Climate-related disasters have already hit nearly one out of every three Americans in 2021 — and the numbers are rising.
Massive wildfires in the drought-slammed West, powerful hurricanes and other coastal storms hitting the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard, and catastrophic flooding in multiple interior areas as well — those are the manifestations of accelerating climate change experienced by millions of Americans in 2021. On top of that, an estimated 64% of Americans live in areas that have experienced multi-day extreme heat waves this year, which are also considered serious threats to public health. This summer was the hottest since 1936, the year of the Dust Bowl.
The percentage of Americans living in a county or state which has been designated a climate-related disaster area that year has been increasing every year since at least 2018, from 5% to 12% in 2019, 28% in 2020, and 32% (so far) in 2021. In North Carolina, this is costing us three times as much money as 40 years ago.
This state of “chronic disaster” (as one official put it) has left infrastructure depleted and human responders exhausted and unable to continue. This is why over 200 medical journals whose professionals have been wracked by the pandemic are warning the climate crisis is humanity’s most urgent challenge.
It’s difficult to imagine a sharper, more inescapable message that the time to postpone action has expired. Disastrous climate change has already occurred. To limit the extent of catastrophic climate change, ambitious and comprehensive action is required. Now.
Fortunately, a blueprint for such action is already being readied for decisive votes in Congress this month. Call upon your representatives in Washington to pass the Build Back Better Act now!
This bill is so important to our planet’s future that for only the second time in its history, the national League of Conservation Voters is drawing a hard line in the sand: it will only endorse members of Congress who vote for it and make sure it includes the most crucial clean energy, jobs, and justice provisions.