Nov. 18, 2011: Markey: Extreme Weather and Extreme Costs Require Extreme Urgency
New report from IPCC details increase in droughts, floods, other extreme weather due to climate change
WASHINGTON (November 18, 2011) – This year devastating tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes, wildfires and floods have hit the United States, marking it as one of the most extreme years on record. Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented further evidence that strengthens the link between extreme weather and manmade climate change. The new report released today, “Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” shows that extreme precipitation, flooding and heat waves are on the rise due to increases in global warming pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes. Last year, global carbon emissions rose by six percent, the largest single-year increase on record. Congressman Ed. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and former Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming released the following statement.
“The problem isn’t just the extreme weather devastating communities in America and abroad, it’s also the extreme ideology of Republicans leaders in Washington who continue to deny the existence of global warming,” said Rep. Markey. “Congress needs to act on energy policies that put limits on the carbon pollution warming our planet and making these disasters worse. The human and broader economic costs of climate impacts will only grow in significance if we wait to act.”
The extreme weather events of 2011have brought the costly impact of climate change into sharp focus. The latest insurance analysis finds that the United States has experienced 15 weather disasters causing at least a billion dollars in damage thus far in 2011, more billion-dollar events than any other year.
“This huge potential price tag should be all the reason we need, especially in this economy, for taking steps now to reduce global warming pollution,” said Rep. Markey. “Knowing the great risk extreme weather poses to our economy and citizens – why wouldn’t we act? Rather than being distracted by debunked attacks on climate science, Congress should be debating the steps we need to take to reduce pollution, create jobs and reclaim our lead in the clean energy race.”
Earlier this week, Reps. Markey and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) held a Congressional briefing “End of Climate Change Skepticism” with several prominent scientists, including Dr. Richard Muller, a scientist who was previously skeptical about many aspects of climate science, but the two-year study he led at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project has validated the fact that the world is warming.