Senator: 'I Can’t Let Our Country Become An Idiot Country'

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is worried the United States can't move forward without climate reform.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is determined to see the United States act on climate change.

In the last four years, he has delivered 150 speeches — amounting to 50 hours on the Senate floor — about the threat of global warming.

“I can’t let our country become an idiot country,” Whitehouse told Circa in a video interview published Monday.

“I wish that we had made more progress,” he added. “I keep hoping that one of [the speeches] will be like the Chinese water torture drop that finally makes the other side break and say, ‘Alright, I can’t take it any longer,’ but that hasn’t happened quite yet.”

Each of his 20-minute speeches considers a different angle of the climate argument, including the negative effects of climate change on human health and the role special interests play in the climate debate.

“We are sleepwalking through history, and we must wake up,” Whitehouse told senators during one of his first speeches in December 2012.

Since then, the Obama administration has made climate change and the environment a priority, but Congress has done little to address the issue.

With a Republican-majority House and Senate — and with Donald Trump, who has called climate change “bullshit” and a “hoax,” just weeks away from assuming the presidency — Whitehouse is bracing himself for another four years of tireless speeches.

“One hundred and fifty more [speeches] or a good climate bill — whichever comes first,” he said.

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