America got a much-deserved earful when over two dozen Democratic senators pulled an all-nighter in Congress to shine a light on catastrophic climate change. About solar, specifically, when it came to no-brainer solutions.
“We are on the cusp of a climate crisis … a point of no return,” warned Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), explaining that America needs to launch major investments in research and technology for renewables like wind and solar. “It is up to us,” she added. “Powerful interests have a stranglehold on our economy…. We are up against an army of lobbyists.”
Those lobbyists come courtesy of last century’s oil dinosaurs, who are losing ground, however slowly, to wind and solar for the hearts and minds of the body politic. The Democrats’ all-nighter on climate change acknowledged it could not push specific legislation, but its participants sounded ready to stop playing nice with their obstinate colleagues.
“It’s time to stop acting like those who ignore this crisis, the oil-baron Koch brothers and their allies in Congress, have a valid point of view,” said Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
The profit motive is indeed all that is truly stalling evolved energy legislation in the United States, which lags way behind other global influentials like Germany in its solar infrastructure. Not even the Koch Brothers can ignore solar’s supernova success on Main Street and Wall Street in the last two years. Renewable energy is a nascent economic powerhouse, and America either gets on board or passed by.
“If we cede these industries to China, then they’ll be making the products of the future,” argued Martin Heinrich (D-NM), according to a tweet from Sierra Club president Michael Brune.
According to Planetsave, Brian Schatz (D-HI) also spoke of the Kochs’ stranglehold on energy policy and profit during the all-nighter. But he also noted that Brune’s Sierra Club eventually teamed up with the Republicans’ Tea Party fringe to shut down conservative plans to tax solar installations in Hawaii. Both sides of the United States’ polarized, gridlocked Congress have admitted, at least to themselves, that solar and wind are the future.
“FACT: Every 4 minutes, another American home or business goes solar,” the Obama administration tweeted during the global warming teach-in. “We have a tale of two tax policies,” Ed Markey (D-Mass.) also tweeted.
But not for long, if the all-nighter is any indication that the Democrats, who need to be united on the climate change front if any meaningful policy change is going to come soon, are finally ready to bring some fight to back up their powerful words. As the party’s reigning progressive, Bernie Sanders had some fighting words of his own during the Senate climate change talkathon.
“Climate change is already causing severe damage in terms of drought, floods, forest fires, rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances,” he said. “Given that reality, I find it extremely disturbing that virtually all of my Republican colleagues continue to ignore the scientific evidence and refuse to support legislation which will address this planetary crisis.”
This article appeared at Solar Energy