As communities in New Jersey and New York are still struggling to rebuild 100 days after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Mid-Atlantic, Environment Michigan urged state and federal officials to redouble their efforts to tackle global warming. Scientists have warned that global warming is helping to fuel the recent increase in extreme weather, and will make events like Superstorm Sandy, and last summer’s record drought, more severe and more frequent unless more is done to cut the carbon pollution fueling global warming.
“100 days after Superstorm Sandy, we need to address the recent spike in extreme weather by redoubling our efforts to tackle global warming,” said Virginia Shannon, state associate with Environment Michigan. “Our hearts go out to the victims of Sandy and other recent extreme weather. Let’s not wait for the next devastating storm to put global warming solutions to work.”
A recent Associated Press article summed up the damage that Superstorm Sandy inflicted:
- At least 146 lives lost in the United States
- At least 3,500 New York and New Jersey families still displaced from their homes today, some of whom are living in tent shelters this winter
- More than 650,000 housing units damaged or destroyed in New York and New Jersey
Strong scientific evidence suggests that certain types of extreme weather events, including heavy downpours, heat waves and drought, will likely become more frequent and/or more severe as a result of global warming. Already, a 2012 Environment Michigan report found that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 37 percent more frequently in Michigan since 1948.
Environment Michigan applauded President Obama’s inaugural address pledge that, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” The group urged the president to begin by rejecting the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and setting carbon limits on power plants, the largest single source of the pollution fueling global warming. Shannon also called on the president and state leaders to continue and expand support for clean energy solutions like wind and solar power and energy efficiency.
“Over the next four years, we are counting on President Obama to tackle global warming with the urgency it requires,” concluded Shannon.