100-day anniversary of Superstorm Sandy marked with call for action on global warming

By Environment Illinois

CHICAGO — As communities in New Jersey and New York struggle to rebuild 100 days after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Mid-Atlantic, Environment Illinois urged state and federal officials 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 Seth Berkman, federal field associate with Environment Illinois. “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;

More than 3,500 New York and New Jersey families remain displaced from their homes, some living in tent shelters this winter; and

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 Illinois report found that extreme rainstorms and snowstorms are happening 16 percent more frequently in Illinois since 1948.

Environment Illinois applauded President Barack Obama’s inaugural address pledge to “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.

Berkman 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 confront global warming with the urgency it requires,” said Berkman.

Posted Feb. 6, 2013

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