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Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, I want to thank my friend from Rhode Island for a very eloquent speech--elegant speech too--eloquent and elegant--in portraying what is so frustrating. And that is science knows what is happening. The scientists know what is happening. We have good data points about what is happening to our climate, our atmosphere, our oceans, and yet it seems we cannot do anything about it.
I say to my friend from Rhode Island, I think I was reading recently in a Scientific American magazine, which I love to read every month, that in terms of this whole global climate change, what is happening is that by the time we recognize it is happening--that is broadly, not just the scientists and others who do know what is happening--by the time it is broadly accepted, it will be too late, that we will have reached that tipping point. But the evidence is there for all to see. It is a shame that we cannot do something about it.
The Senator mentioned the fish catch in Rhode Island. I think also in the recent issue of Scientific American was a story about the fisheries and oceans at large, and there were three pictures. One was a picture taken on a pier in Key West in the 1950s showing the size of the fish that were caught. Big. I think the average weight was like 30-some pounds. Then there was a picture taken in the 1970s--late 1970s, early 1980s--now it is down to maybe 15 pounds. Same pictures, same pier, same dock and everything, and now the catch is down to teeny little fish. Same place, same ocean, same waters.
The article went on to point out how, if you look at the first picture, people are very happy. They are happy with this big fish. Then the second page, people are happy with what they caught. And now you have got this little teeny fish and people are still happy, because we kind of tend to accept what it is right now and be happy with what we have got without realizing what we have lost in the past.
Again, I thank the Senator for his speech. We need to do more of that around here. We need to focus on this. We seem to be drifting. You are right, our grandkids are going to wonder why we did not do something.
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