Sen. Bernie Sanders said today that the latest report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is another jolting wake-up call for nations around the world.
The report by the U.N. panel said the effects of global warming already are occurring on every continent and across the world’s oceans. The scientists warned that the problem was likely to grow much worse unless greenhouse gas emissions are brought under control.
Polar ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, heat waves and flooding are becoming more intense, some animals already have become extinct and coral reefs are dying, according to the latest report from the panel of experts that periodically summarizes climate science. The report also warned that climate change can increase risks of civil war and other violent clashes by amplifying forces like poverty and economic shocks that drive such conflicts.
“The time is late. We can no longer ignore warnings that climate change already is happening and that unless we act in a bold way the worst is yet to come,” said Sanders, a member of the Senate environment and energy committees.
“The debate really is over,” he added. “The scientific community is virtually unanimous in agreeing that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity that it is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world.”
Sanders and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate environment committee, have introduced legislation to tax the carbon and methane emissions that cause global warming. Their bill would apply a fee at coal mines, oil refineries, national gas processing plants and other sites. Imported fuels would be subject to equivalent carbon fees. Some of the revenue would be returned to consumers and some would pay for investments in energy efficiency, sustainable energy, worker training and deficit reduction.