Tenney must take the side of cli­mate sci­ence

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Opinion -

Rep. Claudia Tenney has once again used so­cial me­dia to es­sen­tially blame the DEC for flood­ing.

She re­cently stated fu­ture flood dam­age could be pre­vented with­out the DEC’s “oner­ous rules” con­cern­ing streams and wa­ter­ways. Ms. Tenney failed to at­tribute blame to the sin­gle largest cause of flood­ing—cli­mate change.

Global tem­per­a­tures are ris­ing; 16 of the hottest years ever recorded have oc­curred since 2001. Warmer tem­per­a­tures mean warmer oceans and ris­ing sea lev­els. This leads to in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful storms that carry more wa­ter in­land in the form of storm surge and tor­ren­tial rains. Sci­en­tists are now con­sid­er­ing cre­at­ing a newCat­e­gory 6 hur­ri­cane clas­si­fi­ca­tion to ac­com­mo­date these mon­ster storms.

While her NewYork con­stituents don’t have to worry about storm surge, we have al­ready wit­nessed record rain­falls and cat­a­strophic flood­ing. Hu­man ac­tiv­ity, such as burn­ing fos­sil fu­els, (in­clud­ing meth­ane, car­bon diox­ide, and ni­trous ox­ide for en­ergy pro­duc­tion and use, trans­porta­tion, in­dus­try, and agri­cul­ture) have re­sulted in un­prece­dented lev­els of green­house gas emis­sions. The sci­en­tific con­sen­sus is that hu­man ac­tiv­ity is the dom­i­nant cause of Earth’s ris­ing tem­per­a­ture. With­out im­me­di­ate ac­tion ir­re­versible dam­age is likely.

As a nurse, I am very con­cerned with the sig­nif­i­cant threat cli­mate change poses to pub­lic and en­vi­ron­men­tal health. In ad­di­tion to drought, famine, and flood­ing, we face in­creased risk from trop­i­cal dis­eases and a mas­sive in­flux of cli­mate change refugees.

As a mem­ber of the Cli­mate So­lu­tions Cau­cus, Ms. Tenney must ac­tively en­gage to dras­ti­cally re­duce global emis­sions. If she is truly con­cerned with pre­serv­ing the health and prop­erty of New York­ers, it is im­per­a­tive that she stop vot­ing to dereg­u­late. Her votes of­ten side with the very in­dus­tries that are cre­at­ing the sin­gle great­est threat mankind has ever faced. She can­not ap­plaud the US with­drawal from the Paris Cli­mate Ac­cord, while the rest of the world moves ag­gres­sively to­ward fos­sil fuel in­de­pen­dence. She must stop lay­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity with the DEC.

I en­cour­age all vot­ers to se­lect can­di­dates who be­lieve in sci­ence and fight for re­new­able en­ergy so­lu­tions, not those who value cor­po­rate prof­its over our very sur­vival.

Re­nee L. Havener, Ge­orge­town

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