As a native of South Florida, I've lived through many hurricanes. And, I can tell you that hunkering down in the dark while a powerful hurricane swirls around you is really scary...
The winds outside make a horrifying sound, punctuated by the crashing of the tree branches, roof shingles, and street signs which have become projectiles. You hope the roof holds as the lights flicker then go out. The darkness pervades. We Floridians consider ourselves battle-scarred pros, ready to ride out the next storm. Yet none of us has ever seen anything quite like Hurricane Irma.
Irma blew through Florida and several other states after battering the Caribbean islands just days ago, and millions are still left without power, hundreds are homeless, and dozens have been killed. Irma packed a major punch as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, and maintained its devastating speed in a way scientists have never seen.
Irma followed on the heels of the catastrophic hurricane Harvey and unprecedented wildfires in the West. These escalating disasters must be a wake up call to all of us, a catalyst to connect the dots between extreme weather events, climate change, and the culpability of the fossil fuel industry. We need to have a real discussion of what’s behind these storms and what must be done about it.
It's easy to miss the connections because the news media, even in its wall-to-wall 24/7 hurricane coverage, has failed to tell an essential part of the story. News anchors haven't called this storm what it is: a fossil-fueled climate disaster. And what's worse, they haven't demanded answers from those responsible: the fossil fuel industry and the elected officials who do their dirty work.
That’s why today we're joining forces with our allies across the nation for a tweet storm that directly targets media outlets. Join us to demand that the media ends the deafening #ClimateSilence by asking the questions that need to be asked and telling the stories that need to be told. Add your voice today:
We are long past discussing whether or not climate is impacting extreme weather. We already know that it is. We know that storms like Irma and Harvey are supercharged by climate change. The discussion now needs to be: what are we going to do about it? And for that we have answers: End public support for fossil fuels and keep them in the ground. Go 100% renewable. Pursue a just transition off of fossil fuels. Break free from the influence of the fossil fuel industry on our politics.
Our thoughts remain with those impacted. We’ll stay in touch in the days and weeks ahead with more ways to get involved.
Amanda, Emily, Brant, David, Matt, and the rest of the ClimateTruth.org Action team
P.S. This is a moment to help those impacted. Give today to support grassroots organizations on the ground in Florida that are working to help the most vulnerable communities recover and rebuild, and to GlobalGiving’s Irma Relief Fund. If you've been impacted by the recent storms, flooding, or wildfires and want to share your story, please reach out to us by replying to this email.
"Break the #ClimateSilence: Time for a new conversation," Oil Change International, 09-13-2017
“Why Republicans are frozen on climate change,” CNN, 09-12-2017
“Irma Won’t ‘Wake Up’ Climate Change-Denying Republicans. Their Whole Ideology is on the Line,” The Intercept, 09-11-2017
“STUDY: ABC and NBC drop the ball on covering the impact of climate change on hurricanes,” Media Matters for America, 09-08-2017
ClimateTruth.org Action, a project of Oil Change USA, fights the denial, distortion and disinformation that block bold action on climate change. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. Help us end climate denial once and for all by contributing here.
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