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Press Release

Scientists Applaud Climate Change Call to Action; Express Concern with Sequestration's Threat to R&D

PR Newswire

American Geophysical Union Reacts to President Obama's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement is attributable to American Geophysical Union (AGU) executive director/CEO Christine McEntee:

"President Obama's continued commitment to addressing climate change and its impacts on our lives and livelihoods is an important step in the right direction for the country. He called on Congress to take action. I say that call to action should extend to the business community and other key stakeholder groups. Now is the time to focus on building universal bipartisan collaboration and support. Climate change is having an impact on businesses and families in every state in the country. Addressing it does not have to come at the expense of economic prosperity. Taking action can protect public safety and national security and improve our children's future, while simultaneously fostering innovation and opening new avenues of opportunity for business growth and development."

"If we want our policy decisions to be informed by the best science possible, we must continue to invest in climate research. Despite the President's strong focus on the need for action on climate change, we remain concerned about the nation's overall commitment to research and development. As he looked to the future, President Obama said that we should focus on innovation and invest in R&D at levels not seen since the height of the space race. His proposal is encouraging. R&D funding is currently at its lowest levels in decades, and proposed sequester cuts to discretionary R&D could jeopardize a number of key programs, including those focused on hazards, natural resources, energy, and climate change. This could include things like flood mapping, drought monitoring, and weather forecasting and tracking . . .  initiatives that we rely on to protect and manage public safety, support efficient and effective business operations, and even deploy military resources."

"Much of the prosperity we have seen since the space race has been a result of a commitment to science and technology. While a proposal for building the U.S.'s capacity for innovation could be game changing, sequester cuts could set the effort back before we have even begun."

The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 62,000 members representing over 144 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. www.agu.org

SOURCE American Geophysical Union

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