In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that left scores dead and may have caused $50 billion in damage, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called today for strong action to combat global warming and protect America from future superstorms.
"First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families of those who died during this massive storm, and with the millions of people who remain without electricity and whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Just as the people of Vermont needed support to recover from Hurricane Irene last year, our message to those suffering from the damage from Hurricane Sandy is that the people of the United States will be there to support you as you recover," said Sanders.
"At the same time, we must be very clear. Hurricane Sandy is a wake-up call for all Americans that we must act to reverse global warming. While scientists do not attribute this storm or any single weather disturbance to global warming, it is increasingly clear that global warming is fueling more extreme weather disturbances. Scientists have already documented how rising sea levels and warmer ocean surface temperatures in the Northeast increased rainfall, flooding and storm surges from Hurricane Sandy," the senator added.
Hurricane Sandy's devastating impacts come on the heels of 2011's record-breaking 14 weather disasters in the United States which each caused $1 billion or more in damage, including Hurricane Irene. According to the National Climatic Data Center, 2012 is on track to be the warmest ever in the United States since records began in the 1880s.
"If we do not reverse global warming, the science is very clear. We can expect more damaging extreme weather in the future, and a strong likelihood of it being more and more severe. As a member of both the energy and environment committees, I am going to do everything I can to support the strongest possible legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions and end our reliance on fossil fuels while making major improvements in energy efficiency and transforming our energy system to sustainable energy. Not only would passing strong legislation position America to lead the global effort to cut emissions, it would help our country create millions of good-paying jobs as we transform our energy system," Sanders concluded.