The NRDC has released a new map that animates [click the link to get to the flash page] the impact of extreme weather in 2011 caused to climate change. The map is part of a study published in the journal Health Affairs. The study identified climate change has caused an estimated 1,689 premature deaths, 8,992 hospitalizations, 21,113 emergency room visits, and 734,398 outpatient visits so far in 2011. More maps by the NRDC team documenting climate change impacts to the US are available here and their description of the methodology is here. [via LATimes]
As #COP17 wraps up, the NRDC’s study underscores the urgency for global action to contain carbon emissions as so eloquently interjected by Ms. Borah:
“I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot. The obstructionist Congress has shackled justice and delayed ambition for far too long. I am scared for my future. 2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair ambitious and legally binding treaty.
You must take responsibility to act now, or you will threaten the lives of youth and the world’s most vulnerable.
You must set aside partisan politics and let science dictate decisions. You must pledge ambitious targets to lower emissions not expectations. Citizens across the world are being held hostage by stillborn negotiations.
We need leaders who will commit to real change, not empty rhetoric. Keep your promises. Keep our hope alive. 2020 is too late to wait.”
–Abigail Borah, December 8, 2011 [source]
I am as inspired by Ms. Borah’s civil disobedience as I was by Tim DeChristopher’s actions to halt the illegal auction of mineral rights. We all need to stand up and tell the politicians to take action!
We can mitigate, we can adapt, or we can suffer. I am scared for our future too.