Climate

Core Message: President Obama has presented a broad and common-sense plan for meeting our obligation to protect future generations from climate change.  Americans are feeling the impacts of climate change already from destructive and deadly storms like Hurricane Sandy, droughts, and wild fires.  President Obama’s decision to take action to cut carbon pollution from power plants is particularly important since there are no current limits on carbon pollution from power plants even though they are its biggest source.

  1. We have a moral obligation to act
  2. Communities all over America are already being harmed
  3. The president’s climate plan is full of common sense solutions including first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

Details:

  1. We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that’s not polluted and damaged by carbon pollution.
  2. Climate Change is already harming Americans all over the country [insert preferred impact examples]. Cleaning up after climate-driven disasters last year cost the average taxpayer over $1,100. (or cost taxpayers nearly $100 billion, one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012.)
  3. That’s why we applaud President Obama’s climate plan which is full of common-sense solutions, starting with his call for the EPA to limit the carbon pollution from power plants. While we set limits for arsenic, mercury and lead, we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want. It’s time to set a limit on pollution that affects public health, and that’s why it’s so important that the President is rising to the challenge.

Variations:

  1. Moral obligation:
    1. “We have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that’s not polluted and damaged”
    2. “Just like our parents and grandparents handed us a better planet, we need to be responsible stewards of the earth”
    3. “We have an obligation to future generations to do something about the issue of climate change. We need to make sure that this is not a problem that we simply pass on to future generations to deal with because it will just keep getting more expensive and painful if we put it off
    4. How Americans are already being harmed by Climate Change

a)      Extreme Weather:  In 2012, there were 3,527 monthly weather records broken for heat, rain, and snow in the US, according to information from the National Climatic Data Center — including a line of powerful storms in 2012 that killed 15 people and left millions without power [http://www.nrdc.org/health/extremeweather/]

b)      Drought:  By the end of August 2012, nearly 63% of the United States was experiencing drought conditions, with over 2000 counties declared drought disaster areas. [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/8]

c)       Flooding:  Hurricane Sandy, which left 131 dead and destroyed approximately 380,000 homes, created a storm surge that broke the all-time record in New York Harbor.  The U.S. Geological Survey says that it has measured “the highest levels of flooding ever recorded in  the state of Illinois.  And the US Department of Agriculture says that 43% of this year’s corn crop is in fair to very poor condition because of excessive rain. [ http://www.climatecentral.org/news/statistics-show-just-how-intense-hurricane-sandy-was-15196http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-weather-watch/2013/04/great-midwest-flood-2013/; http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=5181112&page=1#.UcIac6WyfzJ ]

d)      Wildfires:  In November of 2012, the average size of wildfires in the US was the largest on record for any January through November period, nearly doubling the previous decade’s average.  These wildfires destroyed 9.2 million acres of land and hundreds of homes. [http://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/intelligence/intelligence.htm]

e)      Heat Waves:  By July 3, 2012, more than 40,000 daily heat records had been broken around the country, and the number of heat-related deaths predicted has jumped from the current annual rate of around 700 to between 3,000 and 5,000 by 2050. [http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0606-extreme-heat.html]

f)       Coastal Vulnerabilities:  In the last 80 years, Louisiana has lost a Delaware-sized amount of land to coastal erosion – equivalent to the loss of a football field every 38 minutes. [http://www.coastalmasterplan.louisiana.gov/whats-at-stake/coastal-crisis/]

g)      Costs:  At $100 billion, paying for climate disruption was one of the largest non-defense discretionary annual budget items in 2012. [http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/files/taxpayer-climate-costs-IP.pdf]

 

  1. What we need to do to solve this problem:
    1. Limiting carbon pollution from power plants seems so reasonable that 57 percent of voters believe that there are already significant limits on the greenhouse gases that have been linked to global warming that power plants are allowed to emit.
    2. Power plants are the biggest source of dangerous carbon pollution in the U.S. Directing the EPA to set power plant carbon pollution standards is the strongest possible action the President can take to address the impacts of climate change.
    3. In an era of heightened skepticism about the role of government, it is notable that a 51 percent majority of voters say that government should be doing more.

