Tuesday during a speech on the U.S. Senate floor, 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) compared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) so-called Green New Deal to the 1969 moon landing.
Partial transcript as follow:
WARREN: I rise today to talk about climate change which is a great crisis facing our country and planet. Let me start with something that is controversial in our chamber, a statement about science. Here are the facts. Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and we are running out of time to fix our troubles. Three more scientific facts: the ocean and the air are getting hotter, storms are getting stronger, flooding is getting worse. These facts are widely accepted throughout the world, but the president and Senate Republicans refuse to acknowledge these basic truths. Together they routinely dismiss the impacts of climate change and deny clear evidence that we must take action. They refuse even to say the words climate change. That’s not leadership. But here’s the thing about the facts, refusing to believe them doesn’t mean that they will go away.
While a small handful, a tiny minority of my colleagues across the aisle acknowledge that maybe climate change is real, they say actually doing anything about it would just be too expensive. The problem is too big to solve, and we should just give up now, close our eyes and plug our ears again. But ignoring our problems has a much bigger price tag than the commonsense solutions we should already be pursuing. Our coasts are threatened by ever stronger storms that can destroy our homes and devastate our largest cities. Our food supplies and forests are threatened by an endless barraged of droughts and wildfires. Our naval bases are under attack not by enemy fleets but by rising sea levels. To my Republican colleagues, I say that our biggest problems have to be our top priorities. Instead of protecting big fossil fuel companies that continue to guzzle the polluting fuels of the past, we need bold vision and forward-looking leadership. I support a Green New Deal that will aggressively tackle climate change, income inequality, and racial injustice. I thank my colleague and my friend and good partner, Senator Markey, for leading the fight on this issue.
You know, this is not the first time America has faced a so-called impossible challenge. Over half a century ago President Kennedy said, and I quote, ‘No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.’ And he added, quote, ‘We mean to lead it.’ President Kennedy challenged our nation to lead the space race, and less than seven years later, Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon. The impossible had become a reality and America had led the way. It’s time not only to challenge our country to tackle climate change head-on but also to lead the world in doing so. If we do not lead, then others will. China and other countries will win the race to define the green economy of the future, and we will lose those jobs forever. I don’t accept the Republicans’ argument that boldly addressing climate change and having the world’s strongest economy are somehow incompatible. The exact opposite is true. Tackling our climate challenges will provide us with the opportunity to grow our economy and to protect public health. We can propel the United States to become the world leader in green innovation in the 21st century. We can address climate change and strengthen our economy by making major upgrades to our crumbling infrastructure, by building more resiliency along our coasts and rivers, by constructing more renewable energy, and by promoting policies that will spur new innovative research. These investments will protect our planet and will create good jobs with living wages, strong benefits, and safe working conditions. Madam President, it is time for new ideas, not old ideology. It is time for innovative research, not tired rhetoric. It is time for groundbreaking science, not political stunts. It is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on climate solutions because this crisis is upon us and it is time to act.
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