Hansen, they believe such a  bill will be "worse for the environment than doing nothing". They want lawmakers to start over and get serious about crafting a real and effective climate bill based on the mandates of science, not special interests.

"ACESA was designed to enrich Wall Street, the fossil fuel, utilities and big agribusiness industries at the expense of the climate and our collective peace and survival", said the network's spokesperson Dr. Rachel Smolker, Co-director of BioFuel Watch. "The bill's cap-and-trade mechanism for regulating emissions has been repeatedly proven ineffective, risky and prone to speculation and manipulations, and will lock us into a framework that prevents any effective climate legislation from being adopted. This is one of many provisions in ACESA that make it worse than nothing.  It's virtually impossible the Senate will be able to improve on ACESA enough to get us where we must go in order to avoid catastrophic warming."

"ACESA does not even aim to provide a 50/50 chance of averting the worst of climate catastrophe, based on the figures of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change", said Dr. Maggie Zhou of Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities.  "Politicians
either do not understand or are not telling the American people about
the true magnitude of climate change consequences. The costs of
insufficient action will be so much greater than the costs of taking
bold action now, and will include lost lives, extinctions and the
threatened survival of civilization itself.  If
politicians and their constituents understood this, there would be far
less compromising on the basis of ‘political and economic feasibility'
."

"The American people are being scammed," added Robert Jereski, co-founder of New York Climate Action Group
"This bill was crafted by a team that included Shell, Duke Energy, BP,
DuPont and other major polluters/climate offenders of the so-called US
Climate Action Partnership, that stand to profit greatly from a
self-dealing, self-serving bill."

"It is time that people who care about the environment, social justice and national/global security  come together and take a stand." Smolker said. "We are fast losing polar ice cover, while methane is spewing out.  If we miss the short window when we can still avert the worst, we are condemning our children to a very dicey future indeed.  The bill must be very dramatically improved or it should be filibustered before it gets to a floor vote."

Climate SOS is launching a national tour
during September, seeking to empower people to meet with their
representatives, take action, and demand real climate legislation. "Senators
need to know that they have our support in opposing this bill in the
likely event that it fails to take adequate measures to
protect the climate". The
tour will target states where US Senators are "on the fence," such
as North Dakota, Indiana, Arizona, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, West
Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The Climate SOS tour will also touch down
in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Oregon, and Washington.

Current Network Members:

Beehive Design Collective
Biofuelwatch
Carbon Tax Center
Climate Crisis Coalition
Coalition For A Safe Environment
Eco-Justice Collaborative
Ecolaw Massachusetts
Energy Justice Network
Green Delaware
Global Justice Ecology Project
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Institute for Social Ecology
Jamaica Plain Green House
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Massachussetts Coalition for Healthy Communities/SecureGreenFuture
Massachusetts Forest Watch
New York Climate Action Group
One Earth Climate Action Group
Progressive Democrats of America
Rising Tide North America
Ruckus Society
UIC Ecocampus

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Climate SOS is a new and expanding network of individuals and organizations concerned with ensuring that U.S. climate legislation effectively rises to the challenges we face from global warming. We are extremely disturbed by the inadequacies of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed by the House, which contains numerous provisions that lead us to conclude that such a bill would be worse than doing nothing and set us on a path to failure.

Given the primary responsibility of the U.S. in causing global warming, we feel that Americans must also take responsibility both in doing what is necessary to avert the worst, and to fulfill our obligation to the world as we all face the consequences. Our aim is to first prevent disastrous "false" legislation from being passed, and then to replace it with visionary measures that will be truly effective and adequate in setting us on the path to avert global climate catastrophe.

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