‘Top Line’ — NFL’s Dhani Jones on Climate Change: ‘Important for Me to Act’

By Matt Loffman

Apr 23, 2010 2:26pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With environmental activists converging on Washington for a rally this Sunday, just days after the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, we chatted on ABC’s “Top Line” today with two organizers: Nate Byer, campaign director for Earth Day 2010, and pro football player Dhani Jones, who is among the celebrities who’ll appear at this weekend’s rally. Jones, a linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, said he got involved in environmental causes as an outgrowth of his work on the Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe.” “You see the essence of what’s going on in the climate these days. You see what’s going on in terms of the mass destruction,” Jones told us. “It’s important to understand on Earth Day that we’re all linked together. I mean, the heartbeat that comes from us is the same heartbeat that comes from the magma of the earth’s core, and as we link together we understand that there are difficulties. There are challenges that are going on these days… And in witnessing that I realized that it’s important for me to act. It’s important for me to act and important for me to do something about it.” Though environmental issues have slipped somewhat on the Washington agenda, Byer said he’s optimistic that can change. “On the Hill we bring it back by showing that this is an issue that people care about. Because this is a climate and clean energy bill — it’s important to link those — not just an energy bill but a climate and clean energy bill,” Byer said. “It is a jobs bill, it is a national security bill and it is a bill for our future, for our children and our children’s children. And we need to show that people care about this in the states, and they care about it in the mid-Atlantic and they care about it in DC. And we’re not going to do anything unless that political pressure at home is applied.” Jones said the American public is catching up to the international community, in demanding action on climate change. “I think the American public is becoming educated as they go along, in order to become aligned with the people in the international community. And conversations will ensue and collaborations will occur,” he said. (Jones also said he’s feeling good about the Bengals’ draft so far: “Feeling great about the draft. We picked up a good tight end — I mean Reggie Kelly’s going to educate him, he’s going to move forward and do a great job.”) We also checked in with USA Today’s Kathy Kiely, on the latest in the financial reform push, plus the upcoming special election in Pennsylvania that’s likely to be viewed as key to gauging the political landscape.

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