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Thread for today's live-tweet of the House Foreign Affairs and House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis begins here.
Hearing gets underway in a little under an hour.
.@GretaThunberg has a concise opening statement and one she has made countless times before: Listen to the science.
Jamie Margolin, co-founder of This Is Zero Hour and plaintiff in Piper v. State of Washington, will also testify today. The lawsuit alleges officials have acted with “shocking deliberate indifference and abdication of duty." From Jamie's testimony:
Margolin: "The fact that you are staring at a panel of young people testifying before you today pleading for a livable earth should not fill you with pride, it should fill you with shame..."
Vic Barrett, fellow for the Alliance for Climate Education and plaintiff in Juliana v. US, opens by shining a spotlight on the disproportionate impact climate has on people of color, the young, the poor, LGBTQ+.
Barret notes a struggle often shared among those who follow climate closely: the anxiety, depression and stress can be crushing psychologically. But it isnt just a mental game. It is, of course, physical too:
We will also hear from Benji Backer today, president of the American Conservation Coalition. Backer, as he states, is a "lifelong conservative activist" who wants to bridge the gap between divisive political ideologies in order to solve a global problem.
Backer addresses his fellow conservatives, liberals and the private sector:
Backer also addresses the whole of Congress, @realDonaldTrump, stakeholders around the world and of course, the group which launched this movement, the youth:
And anchoring all of this, the science: the IPCC report, available in full here:
@CourthouseNews CSPAN is airing today's program but you can also catch the stream here:
It's just a bit after 10, hopefully we will be underway shortly. Stay tuned.
@CourthouseNews And if you'd like to read everyone's testimony in full (save for Thunberg's because as it appears above is the whole shebang) links provided here:
Margolin: documentcloud.org/documents/6419…
Stark graphics depicting the impact of sea level rise on southern Florida + global projection.
We begin now.
Rep Keating: The panel today represents the next generation of leaders but let us be clear, we are also speaking to the present.
Climate change impacts us daily: fires, flood, increased migration, threats to food, water safety - all of that is happening right now.
State and local govt's are under tremendous pressure to address sea level rise happening now, public health issues happening now.
Yet, there is still a struggle to overcome the "political and bureaucratic obstacles."
Keating: We need leadership. We need to be honest. So far, our generation has failed to adequately address our climate crisis. This failure isn't fatal but our failure to change will be.
"Waiting for other countries to do the right thing is a bad bet," Keating says, a remark that anticipates the core argument routinely proposed by most Republicans in Congress when discussing climate.
Ranking Republican Rep. Kinzinger - "Climate change is real but the best way to combat it is not only to address our emissions but those of the rest of the world."
Kinzinger says his district in Illinois is home to 8 nuclear reactors, 100s of wind turbines, solar panels and geothermal sources. The lawmaker advocated for a diverse energy portfolio but also zeroed in on blaming China.
Fair enough. China is the chief GG emitter in the world. But as it happens, the U.S. is also the world's leader in output of oil and gas.
Mr. Kinzinger did not mention this, but to his credit, he acknowledges the science is real and solutions must come to the fore.
I have not come to offer prepared remarks, Greta says, Only attaching the IPCC report to her remarks. "I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don't want you to listen to me, but listen to the scientists, unite behind the science and take real action."
Margolin: It doesn't matter how talented we are or how much work we put in our how many dreams we have, the reality is, my generation has been committed to a planet that is collapsing.
Margolin: We are exhausted, we have tried everything. Built organizations, marched, sued state governments for contributing to climate crisis and denying constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.
"I can't wait until I am sitting in your seats to change the climate crisis. You have to use those seats now because by the time I get there it will be too late." - Jamie Margolin
Vic Barrett: I was born into a world in which my future and my past are uncertain. Born into a world where
my culture and inheritance are literally slipping into the sea. Born into a world where my people
are going extinct.
Barrett: Growing up in this world, a world with an omnipresent threat of climate change has had lasting impacts on my mental health. Thinking about the future is a constant source of anxiety and depression for me, but I am not alone.
Benji Backer is up: notes we are at a crossroads in history. Says his generation doesn't care about the politics of climate change - they want sound policies.
Like his conservative counterparts, Backer too acknowledges that China plays a huge role in emissions and they must be wrangled in. But the next simple statement is one Republican lawmakers frequently omit.
"But we still contribute the second most greenhouse gas emissions."

