Hurricane Harvey was an unnatural disaster. Climate change, caused by fossil fuels, raised the sea level, contributing to Harvey’s intense rainfall.
Over 6 million people have been affected. The flood waters continue to rise. More people are in need of shelter and services, damaged oil refineries are spewing toxic fumes into communities, and public health is at risk.
A part of supporting impacted people means getting serious about why storms like Harvey, Sandy, and Katrina and other weather extremes continue to happen with increasing intensity. The connection between climate change and Harvey’s impact is irrefutable. July was the hottest month ever measured on Earth, raising the temperature of the Gulf of Mexico and making Harvey wetter and stronger.
Denying climate change puts people in harm’s way. Unless we take steps to keep fossil fuels in the ground and plan for a changing world, more people will lose their homes or their lives.
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We must recognize that climate change is the most serious threat to us and our citizens, and to the Earth, if we are to do anything to change this.
Beverly Cohen, San Luis Obispo