NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information reported: “In 2017 (as of July 7), there have been 9 weather and climate disaster events [and counting] with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 2 flooding events, 1 freeze event, and 6 severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 57 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.”
Now Hurricane Harvey, born in the ever-warming waters of the Western Gulf, has added tremendously to the death and destruction, mostly in Texas and Louisiana. This month Asian nations (Bangladesh, India, and Nepal) and Africa’s Sierra Leone experienced upwards of 2,200 deaths and millions displaced by major flooding. These weather extremes are in keeping with events climatologists have warned about for decades. They will become worse (more extreme and widespread), if we don’t reduce emissions of greenhouse gases into the air. As we know, these emissions result primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, which cause, among other things, ocean levels and temperatures to rise.
We must encourage cooperation by all levels of our governments. There are countless opportunities to “do well by doing good.” A small, but important step, would be for the members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama to join and support the work of the 52 bipartisan members of the Climate Solutions Caucus. (Google it.) Our Senators, Richard Shelby and Luther Strange, should also initiate a similar group in the U.S. Senate. Please call their offices. We need leadership.