New Ads in NH & IA Press GOP Presidential Hopefuls to Answer Pope Francis’ Urgent Moral Call to Address Climate Change
Washington DC – The Republican presidential field has been feeling the heat for their devil-may-care-attitude toward climate change since Pope Francis released his official encyclical calling the looming environmental devastation a ‘moral issue’ that can no longer be ignored by politicians and policy makers -- a very big deal within the Church. Insupport of the Pope’s urgent call to action, pro-environment group Americans United for Change is launching a new ad campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire calling on GOP candidates for President, including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum, to stand with the Pope over the oil billionaire Koch brothers that have spent millions of dollars trying to discredit climate science to protect their bottom line.
They can start by supporting President Obama’s bold climate change action plan that would cut down harmful carbon pollution by 30 percent while adding 360,000 net new jobs to the economy by 2020. See script and backup below for “Pope or Kochs” airing this week on TV and radio in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, IA and Manchester, NH. Paid digital ads on Twitter and Facebook will also encourage voters in these early primary states to view the ads at www.PopeorKochs.com.
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “The Republicans eyeing the White House may all sing from the same climate-skeptic hymnal, but the worsening consequences of climate change are not something that have to be taken on faith. It’s happening right before our eyes, whether it’s rising average temperatures and sea levels, out-of-control forest fires stemming from longer periods of drought, or more frequent and more intense storms and tornadoes. It’s no wonder 70 percent of voters want their representatives to stop fiddling as Rome burns.”
“Unfortunately, the promise of $900 million in campaign support from the Koch brothers has led to a race to the bottom between GOP presidential hopefuls over who believes less in climate science, some even going so far as to publicly dis the Pope,” continued Woodhouse. “Buying influence in Washington and funding quack climate studies is all part of Big Oil’s profit-protection plan to kill any effort to limit the millions of metric tons of carbon pollution they spew into the air every year. It’s why today the GOP’s entire environmental policy can be boiled down to ‘Whatever the Kochs say.’
“The GOP didn’t listen to former U.S Generals and Admirals who warned climate change is a serious and immediate national security threat. They’ve blown off the 97 percent of the scientific community that agree that climate change is real and man-made. They choose to ignore the growing chorus of economists that say the President’s carbon action plan is a good for the economy and jobs. And so far, the moral appeal by the Pope and many of other faith leaders that our political leaders be better stewards of the planet has been met with indifference from those too busy chasing Koch money. What will it take to convince the Grand Oil Party to act: a climateevent straight out of the book of Genesis?”
Adding to the scientific consensus, two recent University of New Hampshire reports found: “Rising seas pose significant risks to New Hampshire coastal communities and ecosystems, cultural resources and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and climate change-driven health impacts threaten to affect Granite State and New England residents who are vulnerable to rising temperatures, more precipitation and severe weather events”.
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