 

Additional messages:

The president’s action has strong public support

  • Millions of Americans support action to cut industrial carbon pollution from power plants. EPA was inundated with more than 3.2 million comments in support of action to curb carbon pollution from all power plants.
  • Poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans want climate action now. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) support “the President taking significant steps to address climate change now” (Benenson Strategy Group for the League of Conservation Voters, 2/12/13)

 

 

Cleaning up power plants is a common-sense step

  • Just as the EPA protects our health from arsenic, mercury and lead, the EPA can protect our health from dangerous carbon pollution.
  • In fact, the EPA could cut carbon pollution from America’s power plants by a quarter (26 percent) by 2020, saving Americans between $26 to $60 billion in saved lives, reduced illnesses, and climate change avoided, for less than $4 billion. And most of that $4 billion would be invested in new technologies and clean energy, putting Americans to work.

 

The costs of inaction are great

  • Industrial carbon pollution was just measured at the highest levels in human history. The costs of inaction are already apparent: more destructive and deadly extreme weather; rising global temperatures; life-threatening diseases; and skyrocketing costs for disaster recovery.
  • Superstorm Sandy and 24 other extreme weather events over 2011-2012 caused damage in excess of $1 billion each — $188 billion total — and left more than 1,100 people dead.

 

Opponents are anti-science

  • Opponents of action to cut industrial carbon pollution ignore and deny the science that tells us it is time to act.  The anti-science gang is backed by corporate polluters.
  • The polluters deny the science to protect their profits and the politicians deny the science to protect their political careers.
  • The era of delay and denial is over.

 

Clean air is good for the economy

  • Taking action to avert the worst effects of climate change, such as investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, will create jobs and a more resilient economy.
  • Since 1970, every $1 in investment in compliance with Clean Air Act standards has produced $4-8 in economic benefits. 

Do’s and Don’ts

DO DON’T
…talk about our obligation to future generations to address climate change… …lead with economic arguments
…use “standards” …use “regulations”
…use “cutting carbon pollution from power plants” …use “regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants”
…discuss the real health impacts including asthma attacks and extreme weather events… …overpromise on the impacts taking action will have
…assert this will be hard work and we will take a series of steps but it’s part of our obligation… …discuss the historic or bold nature of taking action
…remind audiences that this is latest in a series of steady and responsible steps the administration has taken …overstate the magnitude of the action being taken
…discuss the impacts – carbon pollution is bad for the health of our kids and our planet… …debate the validity or consensus of the science that is already settled
…discuss that we are already cutting mercury, arsenic, and other toxics but polluters now can release unlimited carbon pollution… …Talk about the need to “regulate” industry and shut down power plants
…use “industrial carbon pollution” to define the threat as “harming our health and our planet”… …use “carbon footprint” or “greenhouse gases” or “emissions” to define the threat
…inform audiences about the nature of the problem, who is at fault, and what can be done …debate the increase in electricity rates. Instead pivot to health & clean air message
…discuss modernizing and retooling power plants and innovation that will create green jobs …try to suggest net job increases
…assert the need to protect public health

….include impacts children as appropriate

…mention serious health outcomes… discuss emissions standards to address global warming

…assert extreme weather impacts…use concerns for air quality/clean air…use climate change or global warming to win new converts…cite health professionals such as doctors, nurses and health experts…rely on statistics without the supporting argument of public health verifiers…make big corporate polluters responsible, bad actors by explaining about their behavior and motives…rely on a recognition that local utilities or the coal industry are bad actors without explanation 

BACKUP

EPA: “Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants Are Responsible For…40 Percent Of Man-Made Carbon Dioxide Emissions.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Electricity generation is the dominant industrial source of air emissions in the United States today. Fossil fuel-fired power plants are responsible for 67 percent of the nation’s sulfur dioxide emissions, 23 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, and 40 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.” [EPA, Clean Energy, accessed 6/18/13]

NRDC: Electricity Generating Power Plants Emit Roughly 2.4 Billion Tons Of CO2 Each Year. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, “Nothing is more important than reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the largest industrial source of pollution: electricity-generating power plants. In the United States these plants emit about 2.4 billion tons of CO2 each year, roughly 40 percent of the nation’s total emissions.” [NRDC, December 2012]

2013: Obama At Second Inaugural Address: “We Will Respond To The Threat Of Climate Change, Knowing That The Failure To Do So Would Betray Our Children And Future Generations.” At his second inaugural address president Obama said, “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.” [President Obama, Second Inaugural Address, 1/21/13]

