I became interested in green living before I had my first child, but since the birth of my daughter; I realized the even great impact for the need to protect our environment and our planet. As parents, we are given the enormous responsibility in rearing of our child to raise a compassionate, fulfilled individual, but what’s more important is our role as the guardian of this planet we are entrusted with. Although we as a society might put that care aside or even completely abandon it; I truly believe that we DO and CAN make a difference. Fortunately, I am not the only one who feels this way. A mother and a geneticist, Maggie Zhou headed to Washington, DC to attend Monday’s U.S. Senate hearing on climate change policy. Zhou is paying for the trip with her own money because “I felt I had to be in the same room with the people who are going to make a decision that will determine the kind of world my daughter will live in.”
Zhou is a mother of five year old daughter, but not only is she a mother; she is a scientist as well. Trained as a geneticist, Zhou began digging dipper into the Climate issue by researching scientific reports and discussing her findings with colleagues who specialized in Climate Change. With further exploration, she was convinced that much more had to be done to protect the Earth’s climate. In a press release by Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, Zhou used the scientific understanding she acquired to open a dialogue with national environmental groups and some of the leaders of the climate protection movement.
“The science shows that we may have a critical window of only a few years to take action before planetary processes take the matter out of humanity’s control and bring on catastrophic warming. Congress needs to get this right now if children like my own are to have a future.”
According to Zhou, the recently passed energy bill in Washington, The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) is an insufficient solution to the quickly escalating energy crisis that we as a nation will soon face. “This bill does as much harm as good, and in many ways it ties our hands by doing so many favors for the fossil fuel lobby.”
It is with this belief that Zhou boards an overnight bus to Washington in hopes to change our world as well as her daughter’s world for a better future.
“I want to ask Congress to sponsor a nationally televised, thorough debate on climate policy by the most respected scientific and policy analysts, so everyone can understand what science tells us and what politics must deliver. This is important because the lives of our children are at stake. We can’t let this critical legislation be shaped by behind-the-scenes lobbying. The debate needs to be widely viewed and heard, accessible online and on cable, and leave viewers with a clear understanding of the pros and cons of different approaches to climate protection. Once we get past the false claims and misunderstandings, the political reality will change.”
Zhou along with prominent climatologists conclude that revenue neutral carbon tax – coupled with equal dividends for all, or income/payroll bonuses – is far superior to the complicated and fraud-prone cap-and-trade scheme which Congress is pursuing. Zhou states, “Putting a price on carbon seems like an abstract policy issue. But I think it may be the best hope for our children’s future.” Although it falls short of what she believes is fairest and most effective solution, it is a much better solution than the one congress is enacting upon now.
“In going to Washington I hope to meet some of the people with whom I’ve only talked to by email up to now. I want to tell them that Congress can’t treat this as just another piece of legislation to be shaped by the usual lobbying.”
Image Source: harrykeely
[This post was written by Susie Kim.]