As climate change debate heats up on Capitol Hill, states are also taking a closer look at what should be done—if anything. One reason, says Bob Perry of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, is the states will be affected –and funded.
“Federal legislation is on the table right now, and there’s a great deal of debate in Washington about what that will turn out to look like. And it’s anticipated that there will be federal funding associated with that. It may be allocated to academics, state agencies and many others to help deal with climate change,” Perry said.
As the Director of Office of Environmental Programs at DNR, Perry is in charge of coordinating the state’s report on climate change. He says he understands that on the state and national level, there are opposing views this issue.
“I heard, just recently, something that is attributed to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In some debate, at some point, he indicated that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts. I thought that to be particularly profound when applied to climate change issues,” he said.
DNR’s Perry says that environmental science shows that the facts are clear:
“That climate change is real, that it is man induced, that levels of CO2 – atmospheric greenhouse gasses – are rising at very rapid levels, and that we must do something about it. We must at least begin to debate what to do about it, and I think that’s where we are now,” he said.
The state climate change report will be out this December, says Perry.