2012 Obama: “I Am A Firm Believer That Climate Change Is Real, That It Is Impacted By Human Behavior, And Carbon Emissions… We’ve Got An Obligation To Future Generations To Do Something About It.” According to an article in Reuters, “President Barack Obama said he plans to work with Congress in his second term to curb human-aggravated climate change, but not at the expense of the U.S. economy. ‘I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions,’ Obama said at a televised news conference on Wednesday. ‘And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.’” [Reuters, 11/14/12]

 

2013 Obama: “If Congress Won’t Act Soon To Protect Future Generations, I Will.” According to his 2013 State of the Union Address president Obama said, “The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.” [2013 State of the Union Address, 2/12/13]

2013: Carbon Dioxide Levels Reached 400 Parts Per Million; Highest Level In 3 Million Years. According to an article in the New York Times, “The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported…, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years. The costs of inaction are already apparent: more destructive and deadly extreme weather; rising global temperatures; life-threatening diseases; and skyrocketing costs for disaster recovery. Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering. The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.” [New York Times, 5/10/13]

 

  • Report: “Burning Of Fossil Fuels Has Caused A 41 Percent Increase In The Heat-Trapping Gas Since The Industrial Revolution.” According to an article in the New York Times, “From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked. For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.” [New York Times, 5/10/13]

Center For American Progress: Extreme Storms Cost $188 Billion From 2011-2012. According to the Center for American Progress, “From 2011 to 2012 these 25 “billion-dollar damage” weather events in the United States are estimated to have caused up to $188 billion in total damage.[1] The two costliest events were the September 2012 drought—the worst drought in half a century, which baked nearly two-thirds of the continental United States—and superstorm Sandy, which battered the northeast coast in late October 2012. The four recently added disastrous weather events were severe tornadoes and thunderstorms.” [Center for American Progress, 2/12/13]

 

2011-2012: Extreme Weather Events Responsible For 1,105 U.S. Deaths. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration there were 25 billion dollar climate disasters in 2011 and 2012 that were responsible for 1,105 deaths.  In 2011, 728 people in the U.S. were killed by extreme weather; in 2012 extreme weather was responsible for 377 deaths. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters, accessed 6/18/13]

 

New York Times: “Some Of The Mightiest Players In The Oil, Gas And Coal Industries Are Financing An Aggressive Effort To Defeat [President Obama]” According to an article in the New York Times, “Some of the mightiest players in the oil, gas and coal industries are financing an aggressive effort to defeat [President Obama], or at least press him to adopt policies that are friendlier to fossil fuels. And the president’s former allies in promoting wind and solar power and caps on greenhouse gases? They are disenchanted and sitting on their wallets. This year’s campaign on behalf of fossil fuels includes a surge in political contributions to Mitt Romney, attack ads questioning Mr. Obama’s clean-energy agenda, and television spots that are not overtly partisan but criticize administration actions like new air pollution rules and the delay of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.” [New York Times, 9/13/12]

 

  • Fossil Fuel Advocates Outspent Clean-Energy 4 To1 On Television Ads In 2012. According to an article in the New York Times, “With nearly two months before Election Day on Nov. 6, estimated spending on television ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million this year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of 138 ads on energy issues broadcast this year by the presidential campaigns, political parties, energy companies, trade associations and third-party spenders. That tally is nearly four times the $41 million spent by clean-energy advocates, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups to defend the president’s energy record or raise concerns about global warming and air pollution. The Times rated presidential campaign and national policy ads by whether they promoted fossil fuels or pushed clean energy and conservation, regardless of their sponsors, using ad and spending data compiled by Kantar Media, a company that tracks television advertising.” [New York Times, 9/13/12]

 

Chronicle Of Higher Education: “The Republican Party Platform…Unambiguously Calls For Expanding The Production And Use Of The Fossil Fuels That Drive Climate Change.” According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Why have scientists fled the Republican Party? The obvious answer is that the Republican Party has spurned science. Consider Mitt Romney’s shifting position on climate change. As governor of Massachusetts in 2004, he laid out a plan for protecting the state’s climate. As presidential candidate, he has said that climate change is real, but has questioned whether humans are causing it. His stance is consistent with the Republican Party platform, which unambiguously calls for expanding the production and use of the fossil fuels that drive climate change. In 2009, Paul Ryan accused climate scientists of ‘clear efforts to use statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change,’ echoing false accusations leveled against climatologists at the University of East Anglia.” [Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/5/12]

