WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Senators are looking at the role climate change plays in extreme weather, and what lawmakers should do to address it.
As wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves devastate communities across the globe, scientists say climate change is to blame.
Climate scientist Michael Wehner told senators at a hearing on Wednesday that the link between global warming and worsening extreme weather is obvious.
“Dangerous climate change is already happening. how much more dangerous we let it become is up to us,” Wehner said.
Tom Carper, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, says America needs to do more.
“Given that that we helped create this problem we have maybe an oversized obligation into addressing it,” Carper said.
Republican ranking member Shelley Moore Capito says there’s room for bipartisan work on reducing carbon emissions and building more weather-resilient infrastructure. But she also argues that the government should avoid overregulation and picking winners and losers in the energy industry.
“Successful climate technologies of the future may not even exist today. So we need to make sure we provide the adequate conditions for the necessary innovation to take place,” Capito said.
Many advocates say it’s imperative things move quickly because extreme weather is rapidly intensifying.
“We’re the first generation to suffer from climate change but the last generation which can do anything about it. So that’s our challenge,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said.
Climate resilience official Jennifer Jurado testified that leaders should take advantage of the change to find innovative ways to address this problem.
“Look at the economic opportunity that comes with new technology, new investments, community betterment. Areas where we needed to make investments anyway,” Jurado said.