SEATTLE - Women are weighing in on the issue of climate change. Members of the League of Women Voters (LWV)
visited Congress last week to speak on behalf of other women - those in
poor nations where changing climate and weather patterns are affecting
farms and families. They made a case for looking beyond U.S. borders
and offering to help Third World countries adapt to the changes.
Linnea Hirst, LWV president for Washington state, was part of the group. She wants her nation to set a good example.
"You can argue that China's making more pollution these days, and so is
India. But we cannot say, 'We won't do it unless they do it.' We need
to be the leader. We've been the world leader in so many ways, and we
need to be the moral leader here."
In a packed meeting room, they also listened to part of the Senate
committee hearings on climate change legislation. A number of industry
leaders testified they will not be able to afford the technology to
clean up plants and factories. Hirst says they can't afford not to.
"This is a global economy. If we do not get our industries clean, other
countries will do it for us. We will lose out technologically and,
therefore, we will lose out economically - and we will lose jobs."
The group met with several senators and their staffs, including Maria
Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington. Hirst says they discussed
climate change as a source of increasing tension and instability in the
world that can threaten national security. They also shared economic
and moral reasons for creating a strong climate policy.
The tour was part of "Sisters on the Planet," a program sponsored by Oxfam America.