 

Center For Media And Democracy: Republican Backed American Legislative Exchange Council Proposals “Would Destroy Environmental Regulations… Corporate Lobbyists And Special Interests Vote As Equals With Elected Representatives On Templates To Change Our Laws.” According to the non-profit Center for Media and Democracy, “On American Legislative Exchange Council task forces, corporate lobbyists and special interests vote as equals with elected representatives on templates to change our laws, behind closed doors with no press or public allowed to see the votes or deliberations. ALEC legislation benefits corporate profits at the expense of our environment and our health by making it easier for polluters to spoil our water and our air and by pushing climate change denial. ALEC proposals would destroy environmental regulations and health safeguards, eliminate clean energy competition, allow drilling on protected lands, and curtail recycling.” [Center for Media and Democracy, accessed 6/18/13]

 

Investments To Comply With The Clean Air Act Have Generated $4 To $8 In Economic Benefits For Every $1 Spent On Compliance. According to a report by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts and Ceres, “Since 1970, investments to comply with the Clean Air Act have provided $4 to $8 in economic benefits for every $1 spent on compliance, according to the nonpartisan Office of Management and Budget. Since the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, U.S. average electricity rates (real) have remained flat even as electric utilities have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to cut their air pollution emissions.” [Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts and Ceres, Employment Effects Under Planned Changes to the EPA’s Air Pollution Rules, February 2011]

 

NRDC: Cost Of Climate Related Appropriations “Amounted To Over $1100 Per Taxpayer.” According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Spending related to storms includes appropriated funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as emergency supplemental appropriations following major disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy. It also includes the National Flood Insurance Program, which is supposed to be self-supporting, but is increasingly under water. Drought-related spending includes the federal crop insurance program as well as the government’s share of higher food costs…The true scorekeepers of climate risk—the insurance industry—realizes it can’t win when the dice are increasingly loaded with carbon pollution, so it’s walking away from the table, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. Last year that cost amounted to over $1100 per taxpayer, and we can expect to see even higher costs in future as CO2 concentrations continue to soar past 400 parts per million.” [Natural Resources Defense Council, 5/14/13]

 

NRDC: Climate Disruption Budget Nearly $100 Billion. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Despite the lengthy debate on the federal budget in Congress, climate change rarely gets mentioned as a deficit driver. Yet paying for climate disruption was one of the largest non-defense discretionary budget items in 2012. Indeed, when all federal spending on last year’s droughts, storms, floods, and forest fires are added up, the U.S. Climate Disruption Budget was nearly $100 billion.” [Natural Resources Defense Council, 5/14/13]

 

2012: “3,527 Monthly Weather Records Broken For Heat, Rain, And Snow In The US.” According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Climate change increases the risk of many types of record-breaking extreme weather events that threaten communities across the country. In 2012, there were 3,527 monthly weather records broken for heat, rain, and snow in the US, according to information from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).1 That’s even more than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011—and some of the newly-broken records had stood for 30 years or more.” [Natural Resources Defense Council, accessed 6/21/13]

 

CDC/Red Cross: 117 Deaths Associated With Hurricane Sandy. According to the Center for Disease Control, “To characterize deaths related to Sandy, CDC analyzed data on 117 hurricane-related deaths captured by American Red Cross (Red Cross) mortality tracking during October 28–November 30, 2012. This report describes the results of that analysis, which found drowning was the most common cause of death related to Sandy, and 45% of drowning deaths occurred in flooded homes in Evacuation Zone A.” [Center for Disease Control, 5/24/13]

 

New York Times Estimate: 380,000 Homes Destroyed Or Damaged By Hurricane Sandy. According to the New York Times City Room Blog, a total of 380,000 housing unties were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Sandy. 305,000 were in new York, 72,000 in New Jersey, and 3,000 in Connecticut. [New York Times, City Room Blog, 11/27/12]

 

2013: USGS Measured Record Flooding In Illinois. According to the United States Geological Survey, “At least ten USGS streamgages in Illinois that have more than 20 years of record, have measured the highest flood levels ever recorded. More record levels are expected as flooding moves downstream. USGS crews are expected to track the movement of the floodwaters down the Illinois River, the Rock Rivers, and major tributaries over the next few days.  Many of the Illinois River floodwaters are expected to exceed records and may result in major flooding that overtop levees. There are 53 USGS streamgages currently at or above flood levels as a result of the rains that began on Tuesday, April 16 [2013].” [USGS, 4/23/13]

