The Decline in U.s. Researchby Former Representative Henry A. Waxman
Posted on 2013-12-11
WAXMAN. I thank you for yielding. Both of you are absolutely
right. It is so shortsighted to have us cut back on funding for the
National Institutes of Health and their research agenda. When you make
a cut in this area one year, it isn't like you can make it up the next
year. Researchers go on to other fields.
It is shortsighted to make these kinds of cuts.
I also wanted to comment on the fact that every day members of the Safe Climate Caucus have come to this House floor and talked about the shortsightedness of the leadership of the House of Representatives in ignoring the science on climate change. And so every day we have had speakers--the gentleman from California has been one of them--to just use a minute to talk about this pressing issue.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that China has released a national blueprint for adapting to climate change. This follows the International Energy Agency's recent prediction that China will install more renewable energy over the next two decades than the U.S. and Europe combined. And China has recently implemented a series of regional cap-and-trade programs which are putting a price on carbon in China.
According to the Chinese Government--and I thank the gentleman for giving me this opportunity--climate change has already cost its people tens of billions of dollars and potentially thousands of lives. These developments in China are important because China is the world's largest emitter of carbon pollution, and we are the second largest. Our two countries need to play a leading role in addressing this global threat.
President Obama is committed to global leadership. His climate action plan calls for working with China and other nations to bend the post- 2020 emissions trajectory. He is bringing in John Podesta, an experienced leader with a deep understanding of climate issues, to help him succeed.
We in the House need to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution. We need to start taking the climate threat seriously and work to find solutions. If China can take action on climate change, so can the U.S. If we don't, we will lose the race to develop the clean energy technologies that will power the future.
Let's not be shortsighted. Let's invest in research--research to protect our health and research to protect our planet.