For Immediate Release

May 19, 2006

Contact: Chad Kister (740) 707-4110 or or

House Leadership Nixes Resolution to Tackle Climate Change

            While the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate passed a resolution requesting that the United States take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Republican House leadership stopped the resolution before allowing it to come to a vote on the house floor.  The United States , with four percent of the world’s population, causes 25 percent of global warming causing pollution.

             Coming days after news that April was the warmest on record and 4.5 degrees above average for the lower 48 states, it is a slap in the face of the most important issue of our day.  We desperately need federal action that should have begun years ago.  Global warming was first predicted in 1908, and was well established in science by the 70s.

             On May 10, 2006, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Sense of Congress Act that found:

“(1) greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere are causing average temperatures to rise at a rate outside the range of natural variability and are posing a substantial risk of rising sea-levels, altered patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and increased frequency and severity of floods and droughts;

(2) there is a growing scientific consensus that human activity is a substantial cause of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere; and

(3) mandatory steps will be required to slow or stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

“It is the sense of the Congress that there should be enacted a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that:

(1) will not significantly harm the United States economy; and

(2) will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.”

           “Climate change is by far the most important issue of our day,” said Arctic Melting Author Chad Kister.  “Never in the history of humanity have we seen carbon dioxide levels above 290 parts per million until the burning of fossil fuels accelerated in the early 1900s.  We are now at 383 parts per million, and increasing at the rate of two parts per million per year.  Scientists warn that we absolutely should not go above 400 parts per million, which could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect as is seen on Venus, our neighboring planet whose greenhouse effect causes an increase of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  It is so hot a person would die nearly instantaneously on that planet.  We are less than a decade from reaching 400 parts per million.”

            “What is great about tackling climate change, is it solves so many other problems, and creates such a stronger, better economy and such a nicer, cleaner world,” Kister continued.  “Switching to solar and wind and efficiency would keep all of the tens of billions of dollars now going overseas for foreign oil here in America to create clean, sustainable jobs.  Switching to solar and wind solves the very serious crisis of mountain top removal, oil spills, massive industrial oil development, urban smog, mercury pollution, particulate pollution, acid rain, acid mine drainage, and more.”

            Above all, we must begin to make the rapid shift to conservation and renewable energy sources if we are to leave a planet with even a semblance of the great diversity of life that we have today.  A recent Time Magazine/ABC News/Stanford University poll found that 68% of Americans think the government should do more to address global warming.

            “Republicans are out of tune with the demands of the American people,” Kister said.  “We need a massive out-pouring of citizen activism to demand federal action to tackle climate change, and a massive vote for environmental Democrats in November if we are to leave a living planet to the next generation.”

            Another fact that the media needs to pick up on is that reported tornadoes have increased seven fold in the last 55 years.  “Six out of seven tornadoes today can be considered caused by climate change,” Kister said.  “We need to all make commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while demanding action from our local, state and federal representatives.”

            “House leadership is afraid to address the most important issue of our day, so we must rise up and demand that they do,” Kister said.

            Increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 39 miles per gallon would save tens of times more oil than could ever come from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and would save every American an enormous amount of money at the pump as their vehicles would go so much farther on every gallon of gas.

            Congress can be contacted at 202-224-3121 or  Just ask for your Representative or Senators.

            Chad Kister is Author of Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness and Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World’s Largest Wilderness Areas published by Common Courage Press from Maine .  He is also the Producer of the film Caribou People.  Kister is the Coordinator of the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign and vice-Chair of Arctic Voices, an international non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to protect the Gwich’in and Inupiat peoples: some of the last indigenous peoples still living off an intact ecosystem.  Kister lives in Athens , Ohio and spends much of his time traveling all throughout the United States and Canada by super-fuel-efficient train.