On two opposite ends of the world, millions are reeling from the impacts of superstorms—terrifying reminders of our warming planet. In North Carolina, floodwaters from Hurricane Florence continue to rise, killing at least 18 people, causing massive infrastructure failure, and cutting people off from rescue efforts. At the same time, monster Typhoon Mangkhut has killed over 50 people in the Philippines, left Hong Kong reeling with destruction, and led to millions being evacuated in China.
As the disasters keep mounting and evidence continues to point to climate change as the primary culprit, Congress needs to take action. Please call your members of Congress and remind them of the urgent need to act on climate and make our communities healthier and more resilient. Find talking points below.
The role that climate change plays in strengthening these deadly storms can no longer be ignored. Research shows that Hurricane Florence became larger, stronger, and dumped up to 50% more rain because of climate change. Throughout the world, climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme, dangerous weather events, including heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes.
Compounding the threats posed by extreme weather are environmental and health hazards that governments have ignored, and the fact that our infrastructure was not designed or built to withstand such frequent and powerful storms. In North Carolina, human health is threatened by floodwaters washing out the earthen dams that hold back toxic coal ash and cesspools filled with hog waste. The Cape Fear Riverkeeper is currently monitoring the release of enough coal ash to fill 150 dump trucks that appears to have made its way to a popular recreational lake.
Despite the global threats posed by these increasingly common extreme weather events, the United States is not doing much to prevent runaway climate disasters or even bolster infrastructure resiliency. Recent news highlights just how unconcerned the Trump administration is with the threat of climate disasters—the administration was caught transferring $10 million dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and $29 million from the Coast Guard to bolster the funding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
As the disasters keep mounting and evidence continues to point to climate change as the primary culprit, Congress needs to take action. Please call your members of Congress and remind them of the urgent need to act on climate and make our communities healthier and more resilient. Here are some talking points to get you started:
Note: Check here to see if your Representative has cosponsored the “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act.”
Photo of Hurricane Florence making landfall by NOAA.