 

2012 Wildfires Burned 9.2 Million Acres In The US. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Wildfires burned over 9.2 million acres across the U.S. in 2012. This is the 3rd highest annual total since the year 2000. The most damaging wildfires occurred in the western states (CO, ID, WY, MT, CA, NV, OR, WA). Colorado experienced the most costly wildfires (e.g., Waldo Canyon fire) where several hundred residences were destroyed. Total Estimated Costs: $1.0 Billion; 8 Deaths.” [NOAA, Billion-Dollar US Weather/Climate Disasters 1980-2012, accessed 6/21/13]

 

By July 2012: 40,113 Warm Temperature Records Set Or Tied. According to Inside Climate News, “For the year-to-date, there have been 40,113 warm temperature records set or tied, compared to just 5,835 cold records. (These figures, compiled by the National Climatic Data Center, are preliminary.) In other words, the warm temperature records have been outnumbering cold records by about 7-to-1.” [Inside Climate News, 7/2/12]

 

State Of Louisiana: “Every 38 Minutes, A Football Field Sized Parcel Of Louisiana’s Wetlands Is Taken Over By Water.” According to the State of Louisiana, “The wetlands of Louisiana are disappearing at a high rate. Every 38 minutes, a football field sized parcel of Louisiana’s wetlands is taken over by water. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that if present trends continue, the state will have lost 2,400 square miles of land between 1932 and 2050 (USGS, 2003). That’s an area about 25 times the size of Washington, D.C. Across the region, communities are being threatened, jobs are being lost, and habitats are vanishing.” [State of Louisiana, Coastal Protection and Restoration, accessed 6 /21/13]

 

  • Louisiana Could Lose 2,400 Square Miles Of Wetland By 2050. According to the State of Louisiana, “The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that if present trends continue, the state will have lost 2,400 square miles of land between 1932 and 2050 (USGS, 2003). That’s an area about 25 times the size of Washington, D.C. Across the region, communities are being threatened, jobs are being lost, and habitats are vanishing.” [State of Louisiana, Coastal Protection and Restoration, accessed 6 /21/13]

 

Plan To Cut Emissions 26 Percent Could Save $60 Billion. According to the Center for American Progress, “The Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, an environmental advocacy organization, recently released a plan to unlock the Clean Air Act’s potential to curb carbon pollution from existing power plants. The plan would cut emissions from existing power plants by 26 percent by 2020. It would operate by: Considering individual state baseline pollution levels. Establishing separate targets for oil/gas and coal-based power plants, crediting plants for energy efficiency and renewable energy modifications. Generally creating a flexible approach for states and power plants to meet carbon pollution limits. The plan achieves climate protection and public health benefits, grossing between $26 billion and $60 billion in 2020 for a net benefit between 6 times and 15 times more than the cost of the plan.” [Center for American Progress, 2/14/13; NRDC, Using the Clean Air Act to Sharply Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants, Creating Clean Energy Jobs, Improving Americans’ Health, and Curbing Climate Change, December 2012

 

  • Plan Would Cost $4 Billion. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “The plan would cut CO2 pollution from America’s power plants by 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 34 percent by 2025. The price tag: about $4 billion in 2020. But the benefits— in saved lives, reduced illnesses, and climate change avoided —would be $25 billion to 60 billion, 6 to 15 times greater than the costs. For Americans’ health and welfare, for the nation’s economy, and for the health of the planet, we can’t afford not to curb the carbon pollution from existing power plants.” [NRDC, Using the Clean Air Act to Sharply Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants, Creating Clean Energy Jobs, Improving Americans’ Health, and Curbing Climate Change, December 2012]

 

CDC: “If Current Emissions Hold Steady, Excess Heat-Related Deaths In The U.S. Could Climb From An Average Of About 700 Each Year Currently, To Between 3,000 And 5,000 Per Year By 2050.” According to the Center for Disease Control, “Climate change will bring more heat waves to the U.S. Increases in the number of people living in cities, as well as population aging, will further increase heat-related health risks. Studies suggest that, if current emissions hold steady, excess heat-related deaths in the U.S. could climb from an average of about 700 each year currently, to between 3,000 and 5,000 per year by 2050.” [CDC, Heat Waves, accessed 6/21/13]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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