Climate Change Driving A Spike in Natural Disasters in the 21st Century

Climate Change Driving A Spike in Natural Disasters in the 21st Century

According to a new report from the United Nations, in the last twenty years, there have been 7,348 natural disasters and that represents a dramatic increase over the twenty years prior.

Why This Matters:  According to the UN  report’s authors, unless leaders in business and government take action, the world will become an “uninhabitable hell for millions of people.”

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Now NOAA Predicts So Many Hurricanes This Year They May Run Out of Names – YIKES

Now NOAA Predicts So Many Hurricanes This Year They May Run Out of Names – YIKES

Late last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its annual update on this year’s outlook for tropical hurricanes and they are now predicting the conditions are ripe for a huge season, with 19-25 named storms with sustained winds over  39 mph or greater, and even worse, 7 to 11 are expected to become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater.

Why This Matters:  Hurricane season really gets serious only now, so the worst is still ahead of us. And the revised forecast is a big increase over what had been forecast at the beginning of the season when NOAA said it there was a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms.

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Flooding and Severe Storms Disproportionately Impact Black and Brown Communities

Flooding and Severe Storms Disproportionately Impact Black and Brown Communities

As the third tropical storm of the season, Cristobal, sits in the Gulf of Mexico picking up steam like a pinball aiming for the coast somewhere from Houston to New Orleans, a new analysis of federal flood insurance payouts shows that flooding in the U.S. disproportionately harms black neighborhoods

Why This Matters:  This is not new news – there have been studies pointing out this disparity for years.  Indeed, more than a year ago, the National Academies of Science (NAS) issued a report that said that “Severe storms ‘fall on the rich and poor alike,’ but low-income neighborhoods suffer more damage from urban flooding.”

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Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

The Edenville Dam failure in Michigan causing thousands to evacuate puts a spotlight on a problem that the American Society of Civil Engineers highlighted in 2017 when it gave our country a “D” for dam safety (yep – that’s it’s grade) but this grade has not significantly improved in the last 20 years.

Why This Matters:  When we think about the security risks to our nation, we need to start counting infrastructure failure due to climate change as one of the most troubling.

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The Most Devastating Hurricanes Are Hitting the US More Often

The Most Devastating Hurricanes Are Hitting the US More Often

Hurricanes are the most destructive natural disasters in the United States and the most dangerous and destructive storms are hitting the U.S. three times more frequently than they did a century ago.

Now, what are we going to do about it?

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Senate Dems Hold First Climate Hearing Highlighting Actions By Mayors

Senate Dems Hold First Climate Hearing Highlighting Actions By Mayors

Yesterday, Senate Democrats determined to work around Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unwillingness to legislate on the climate crisis, held their first hearing highlighting the work to combat climate change being undertaken by mayors across the U.S.  The Democrats, according to the Committee’s Chair, Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii, who told Chris Hayes on MSNBC last night that they want to “lay the predicate for action in 2021” and build “a coalition of working people” in support of climate action because “It is long past time to act.” 

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