NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 8 Issue 7 - May 1, 2009
Commentary
US Former Vice President Al Gore Congressional Testimony
Article Digest
Chinho Lin
An exploratory model of knowledge flow barriers within healthcare organizations
Yeong-Her Wang
Liquid Phase Deposition of Al2O3 Thin Films on GaN
Yu-Yun Lin
Contact measurement of internal fluid flow within poly(n-isopropylacrylamide) gels
Ai-Li Shiau
Development of a Novel Conditionally Replicating Pseudorabies Virus for HER-2/neu-Overexpressing Bladder Cancer Therapy
Article Digest
Mei-Jywan Syu
A portable potentiostat for the bilirubin-specific sensor prepared from molecular imprinting
News Release
News
American Legendary Scientist Britton Chance Received Honorary Degree at HUST
News
NCKU Established Institute of Space, Astrophysical, and Plasma Science
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
Banyan Forum
US Former Vice President Al Gore Congressional Testimony


April 24, 2009 : 11:06 AM

I was extremely happy to join former Senator John Warner today in testifying before the Energy and Environment Subcommittee to demonstrate the bipartisan support for legislation to solve the climate crisis and repower America.

Here is the opening statement I prepared for the committee:

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, distinguished guests; it is my great honor today to testify with my friend and former colleague, John Warner, whose long record of service to the Senate and to our country is remarkable.

Senator Warner has consistently looked with a steady gaze past the politics of the day to thoughtfully and intensely focus on the national interest.

His approach reminds me of another great Republican from another era, the great Senator Arthur Vandenberg, from Michigan, who helped to create the United Nations, NATO, and the Marshall plan. He understood that our nation, when faced with great peril, must rise above partisanship to meet the challenge.

I believe we have arrived at such a moment. Our country is at risk on three fronts. The economic crisis is clear. Our national security remains at risk so long as we remain dangerously dependent on flows of foreign oil from reserves owned by sovereign states that are vulnerable to disruption. The rate of new discoveries, as you know, is falling even as demand elsewhere in the world is rising. Most importantly, of course, we are— along with the rest of humanity—facing the dire and growing threat of the climate crisis.

It is at the very heart of those threats that this Committee and this Congress must direct its focus. I am here today to lend my support to one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced in the Congress. I believe this legislation has the moral significance equivalent to that of the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s and the Marshall Plan of the late 1940’s.

By Repowering America with a transition to a clean energy economy and ending our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels, which is the common thread running through all three of these crises, this bill will simultaneously address the climate crisis, the economic crisis, and the national security threats that stem from our dependence on foreign oil.

We cannot afford to wait any longer for this transition. Each day that we continue with the status quo sees more of our fellow Americans struggling to provide for their families.

Each day we continue on our current path, America loses more of its competitive edge. And each day we wait, we increase the risk that we will leave our children and grandchildren an irreparably damaged planet.
Passage of this legislation will restore America’s leadership of the world and begin, at long last, to solve the climate crisis. It is truly a moral imperative. Moreover, the scientific evidence of how serious this climate crisis is becoming continues to amass week after week after week.
Let me share with you just a few recent examples:

● The Arctic is warming at an unprecedented rate. New research, which draws upon recently declassified data collected by U.S. nuclear submarines traveling under the Arctic ice cap for the last 50 years, has given us, for the first time, a three-dimensional view of the ice cap, and researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School have told us that the entire Arctic ice cap may totally disappear in summer in as little as five years if nothing is done to curb emissions of greenhouse gas pollution. For most of the last 3 million years, it has covered an area the size of the lower 48 states. Almost half of the ice has already melted during the last 20 years. The dark ocean, once uncovered, absorbs 90 percent of the solar heat that used to bounce off the highly reflective ice. As a direct consequence, some of the vast amounts of frozen carbon in the permafrost surrounding the Arctic Ocean are beginning to be released as methane as the frozen tundra thaws, threatening a doubling of global warming pollution in the atmosphere.

● Melting of the Greenland ice sheet has reached a new record, which was a staggering 60 percent above the previous high in 1998. The most recent 11 summers have all experienced melting greater than the average of the past thirty-five year time series (1973-2007). Glacial earthquakes have been increasing as the meltwater tunnels down through the ice to the bedrock below. Were the Greenland ice sheet to melt, crack up and slip into the North Atlantic, sea level would rise almost 20 feet.

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