Global Warming House Committee Visits Greenland
While most Americans are enjoying the beach or barbeque at this time of year, Chairman Edward Markey of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Select Committee on an international fact-finding mission on global warming impacts and solutions during Memorial Day weekend.
Image right: Chairman Markey and Speaker Pelosi listen to Dr. Steffan and others describe the rapid movement and thinning of the of the Greenland ice cap brought on by an increase in global warming. Credit: House of Representatives.
The bipartisan delegation arrived in Greenland on May 26 and continued on to Germany, Great Britain and Belgium, meeting with leading scientists and political leaders working on solutions to combat global warming.
Image left: Dr. Steffen, Dr. Jay Zwally, of the Goddard Space Flight Center, and colleagues. Credit: House of Representatives.
“By calling for a limit on temperature rise through cuts in heat-trapping emissions, the EU is recognizing the scientific consensus that the worst effects of global warming are yet to come if we do not act,” said Chairman Markey. “With a small amount of additional warming the world could see more heat waves, more drought, and the Greenland ice sheet would melt at an even more alarming rate, raising sea levels.
Along with Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Markey, the delegation included Select Committee members Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). David Hobson, a Republican from Ohio and ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee was also traveling.
Image right: Chairman Markey and Speaker Pelosi. Behind them is an iceberg that has already turned over, hence the smooth surface. Credit: House of Representatives.
The bipartisan delegation first headed to Greenland and met with Dr. Konrad Steffen, who is the lead scientist at Swiss Camp located on the Jakobshavn Glacier. In Europe, the delegation was scheduled to meet with Chancellor Merkel, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, foreign and environmental ministers, members of parliament and leading environmentalists and scientists.
Image left: This is an iceberg that has not yet eroded and turned over. Hence the more jagged look. Credit: House of Representatives.
Because of the significance of this trip, the air travel will be carbon-offset through the Pacific Forest Trust -- a forest conservation and stewardship project that will permanently reduce approximately 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period. Speaker Pelosi will personally pay for this effort.
Image right: This is the Swiss Camp located on the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland. Credit: House of Representatives.
Chairman Markey had this to say about the meeting: "It's one thing to hear about the problem when we're in Washington, but seeing Greenland up close and seeing the impressive, grueling scientific work these scholars are doing makes you realize the importance of their sacrifice, and the urgency to act to cut heat-trapping emissions all over the world. It may be cold up here now, but Dr. Steffan and his colleagues are supplying information that will really put the heat on those who still think global warming is something we can wish away."
Image left: From left to right: Rep. Edward Markey (Mass.); chairman of the new Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Dr. Jay Zwally, Goddard Space Flight Center; Dr. Konrad Steffen, University of Colorado; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.); Rep. Dave Hobson (Ohio); and Rep. Hilda L. Solis (Calif.). Credit: House of Representatives.
+ Global Warming House Committee website
Eben Burnham-Snyder House of Representatives