VIDEO: Living a Global Warming Nightmare
It sounds like something out of a horror film: men and women gasping for clean air while toxic smog blankets the skyline. Hundreds of wildfires raging out of control, swallowing up more than 2,000 homes and turning Russia’s cropland into blackened dust. A suffocating heat wave – the worst ever recorded in Russia – doubling the death rate in Moscow and causing city morgues to overflow.
It may sound like the plot of the next Hollywood blockbuster, but this time it’s real. The catastrophic heat wave and wildfires that paralyzed Russia this past summer are a daunting glimpse into the future. This is what global warming looks like.
Scientists have made it clear that we can’t attribute specific weather events to climate change. Weather naturally fluctuates, and heat waves, droughts and intense floods can occur on their own. But science also tells us that the world is warming, and that a hotter planet means more intense and more frequent extreme weather events.
So what exactly are we talking about?
Changes in climate will look different around the globe, but in general, we’re likely to see more intense heat waves that can cripple cities and threaten the lives of elderly people, children and other vulnerable populations. Russia isn’t the only place likely to suffer – here in America we’re just as much at risk. A new report shows that 153 locations in the U.S. just sweated through their hottest summer on record. Globally, 2010 to-date has been the hottest year we’ve ever seen.
Warmer ocean temperatures will likely bring stronger precipitation events. That’s a nice way of saying hurricanes, tropical storms and monsoon rains, the kind that will batter communities with fierce winds and debilitating floods. Last month, Pakistan suffered under the heaviest monsoon rains ever recorded. The result? 1500 people dead from flooding, and millions of people displaced. And earlier this year, China experienced the worst flooding in decades, losing more than 1100 people to the deadly waters.
This isn’t an exaggeration. These extreme weather events are already happening. And they will continue to happen, with more frequency and intensity, if we don’t act now.
With lives all over the world in danger, passing comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation is more important than political careers, partisan bickering and personal greed. This is a global issue – one that requires strong leadership from the U.S. to set us on the right path.
Watch the video below to see what the burning of fossil fuels has gotten us, and the havoc a changing climate can wreak.
Then tell your government leaders that you are sick of their free handouts for polluters. Protecting the laws and agencies that keep our air and water clean must be their number one priority.
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