The Global #RiseForClimate actions are just one example of many that the climate justice movement is building the power needed to transform the economy and put in place policies to confront climate change. The ingredients exist for the climate justice movement to rapidly succeed. A challenge is not knowing how much time we have. Scientists have been conservative in their estimates, and feedback loops could rapidly increase the impacts of climate change.
The costs of not acting are high. The benefits of investing in a clean energy economy would be widespread. We need to keep building the movement.
The Climate Crisis Is Already Devastating
The urgency of the climate crisis is obvious and cannot be reasonably denied. ABC News reported about the horrific California wildfires, saying there is an “undeniable link to climate change.” They wrote, “Experts have said that rising temperatures linked to climate change are making the fires larger, more dangerous and more expensive to fight.” This year’s fires broke records set by last year’s fires, leading Governor Jerry Brown to describe them as the “new normal” caused by years of drought and rising temperatures.
Researchers at Columbia University and the University of Idaho reported in 2017 that human-caused warming was drying out forests, causing peak fire seasons across the West to expand every year by an average of nine days since 2000. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the 2017 fire season cost more than $2 billion, making it the most expensive fire season on record.
Extreme heat is becoming more common because of climate change. Since 2001, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have occurred. Records were broken all over the world this year. Record heat is also contributing to more ferocious storms. Storms with heavy rain and high winds are increasing, as the Union of Concerned Scientists warns.
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