Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Press Conference

Hey all-- We had a great press conference today.. Here is the statement I made on behalf of all three of us.  Thanks Steve Schwarze for helping me develop my public speaking skills this semester, I think they helped me at this press conference. Also, keep an eye out tomorrow for an article or two from this press conference!

There has been a lot of momentum over the last week to get some sort of deal made, but there is still uncertainty regarding the outcome of the conference and that is largely due to the United States position. We need a strong national climate bill in the United States to help propel the world, America and Montana forward. A national bill would help set Montana on the path of economic recovery, create good clean jobs and regain control of our energy future.

Something we have learned at this conference is that America is an important piece to an international treaty. Many countries are counting on us to make a strong statement here, but we cannot create strong leadership without a strong senate bill. The clean energy economy is launching all over the world, and Montana and the United States are falling behind. We have observed some beautiful actions calling for American leadership here in Copenhagen. It is imperative that the US Congress sets the bar high, so that people around the world can see our commitment to a clean energy economy and environment. America would become a leader again in people's eyes all around the world.

We are seeing the effects of climate change all over Montana, including Glacier National Park needing to be renamed because of the receding glaciers, drought is happening all over the state due to the reduced snowpack and stream flow, there have been longer and more intense fire seasons, and we are seeing some of Montana's most iconic animals such as the Pika and mountain goats disappear. These effects are happening NOW! Senator Jon Tester and Senator Max Baucus need to step up and become climate champions and strengthen the senate climate bill, if they don't they are slamming the door on Montana's future. As students we will be living with the consequences of the decisions being made now and we hope that our political law-makers will preserve the state for us and our children. Montana is an amazing state, and we need to do everything we can to protect it. With a strong American climate bill, we could create jobs, we could create reliable energy, and we could create a better Montana for future generations. The world is crying out here in Copenhagen for the United States to become a leader, and I believe we can.

We as Montanas must demand that Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jon Tester do more to help save our state because if we don't create a strong climate bill in the early spring we will see Montana change so much we may not recognize it in 2020. If we don't come up with a strong climate bill we will see the impacts on our food security, safety, health and wealth. But we can do better, as Americans we are innovative and if the willpower is there we can create an amazing shift. One thing I have learned from this conference is we cannot be immobilized by fear, we must create action and help Montana create a clean energy economy and create much needed jobs. Each person can make a difference that is another thing I have learned in Copenhagen, we can demand a change from our president, our senators, our representatives, our governor and ourselves. We can create a clean energy future, which would create jobs, new business, and save Montana for our future generations.

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