Rep. John Lewis on Earth Day 2016
"On this Earth Day, we must face the most pressing environmental issue of our time--climate change. All across the world, there is a movement to help combat its effects. In big cities and small villages, people are taking action to make a positive impact within their community. We must be the change we wish to see in the world--whether it is biking regularly, using public transportation to commute, joining a community garden, or even using reusable water bottles to reduce plastic waste, we all have the power to make a difference, if we work together.
"It is my belief that every living being has the right to clean air, water and soil, as well as a right to live in a healthy and nurturing natural environment. It is a fundamental right that is inextricably linked to equality and freedom, the values this nation was founded upon. Throughout my career in Congress, I have supported the strongest environmental measures. I support strengthening the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and giving the Environmental Protection Agency the resources it has long been denied.
"We must teach our children through our own actions that each of us has a responsibility to leave this Earth a little cleaner and greener than we found it. The climate change emergency has made it plain that we are all connected. A plastic bottle thrown in a river in the United States can show up on the shores of an island in the South Pacific. Or pesticides and chemicals dumped in rivers here can affect the longevity of wildlife who migrate to the Antartica. The Earth is teaching us that we are one people, one human family. We all share this little piece of real estate we call Earth. It is not ours to hoard and waste. We must all do what we can to preserve our planet for future generations."