April 03, 2013

Concerned Utahns Boldly Interrupt Rep. Chris Stewart’s Town Hall In Response To His Climate Denial Comments

Salt Lake City, UT – Forecast the Facts members, including local high school students, crashed Rep. Chris Stewart's Salt Lake City town hall last night to deliver a 17,000-strong petition demanding the Chairman of the Science Committee's Subcommittee on Environment stop using his seat to promote climate denialism. They held up signs reading “Believe It Or Not Climate Change Is Not Going Away,” “97% of Say Climate Change is Human Caused. We Trust Them,” and “Stewart Denies While Utah Burns."

Click here to see photos of the delivery and protest.

"Many people think climate change is a future problem for my generation to solve later, but it’s not. The data shows that it is here, it's happening and it has a cost," said Sara Ma, a 17-year-old senior at West High School, who stood in protest at the town hall. "97 percent of the scientists say that climate change is human caused, I trust them. By questioning that consensus, Congressman Stewart is allowing wildfires to threaten our state."

Ma joined last night's protest in response to Stewart’s public denial of climate change despite his new position overseeing all matters on environmental research. On March 19th, 2013, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported that he said: “I’m not as convinced as a lot of people that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is.”

When pressed by the reporter, he added, “Before we make any long-lasting policy decisions that could negatively affect our economy, we need to be certain that the science behind our decisions is sound.”

His remarks caused widespread outrage among his constituents who recently suffered through one of the worst wildfire seasons in Utah’s history, with damage totaling more than $50 million -- $14 million of which Utah taxpayers were responsible for. While a handful of Utahns were present to speak out against Congressman Stewart’s words, over 17,000 people signed a petition stating:

"As chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, it is your duty to understand climate science and develop policies to secure our country against the urgent threat of climate change."

The petition was created by Forecast the Facts, an organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change. It was also endorsed by the Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance, who believe that “we should engage in political action on behalf of nature and our environment when necessary, relying on the best science of the day as our guide.”

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Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold accountable those who mislead the public.

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