I know it may not seem that earth shattering but this simple truth rarely sees the light of day in these rooms.
Greta explains why it is so crucial to listen to the science: I don't see a reason to not listen to the science.
It shouldn't be taken for granted. It is the best available. This is not political opinion or my opinions, this is the science.
The anxiety and fear around the climate crisis palpable.
Margolin explains that betrayal:
"It's a weird form of nihilism. What is the point? What are we
studying for? What we are doing? No child should ever have to fear this."
"You ask, what is the purpose of a parent, down to the biology, it is to care for their children. But right now, it seems some members of govt and corporations are pointing a gun at children's futures and actively going out of their way to poison us and destroy our future."
She continues: "It feels like a betrayal. It is a knife to the heart. Politicians will appear in campaign ads, holding babies - while they actively choose their wallets over their children."
Rep Graves to Greta. He offers an analogy to launch his point: For everyone one piece of trash you pick up while sailing, there is a boat dumping five pieces of trash, how would that make you feel?
Greta: If you use that logic, then I'm also dumping trash in the ocean. I would stop dumping my trash in the ocean and tell the other boat to stop as well.
Graves: "That's what we need to be doing, is telling other countries to stop dumping trash in the ocean," he says before launching into China's responsibility for emissions.
Asks Becker, does it make sense to utilize fuels from a nation that has cleanest energy (the U.S.) or other nations that don't have comparable track records?
This is the latest version of the same argument: other countries emit, US does it best, let America use fossil fuels
Barrett notes: If we are the country we say we are, we need to lead by example.
Margolin: When your children ask you, did you do everything you could? Can you really look them in the eye and say, no, sorry, because that country over there didn't do anything. If there not going to do it, then I'm not. That's shameful and cowardly.
Silence from lawmakers, no answer to that.
Instead, Greta speaks after a moment and says in Sweden it is the same argument - "look what they do in the U.S., why should we do anything. "
"I think you should know, the same argument is being used against you as well," Greta says.
Logic? Here?
Margolin calls on Congress to seek out voices of indigenous protectors who are working to preserve the rainforest and shine a light on collusion between Brazilian gov't and agriculture industry.
Right now Rep Tim Burchett, R-TN, is rattling off falsehoods about the Green New Deal, including that it bans airplanes. It does not. He also said he "pitched" @AOC on capitalism but "wasn't sure" if it took or not. Encourages panelists to explore capitalism.
"Get on your little computers, you can use them better than me" he says, before adding "I applaud your enthusiasm and I am proud you are this concerned."
Rep Lujan, D-NM, addresses this comment re: @AOC. Says she can stand up for herself, but he wants to remind Burchett, the GND says nothing about banning airplanes. It says "we can do better" and proposes solutions.
@AOC What can we do to get more young people and adults involved, Lujan asks.
Greta: To just tell the truth. Tell them how it is. When I found out how it actually was, that made me furious. I wanted to do something about it. That is the experience many others have.
Greta: As it is now, people in general don't seem to be very aware of the actual science and how severe this crisis actually is. We need to inform them. We need to treat this crisis like the existential emergency it is.
Greta continued: "Then more people may understand and want to do something about it."
Lujan pauses, remarks, "wow." That's it, he says, just tell the truth. Just tell the truth.
Rep Gregory Meeks: Climate change has battered our coasts, set our forests ablaze. In New York, Superstorm Sandy destroyed property and uprooted the lives of thousands of NYers. If left unabated, climate change will displace world populations. Islands will be gone.
It will continue to wreak havoc in billions of dollars, he says.

As a matter of fact, Rep. Meeks, according to several projections, the damage will be in the trillions. Congress heard about this exactly one week ago.
Meeks empathizes with the anxiety that is impacting youth due to the climate crisis. He encourages all of them: they are part of a change that will "make us all better." "We fight back and forth but we will come through it. Don't give up on America."
"What America is all about is if we stand up and fight - if we stand up for what we believe in - we will change things."

And with that, the hearing is adjourned.
Story coming up for @CourthouseNews
@CourthouseNews They feel outrage. They feel anger. They wrestle with hopelessness and feel abandoned. But the youth activists who testified before Congress Wednesday, do not feel so defeated in their fight to combat the climate crisis that they have given up. They are only just beginning.
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