Climate Action

Climate Change Makes Hurricanes Worse

Why won’t our leaders talk about climate change? We know that hurricanes feed off warm water. Very warm water heated by global warming makes hurricanes worse. Warm air holds more water vapor, too, producing more rainfall and flooding. Climate change also causes sea levels to rise and makes storm surges higher. We have ample evidence that urban sprawl and poor land management make a bad situation worse. Today in Houston, as the flood waters recede, a cocktail of toxic chemicals, sewage, debris and waste are contaminating the city, sparking worry about disease. Sewers are overflowing and human and animal waste pollute both municipal water supplies and private wells, while petrochemicals from the area’s petroleum and plastics industries further poison air and water. Plus there are two dozen superfund sites in the area leaching the legacy of earlier industrialization: lead, arsenic polychlorinated biphenyls, benzene and more. Now less than two weeks after Harvey, here comes Irma, another monster hurricane, barreling towards Florida with a direct hit on Miami and its densely populated suburbs looking likely. Forecasters say this could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the area. What you can do about it: Urge our leaders to help victims of Harvey and Irma with a robust plan for aid, but not to stop there. It’s time to take action on the dangers of climate change. Fund the EPA, support resilient cities infrastructure projects, and back binding global climate agreements. Write, tweet or call your congressional representatives and tell them to wake up to reality. We’ll be doing the same. Photo Credit: NASA (Flickr)