50 climate speeches in 50 weeks: Sheldon Whitehouse reaches Senate milestone

The Rhode Island Democrat has given a speech on climate change for every week that the Senate's in session

By Lindsay Abrams

Published November 14, 2013 7:24PM (EST)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. (Associated Press)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. (Associated Press)

It sounds like another blog gimmick (though it certainly isn't getting as much attention as one), but Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is a serious about climate change as, well, climate change. Yesterday, Whitehouse took the Senate floor to deliver his fiftieth speech on the top in as many weeks -- one for every week the Senate has been in session.

"Once a week, every week, 50 weeks...why? Why do I do this?" Whitehouse asked, before going on to answer his own question in a 20-minute call to action. The gist: Climate change is happening, and it's not going to stop unless we do something. He ended:

It is time to wake up. It is time to turn back from the misleading propaganda of the polluters, the misguided extremism of the Tea Party and the mistaken belief that we can ignore without consequence the harm that our carbon pollution is causing. It is time to face facts, be adults and meet our responsibilities.

Mr. President, I give these speeches because climate change is real, because the campaign of denial is as poisonous to our democracy as carbon pollution is to our atmosphere and oceans, and because I am confident. I am confident that we can do this. We can strengthen our economy, we can redirect our future, we can protect our democracy and we can do our duty to the generations that will follow us, and that will look back in shame unless we change our program. But we have to pay attention, Mr. President. We have to wake up.

"There's literally no way to exhaust this topic," Whitehouse told the Huffington Post. Watch his fiftieth -- and likely not the last -- attempt to rouse the Senate:

h/t Think Progress

Lindsay Abrams

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Climate Change Sheldon Whitehouse U.s. Senate Video