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Ranking Member Johnson Statement on Announcement that 2015 was the Warmest Year on Record

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democrats
Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

(Dallas, TX) – Today, NASA and NOAA announced that, “The globally averaged temperature, over land and ocean surfaces for 2015, was the highest since record keeping began in 1880.”

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said the following.

“Today’s announcements by NOAA and NASA that 2015 was the warmest year on record and that 16 of the hottest years have occurred over the past two decades should come as no surprise to anyone, but they should be a wake-up call that we need to take action. Unfortunately, despite some positive steps, such as the recent Paris Climate Accord, we too often have just hit the ‘snooze button’ instead of undertaking sensible and proactive policy initiatives to address climate change. As the sample of quotes that follow illustrate, we can’t say we haven’t been warned. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to get moving.”

1988 - ''Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming. It is already happening now.'' – Dr. James Hansen, retired NASA climate scientist and climate change activist

1990 – “Because climate change would affect, either directly or indirectly, almost every sector of society, broad global understanding of the issue will facilitate the adoption and the implementation of such response as deemed necessary and appropriate. Further efforts to achieve such global understanding are urgently needed.” – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

1990 – “We all know that human activities are changing the atmosphere in unexpected and in unprecedented ways." – President George H.W. Bush

2005 – “Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.” – former Vice President Al Gore

2009 – “The scientific community is pretty well in agreement that the amount of greenhouses gases are changing things ... that it is, in fact, dangerous.” –Vern Ehlers (R-MI), retired Congressman and former Member of the House Science Committee

2010 – “I call on my fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party's line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities.” – Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), retired Congressman and former Chair of the Science Committee

2011 - “Congress should acknowledge that we are not the experts, and that allowing partisan politics to dictate the scientific understanding of climate change is cynical, short-sighted, and, by definition, ignorant.” – Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson

2012 – “I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.” – President Barack Obama

2014 – “Carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen to levels not seen for at least 800,000 years, and observational records dating back to the mid-19th century show a clear, long-term warming trend… Even if greenhouse gas emissions were to suddenly stop, it would take thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to its levels before the industrial era. If emissions continue unabated, future climate changes will substantially exceed those that have occurred so far.” - U.S. National Academy of Sciences, U.K. Royal Society

2015 – “Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to our future generation.” – Pope Francis

2016 – “Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth. Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice - now is the time to act on climate.” - NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

 

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